Swanson Health Vice President of Research and Development Amy Sunderman is a distinguished registered dietitian, nutritionist and author with over 19 years of experience in the supplement industry. Passionate about dietary supplements and the health benefits they offer, at Swanson Health, Amy is responsible for the safety, efficacy, stability, quality and scientific support of Swanson-branded vitamins, minerals and supplements. She’s contributed to Swanson Health’s award-winning innovation by working to find novel nutritional ingredients with strong clinical research behind them to drive innovation and provide health-promoting products to consumers.
Amy previously served as the Senior Associate Medical and Innovation Lead for Schiff Nutrition International where she created new formulas for well-known brands, including Airborne®, Mega Red® and Digestive Advantage®. Throughout her career, she has worked as a research scientist, using her expertise to conduct scientific reviews and formula recommendations of ingredients lead by in-depth analysis of publicly available and proprietary scientific research.
She has a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science, and a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Utah. She is the co-author of Dietary Supplements (Momentum Press, 2016) with B. Bryan Haycock. Based in Utah, Amy enjoys a variety of outdoor sports including hiking and skiing with her family, encouraging them to adopt life-long healthy habits.
Territory Manager – North America
GFSI/HACCP specialist and PCQI with vast experience in designing, implementing and maintaining food safety management systems in large companies. Have worked in Quality Assurance managerial roles with Heinz, Seneca Foods and Furmano Foods. Specific areas of expertise include: FSMA Preventive Controls; HACCP; GFSI; OSHA Regulations; FDA/USDA/State/Kosher auditing; Employee training & development; Canning (thermal processing & double-seaming); Vegetable processing; Dry food processing.
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 for over 19 years, 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.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Daniel has a degree in economics from Carleton University where he focused on international trade and labour relations. Daniel also graduated from the Federal Governments Accelerated Executive Development Program which prepared participants for senior leadership position across the federal public service.
Daniel worked in the private sector prior to joining the federal government. He started his career as a management trainee for one of the largest international commercial insurance companies. While there, he gained specific experience underwriting commercial risks and settling claims especially in the food sector.
He also has over 15 years of experience at an executive level with the federal government including the establishment of Service Canada Contact centres across Canada handling more than 50 million enquiries per year; the design and delivery of training and development programs for all of the federal government departments and agencies and the design and delivery of programs related to the $400M crop insurance program while at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Daniel has been with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for 8 years. During this period, he was Executive Director for Human Resource National Operations as well as the Executive Director for Food Import/Export and Consumer Protection. In his role, he held the position of chair for the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) and the lead for food labelling modernization. Currently, he is the Director General for the International Programs Directorate and is the lead for Food, Plant and Animal on behalf of the International Affairs Branch.
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.
Napa Hills LLC
Ellona left a stable, lucrative digital agency job as a senior product and QA specialist to become a creator and a visionary behind the Napa Hills water brand. A founder of a local, purpose-driven Chicago company, Ellona is set out to disrupt the wine and water beverage business. Ellona was looking for a healthier alternative to red wine. She couldn't find a beverage that paired nicely with food, taste refreshing like water and deliver the same heart-healthy antioxidants found in red wine but without the wine taste, alcohol, sugar or calories. After losing her father to cancer, she created Napa Hills at her kitchen and commercialized it without any prior beverage experience. Her cutting-edge innovative beverage aims to help people live longer, healthier, better quality of lives. Learn 7 sharable lessons she learnt along the way to success.
Evan K. Lewis
Senior Food Safety Manager
Graduated from Radford University (BS Biology ’85, MS Industrial / Organizational Psychology ‘87). Held positions as Quality Assurance Manager with Rocco Quality Foods and Cargill in both slaughter and ready to eat facilities. Lead the Six Sigma roll-out as well as the Reliability Excellence Deployment in Cargill’s Virginia Poultry Operations. Former Director of Quality with Applegate and currently Senior Manager of Food Safety with Applegate where he is spearheading Applegate’s focus on supplier and co-packer food safety improvement programs.
