Tom Graham is the Director of the National Inspection Division in Operations Branch for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and has worked for the Federal government for over 30 years.
Tom is one of Canada’s leading experts in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP), and is responsible for the development of the Regulations for Mandatory HACCP and the Compliance Verification System (CVS) policies for Canada.
In his current role, Tom leads three teams established in Imports, Inspection and Business Analysis and Planning that are responsible for and support the operational delivery of CFIA Inspection activities for food, animal health and plant health.
Dr. Rebecca Buckner works for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, where she is a policy advisor on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine. Prior to her current role, Dr. Buckner was a Food Technologist with FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) for 10 years. Her areas of expertise at CFSAN included policy development on product/pathogen pairs such as shell eggs and Salmonella Enteritidis, ready-to-eat foods and Listeria monocytogenes, and foods and agents causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Vaneska Mattos is the Director of Quality Assurance and Food Safety for Tim Hortons.
Vaneska holds a Master of Business Administration from Fundação Getulio Vargas – Brazil and a Bachelor of Science in Food Processing Engineering from Unicamp – Brazil. She has more than 18 years of diversified experience within the food manufacturing industry sector, specializing in food processing; quality management systems; food safety; continuous improvement and lean manufacturing. She has worked with prominent multinational corporations, including nine years with Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer products companies.
At Tim Hortons, Vaneska is responsible for quality and food safety management. Her main focus is developing and maintaining plans and programs for advancing food safety and quality, and implementing proactive tools and systems to enable outstanding quality of products and services. She leads QA risk assessment and mitigation strategy for the Tim Hortons supplier network, distribution centres and vertically integrated partners.
Robert Trudel has been a food professional ever since a young teenager working in restaurants and hotels in multiple roles. In his current role as Director of Quality Assurance at Bento Sushi, Robert’s main focus is developing and implementing advanced training initiatives, food safety and overall quality of product. He also oversees 400 plus onsite locations and double that in DSD locations as well as 6 factories spreading throughout Canada and the USA. He works closely with both the CFIA and FDA as most of the current factory facilities are registered in both countries. Prior to his current role at Bento Sushi, Robert was the Food Safety Manager for the Woodbine Entertainment Group where he implemented a food safety program and various control measures to ensure product safety. He also was the plant manager at the Milton Cook Chill facility (Maplehurst Corrections Facility) where it then produced 6000 plus meals daily for inmates as far as Ottawa. He has held numerous Executive Chef roles for a variety of Hotels and Restaurants over the years and continues his passion for food and enjoys that everyday is a new day to learn.
Always lively and engaging, Ms. Maxwell turns conventional wisdom on its ear using comprehensive data that offers a compelling look at new regulatory trends. Her insights are drawn in part from Washington DC colleagues, as well as her global network “cabinet” of industry professionals and the occasional bureaucrat.
Ms. Maxwell’s address comes during a remarkable time in the global food industry’s history. New science underscores the important role food labelling and nutrition initiatives will have on consumer buying habits as well as down-stream legislation. Meanwhile, negative media reports about serious food labelling “shortfalls” have flooded consumers with information while companies and government bodies wrestle with solutions.
Ms. Maxwell is Senior Principal Regulatory Scientist at Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. where she leads the global regulatory affairs and compliance function. In this role and in conjunction with corporate and partner regulatory colleagues, she leads development of mid- and long-range plan for integration of corporate food safety and regulatory systems with the goal to speak with a single voice throughout the global network of Ocean Spray. Miriam describes her role as managing, motivating, coordinating and influencing multi-disciplinary functions to accomplish the strategic business goals including anticipating regulatory obstacles/emerging issues throughout product lifecycle and developing solutions with others technical/commercial teams across global geographies.
Prior to joining Ocean Spray, Miriam was Manager-Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for Nestle USA with regulatory management responsibility for Nestle Prepared Foods brands and Nestle Professional. Miriam’s global roles included Director-Global Scientific & Regulatory Affairs for Cargill Flavor Systems US LLC (div. of Cargill, Incorporated) and Senior Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for WILD Flavors, Inc. – North America.
