2019 Speakers

Rick Biros
President, Food Safety Tech
Rick Biros has more than 25 years of B2B publishing experience. Early in his career he worked on Food Processing and then Food Engineering magazines in a sales and then management role. He was the founder and a principal in Carpe Diem Communications where he developed and launched Food Quality magazine, The Food Quality Award and The Food Quality Conference & Expo as well as Pharmaceutical Formulation & Quality and Contamination Control magazines. Under his direction, Food Quality and Pharmaceutical Formulation & Quality received editorial excellence awards from The American Society of Business Publication Editors. In 2007, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. acquired Carpe Diem. Biros continues his entrepreneurial interests with the formation of Innovative Publishing Co. and the launch of MedTech Intelligence in 2009; Food Safety Tech in 2012 and the Cannabis Industry Journal in 2016. Innovative Publishing is also a conference producer of six med tech conferences, three food safety conferences and two cannabis industry conferences.
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Lucy Angarita
Director, Supply Chain Traceability, IPCoop (Supply chain Subway)
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Felix Amiri
Food Sector Chair, GCSE-Food & Health Protection
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Virginie Barrere, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Policies, University of Laval - Quebec
Dr. Barrere is a research associate working for the Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Excellence Platform (PARERA) at the University Laval in Quebec, Canada. She studies allergen detection methods, reference material development, and food allergen management and labeling. She also works on food fraud management and has developed a training in food fraud management for food business operators and regulators. She teaches food fraud management at University Laval. She owns a Ph.D. in Parasitology from McGill University and an engineering diploma in food safety and food microbiology. Her areas of interest include food safety, detection methods, molecular biology, and emerging food safety issues.
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Thomas Burke
Food Traceability and Safety Scientist, Institute of Food Technologists
Thomas Burke is the Food Traceability and Safety Scientist at IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC). Currently, he is a technical lead in interoperability piloting for the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability, an initiative funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The Global Dialogue is a business-to-business framework facilitating the creation of data and IT architecture standards addressing traceability use cases in the seafood sector, such as catch legality, food safety, and labor accountability. Burke also researches emerging technologies pertaining to food traceability systems, namely Blockchain, data capture integration, and AI. At GFTC, he has led the creation of a food traceability course entitled “Demystifying Traceability”, an online introductory course for food professionals offered by IFT. He previously worked as a Food Safety Analyst at the Georgia Department of Agriculture, working on food outbreak investigations, emergency response, regulatory policy, and informatics. He has a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Kansas State University and is an MPH Graduate in Residence in epidemiology at Emory University.
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Shub Debgupta
Founder & CEO, Mesh Intelligence
Shub Debgupta is the founder/CEO of Mesh Intelligence, an advanced data analytics company that has developed a new approach to food safety risk management. Mesh has built a proprietary database of food safety and security risk intelligence, covering global food company interactions with each other and with compliance authorities, as well as an ecosystem of advanced analytical and AI/Machine Learning tools to discover and predict risk for better food safety and security operations. Shub led the creation of the predictive algorithms that inform and train the company’s products. Shub also founded Allium Health and WiserTogether, two healthcare data analytics companies. He was WiserTogether’s CEO from its inception in 2010 till 2016. While at WiserTogeher, he was named Innovator of the Year and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Shub has also worked at Gartner and PwC. He is a published researcher and has a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.
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Darin Detwiler
Director: Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industry, Northeastern University
Darin Detwiler, M.A.Ed., DLP is the director: regulatory affairs of food and food industry, assistant teaching professor in the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University. Prior to this role, he was the senior policy coordinator for food safety at STOP Foodborne Illness, (a national non-profit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne illness.). Detwiler has spent two decades working in the support and reform of food policy. Four different secretaries of agriculture have recognized Detwiler for his efforts in the USDA’s Pathogen Reduction Program. From 2004–2007, he served on the USDA’s National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection. He is also an FDA-certified food science educator whose work can be found on television, radio and in industry journals and newspapers, including the New York Times. Detwiler is a former high school teacher and adjunct professor of science and history, as well a navy veteran.
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Jeanne Duckett
Manager , Emerging Technology, Avery Dennison
Jeanne Duckett leads technology development for Avery Dennison Printer Systems investigating RFID, networking and new technology and other revelant technologies for products in the 5-7 year.. She manages the IP portfolio for Avery Dennison's Printer Systems in addition to holding multiple patents in imaging, RFID handling, and various aspects of printer design including design of Food Freshness Printers. Contributing member of AIM Global and GS1 inter-industry organizations. Current chairperson of Internet of Things inter-industry collaboration group and previous chairman of the RFID Experts Group. Participates on Technology Symbols, Wireless Communication, GS1 Supply Chain Visibility and GS1 Foodservice Initiatives. Contributing member of the GS1 Global Traceability Initiative. Jeanne has spoken at several industry events including RFID Journal Live, GS1 Connect and State Association Restaurant Shows.
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Benjamin England
CEO & Founder, FDAImports.com, LLC
Mr. England is the CEO and Founder of FDAImports.com, LLC and Benjamin L. England & Associates, LLC. He routinely represents domestic and foreign companies of all sizes, assisting them in identifying FDA, USDA, FTC, EPA, CBP, and state requirements. His representation enables his clients to better understand and fully comply with federal and state requirements, and thereby reduce the risk of regulatory interference with products being imported, exported, or distributed in interstate commerce. A 17-year veteran of FDA, Mr. England served as the Regulatory Counsel to the Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs. Before this, he served in scientific, inspectional, compliance and criminal and civil enforcement capacities as an FDA Consumer Safety Officer, Compliance Officer, a Senior Special Agent with FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) and an analytical regulatory microbiologist.
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Karen Everstine, PhD
Sr. Manager, Scientific Affairs, Decernis
Karen is currently Sr. Manager, Scientific Affairs at Decerns. Prior to joining Decernis, she was the Scientific Liaison with the Foods Program at United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). She joined USP in 2015 to advance the development of food fraud mitigation tools and resources, including serving as the technical lead for the re-design and expansion of USP’s Food Fraud Database. Karen is the lead Scientific Liaison for two USP Expert Panels focused on food fraud. In her previous work, Karen led federally-funded food fraud research projects at research center based at the University of Minnesota. She began her food safety career as a foodborne disease epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health.
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Elise Forward
President and Principal Consultant, Forward Food Solutions
Elise Forward is the president and principal consultant for Forward Food Solutions, LLC. She has more than 15 years of food safety, quality, and regulatory experience in both the international and domestic food markets. She has worked in laboratory and production settings, and has more than 10 years’ experience managing the food safety programs of an international importer and distributor. She is a member of the International Association for Food Protection and the Institute of Food Technologists.
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Melody Ge
Sr. Consultant, Kestrel Management, LLC
Melody is Senior Consultant with experience and knowledge in food safety, food quality/quality management, food regulations, and GFSI schemes. She has worked with regulators, certifying bodies, retailers, and manufacturers, including products such as fresh cut, milk, meat, ingredients, flavors, confectionery, pasta and food packaging.

