Carey Allen

Vice President of Business Development and Strategy, SQFI

Carey Allen is the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy with SQFI.  Previously, Carey was Vice President of the Food and Ag Division at SCS Global Services and held senior leadership roles with NSF product and food safety certification divisions. Carey led the development of several proprietary NSF certification protocols and championed numerous operational excellence initiatives. Prior to her tenure in the TIC industry, Carey worked for nearly ten years in food manufacturing,  R&D, and QA with several major brands. Carey earned her BS and MS in food science and a MS in management, strategy, and leadership. Carey enjoys contributing to the industry through volunteer activities with association committees and work groups, in addition she supports youth, arts, and social programs in her community of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Andrew Baines

President & CEO, Exemplar Global

Living in New Zealand for the past 33 years, Andrew is originally from the UK where he graduated from university with Honors in Microbiology and subsequently worked in the food industry. Since moving to New Zealand, he held senior management and executive roles in conformity assessment bodies before joining ASQ (the American Society for Quality) in 2015 as Managing Director for Global Operations, with experience working in China, South-East Asia, the Middle East as well as North America, Central America, and Europe, before becoming CEO of Exemplar Global, a subsidiary of ASQ in 2016. Andrew was also on the Board of Directors of Exemplar Global (and RABQSA, as it was before renaming) for many years before joining ASQ and so has a long-standing relationship with Exemplar Global.

Radojka Barycki

Owner and CEO, RDR Global Partners

Radojka Barycki is a distinguished professional in Quality Assurance, Food Safety, Training, and Consulting, boasting over two decades of experience. She has achieved notable success in the development, implementation, and enhancement of various Management Systems like SQF, BRCGS, FSSC22000, and ISO 9001. Radojka is the owner and CEO of RDR Global Partners, a training and consulting services company. With a strong background in managing pressing issues in fast-paced settings, she has been recognized for her team-building and mentoring skills, which foster employee engagement and development. Radojka's expertise lies in establishing best practices and leveraging analytical insights to create KPIs that drive performance and cultivate a food safety culture. Her career highlight includes a Plant of the Year award in 2015. She is a recognized expert in Regulatory Compliance, Food Safety, and Quality. She is presently recognized as a leading voice in Food Science for her influential contributions on LinkedIn. Radojka holds a Bachelor's in Bioanalysis (Medical Technology) from the Central University of Venezuela and a Master’s in Food Science from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is a Lead Instructor for the Preventive Controls for Human Foods Course, a Credentialed SQF Trainer, an approved International HACCP Alliance Lead Instructor, and a Canadian Certified HACCP Professional.  Radojka has helped numerous companies to achieve a compliant HACCP-based System. 

Chris Beato

Supplier Quality Assurance Program Manager, Wegmans Food Markets

Chris Beato is the Supplier Quality Assurance Program Manager for Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.. In his 30 years with Wegmans, he has held various roles in store operations, Human Resources and Marketing before joining the FSQA team. He is responsible for partnering across multiple business units internally as well as externally with private label suppliers to ensure all suppliers meet Wegmans' high food safety and quality standards. He is an SQF Practitioner and a PCQI and is passionate about the role he plays in helping protect Wegmans customers and brand.

Rick Biros


Rick Biros, Founder / Publisher / Conference Director, Innovative Publishing Company, LLC, Food Safety Tech and the Food Safety Consortium Conference. Early in his career (1994) he developed and launched Food Quality, the first trade magazine serving the food safety and quality market. Rick continued his entrepreneurial interests with the development of Innovative Publishing Company, specializing in digital media and events. In 2012, he developed Food Safety Tech, a digital magazine and e-newsletter coupled with a series of focused conferences, both online and onsite. In the same year, the Food Safety Consortium Conference & Expo debuted. Rick is the President of Innovative Publishing Company and oversees the company's two other digital publications, MedTech Intelligence and Cannabis Industry Journal as well as Rick runs the Cannabis Quality Conference. Innovative Publishing Company is a virtual company with full time employees around the country. Rick manages the company from Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts.