Fabien Robert PhD
Director NQAC zone America
Nestle Quality Assurance Center
Fabien Robert, PhD, is currently director of Nestlé Zone America laboratories. Before moving to the United States, Robert held various roles in R&D, quality, safety and regulatory within Nestlé international headquarters in Switzerland for 16 years. He has authored and co-authored 56 publications in scientific journals and patents and is an experienced speaker and presenter in the areas of organic, analytical and flavour chemistry, as well as quality and safety. Robert holds a PhD, in organic chemistry.
Gary R. Acuff
Professor, Food Microbiology
Texas A&M University
Gary R. Acuff is a Professor of Food Microbiology in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University. He has been a faculty member at Texas A&M for 37 years, and in 2001 was designated a Texas AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow for research leadership. Dr. Acuff served as Head of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M from 2004-2010 and was the director of the Texas A&M Center for Food Safety from 2010-2016. He served as President of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) in 2008 and was inducted as an IAFP Fellow in 2013. He was named a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology in 2014. Dr. Acuff served on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Advisory Committee from 2010-2013 and he currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food (NACMCF).
Dr. Acuff obtained his B.S. in biology from Abilene Christian University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in food science and technology, specializing in food microbiology, from Texas A&M University. His research has focused on improving the microbiological quality and safety of food, and recent activities have centered on pathogen survival in low moisture foods and the effective use of surrogate bacteria for validation of process control in HACCP and Preventive Control systems.
Gary Nowacki has been the CEO of TraceGains since its launch in 2008. Prior to TraceGains, Gary spent 13 years in a variety of software industry executive positions in the ERP (enterprise resource planning), supply chain management, and quality space for food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, and other process industries. Gary has also held management and individual contributor positions in programming, implementation services, and sales in the ERP software business. Gary’s prior work experience includes serving in senior management roles at CDC Software – Ross Systems, a leading ERP supplier to the food industry.
VP 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.
Senior Quality Leader
Heidi Lammers is a Quality and Food safety professional with 20 years of experience in Food Quality and Product Safety. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Systems and Technology, has held both production and quality positions, and is a certified HACCP and PCQI trainer. Heidi is currently a Senior Quality Leader in the Dairy Foods business with Land O’Lakes in Arden Hills, MN.
Head of Quality & Food Safety – Region Americas
Barilla America, Inc.
For 17 years, Jeff’s career has encompassed progressive responsibility in areas of Research & Development and Quality-Food Safety at Barilla America, Inc. Currently Jeff serves as the leader for the Quality and Food Safety department in Region Americas. Jeff and his team’s responsibilities include the deployment of quality management systems within Barilla America, Inc. plants, suppliers, warehouses, and co-manufacturing facilities while upholding to high quality standards for a 140+ year-old company. He has worked on quality management and food processing in dry pasta, acidified sauces, low acid sauces, pesto and retorted ready meals. In addition, Jeff has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering and pursuing his Masters in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Director of Client Development
Performance Solutions by Milliken
Jordan Workman serves as Director of Client Development for Performance Solutions by Milliken. He works with multi-national manufacturing clients to help them assess their operational performance and create strategies to deliver on corporate performance expectations. Clients served span a variety of industries, including agriculture, automotive, pharma, chemical, food and beverage, mining and specialty plastics.
Prior to joining Performance Solutions by Milliken, Jordan was employed by Owens Corning for almost a decade, where he last served as Marketing Director for a global business unit and was responsible for creating and executing the go-to-market strategy that aligned commercial, supply chain, and operational capabilities. He also served as Business Development Leader for greater China based in Shanghai. He brings a wealth of knowledge on how to bridge cross-cultural differences and drive performance in the journey to business excellence.
Jordan holds a degree in Economics & Political Science from West Virginia University.
Krishna R. Cabine
Krishna R. Cabine 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 Federal Meat, Poultry and Egg Inspection Acts. She regulates food safety, food defense, and other consumer protection statutory requirements; controls unsafe or violative products through detentions, civil seizures, and voluntary recalls. Her position plays a substantive role in outbreak investigations and aligns with FSIS Homeland Security Mission. She is a graduate of Webster University, M.A. Management and Illinois State University, B.S. Criminal Justice. She has been with USDA FSIS for 12 years.
Dr Liliana Casal-Wardle
Senior Manager Food safety and Quality Latin America
The Hershey Company
Dr Liliana Casal- Wardle is the Senior Manager Food Safety & Quality for Latin America for The Hershey Company. In this role she is responsible for Hershey owned facilities, comanufacturers, copackers, suppliers, licensees, food service partners and distributors in Latin America, for manufactured products that are sold in the region or imported to the US.