Melody started her career in product development, including production and quality control of a vegan “chicken meat” product. She then transitioned to a Compliance Specialist at SQF Institute, where she established and developed the SQFI Compliance Program. Her responsibilities included overseeing SQF certified suppliers, certifying bodies, and SQF auditors; assisting suppliers interpreting SQF Code; maintaining the integrity of the SQF certification; and developing the SQF Code.

Immediately prior to joining Kestrel, Melody served in a number of quality management and business development roles at Lidl. As the Deputy Quality Assurance Director, she oversaw suppliers, food safety control, and product quality monitoring and management to maintain quality and safety of product routine tasks. Utilizing her multi-industry backgrounds, she managed the Lidl Purchasing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Her primary responsibilities included company auditor training, managing Lidl stakeholders, R&D and sensory for Lidl private brands, and maintaining relationships with Lidl certifying bodies and labs.

Melody often speaks at conferences to help more people understand the importance of food safety and quality, and provides safety training courses to help start-up businesses.

Areas of Expertise: Food safety, food quality/quality management, GFSI, FSMA, FSVP, HACCP, GMP, SQF, IFS, FSSC 22000, ISO, food safety audits, statistical analysis, supplier management, sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Education/Certifications: M.S. in Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park; B.S. in Food Science and Technology from Shanghai Ocean University (China); certificates in HACCP, Extrusion Processing and Technology and Commercialization, and Commercially Sterile Packaged Foods; fluent in English, Mandarin/Cantonese Chinese, French, and German
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Steven Gendel
Senior Director, Food Science, Food Chemicals Codex
Dr. Gendel works to protect public health and the integrity of the food supply as the Senior Director for Science at the Food Chemicals Codex, which is published by US Pharmacopeia. He has over 30 years of experience in food safety science and policy, including positions at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Harvard University, the University of Toronto, and Iowa State University. He has over 90 publications and numerous presentations
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Jason Kelley
GM. IBM Blockchain Services, IBM
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Andrew Kennedy
Interim Director, Global Food Traceability Center, Global Traceability Center
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Bill McBeath
Chief Research Officer , ChainLink Research
Erika Miller
Food Safety Specialist, D.L. Newslow & Assoc. Inc.
A Tampa native, Erika Miller is trained in and experienced with GMPs, HACCP, FSSC 22000, internal auditing/risk analysis and FSMA; including program design and implementation, facility compliance and training. After a brief stint in aggregate quality assurance where she learned the basics of ISO and developed her first SOP manual, she entered the Florida citrus industry (on the byproducts side), where she received further extensive training in quality assurance. She has completed the FDA/FSPCA Lead Instructor course for Preventive Controls for Human Food. In addition to these skills, Miller has the ability to understand the scope of an operation, and logically develop a food safety management system. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Florida.
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John Miller
Quality Assurance Manager, Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Holly Mockus
Product Manager, Alchemy
With more than 30 years of experience in the food industry at companies like ConAgra, Kellogg, and Sara Lee, Holly Mockus joined the Alchemy Systems team where she currently helps the firm to create world class workforce development solutions for large, complex operations within the food industry. Mockus has held positions in food safety, quality assurance, sanitation and plant regulatory affairs. She has authored several chapters related to the importance of record keeping and documentation in the food industry. She was honored to become the 2013 recipient of the Safe Quality Food Institute's Outstanding Achievement Award, and is passionate about the importance of training in the food industry including the cultivation of successful safety cultures.
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Debby Newslow
President, DL Newslow & Associates
Debby Newslow is the author of Food Safety Management Programs ¾ Applications, Best Practices and Compliance, published by CRC Press/Taylor and Francis Group in 2013; The ISO 9000 Quality System: Applications in Food and Technology released by John Wiley & Sons Publishing in February 2001 and many published articles on food safety, management systems and related topics throughout her food science based career. Newslow has received several industry-specific awards with the most recent being the 2013 Food Safety Leadership Award for Training presented by NSF International at the Food Safety Summit. The entire D. L. Newslow & Associate Team not only focuses on presenting the best possible educational courses at company sites or their Orlando public training center (NRFSP corporate offices) but also on the development, implementation, and maintenance of effective and compliant (FSMS, GFSI-approved FS schemes, ISO, FSMA, etc.) food safety and quality management systems.
