Andy DePaola grew up on the North Carolina coast pier fishing with his dad, Depe; and honored by naming farm Depe Oysters. Andy studied food science, microbiology and marine biology earning BS and MS degrees at North Carolina State University and a Ph.D at the University of Florida. He spent his entire 37-year career in public service working at FDA in Dauphin Island, Alabama as a research microbiologist. He worked extensively with microbial oyster safety and was Agency’s subject matter expert on vibrios, Lead Seafood Microbiologists and National Vibrio Policy Coordinator from 2013 until he retired in 2015.
Andy established Depe Oyster Farm, Angelo DePaola Consulting and filed the Shellevator invention patent in 2016 along with breaking his neck in a body surfing accident. Experimentation remains his passion and Shellevators have provided endless opportunities to test new ideas and innovate.