She is a result driven professional with expertise in global quality and food safety, strong leadership skills and a multicultural experience of living and working in Argentina, Brazil, Australia and the United States.
Accomplished in assessing, developing, implementing strong food safety and quality-oriented policies, and programs for Hershey plants, comanufacturers, copackers, suppliers and distributors.
Dr Liliana Casal-Wardle has an undergraduate Bachelor of Chemistry degree and a Doctorate degree both from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has a postdoctoral degree from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. She was a college professor the university of Buenos Aires and sao Paulo, worked for Bunge Australia and The Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia, Indeca – United Cocoa Processors in Brazil and USA, and currently at the Hershey Company.
Her passion is food safety culture and has developed and implemented tools to establish strong food safety culture drivers in the facilities under her umbrella.
Lolita R. Brumfield
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 14 years.
Sr. Director, Food Safety & Quality Assurance
Ajinomoto Foods North America, Inc.
Graduate of West Chester University in West Chester, PA (1977), B.S. Health Science.
Started my career in the food industry during college working for Swift & Company in the summer. Joined Swift full time after graduation from college and spent 16 years working with Swift & Company (Armour Swift – Eckrich, ConAgra) in poultry operations, processed meats and poultry and corporate FSQA.
Joined Specialty Brands in 1993 as Director of Quality Assurance. Specialty Brands was purchased by Windsor Foods in 2004 and Windsor was acquired by Ajinomoto Foods in 2014. Currently serving as Sr. Director, Food Safety & Quality Assurance with Ajinomoto Foods North America, Inc. Celebrating 25 years with the “company” in October, 2018.
I am currently a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Food Safety Magazine. Since 2001 I have written 17 articles on Food Security, Allergens, Sanitation and GMP’s as well as other food safety related topics. Most recently I contributed 2 podcasts for Food Safety Matters: “Meeting the Challenges of Food Plant Sanitation, in March 2018; and Environmental Monitoring and Listeria Control in October 2018.
In 2006 CRC press published my book entitled “Food Plant Sanitation: Design, Maintenance and Good Manufacturing Practices” (second edition, 2013). The third edition is in the developmental stages.
I am a member of the International Association of Food Protection and the American Frozen Food Institute as a contributor to the Listeria monocytogenes Working Group. Certifications include SQF Practitioner, ASQ Certified Quality Auditor and Preventive Control Qualified Individual
Avid hiker, skier and biker and most importantly, a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan!!
Market Development Manager
Neil Davies is a Market Development Manager for Spirax Sarco. Neil has worked for Spirax Sarco for over 23 years, both here in the US and in the United Kingdom. His time has been spent in steam system design and applications in Food and Beverage, Oil, Gas and Chemicals, and the Institutional market segments. Neil has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in steam system management. Neil’s greatest professional goal is to see customers’ build sustainable and profitable businesses through the practical application of steam system best practices, which every company has the ability to achieve. Neil has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a Master’s in Business Administration, a son, a daughter, and wonderful granddaughter.
Senior Director Global Quality Assurance
Mr. Obeta Osolu is the Senior Director, Global Quality Assurance for Domino’s the largest pizza company in the world. He oversees the Domino’s global Food Safety, quality and market development program that impacts over 2300 suppliers and 3500 products in over 90 countries. With significant international experience Obeta has led the implementation of the global food safety initiative for the Domino’s system including creating overall global standards and policies for master franchisees. Playing a key role in the design and deployment of the farm to store strategy, to leading the assurance of quality products in all North American supply chain centers and manufacturing facilities. Prior to joining Dominos, Obeta was a director of supplier development and restaurant compliance responsible for building on the strategic point of difference for Darden Restaurants. He has been a director for a medical device company and has performed foodservice consulting with the Steritech group. He is a registered sanitarian, technologist in clinical pathology and a registered microbiologist. He holds an MBA and a B.S. Degree in Microbiology.
KLEANZ Food Safety and Sanitation Management
Robert Burgh is the President of Nexcor Food Safety Technologies, a software provider for Food Manufacturing organizations worldwide. He first learned the baking business in his family's wholesale hearth plant in Trenton, NJ.