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Alicia Noel
Founder, Cultivati
Alicia is the founder of Cultivati Inc., where she does research on how companies are using blockchain in food supply chains, consults with companies that are developing and implementing initiatives that use blockchain to address supply chain challenges, and speaks at events to help people understand how blockchain is enabling change in the food and agriculture industry. She believes that everyone in the world should have access to safe, quality, sustainable food. Living in Beijing from 2008 through 2014, Alicia saw a string of food safety scandals cause illness and concern about the food supply chain. This led her to research and speak publicly about sustainable agriculture and food safety. The experience started her thinking about how we can improve traceability and transparency. As she learned more about blockchain technology she realized that the documentation and immutable record which blockchains provide give us the tools to do that. While in Beijing Alicia worked with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization - Investment and Technology Promotion Office to promote industrial development in third tier cities across China, and taught business to undergraduate and Executive MBA students at China Agricultural University. Since returning to the US she has consulted with a range of organizations on food safety issues in China, food supply chain innovation, operations, communications, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Alicia is also an advisor and judge for sustainable seafood business competition Fish 2.0, and a mentor with food business accelerator Food-X, blockchain accelerator dLab, and the Blockchain for Social Impact Decentralized Impact Incubator. Alicia has a BA in psychology, from Hunter College of the City University of New York and an Executive MBA in international business from Rutgers Business School. She also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate from Green Phoenix Permaculture.
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Barry Parsons
Sr. Consultant, Paster Training, Inc.
Barry Parsons has worked in the food industry over 30 years managing various facilities ranging from quick service restaurants, scratch restaurant, farm and garden center, bakery to supermarkets. In addition to his operations experience, Barry has performed technical investigations, analysis, reports and testimony towards the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation. Barry is currently the Senior Consultant for Paster Training, Inc. where he teaches various food safety training courses for the retail and manufacturing industries. He additionally performs consulting projects at retail and processing companies throughout the United States. Barry holds credentials with: Food Service Manager Professional- National Restaurant Association; Certified Professional Food Manager- Prometric; and National Registry of Food Safety. Barry is a Certified Professional Food Safety (CPFS) and Certified Comprehensive Food Safety expert (CCFS) with the NEHA. In addition, he is a Supervisory Instructor and Sanitation Controls Procedures Instructor with the Seafood HACCP Alliance/AFDO Seafood HACCP, FSPCA Lead Instructor for Preventive Controls for Human Food, and FSPCA Lead Instructor for the Foreign Supplier Verification Program.
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Priya Rathnam
Supervisory Consumer Safety Officer, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Priya Rathnam, M.P.H. is a Supervisory Consumer Safety Officer in the Division of Enforcement/Office of Compliance at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). As a team leader in the Food Adulteration Assessment Branch, and subject matter expert, she routinely reviews regulatory actions related to microbial contamination in food. Priya has worked at CFSAN for over 14 years, and works closely with FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs and Office of Chief Counsel in determining regulatory strategies for follow up action. She currently is serving as a co-lead for the FSMA Phase 2 workgroup for implementation of the Preventive Controls in Human foods regulation.
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Tom Reese
Vice President of Business Development, Zest Labs
Tom has comprehensive experience in market development, sales and engineering from start-ups to large enterprises. Prior to Zest Labs, Tom led Motorola’s Cold Chain Market Development and supported other industries including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, retail, transportation and logistics. Prior to Motorola, Tom founded a CRM software solutions company in the hospitality market.
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Andrew Seaborn
Supervisory Consumer Safety Officer, Division of Import Operations, ORA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Andrew J. Seaborn is a supervisory consumer safety officer in the Import Program Development and Implementation Branch under the Office of Regulatory Affairs/Division of ImportOperations. In this role, Mr. Seaborn leads a diverse team focused on constructing and implementing the import operations and policy for a range of projects, including the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)/International Trade Data System (ITDS), Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA).