Jaclyn Bowen

Executive Director, Clean Label Project Association

Jaclyn Bowen MPH, MS is a food safety and quality systems engineer and executive director of Clean Label Project, a national non-profit and consumer advocacy organization with the mission to bring truth and transparency to food and consumer product labeling. Through data, science, and benchmarking, Clean Label Project uses retail sampling and testing to benchmark America's best-selling food and consumer products and award Clean Label Project's coveted evidence-based Purity Award. Bowen was the researcher and co-author behind the academic peer-reviewed study on lead and cadmium in baby food which was published in the international multidisciplinary journal, Science of the Total Environment. The capstone of her career (to date) was presenting before the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotics in Vienna, Austria on the levels of industrial and environmental contaminants in cannabis products in 2020. 
Before coming to Clean Label Project, Jaclyn held numerous technical, standards development, food safety, quality, and executive roles within the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre, NSF International. Her expertise is in organic, gluten-free, non-gmo labeling, food safety, and label claim substantiation and compliance. Bowen holds a Bachelors of Science in environmental biology, a Master of Science in quality engineering and a Master of Public Health in management and policy. 

Jesse Chen


Jesse is the Founder of With a rich 12-year background in Manufacturing Operations and Quality Management Systems (QMS), he specializes in steering Regulatory Compliance, Risk Controls, and GxP. His approach blends Data Science, Six Sigma, Regulatory, and Risk to yield #RegulatoryAnalytics for bolstering FDA Compliance.

Jesse has earned a M.S Food Safety and M.S Regulatory Science from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), B.S Biological Sciences from the University of California Irvine (UCI), and holds certifications from the American Society of Quality (ASQ), such as: Certified Manager of Quality & Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE), Quality Engineer (CQE), and Pharmaceutical GMP Professional (CPGP); as well as training certs for: PCQI, HACCP, SQF, FDA Inspection Readiness, and Commercial Sanitation.

Product Experience = Medical Devices, Food Safety, Dietary Supplements, USDA FSIS, and Pharmaceuticals.

Favorite Metric = Right First Time (RFT).

LeAnn Chuboff

Vice President, Technical Affairs, SQFI

LeAnn has over 30 years of foodservice experience specializing in supply chain food safety and quality assurance. Currently LeAnn is the Vice President of Technical Affairs for the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute responsible for the technical elements of the SQF program including the development, maintenance and technical support of the SQF Code and supporting materials.

Prior to working at the SQF Institute, LeAnn worked for the National Restaurant Association Solutions as the Director of Science and Regulatory Relations. In this role, she was responsible for the technical accuracy of the ServSafe food safety program and developed program and services on food safety and food defense to fit with all segments of the restaurant industry. LeAnn graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Food Science and is active with many organizations including GFSI, AFDO and the International Association for Food Protection.

Bert Clement

Chief Executive Officer, CMX1

With more than 25 years of leadership experience in both public and private companies, Bert leverages his background in supply chain; enterprise auditing; and governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) to drive growth and deliver value to CMX1 customers. He began his career as an auditor for global 1000 companies, was a controller and CFO of a $1.5B bay area tech company, served as CEO of Retail Solutions, Inc. (RSi), and more recently has spent his time at smaller technology companies focused in GRC.   

Alison J. Cousins

Global Food & Retail Training Director, BSI

As Global Food & Retail Training Director at BSI, Alison Cousins focuses on delivering learning excellence on core and emerging issues to industry professionals, enabling them to develop their skills and progress in their roles to meet the challenges in this demanding supply chain.

Alison holds a BSc (Hons) degree, as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Education (Design and Technology), TAP Diploma in Learning and Development, and Foundation Certificate in Transformational Coaching. Having a passion for food from an early age, she joined the industry immediately after leaving university and enjoyed roles as a food technologist, recipe developer, consultant and writer, before progressing to teaching and training. 

Prior to BSI, Alison held the roles of Training and Conference Manager at Leatherhead Food International, and Head of Academy Programmes at BRCGS Global Standards, where she was responsible for the design and delivery of courses and event programmes aligned to their suite of global standards, as well as developing and training global Approved Training Partners.

Alison’s career is now focussed on progressing excellence in learning, using the latest technologies to embed learning culture, and working to support global food and retail clients in producing safe, sustainable and socially responsible food for consumers.

