2024 SQF Excellence Awards

The SQF Excellence Awards celebrate the accomplishments and dedication of SQF auditors and practitioners. These awards recognize individuals for their outstanding performance and contributions to furthering the mission of the SQF program and promoting food safety. 

Join us on Tuesday, March 12, at 4:30 p.m. CDT for the SQFI Awards Ceremony at SQF Unites in New Orleans. The winners of the SQF Excellence Awards in SQF Auditing and SQF Practitioner Leadership will be announced at this time. 

Congratulations to all six finalists for representing the pinnacle of food safety professionals and thank you for continuing to inspire and motivate the next generation of food safety leaders. Learn more about our six finalists below!

2024 SQF Excellence Awards Finalists 

Stacey Brown headshot

Stacey Brown

ASI Food Safety

Excellence in SQF Auditing Finalist

Stacey Brown stands as a beacon of excellence within the SQF auditing community, consistently showcasing her prowess as one of the top performers at ASI. With a career spanning over 15 years in the food industry, she has seamlessly transitioned from roles with household brands such as Pepperidge Farm, King’s Hawaiian, and Nestle to her current position as lead auditor for ASI. As a mentor, Stacey generously shares her wealth of knowledge and experience with her peers, welcoming them to shadow her audits and providing ongoing support and guidance. Her contributions extend beyond individual mentorship, influencing corporate-level improvements in audit guidance and training.

Mizuta Tadashi headshot

Tadashi Mizuta

SGS Japan Inc.

Excellence in SQF Auditing Finalist

Throughout his illustrious career spanning over two decades, Tadashi Mizuta has consistently exemplified excellence and dedication in the field of food safety. With an impressive track record of conducting more than 30 SQF audits annually for over 20 years, his unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards is incredible. As a pivotal figure in the Japanese food industry, Mizuta has left an indelible mark through his relentless advocacy for animal welfare and promotion of SQF policies. His pivotal role in conducting the first animal welfare audit for Japanese beef livestock farmers in 2013 underscores his pioneering spirit and commitment to driving positive change. As an active registered SQF trainer, he continues to inspire and educate future auditors, serving as a role model and mentor to aspiring professionals. 

Brad Rush

EAGLE Certification Group

Excellence in SQF Auditing Finalist

Brad Rush stands as a gold standard in auditing within the SQF program, embodying a rare blend of specialized knowledge, unwavering dedication, and genuine passion for fostering industry-wide advancement. With a career marked by consistently high performance and a steadfast commitment to ongoing training and mentorship, Brad Rush's impact on the field of food safety auditing is profound and far-reaching. Beyond his remarkable auditing skills, Brad excels at mentorship. His genuine desire to cultivate the talents of emerging auditors is evident in his patient guidance and unwavering support. For Brad, each audit represents not only a professional responsibility but also an opportunity for personal and professional enrichment.  

Robert Clark

Vital Farms

Excellence in SQF Practitioner Leadership Finalist

Robert Clark is regarded as a cornerstone of excellence in food safety and quality assurance at Egg Central Station (ECS), Vital Farm's premier egg washing and packing facility. As the Quality Assurance Manager, he leads a dedicated team of 21 FSQA professionals, overseeing the stringent adherence to SQF standards and ensuring the delivery of top-notch products sourced from over 300 family farms. Robert is truly a trailblazer for food safety culture and it is evident to everybody who has the joy of working with and for him. His colleagues joke that being a teacher is his true calling because his greatest skill sets lie in being able to teach food safety processes clearly and concisely to anyone with varying degrees of understanding of food safety.

Hugo Lopez

Heritage Coffee Co. Ltd.

Excellence in SQF Practitioner Leadership Finalist

Hugo Lopez embodies a steadfast commitment to food safety, viewing it as non-negotiable in preserving the quality and integrity of Heritage Coffee Company's products. Throughout his tenure with Heritage Coffee Company, he has been instrumental in driving a cultural shift towards quality excellence, empowering employees to champion food safety at every turn. His leadership has been transformative, as he spearheaded the development, implementation, and maintenance of Heritage's quality management system. Hugo's approach is characterized by a relentless pursuit of optimization and innovation, constantly seeking ways to enhance business processes and uphold the highest standards of food safety.

Samantha Shinbaum

Tyson Foods, Inc.

Excellence in SQF Practitioner Leadership Finalist

Samantha Shinbaum plays a pivotal role in ensuring the highest standards of food safety across all domestic Tyson sites certified to SQF. With an impressive portfolio of 37 sites under her scope and an additional site slated for onboarding in 2024, Samantha's expertise and leadership are indispensable in maintaining Tyson's commitment to excellence. As a liaison between Tyson and certification bodies, Samantha orchestrates the scheduling of all audits, including addendums, and meticulously manages the documentation for annual applications. In essence, Samantha's unwavering dedication, strategic vision, and relentless pursuit of excellence make her an exemplary leader in the realm of food safety. 

SQF Excellence Awards Sponsor