Mr. Chinedu Ogbonna is the Regulatory Specialist at Champion Petfoods LP, where he leads global regulatory affairs. In this role, he is responsible for registration of new products, review of marketing claims, managing relationships with regulators and the regulatory compliance of ACANA and ORIJEN brands in seventy-eight countries. Prior to joining Champion Petfoods LP, he was a Regulatory Affairs Associate at Apotex Incorporated and Baxter Corporation. Chinedu has extensive experience in registration of brand and generic pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices, natural health products, and pet foods. Preceding a career transition to regulatory affairs in 2005, Mr. Ogbonna was a university lecturer in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with research interests in antibody response to plasmodium antigens and characterization of putative plasmodium antigens using bioinformatics. Chinedu has a Master’s degree in Cellular Parasitology and postgraduate certificates in Regulatory Affairs, Laboratory Quality Management and Infection Control from the University of British Columbia and Humber College, Ontario. He is also a certified member of the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists (CSMLS). Chinedu serves on the board of Pet Foods Association of Canada and the regulatory affairs committee of the Pet Foods Institute, USA.
Julie Miguel is a digital content producer with a specialization in food media as well as an active food blogger. The focus of her blog, Daily Tiramisu, is to empower home cooks to be fearless in the kitchen and she does this by taking traditionally difficult recipes and making them easier to execute. Cooking is something that Julie has always been fiercely passionate about. She began cooking after the tragic passing of her Mother at age 15. She is not a trained chef, however, she is a home cook with a lot of real life experience who has trained with many well-known chefs. Julie continues to broaden her culinary experience through her work. In May of 2016, Julie completed a culinary training and Chinese culture program in Suzhou, China.
Julie’s food media career began after she placed 7th on the inaugural season of CTV’s MasterChef Canada. Since then, she started her blog and has made numerous appearances on The Marilyn Denis Show and other National and Local Television channels. Julie continues to make regular appearances as a cooking segment presenter on television as well as hosting live events. She has partnered with many nationally recognized food and lifestyle brands and is the co-founder of Mami Umami, a program aimed at teaching youth life skills in the kitchen. She has grown a significant social media following through her diverse work and continues to find innovative ways to engage her fans.
When she’s not developing recipes for her clients, Julie sits on the Program Advisory Council at Centennial College where she acts as an industry advisor for their Food Media program. She is also the Blog Award Chair for the Taste Canada Awards where she administers the Blog Award and also acts as the webmaster and Taste Canada Cooks the Books Stage Assistant. Her favourite thing to do, besides cooking, is spending time with her husband and two young boys.
Sofia Megna is a passionate regulatory affairs professional who enjoys making sense of regulations and applying that knowledge to assist Marketing in creating compliant yet highly competitive labels.
As a Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Maple Leaf Foods, Sofia is responsible for creating the label copies of several categories of meat products for both domestic and US markets. Her work includes ensuring the regulatory compliance of marketing claims and product formulations while still ensuring adherence to brand standards. She has been the key Specialist to oversee product launch initiatives within the deli category and has now moved on to overseeing launches within the packaged meats category, including bacon, sausage, ham, and specialty meats.
Prior to her time at Maple Leaf Foods, Sofia worked within the pharmaceutical industry conducting labelling compliance activities for medical device labels and creating Investigator’s Brochures for clinical trials of drug candidates. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto and a Post-Graduate Regulatory Affairs Certificate from Humber College.
William Thomas is CEO of Thomas Canning (Maidstone) Ltd a tomato processing company located in Ontario, Canada. He is also CEO of Utopia Integrated Fine Foods of Africa located in Abuja, Nigeria. Mr. Thomas is VP of Thomas Canning (Maidstone) Ltd, the first and largest processor of canned organic and climate smart tomato products in Canada and sold around the world. He has built organic production principles, practices and technology for tomatoes both in the field and the processing plant where none existed before. He is an expert in all aspects of sustainable tomato production, packaging, distribution, quality and food safety. William has and continues to support the food industry through speaking engagements for various industry and non industry organizations as well as government functions.