Yuksel Eyyuboglu

Food Safety Programs Manager, TUV USA Inc. (TUV NORD CERT)

Yuksel Eyyuboglu 
(MSc 1980, Aegean)

Graduated as Agri-food Engineer with a Master’s Science degree in Food Science & Technology, Yuksel has since worked in food research and manufacturing environments in a wide variety of food sectors in different capacities during the first half of his career (22 years). 

In the second half of his career (the last 22 years), Yuksel spent in auditing and certification body works. He has being conducting food safety audits throughout North America with the focus shifted to GFSI-recognized certification programs from the Year 2008. 

He has received ‘SQF Auditor of the Year’ in 2016 and ‘BRC Auditor of the Year’ in 2017.
Yuksel travels from (Canada), and in addition to his Technical Certification Body duties, he audits in GFSI-recognized Standards.

Martin Fowell

Director of Auditing Operations, Merieux NutriSciences

Martin Fowell is currently the Director of Auditing Operations of Mérieux NutriSciences Certification LLC, Chicago, IL.  Martin received his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in the field of Agricultural Business, with a minor in Animal Science.  During and immediately after completing his degree, he worked as a Quality Assurance Manager in the cheese industry.   He later worked in a regulatory role doing food safety inspections for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.   In 2001 Martin joined Silliker/Mérieux NutriSciences as a Food Safety Auditor.   He has been promoted into different management roles within the company including Regional Auditing Manager and Certification Manager.  In his current role as Director, he is closely involved with auditor recruitment, training, and calibration programs, as well as actively participating in GFSI working groups.   He also maintains auditor credentials and actively audits for several GFSI benchmarked certification programs. 

Tony Giles

Director of Information Security - Management Systems, NSF International

Tony Giles is an ISO/IEC 27001, ISO/IEC 20000-1 and ISO 9001 Lead Auditor for NSF-ISR as well as a CMMC Provisional Assessor. Currently, Mr. Giles is the Information Security Director for NSF-ISR, having previously served as Director of Custom Audit Programs, Director of Operations, Director of Business Development and Service Delivery Manager. He has conducted audits globally for over 10 years and worked on large-scale security implementation projects, including NIST 800-171, NIST 800-88, ISO/IEC 27001, ISO 28000 and other custom security standards. He has also conducted audits for DoD suppliers and private sector organizations implementing security assessment programs focused on multiple security controls, cryptographic erasure and other custom security programs.

James Gunn-Wilkinson

President and COO, CMX1

James Gunn-Wilkinson is President & COO at CMX1, a leading provider of enterprise quality, risk, safety, and compliance management software solutions. James has 30 years’ experience leading technology-driven businesses. With two business startups and successful exits (including an IPO), he understands how to develop businesses, technologies, and teams to achieve successful outcomes.

At CMX1, James plays an active role in the business at all levels to ensure the successful delivery of its SaaS platform to help customers automate & scale operational processes, mitigate & manage risk, drive quality in products & services, and maintain compliance with brand & regulatory standards.  

Janna Hamlett

Food Processing Specialist/Assistant Professor at TechHelp/University of Idaho

Dr. Janna Hamlett works with all sizes of food manufacturers (very small (owner operator) to large (sites with 500+ employees)) through the University of Idaho Extension and TechHelp (Idaho's Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center).  She has over 20 years of experience in both industry and academia.  She holds numerous industry credentials and certifications in food safety, personal safety and lean manufacturing/six sigma.  Janna works with food manufactures helping them overcome any challenges they may have.  Everything from supply chain, food safety, food quality, customer relations, business development, leadership, process efficiencies, marketing, and getting and maintaining 3rd party audit credentials like SQF.  

Prit Hora

Operations Lead, dicentra Global Certifications

Dr. Prit Hora holds PhD in Animal Sciences and Master’s in Food Sciences. Dr. Hora is currently working with dicentra, a Canadian owned and operated Global Food Safety Certification Company as Technical and Operations Manager.

