Alexandra Calle is a native of Colombia (South America). She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Universidad del Valle –Colombia, a Master's degree in Food Sciences with emphasis in Microbiology from University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE), and a PhD in Animal Sciences with emphasis in Food Microbiology from Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX), where she also conducted postdoctoral research studies.
Her major interest is to develop collaborative efforts to improve public health internationally integrating the One Health concept. In fact, most of her research funded by federal agencies, has been conducted not only in North America but also in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Director of Food Safety and Quality
The Original Cakerie
Anal Dave currently works as a Director of Food Safety & Quality for The Original Cakerie, a subsidiary of Dessert Holdings, Premium desserts manufacturer in North America, located in Canada and USA. Dessert holdings is an organization that produces irresistible desserts with homemade taste for foodservice and retail customers across Canada, the USA and other markets.
He has got over 12 years of experience working in food industry with over 10 years of experience with GFSI benchmarked schemes (BRC in particular), Developing and managing food safety systems, and holds a B.Eng. in Food Processing Technology from Sardar Patel University in India, as well as, a Master of Science degree in Food Safety and Quality Assurance from University of Guelph.
Angela Burton Ramirez
Food Safety Program Manager
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
I have spent the last 11 years working in Retail Food Safety within with some of the country’s top brands in Food Safety, Operational Excellence, and Workplace Safety programs. I am currently a Food Safety Program Manager with Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews working from my home office in Charlotte North Carolina. Promoting a strong food safety culture is the backbone to any successful program and I love to celebrate the wins to help promote consistent behaviours. I have been recognized for top performance throughout my food safety career including the 2020 Unwavering Integrity Award with Red Robin. In my free time I help TreesCharlotte promote a healthy tree canopy without outreach, education, tree planning, and tree giveaways and I foster English Bulldogs with Bullies to the Rescue.
Food Safety Manager
Quality, Security & Safety Director
Head of Research and Development
Burton Blais started his public service career in 1991 after completing a doctorate in Biochemistry at Carleton University, first as a Biologist in the National Laboratory for Enteric Pathogens, then as a Research Scientist in the Food Laboratory (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) and currently as Head of Research and Development (Carling Laboratory), and Senior Research Scientist at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa. His research interests include the development of analytical capacity supporting regulatory food safety programs, with a particular emphasis on the detection and characterization of food-borne bacterial pathogens using genomics tools.
Christopher Young came to the FBI in Chicago as an Intelligence Analyst in January 2018 after retiring from the 5th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, IL Army National Guard. He has worked with weapons of mass destruction and hazardous materials since 1999, during which time he provided subject matter expertise related to chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear materials before, during, and after potential WMD terrorist events and worked with a vast array of federal, state, and local agencies.
Dr Darin Detwiler, LP.D, M.A.Ed.
Assistant Dean, Professor
Dr Darin Detwiler, LP.D., M.A.Ed., is the Assistant Dean at NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S College of Professional Studies in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a professor of food regulatory policy, specializing in food safety, global economics of food and agriculture, Blockchain, and food authenticity. He additionally advises industry, NGOs, and government agencies, addressing food safety and authenticity issues in the U.S. and abroad. Detwiler recently received the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR FOOD PROTECTION (IAFP) Distinguished Service Award (Sponsored by Food Safety Magazine.) Over the past 25 years, Detwiler has consulted with the USDA in strengthening food safety policies, particularly in the areas of consumer education, product labeling, and their pathogen reduction program. In addition to serving in various educational and advisory capacities, his committee work includes appointments to two terms as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection for USDA, where his work improved standards and policies related to risk-based sampling. As the senior policy coordinator for a national food safety organization, he evaluated pertinent regulatory issues for the USDA and the FDA as a consumer advocate in their stakeholder advisory group. He later served two terms as a council member for the Conference for Food Protection, identifying and addressing emerging problems of food safety to influence model laws and regulations among all government agencies. Detwiler received his doctorate of law and policy from NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY with a research focus on state implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
Director of QA and Food Safety for Farming and Processing
Dr Emily Griep
Food Safety Manager
United Fresh Produce Association
Emily is the Manager of Food Safety at United Fresh Produce Association. In this role, she leads various initiatives to support the association’s scientific and policy objectives, including the development of technical resources and leadership in produce safety training efforts on topics such as Listeria and environmental monitoring, the Produce GAPs Harmonized Standard, FSMA implementation, and outbreak response.
Prior to United Fresh, Emily earned her Ph.D. in Food Science from Cornell University as a USDA National Needs Fellow in Food Safety for a Global Economy, minoring in Nutrition and International Agriculture & Rural Development. During this time, Emily served as a visiting researcher at Embrapa, the Brazilian agricultural research organization. She also previously worked as a Quality Engineer for General Mills after earning her B.S., magna cum laude, in Food Science and Technology from Iowa State University. Emily is a member of the International Association for Food Production, she currently serves on the Technical Committee for the Center for Produce Safety, and she is the secretary for the Fruit & Vegetable Products Division of IFT.