Mr. Seaborn graduated from the University of Toledo with a B.S. degree in Biology and Political Science. Before joining the Division of Import Operations, he worked for the Agency in the field conducting facility inspections and performing import operations as well as for what is now the Division of Food Defense Targeting.

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Jacqueline Southee
NA Representative, FSSC 22000
Biography: Jacqueline Southee represents FSSC 22000 in the US and Canada A native of the UK, Jacqueline graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science at the University of Nottingham with a PhD in Animal Science and has a background in transatlantic business development. As a Consultant in scientific communications, Jacqueline provides an interactive interface for client companies, certification bodies, regulators and all interested stakeholders, working to understand their needs and help broaden an understanding of how FSSC 22000 can help facilitate progress in the global harmonization of food safety management and certification.
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Ron Stakland
Sr. Director Business Development, FoodChain ID, Inc.
Ron is Global Product Director and subject matter expert for HorizonScan, a web-based software service developed by Fera Science, Ltd. that tracks food safety alerts affecting nearly 600 food commodities from more than 180 countries. HorizonScan™ is the most comprehensive database of its kind and is used by food companies to identify and assess potential food safety hazards in their supply chains, research the food safety history of over 20,000 suppliers and comply with FSMA and GFSI standards. Ron is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.
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Trish Wester
Chair, The Association of Food Safety Auditing Professionals – AFSAP
Ms. Wester’s career has spanned industry, food safety testing and auditing. She pioneered programs for Listeria monocytogenes control using Rep PCR technology and has worked extensively in the development of global accredited Third Party auditing programs. She is currently President of PA Wester Consulting, as well as Chair, The Association of Food Safety Auditing Professionals – AFSAP and an active SME in food safety.
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Pam Young
Managing Member, Healthy Trailer LLC
Pam Young, California licensed attorney, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Healthy Trailer, LLC, conceived and developed machinery using UV light to clean and sanitize 53-foot food trailers. Being passionate abut making FSMA compliance understandable she first studied FSMA's Sanitary Transportation Rule and the fresh produce transportation industry for over 20 years. Pam wrote an article on Food Safety Magazine and publishes articles in LinkedIn to help people better understand the basics of safe food transportation.
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