Hora is an accomplished Quality Assurance and Food Safety professional, with over 20 years of professional experience in various aspects of Food Safety and Management, while working with the government agency – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and in a private sector. He is actively engaged in providing consulting to clients in food processing, assisting them with process improvements, training, quality, and in food safety and regulatory programs (SFCA/R, SQF, and BRCGS) second-party and third-party audits.

Dr. Hora has successfully developed and implemented Quality and Food Safety Management System (FSMS), process improvement, operational excellence, regulatory, auditing/inspection, and training programs in various food product categories - bakery, dairy, grain processing, processing of meat and poultry products.

Prit holds several industry-recognized professional certifications including Certified HACCP Auditor (CHA), SQF Lead Auditor, and in BRC Global Standards.

Dr. Hora has contributed extensively in food safety and quality management system design, continuous improvement/ lean initiatives and coaching in food safety and SFCR – Preventive Control Plan (PCP) teams to success. 

Kristin Kastrup

Senior Consultant Training Strategy, Intertek Alchemy

CliftonStrengths Top 5: Maximizer - Communication - Learner - Strategic - Activator

Ms. Kastrup is a creative Human Resources professional with experience as a valued business partner who understands the impact of an empowered workforce and a positive workplace culture to achieve business results. 

In her current role at Intertek Alchemy, Ms. Kastrup helps customers design robust and impactful learning and development programs focusing on the total employee experience and business outcomes. Before Intertek Alchemy, Ms. Kastrup led HDR organization-wide efforts focusing on leadership development, supervisor training, and building a culture of trust through feedback and coaching. Prior to HDR, Ms. Kastrup developed extensive experience in learning and development, people and project management, staffing, and client relationship management.  She draws on and shares that business experience in her coaching and training interactions. 

Ms. Kastrup is a Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach and a Prosci Certified Change Management Practitioner. She is a member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and past Board Member for the Literacy Council of Middle Tennessee and Washington County (NE) Extension Board. 

Prem Lakshman

Technical Quality Manager, AsureQuality

Prem Lakshman, is the Technical Manager for Food Standards at AsureQuality Ltd in New Zealand, where his expertise is in microbiology and food quality assurance—backed by a solid foundation from Massey University.  

His role at AsureQuality is multifaceted, focusing on ensuring audit consistency, auditor calibration, and the provision of technical training. These tasks are part of a broader commitment to the continuous professional development of auditors.

With a distinguished career spanning over 30 years in food manufacturing and certification, Prem has amassed extensive experience across a wide array of sectors. These include canning, meat operations, freeze drying, prepared meals, IQF, pet food, small goods, non-thermal processing technologies like high-pressure processing (HPP), retail, food services/catering, high-risk foods, and the growing, processing, and distribution of produce.

Prem's global impact is evident in his work on several projects, training delivery, and certification audits across more than 20 countries. He is deeply passionate about empowering technical staff to advance their careers within the food industry. 

Justin Louchheim

Food and Agriculture Liaison, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Mr. Justin Louchheim is the nexus for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Food and Agriculture Sector. As the Food and Agriculture Sector Liaison, Mr. Louchheim’s primary responsibilities include facilitating and improving relationships between CISA and other private sector stakeholders. He is responsible for serving as CISA's principal interface with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Joining the Stakeholder Engagement Division (SED) team at CISA in 2024, Mr. Louchheim is returning to federal government service from the private sector.

Most recently, Mr. Louchheim was Vice President of Government Affairs for The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). He has worked for and with the fertilizer, agriculture, and chemical sectors via TFI for the past nine years. Prior to TFI, he worked for the Portland Cement Association from 2012-2014. He served as Assistant Vice Chair of the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council (SCC), Board Member of the National Waterways Conference, and Board Member of the National Agronomic Environmental Health & Safety School.

On Capitol Hill, Mr. Louchheim served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999-2013 in a variety of capacities for Members of Congress and the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Justin is a Pennsylvania native and earned his Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College.

Steven Mandernach

Executive Director, AFDO

Steven Mandernach (MAWN-dur-knock) is the executive director of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO). Prior to becoming executive director in 2018, he was the bureau chief for food and consumer safety at the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. Mandernach is a past president of AFDO. He has also served as the chair and co-chair for the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Alliance. Mandernach has co-authored many articles related to retail food safety, foodborne illness detection, and the integrated food safety system, and he’s a frequent contributor to many food trade publications including Food Safety Magazine, New Food Magazine, and Quality Assurance and Food Safety Magazine.