Head of Food Defence
Bart Ingredients supply a wide range of ingredients including herbs and spices from origins around the world. These products are widely considered to be at risk from adulteration and contamination. Bart Ingredient’s Food Defence Team focusses on the Integrity of Ingredients throughout the global supply chains. Gideon has worked in the UK and overseas in primary food production and technical management for 15 years, with experience of the challenges of emerging ingredients and new technologies.
Vice President, Food Safety and Quality
Trophy Foods Inc.
Gordon Hayburn has worked in the food industry for over thirty years in a range of roles and sectors including: industry, enforcement and academia. In his current role as Vice President of Food Safety & Quality for Trophy Foods, he is responsible for all of the food safety and quality standards within their manufacturing sites in Canada and the USA. The Calgary site was the first site in North America to achieve the AA+ grade. Gordon is also an experienced auditor for most GFSI Standards and is one of the appointed Principal Trainers for the BRC Food Standard (Issue 8 and is responsible for training BRC’s Approved Trainers in this new version of the Global Standard for Food Safety. He is a part time tutor on the University of Lancashire MSc. program in Food Safety Management. Gordon has extensive experience in food safety auditing and was one of the first auditors for the BRC Standard when it was launched in 1996. He has maintained his interest in this field and developed modules for the, now, Cardiff Metropolitan University food safety program, in auditing and risk assessment. Gordon was the 2012 recipient of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Harold Barnum Industry Award which is “presented to an individual for outstanding service to the public, IAFP and the food industry” and he was the recipient of the “Approved Training Partner of the Year” award at the BRC Food Safety Americas Conference in Tampa in April 2016. He was the first ever winner of this award. Gordon is also the winner of the NSF Canada Awards 2018 – Food Safety Leadership Award, which is given to an individual who drives food safety excellence within a company or within the industry in general, and inspires others through their passion and actions. He is passionate about food safety and enjoys working with people at all levels and in all sectors of this industry.
Food Safety Specialist
Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA)
Senior Director Food Protection
Jonathan Deutsch, Ph.D., CHE
Professor and Director, Drexel Food Core Lab
Juan De Leon
Senior Director, Global Food Safety and Quality Assurance
C.H. Guenther & Son, Inc.
Food Safety Director
Kim is a senior food safety professional with 30 years of experience under her belt.
She has been with Monterey Mushrooms for 12 years, currently holding a position as their Food Safety Director.
She is also a member of professional and industry organizations such as United Fresh and PMA Food Safety Committees and of the American Mushroom Institute Food Safety Task Force.
Her expertise falls under Continuous Improvement, Leadership, Food Safety systems, Sanitary Design and Regulatory Compliance.
Kim graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a focus on Nutrition Science/Food Science.
United States Department of Agriculture - Food Safety Inspection Service
Lolita R. Brumfield is an Investigator with the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service, Office of Investigation, Enforcement, Audits, Compliance and Investigations Division (USDA/FSIS/OIEA/CID). She investigates violations of the food safety, food defense, and other consumer protection statutory requirements; controls unsafe or violative products through detentions, civil seizures, and voluntary recalls. Her position also plays a substantive role in outbreak investigation as well as a key role in FSIS' homeland security mission. She is a graduate of Alcorn State University, with a Degree in Agriculture Economics. She has been with USDA FSIS for 15 years.
Global Marketing Director
After the graduation in Economics at Università Bocconi and a Master of Science in International Public Policy at UCL (University College London), Matteo joined The Monitor Group, a strategy consulting firm, supporting companies' business development in EMEA. He joined Barilla in 2008 and moved from Marketing to Innovation in 2012 to develop and launch CucinaBarilla, which he led as the CucinaBarilla Managing Director. In 2018 he was appointed Global Marketing Director at Barilla, leading of the most dynamic and vibrating product categories of the company with a global footprint. He is passionate about Food, business modelling, trends and innovation. He will be chairing the Food Innovate Summit for the second time and attending it for the third time.
Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance
Michael has over 7 years of various food & beverage category experience in quality assurance and food safety.
Key highlights of his career include multi-site implementation and adherence to SQF requirements and regulations as well as driving and educating lean six sigma principles in fast paced, cross-departmental environments.
He joined Taylor Farms in 2020 as the Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance.
Michael has earned his Bachelors Degree in Biology from Alfred University in Alfred, NY as well as his Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University.
Former. Global Director, Quality & Food Safety
The Coca-Cola Company (Formerly)
Neil Marshall, Former Global Director Quality & Food Safety, for The Coca-Cola Company. Neil’s responsibilities included defining global strategy, policy, programs, requirements and initiatives for quality and food safety to ensure product integrity, whilst reducing risks across the supply chain.
Neil joined the Coca-Cola system in June 1999 for Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd in the UK. Since then, he has held several Quality and Supply Chain technical lead roles within the UK and Europe before moving to a global position in Atlanta, USA in 2009.
Neil has worked in over 80 countries and was the global technical company lead for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 South Africa World Cup and for the 2012 London Olympics. Neil also led the development of PAS 223: Food Safety for Food Packaging. Neil is a board member of GFSI and the President of SSAFE.