He has over fourty years experience in all aspects of agricultural production and processing including sales, marketing, and management. During his career, he has held positions of teaching responsibility in universities, government, business, and industry associations. He has worked with and assisted small family-owned businesses to multi-national corporations worldwide, with diverse production and distribution channels including retail, wholesale and food service. William has a Bachelors degree in Food Science and a Masters from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Lauren DiMenna is thrilled to be at the forefront of an evolving food industry and regulatory environment, working as the CFIA Lead at Kraft Heinz, the largest food company in Canada. Lauren grew up in Leamington, Ontario and has been immersed in the food industry since a young age, spending many of her childhood days with her grandparents at their vegetable farm and at her father’s tomato processing plant.
She pursued her formal education at the University of Western Ontario and holds a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree with Honors Specialization in Microbiology and Immunology. Summers off from her university studies were spent as a member of the agriculture research team at the HJ Heinz Company. After completing her degree, Lauren continued the immunology research she undertook for her undergraduate thesis at Robarts Research Institute. She then accepted a position at Campbells officially beginning her career in the food industry.
She joined the HJ Heinz Company in late 2010 and has held various manufacturing quality and corporate quality positions during her tenure. Following the Kraft Heinz merger, she assumed her current role as the CFIA Lead, supporting many Kraft Heinz factories throughout Canada and the US, working closely with both the CFIA and FDA. Lauren is grateful to have a career that allows her to exercise her passions for food,continuous learning, broad thinking, and tackling new challenges.
Lisa Dyck is the owner of Cornell Crème Ltd. Together with her husband, William Dyck, she co-owns Cornell Dairy farms Ltd. They milk 120 cows on a 1,000 acre farm near Anola, Manitoba. They have two children, Olivia and Aaron. The farm was originally started by William’s parents over 50 years ago. William and Lisa purchased the dairy farm in 2001. They renovated in 2010 and have one of a few sand bedding barns in Manitoba. They believe in cow comfort and work hard towards top quality milk.
Lisa uses the milk from their farm to make the ice cream. She started 4 years ago making ice cream in her kitchen. To keep up with the demand of her ice cream she purchased equipment to allow for bigger production runs.
Cornell Crème is a clean label and natural ice cream. Using fresh, organic and clean ingredients to create a premium ice cream. The first year after developing flavours and packaging they were selling in 14 stores. The product got around through word of mouth. Cornell Crème has over 14 flavours, 4 signature ones with rotating seasonal. The Strawberry & Cream is made with fresh Manitoba strawberries.
Cornell Crème can be found in over 25 stores in Winnipeg. Also rural locations of Manitoba and Ontario. Also on menu in places like The Fairmont Winnipeg. They were recently nominated for Top 40 Foodies in Western Canada by Western Living Magazine and have been awarded titles such as Rising Star by Food & Beverage Manitoba.
Dan Kelly serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In this capacity, Dan is the lead spokesperson and advocate for the views of the Federation's 109,000 small and medium-sized member businesses.
Dan joined CFIB in 1994 as Policy Analyst for the Prairies and, soon after, became Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. Dan led many files, including the call for balanced budget laws and workers’ compensation reform. In 1999, Dan moved to Calgary to become CFIB’s Western Vice-President and was named one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people while in that role. In Western Canada, Dan led the Federation’s work on the growing shortage of labour, training and immigration, publishing many influential studies on these files. In 2009, Dan took on the role of Senior Vice-President, Legislative Affairs, where he led CFIB's successful campaign to establish a Code of Conduct for the credit and debit card industry. CFIB’s Board of Governors appointed Dan as President and CEO as of June 2012, and Chair in June 2014. In 2015, Dan was named one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful and Influential People in Government and Politics”, by Power & Influence magazine.
Dan has served on dozens of provincial and federal committees and task forces and has represented Canada’s small businesses at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. He is presently serving as secretary and vice-president for the Americas to the International Small Business Congress (ISBC).
Prior to joining CFIB, Dan served as a policy advisor to the Premier of Manitoba. In this capacity, Dan gained a great deal of knowledge on the legislative and political functions of government - specializing in rural development, transportation and economic matters.