Mandernach has a J.D. from Drake University Law School. He has completed graduate work in Food Safety at Michigan State University.

Douglas Marshall, CFS

Chief Scientific Officer, Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories

Dr. Douglas L. Marshall is Chief Scientific Officer with Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories.  He also serves as Technical Director for the Refrigerated Foods Association.  Formerly he was Associate Dean and Professor of Public Health, College of Natural and Health Sciences, University of Northern Colorado and a Contributing Editor of the scientific journal Food Microbiology.  His career focus is to improve the microbiological quality and safety of foods, with numerous publications and consultations in the area.  He has received the Mississippi Chemical Corporation Award of Excellence for Outstanding Work and the International Association for Food Protection Educator and Harold Barnum Industry Awards.  He is a Certified Food Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Kris Middleton

Kris Middleton has been involved in the food safety auditing business since 2003 and involved with SQF since 2009. Throughout the years Kris has worked as an Auditor, Trainer, Technical Manager, and Program Manager at several different Certification Bodies and Training Centers. He is devoted and passionate about World Class service in any area that he is in with a focus on customer experience. Customers greatly appreciate his style, knowledge, and positive attitude, and energy that he brings to the table in anything that he is a part of. Kris has previously been a part of the SQFI Technical Advisory Committee, has recently been part of the SQFI Technical Working Group for Pet Food Ed. 9.0, was part of the SQFI Retail Code Working Group when the code was first established, is an active member in the GFSI Technical Working Group for Services Provisions, and participates in the International Association of Accredited Registrars Food Group.

Brian Neal

Technical Manager, Eurofins Food Assurance

Brian Neal is the Technical Manager at Eurofins Food Assurance, where he oversees the audit programs and accreditation. For the past eleven years, he has worked as a food safety auditor and Technical Manager. He has served as a member of the Technical Advisory committee for SQF, as well as on different committee's for other programs. Prior to working for a certification body, he worked ten years in food manufacturing in the meat and produce sectors. Brian is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and lives in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife and three kids. 

Laura Dunn Nelson

Vice President of Food Safety and Sustainability, Intertek Alchemy

Laura Dunn Nelson brings over 30 years of experience implementing food safety and quality control programs for processing, packaging, food service, and retail operations. Laura has worked with global retailers and manufacturers in the implementation of their food and workplace safety programs.  In her current position, Laura is the strategic food industry liaison working with customers, regulators and associations to anticipate new regulations and industry trends and assist in the development of new courses and technology solutions to help Alchemy’s global customers achieve operational success. 

Laura's passion for food safety culture is reflected in her active industry participation including member of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Storage and Distribution Technical Working Group, GFSI Food Safety Culture Technical Working Group, past Chair of the Food Safety Culture PDG for International Association Food Protection (IAFP), member of the BSI Food Safety Culture PAS 320 Steering Group and Board member of IFPTI.   

Renee Perry

Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Environmental Social Governance, Culinary Collaborations, LLC

Renee Perry is the Vice President of CSR & ESG at Culinary Collaborations LLC.  Renee joined CCL as Director of Food Safety & Quality Assurance and took the company on the path to successfully achieving BRCGS A&B v3 certification. CCL achieved an AA rating with zero NC's in four consecutive audits (2020, -2023). Going beyond audits, Renee transformed CCL into an engaged food safety and quality culture. Her success in the Food Safety & Quality industry did not go unnoticed, and in 2021  she was awarded BRCGS Professional of the Year. Today, she remains responsible for the QS & FS team but now also leads traceability, corporate social responsibility and environmental social governance. As a result of Renee’s efforts, CCL is considered a market leader in seafood traceability. She is a member of the technical committee for the GDST. Renee is a passionate advocate for combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, championing electronic monitoring, transparency, and traceability. In her role as co-chair of the GS1 FSMA 204 Work Group, she emphasizes the importance of data integration throughout the supply chain, ensuring adherence to standards, authenticity, sustainability verification, and legality of all seafood products. Renee is committed to sustainability and responsible sourcing and serves on the Global Tuna Alliance Steering Committee/Partner Advisory Group. 