After graduating from K-State and AIB BME #3, Robert held a number of engineering positions with several different bakeries. He founded Nexcor in 1983 and has since transformed the industry with KLEANZ for Food Safety/Sanitation Management and CAMS-PM for Maintenance Management. Robert is a member of the ANSI Z50.2 committee to update standard sanitary design of bakery equipment and has spoken previously at ASB.
Supervisory Special Agent
SSA Robert Simmons entered on duty with the FBI in 2006 and was assigned to the Sacramento Division, Fairfield Resident Agency. SSA Simmons was transferred to the Chicago Division in 2010. While in Chicago, SSA Simmons has investigated international and domestic terrorism, served as Chicago’s crisis management coordinator, and as the Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator. SSA Simmons currently supervises an All Hazards Threat Assessment Squad.
Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI)
Sanjay Gummalla is currently Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, at the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI). His broad industry background and expertise in food science, food safety, and nutrition are key to guiding policy advocacy and developing effective regulatory programs and practical scientific tools for the food and beverage industry. He is in the forefront of Listeria policy efforts in his engagement with FDA, USDA, and state authorities, and leads efforts to develop best food safety practices for the frozen food industry and executing AFFI’s Listeria monocytogenes strategy.
Prior to joining AFFI, Sanjay was the Vice President of Product Development at Zentis NA, a global fruit preparation manufacturer.
Sanjay’s technical expertise extends to flavor development, food microbiology, and product development. He managed global food application teams at Givaudan Flavors and led the global dairy flavor research and development portfolio at Cargill. His career in the flavor industry exposed him to a multitude of food companies across the world and a diverse range of food processes and manufacturing environments.
Sanjay also 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 the application of nanotechnology in food safety.
Sanjay has a B.S. in Agriculture and earned his masters and doctorate in Nutrition and Food Sciences with an emphasis in food microbiology and flavor development from Utah State University.
SVP – Technical Services & Corporate Quality
Bumble Bee Foods, LLC
Steve Mavity is currently Senior Vice President - Technical Services and Corporate Quality for Bumble Bee Foods. He has held this position since August of 2005 and as a member of the company's senior leadership team, leads the company's Quality, Regulatory, Consumer Response and Research & Development programs. He has 34 years of experience in the management of Quality, Product Development, Regulatory Affairs, Consumer Affairs and the management of change in a career that spans positions with Quaker Oats, Pepsico, Merisant and Bumble Bee Foods. In addition to leading these internal efforts, Steve is active in various technical groups within Grocery Manufacture’s Association and National Fisheries Institute where he has focused upon traceability and food defense initiatives. Steve chaired the GMA Food Defense Committee for two years and currently chairs the FSMA Intentional Adulteration Working Group, is a member of the SRAC and SRAC Executive Committee, as well as, several GMA committees and working groups. He led NFI’s development and launch of the US Seafood Traceability Implementation Guide in 2010 and 2011 and currently is a member of the GS1 Retail Grocery Initiative Executive Leadership Committee. Steve is also a member of Institute of Food Technologists and has participated in IFT’s traceability initiatives as a member of its 2011 Traceability Advisory Board and as a member of the 2012 IFT/FDA Processed Food Traceability Pilot Oversight Panel providing guidance and comment to IFT on the development, execution and reporting of this important project mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act for FDA. He has participated on IFT’s Advisory Council for the Global Food Traceability Center. Steve is also a member of Momentum Food and Beverage Exchange Advisory Board. He has a degree in biochemistry from Purdue University.
Tom Johanson, P.E.
Senior Energy Efficiency Program Manager
ComEd Energy Efficiency Program
Tom Johanson is a Senior Program Manager with the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program focusing on industrial systems, wastewater treatment plants and strategic energy management. Mr. Johanson has over 34 years of engineering experience with program, project, and product management. He provides expertise in energy efficiency engineering, project development and marketing of HVAC building and industrial systems, with specialization in energy-efficient design and commissioning of control systems to optimize performance.
Prior to ComEd, Tom worked previously at EnerNOC and DNGVL, he has implemented and managed various industrial systems and energy-efficiency incentive programs. Mr. Johanson has also held several positions at Siemens Building Technologies for over 17 years in various project development roles.