2019 Speakers

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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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Felix Amiri
Food Sector Chair, GCSE-Food & Health Protection, AFISS
Felix Amiri is the food sector chair, Global Coalition for Sustained Excellence in Food & Health Protection (GCSE-FHP) and Technical Director at AFISS, providing consulting services to food companies. Amiri is a key contributor to the Safety, Security and Quality Assurance (SSQA) concept development. He teaches Canadian & International Food Safety Law and Regulations at Conestoga College. Amiri has an in-depth knowledge of food safety and quality management systems and he is very familiar with international standards. Prior to his current role at AFISS, Amiri worked in product development and quality management with various international companies.
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Lucelena (Lucy) Angarita
Director of Supply Chain, IPC/Subway
Lucy Angarita is the director of supply chain traceability for IPC, SUBWAY’s Purchasing Cooperative. She is an industrial engineer and Lean Six Sigma Certified Black Belt, with more than 18 years’ experience in program management, IT, and process improvement. For more than five, she has been leading the adoption of GS1 US Foodservice Standards for the SUBWAY® system, which includes product data synchronization and accuracy, item and location identification, as well as full supply chain traceability. She participates in various Foodservice US GS1 Workgroups to collaborate and promote trading partner alignment for mutual growth. Angarita also helps lead the incident management team for IPC/SUBWAY which handles product recalls and withdrawals. Previously, Angarita served as manager of global training projects at Burger King Corporation.
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Roberto Bellavia
Principal, Food Safety Compliance, Kestrel Management
Roberto Bellavia is a food industry quality assurance professional who develops and leads diverse teams of professionals to achieve business success. His technical qualifications include an impressive track record of accomplishments amassed over 14 years. He is skilled in strategic planning, systems development, project management and team leadership. He successfully analyzes organization requirements, identifies opportunities, and develops innovative and cost effective solutions. He has experience in USDA, FDA and USDA Export laws in the processing environment.
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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, Global Food Traceability Center at the 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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Doriliz De León
Program Coordinator, Accredited Third-Party Certification Program, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
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George Dyche
Sr. Director, Innovation and Solutions, Avery Dennison
George Dyche drives the innovation strategy for Printer Solutions Division, focusing on building growth through collaboration with our customers implementing a digital supply chain through our industry partnerships and Avery Dennison solutions within the Food, Apparel and Fulfillment industries. As senior director of Innovation and Solutions, Dyche is responsible for a worldwide team focusing on bringing solutions for transparency, inventory visibility, consumer connection and optimize supply chain flow. He joined Avery Dennison in 2004 and most recently led the Intelligent Labels Division innovation team. He was instrumental in building the Avery Dennison Intelligent Labels Center of Excellence in Ohio.
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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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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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Neal Frederickson
Global Food Defense Speciaist, Cargill
Neal Fredrickson is responsible for leading the company’s food defense and food fraud strategies. In addition to advancing food defense initiatives domestically and abroad, his research interests include instructional design and learning analytics. Fredrickson holds a Master’s degree in learning technologies from the University of Minnesota and is a Ph.D. student in the same program.
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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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Peter Jardine
Head of Marketing & Strategy, Digital Pest Management, Bayer CropScience
In his career, Peter has focused on differentiating brands and creating new products and services. He has launched 20 new products and services in numerous market segments. Peter gained pest management experience when he joined Orkin Pest Control as the Sr. Director of Strategy and Innovation. He joined Bayer in 2011 in the role of Global Market Segment Manager where he created a customer centric focus for Bayer called “Day in the Life.” This program sought to truly understand customer needs and meet them with new product offerings via outcome driven innovation. Leveraging his passion and experience, Peter is one of the cofounders of a startup venture at Bayer which ultimately became the Digital Pest Management business which launched in 2017.