Robert Prevendar

Director, Global Food Safety, Yum! Brands

Robert has 30 years of experience working in food safety - from local regulatory to global certification.  He currently serves as Director of Global Food Safety & Quality Assurance at Yum! Brands, where he leads strategies to strengthen management systems and culture to positively impact food safety throughout Yum!’s supply chain and 55,000 restaurants, around the world.  Previously, Robert spent 18 years with NSF International, where he led Global Supply Chain Food Safety. 

Roger Roeth

Chief Technical Officer, EAGLE Certification Group

Mr. Roeth is the Chief Technical Officer for EAGLE. He has over 42 years of experience in all aspects of quality assurance, compliance, food safety and food processing manufacturing. He is a certified trainer for ISO 9001, FSSC 22000, and the SQF Auditor course as well as a lead auditor for these standards. Roger has conducted over 600 GFSI food safety audits. He was named the SQF Auditor of the Year in 2014.  He helped develop the food safety programs for EAGLE.  

Prior to joining EAGLE, Roger held the positions of:

• Director of technical services for Freshway Foods,
• General manager and food safety/ISO manager at Whiteford Foods, and
• Served as the director of quality control/R&D for Spring Farm Company, a division of Sara Lee Corporation.

His contributions included developing and implementing Good Agricultural Practices, HACCP and a corporate food safety program as well as improved third party audit scores, 50% reduction in customer complaints and improved line efficiencies and product yields. Roger also was responsible for corporate training for HACCP, auditing and ISO.  

Mr. Roeth is a frequent speaker at the SQFI conference, local CIFT chapter training programs, various trade show conferences and Manufacturing Extension Partnership local conferences. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Ohio State University.

Asya Salter

Senior Director, Supplier Food Safety, Walmart Inc.

Asya Salter currently holds the position of Senior Director of Food Safety at Walmart Inc., where she leads supplier food safety initiatives in the U.S. market and serves as the lead facilitator of the Global Food Safety Center of Excellence. Her role involves developing and implementing the Supplier Strive for Excellence Program at both Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Prior to her role at Walmart, Asya worked as the Director of Quality Systems Development and Supply Assurance at Land O’Lakes Inc., where she was responsible for the quality management system, including policy development, training, and auditing. She also led supplier quality management for a vast network of over 1000 suppliers worldwide.

Before Land O’Lakes, she held positions at Kraft Foods, where she served as the Associate Director of Beverage Manufacturing Quality, ensuring the quality of beverage and coffee products across the supply chain. She later became the Associate Global Director of Supplier Quality, overseeing quality expectations for more than 6,000 suppliers across 120 countries.

As for her educational background, Asya earned an MBA from DePaul University, a master’s degree in food science from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Engineering from ITESM in Mexico. She is a  Certified Quality Engineer from ASQ and is involved in serving the BRCGS International Advisory Board (IAB) for the Americas region.

James Scanlon

Associate Program Manager, Intertek, USA

Associate Program Manager at Intertek, USA. Actively maintaining GFSI Lead Auditor qualifications in SQF and IFS with with over 25 years experience in the food industry. Career includes working in the Poultry, Coffee, Rice, Powdered Beverages, Baked Goods and Pharmaceutical Industries. Lives in Northwest Arkansas with his wife Thuy and their 7 year old son, Van.

Liz Sertl

Senior Director, Supply Chain Visibility, GS1 US

Liz Sertl is Senior Director, Community Engagement, at GS1 US and has more than 20 years of experience in the CPG industry. Working closely with supply chain partners, Liz facilitates collaboration best practices and guidelines that help companies improve product traceability and supply chain visibility through the adoption of GS1 Standards.