Dan was born and raised in Winnipeg and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba. Immediately following university, Dan spent a year living and teaching in northern Japan.
Dan and his wife live in Toronto with their young son.
Yavisha Nayiager is a passionate, regulatory affairs professional working for Sobeys Inc. In her role as a regulatory affairs specialist, Yavisha oversees a diverse portfolio of globally and domestic ally sourced goods. She ensures regulatory compliance and adherence to corporate initiatives on packaging and marketing materials, for both food and non-food products. Prior to this, Yavisha was a Nutrition Science and Regulatory Affairs Analyst for PepsiCo Beverages Canada. She worked on a variety of brands including Pepsi, Brisk and Tropicana, as well as their health and wellness education strategy
Yavisha has a Masters of Health Science specializing in Nutrition Communication from Ryerson University, where she developed a firm understanding of policies, public health, and health food branding. She is also a graduate from Western University where she earned an Honours Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Harry Singh is a results-driven executive with over 15 years’ experience in client management, business development, marketing and strategic partnerships in both local and international markets. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Lakehead University, and has a proven track record in services consulting and project management for manufacturing and IT. Harry has showcased his Engineering expertise in several national energy and power publications, and is currently part of the leadership team that is driving Ayming’s innovation funding and cost consulting initiatives for the company’s Central region.
Adele Douglass, Chief Executive Officer, Humane Farm Animal Care, initiated the concept of humane certification for farm animal products in the U.S., beginning with her launch of the Free Farmed program for Farm Animal Services. Ms. Douglass founded and directs all programs and activities of Humane Farm Animal Care, and their major program, Certified Humane®. The Certified Humane® program was founded in February 2003. anniversary.
As a result of her years showing businesses how humane farm animal care can meet bottom-line interests, she has served as an invited participant on numerous industry animal welfare committees including for the Food Marketing Institute, National Council of Chain Restaurants, and Burger King. Douglass also serves on the Board of The Center for Food Safety.
Ms. Douglass received the ASPCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Ms. Douglass was one of the 15 winners of the 2007 Purpose Prize. According to Civic Ventures, the San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that awards it, the Purpose Prize recognizes older individuals who have “the passion and creativity to discover new opportunities, the experience to come up with practical solutions, and the determination to make lasting change.” In 2008, Ms. Douglass was elected an Ashoka Fellow for her work as a social entrepreneur.
Prior to her positions with Humane Farm Animal Care and Farm Animal Services, Ms. Douglass was director of the American Humane Association’s Washington, D.C., office for 13 years. She advanced the organization’s legislative agenda to protect both children and animals, represented AHA at national conferences and developed tools to increase grassroots lobbying. Ms. Douglass gained her expertise on legislative matters as a staff member for former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Representative Bill Green (R-NY).
Mandy D’Autremont is Director, Agri-business, with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and is located in the Toronto office. In this capacity, she conducts policy research and analysis, and advocates on behalf of CFIB’s 7,200 agri-business owners.
Mandy has co-authored CFIB’s 2nd CFIA Report Card, Fostering Ag Competitiveness (a national report on Growing Forward 2), Looking for Hire Ground – the small business perspective on labour shortages in Western Canada, and provincial reports on farm safety, the Canadian Wheat Board, Saskatchewan labour laws and immigration. Mandy has also worked extensively on Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issues and prepared CFIB’s responses to Bill S-11, the Safe Food for Canadians Act, the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan, and CFIA’s proposed inspection modernization changes. She represents CFIB on CFIA’s Ad-Hoc Industry Advisory Committee.
The combination of my education, volunteer, and work experience has truly led me down the path to a career in the food industry. In 2014, I completed four years at the University of Waterloo for a Bachelor’s of Science degree, majoring in Honours Biology, with co-operative education. During the school terms, I spent a significant portion of time volunteering for orientation events for new students and quickly took up the mantle of Food Coordinator for these events. Twelve months of co-op were spent with the Public Health Agency of Canada as a Research Assistant, where I assisted in various food microbiology projects. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I undertook a Master’s of Science in Food Safety and Quality Assurance at the University of Guelph. The courses in this program had an emphasis on Canadian food safety systems, as well as the requirements surrounding HACCP, imports and exports, and laws and regulations. This degree had a project requirement and I focused on primary isolation of generic E. coli and Salmonella from the cecal contents of chickens from small flocks, after slaughter in provincially inspected slaughter houses. Further testing was performed to determine the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in these isolates. This research was completed concurrently with the Public Health Agency of Canada for the duration of my degree.