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Jason Kelley
GM. IBM Blockchain Services, IBM
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Andrew Kennedy
Interim Director, IFT Global Traceability Center & Co-Founder, FoodLogiQ
Andrew Kennedy is the Interim Director of IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center. Since its founding in 2013, the GFTC has sought to become the global resource and authoritative voice on food
traceability. Currently, Kennedy represents the GFTC on the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability - established to advance a unified framework for interoperable seafood traceability practices. He is also the co-founder of FoodLogiQ and a leading voice in the world of food traceability, sustainability and food safety. FoodLogiQ provides a cloud-based supplier transparency and traceability solution to leading restaurant operators, retailers and food companies. Customers include Buffalo Wild Wings, CAVA, IPC/Subway, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Whole Foods, Panda Restaurant Group and Hain Celestial. Currently, he also serves as a board member and chair of the Science and Technology committee of the Produce Marketing Association and is actively engaged in the GS1 standards development process for food traceability. Kennedy has worked with food
producers on four continents and across the United States.
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Bill McBeath
Co-Founder & Chief Research Officer, ChainLink Research
Bill McBeath co-founded ChainLink Research in 2002 and leads the firm’s research across
supply chain, IoT, and blockchain. He has conducted more than 100 research projects, covering supply chain best practices and technology, across manufacturing, wholesale, retail, and logistics sectors; developed ‘supply chain schematics’ for produce, meat, dairy, seafood, grains & seeds, and beverages supply chain detailing participants, relationships, and material flows; conducted research on traceability approaches, systems, objectives, and standards. He has a particular focus on
freshness management within the produce supply chain, including quality management,
measuring produce freshness, pallet-level temperature monitoring, temperature response profiling, condition-based expiration dates, process mapping, intelligent distribution, and the potential role of blockchain.
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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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Holly Mockus
Sr. Industry Analyst, 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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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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Clinton Priestley
Consumer Safety Office, Audit Staff, Human and Animal Food Operations, Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
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Priya Rathnam
Supervisory Consumer Safety Officer, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food & Drug Association
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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Lisa Ross
Consumer Safety Officer, CFSAN, Office of Food Safety / Multi-Commodity Foods / Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Team, FDA
Lisa Ross serves as a Consumer Safety Officer in the Office of Food Safety/Multi-Commodity Refrigerated and Frozen Foods team at the FDA Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). In her current role, Lisa provides policy, scientific and technical guidance related to multi-commodity, refrigerated and frozen foods. She also performs case reviews, evaluations and collaborates with Center experts to assess validation studies, process controls and potential compliance actions. In addition to her regular duties, Lisa conducts FSMA PC training to federal and state investigators as well as FDA compliance officers and headquarter personnel. Prior to coming to FDA, Lisa served as a Food Safety/Quality Assurance Manager for a major retail food chain in the DC, MD & VA area. She has also served approximately 10 years at local state regulatory agencies conducting retail food inspections and investigating foodborne illness complaints. Her passion in the public health arena propelled her to establish and lead the DC Foodborne Illness Investigation team within the Bureau of Community Hygiene. Lisa completed Her Bachelors of Science and Masters in Public Health degrees from Howard University where she received The Epps Award for Academic Excellence as well as the Paul B Cornely Merit Award for Community Practicum. Between, 2001-2006, Lisa served as the DC Delegate and on the Board of Directors for the National Capital Area Environmental Health Association.
She has volunteered at the Annual Feast of Sharing, at Howard University Hospital’s Health Literacy Conference, as a Research Assistant for NIH-Howard University’s Community Health Services and most recently at the New Hope Church Community Health Fair where she used Glo-Germ to demonstrate effective handwashing technique.
As a wife, mother of grown children and a grandmother of five, Lisa has said that “raising her family will always be her biggest accomplishment!” Serving in both the Regulatory and Industry arenas, Lisa thoroughly understands the vital importance of a great relationship between the two entities.
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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 about making FSMA compliance understandable she first studied FSMA's Sanitary Transportation Rule and then developed an easy to use syllabus for all in the fresh food supply chain. She has worked in the 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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