Tracie Sheehan

Vice President, Technical Services, MXNS

Tracie Sheehan is currently the VP Technical Services for Merieux Nutrisciences leading teams in auditing, consulting, training, label compliance and regulatory services, and digital services. Tracie was previously the CEO of TGS Quality Consulting, LLC, assisting food companies in food safety, quality, sanitation, regulatory, and sanitary design engineering. Prior to this role, she led teams in people safety, food safety, regulatory, engineering and sustainability as Chief Health, Quality & Sustainability Officer for ARYZTA. She previously worked for the Sara Lee Corporation as Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Scientific Affairs, leading global food safety, quality and regulatory policies and programs for meat, bakery, coffee, tea, and ice cream. Before Sara Lee she held a similar food safety role at Kellogg Company for cereal, bakery items, canned, and frozen foods.

Rachel Sheerin

SQF Unites Emcee

From annual conferences to sales summits, company kick-off meetings and more, I love reaching out to the crowd (in person or through the Zoom screen) and bringing them along for a ride that will have them laughing, learning, and getting charged up to crush their goals. In addition to tangible takeaways, my keynote performances show up early and often with comedy, real stories, and vulnerability that audiences connect with immediately.

As a Type-A, glass-half-full kind of soul with a background in sales leadership, I work with teams and organizations in training and keynotes centered around sales, service, and success that caters to each individual. Digging deep into what motivates, inspires, and sustains high performers, I help high performing teams sharpen their skills and discover what motivates them to be the best, most authentic versions of themselves. Utilizing professional behavior knowledge and blending it with burnout research, I create my keynotes based in facts, science and authentic stories - with the hope that attendees can have their own personal “ah-ha” moments and bonding experiences, I love breaking down assumptions and rebuilding orgs with new awareness, strength, and unity between them.

Serving great people doing great work is where you’ll find me - I’m honored to partner with organizations, teams and leaders who share the same passion and drive for success and happiness that I have.

Stefanie Sonneveld

Consultant and Business Development Representative, SQFI

Experienced food safety professional with over 25 years in the food industry from "farm to fork" in manufacturing and food safety certification management. 

Stefanie helps organizations large and small across the supply chain to open market opportunities utilizing her in-depth knowledge of retailer requirements and GFSI benchmarked standards.

Stefanie's technical expertise and certification food safety leadership experience support the success of operations from primary production, processing and distribution through retail and food service.

Hilary S. Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS

Chief Science Officer and Senior Vice President, Food Safety Programs, FMI

With over 20 years of experience in food science, food safety, and food and agriculture policy, Dr. Thesmar provides leadership for FMI’s retail, wholesale and product supplier members on scientific and technical issues such as food safety training programs, regulatory strategy, recall plans and management, crisis management, research, and health and well-being programs. 

Dr. Thesmar earned a Ph.D. in Food Technology from Clemson University, a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University, a bachelor’s degree in Food Science from Clemson, and she is a Registered Dietitian.  Dr. Thesmar is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists, an active member of the International Food Protection Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  

Amy Valek

JB Group

Amy Valek began her career at JB in January of 2007, initially working in marketing and then with the family foundation. In her current role, as the Learning & Development Manager, she is responsible for overseeing all learning, development and training initiatives company-wide. She works with Senior/Business Unit leaders and the HR team to design and implement development strategies to support the values and vision of the organization to drive growth, support business needs and increase individual and group effectiveness. In addition to Learning & Development, she also manages the company corporate giving and “JB Serves” initiatives – including community grants, associate matching gift program, benefit program, scholarships, volunteer initiatives and more.  

Prior to joining JB, Amy served as the Director of Capstone Programs, at Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, where she oversaw the experiential learning programs for the company.  Amy grew up in Minnesota, attended college in Wisconsin, and currently resides in Otsego, MN with her family.  She stays busy with her two children but in her “free time,” loves to read, exercise and spend time with family and friends.  Her biggest learning: no matter what you are going through – things always have a way of working out in the end.

Tammie van Buren

Manager, SQFI Compliance, SQFI

More than 25 years of experience in Quality Control and 10 years in the food industry as an SQF Practitioner responsible for implementing, monitoring, and maintaining SQF Systems at various certified sites such as TreeHouse Foods and D&W Fine Pack.

Currently the SQF Compliance Manager overseeing the management and evolution of SQFI’s Compliance and Integrity Program (CIP) using data and statistics.

Holds a Masters in Science and Engineering Technology as well as a Bachelors in Mathematics.