Neil has a Master of Science degree from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK.
Quality Assurance Manager
Stella & Chewy’s
Patricia Asante -Frempong is a seasoned Food Safety and Quality professional with 10 plus years of experience.
She is a senior Quality Assurance and Food Aafety Manager at Stella and Chewy’s.
Patricia has a vast knowledge in Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Compliance. A cross-functional leader deeply committed to building a culture of enquiry, continuous improvement and statistical or science-based decision-making.
A professional with demonstrated ability to inspire/mentor quality assurance teams and to implement latest QA programs for maintaining industrial best practices.
She is married with two children. She loves to travel and organize fun events for family and friends. She is passionate about, mentoring young graduates and helping to connect people in her network for professional development and growth.
Currently also serving on the Executive Board of CAP MKE (Collaborative of African Professionals in Milwaukee)
• Master of Business Administration, with an emphasis in Management.
• Undergrad Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology.
Global Marketing Director
Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI)
Sanjay Gummalla is senior vice president, scientific affairs at the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI). His broad industry experience in food science, food safety, and nutrition are key to guiding science and policy advocacy, and effective scientific tools and resources for the food and beverage industry. He is at the forefront of coordinating Listeria monocytogenes and enteric virus prevention and control programs and policy efforts on behalf of the frozen food industry.
Prior to joining AFFI, Sanjay was the vice president of product development at Zentis NA, a global fruit preparation manufacturer. His technical expertise extends to flavor development, food microbiology, and product development resulting from managing global food application projects at Givaudan Flavors and leading the global dairy flavor research and development portfolio at Cargill.
Sanjay currently serves on key committees representing the industry, he is an advisor on the U.S. Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee for Processed Foods, a committee member on IAFP’s Journal of Food Protection, President of the Capital Area Food Protection Association, and chair of the International Food Science Certification Commission which administers IFT’s Certified Food Scientists program.
On the food safety front, he is a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual instructor and served as adjunct assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati, where he taught food microbiology. Early in his career, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) representing FDA’s foray in to nanotechnological applications for food safety. He holds a Ph.D. in Nutrition and Food Sciences from Utah State University.
Spirax Sarco Speaker
Process Air Treatment Engineer, Process & Food Safety
Edith Patissier has been working in the food industry for over 10 years. At the start of her career, she worked as a project engineer in the prepared meal and meat processing sectors. She then joined Clauger, where she has worked for six years as the specialist in air treatment and air contamination as it applies to the food industry. This role and applied expertise help Clauger's teams to ensure the air handling systems are designed to protect the product. Edith graduated from Polytech-Clermont Ferrand as an Engineer, specialized in biological engineering for food applications. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for EHEDG France and acts as the specialist for hygienic design of equipment.
Gary Nowacki is the CEO of TraceGains, a global technology company providing networked innovation, quality, and compliance solutions to consumer brands that want to reduce supply chain risk, take control of data, and go faster. Before TraceGains, Gary held several executive positions in the technology industry across enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and quality management in the CPG business.
Director, Strategy, QualityOne
As director of strategy for QualityOne at Veeva, Sophia is a resident quality subject matter expert and thought leader. Sophia brings to the team over 10 years of direct quality experience in regulated industries.
She began her career with the FDA working in CBER’s vaccine lot release program and later moved to the FDA’s office of regulatory affairs as a regulatory microbiologist. Additionally, Sophia has managed CAPA, complaints, audit, and deviation programs in the medical device industry.
Sophia has a master of science in bioscience in regulatory affairs from Johns Hopkins University and is an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor.
As a part-owner and head of brand management and marketing for Sunnyland Farms, Staci Willson is responsible for creating opportunities in multiple markets by implementing brand strategies through community, corporate and outreach channels. She also oversees new product development for a changing, competitive market. With over 20 years in the food industry, Willson brings experience, passion, and creativity to Sunnyland Farms. Willson studied Behavioral Science at Trevecca University and is active in numerous professional, civic and community organizations past and present including Georgia Grown, the Albany Museum of Art, AMA Friends, Leadership Albany, Albany Chorale, Atlanta Choral Guild, Flint River Fresh, Inc. and Les Dames Escoffier.
Women in Food Safety
Senior Director, Global Marketing
Katie Smart is the Senior Director of Global Marketing at SightCall, the global leader in AR-powered visual assistance. With over 13 years of experience in communications, she is passionate about how video, AR and AI technologies can be combined to help companies improve communication by empowering the modern workforce to solve more problems remotely.
Global Supplier and CoPack Data Analyst
Chiara Frausin is the Global CoPack and Supplier Food Safety and Quality Data Analyst at Kraft Heinz Company, based in the Netherlands, at the Heinz Innovation Center in Nijmegen. With experience in data and trend analysis, project management and documentation and systems, Chiara led the implementation of the virtual auditing system within the FSQ team and rolled it out to several other departments, contributing to digital transformation and supporting business continuity.