Gigi Vita

Chief Food Safety Assessment Officer & SVP, SQFI

Gigi Vita is a forward-thinking, innovative influencer and problem solver who is currently the Chief Food Safety Assessment Officer & SVP at the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI). In her previous position as  Vice President of Sales at SQFI, Vita oversaw the entire sales division of SQFI and was proven to be a key asset to the organization’s expansion by increasing the SQFI portfolio in Latin America and Asia.  Vita has seasoned knowledge of the food industry with over 30 years’ experience, having previously worked across all trade channels and led highly successful initiatives within domestic and global organizations.

Most recently Vita was a Partner within the Customer Development Practice of The Partnering Group providing global strategy and general management consulting focused on sustainable value for leading retail and consumer product companies worldwide. Vita led strategic business development and innovation for the nation’s largest dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and has worked as President and COO for Fonterra, North America. Vita also held senior leadership roles at other major consumer packaged goods companies including PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Kraft/Nabisco, Campbell Soup, Nestle and Procter & Gamble. Vita holds a BA in English from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Mark Weighner


Mark Weighner is the President / Owner of Protex Food Safety. Mark has been helping customers develop SQF and GFSI programs since 2011.  He has helped numerous facilities attain their GFSI certifications as well has trained them in HACCP and FDA Preventive Controls as an approved training provider.  In addition to consulting and training, Mark is an active SQF and BRC auditor, which fits his philosophy that "auditing makes you a better trainer and training makes you a better auditor".

Mark is still taking new clients as requests for SQF Certification is still a current need in the industry and works with in helping sites set up electronic Quality Management System.

Mark has a degree in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse,  He currently lives in Winterset, IA and grows corn, soybeans, and hay on his Iowa farmland. 

Tyler Williams

CEO, ASI Food Safety

Tyler Williams is the CEO of ASI, a 93-year food safety company. Williams is a consumer product safety & quality expert with significant experience in Food & Beverage, Cannabis, and Dietary Supplements. Before stepping in as CEO, Williams was ASI's CTO, where he was responsible for the certification process of over 3000+ audits annually while also training and consulting major food and beverage companies around the world. He graduated with a master's degree in food safety and Certificate in International Food Law from Michigan State University and has several professional development certifications in food defense, food fraud, preventive controls, HACCP, and lead auditor, etc. 

In addition to being the first food safety executive to make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, he was also recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal and Marijuana Venture as a ‘40 Under 40 Executive to Watch’ because of what he’s accomplished in both food safety, and cannabis safety. In 2019, Williams started a non-profit called Show Me Food Safety, which provides resources to small food manufacturers and growers to help improve their food safety practices. In 2020, Williams founded Cannabis Safety & Quality (CSQ), the first cannabis certification program to meet ISO and regulatory requirements from seed to sale.

Clare Winkel

Executive Manager, Technical Solutions, Integrity Compliance

Clare has worked in the food industry since 1987, from the meat processing floor to Govt departments, private consulting & as a GFSI auditor & trainer. She has audited in 14 countries: Europe, North America, South Pacific, Caribbean & ANZ in the areas of: meat processing, seafood processing, farming (livestock, tree fruits & aquaculture), fruit, eggs, bakery, snacks & grains, canning, beverages, ingredients, ready meals & honey.

Clare has audited the following stds: 
• SQF food safety & packaging. 
• BRCGS Food Safety, Packaging, Storage & Distribution & Agents & Brokers. 
• SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA). 
• 2nd party programs: Costco, Aldi, WW SEP, Coles Supplier Requirements, HARPS, Burger King & McDonald’s Supplier Quality Management System. 

Clare is a Trainer for: 
• AFDO/USA Seafood HACCP Alliance. 
• International Meat & Poultry HACCP Alliance. 
• BRCGS – Food Safety/Storage & Distribution/Agents & Brokers. 

2023 Finalist: BRCGS Trainer of the year.
2014 Finalist: SQF Auditor of the Year. 
2013- International Assoc of Fish Inspectors: Services to the International Seafood Industry. 

Career Highlight:
Spent 6 hours on the Bering Sea in a crab trawler aka ‘Deadliest Catch” boat & did not throw up.