The courses in the FSQA program were heavily geared towards the industry side of food science and, as a result, I became interested working in an industry setting. This is how I began my post-academia career as the HACCP and Regulatory Coordinator at Conestoga Meat Packers Ltd. In my day-to-day job navigating the export market has become a frequent task, and a particularly complex one given the rapidly changing regulations. It is my hope that I can help shed some light on the situation with the experience that I have gained thus far.
Born and raised in Leamington
Graduate of Leamington District Secondary School 5 year Science, Technology and Trades 1969-1972
Honours Graduate Lambton College, Sarnia, Business Administration and Marketing 1972-1974
Joint Owner of Paterson’s Dry Good Ltd. (est. 1922) 1977-1989
Canadian Life Assurance 1989-1996, Consistent winner of National Quality Award. Selected twice in rookie years as top 10 producer in Canada.
Independent Level II Life Underwriter 1996-2016
Mutual Fund Licence 1996-2016
Member in good standing with ADVOCIS – Life Underwriters Association
(Present Career) 24 years as an Independent Investment and Insurance Advisor 1989-2016
Married to Betty (Maedel) Paterson 1983
Proud father of twin daughters Tessa and Chelsea Paterson age 26. Tessa is the Visual Merchandiser for Harry Rosen Men’s Wear in Calgary Alberta and Chelsea attends the University of Medical Health Sciences in St. Kitts and Nevis on her way to becoming a M.D.
18 year coach of the Summertime Ladies Slo-Pitch team, two time National Qualifiers playing in Whistler BC and Grand Falls/Windsor Newfoundland.
Past president and all other chairs of the Leamington and District Chamber of Commerce
Past member of Leamington BIA
Past Treasurer of Leamington Gymnastics Club
Past President and all other chairs of the Leamington Badminton Club.
Elected to Leamington Town Council 1982-1985
Elected to the Leamington Municipal Council 2006-2010
Elected Mayor of Leamington 2010-2014
Elected Mayor of Leamington 2014-2018
Showkat Hussain is the Manager of Audit Services for Intertek. Mr. Hussain joined Intertek in 1996 and for the past 20 years has helped to develop business in Central and Western Canada. During this time, Showkat has managed and trained a team of more than 50 auditors to conduct third party audits on behalf of Intertek. He is a graduate from York University.
Katija has over 15 years of experience specializing in food safety and agriculture. She has worked with national and provincial associations and individual producers on the development, implementation and evaluation of on-farm food safety, traceability and biosecurity programs. Katija oversees the NSF agriculture team which offers certification and non-certification audits in fresh produce, animal welfare and animal production.
Jim Kourtis is a corporate mentor and specialist in business performance consulting services that include government grants and tax credit programs. He helps executives and business owners improve profitability through operational cost reduction and government funding optimization. Jim and his funding team service a number of industries, but focus heavily on agri-food producers and processors. Jim received his Engineering Physics degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Cynthia Kupper, CEO of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) and its Food Safety programs, the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and Gluten-Free Food Services (GFFS), has been a recognized leader and authority figure in the gluten-free community for over 20 years. As a registered dietitian and an expert in celiac disease management, Cynthia's goals are to provide services that allow gluten-free consumers to live healthier lives while making educated decisions affecting their health.
Under Cynthia's leadership, the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) has moved from an organization that was local in scope and national in heart to an international leader with a commitment to the consumer. Her work with food and food service industries through our training and accreditation programs has helped establish the GFCO certification logo as the symbol of trust for the gluten-free community, with more than 34,000 products certified worldwide.
Cynthia's decades of work with regulatory agencies, food service & management facilities, and directly with the consumer provides her a unique perspective that is sought after and unmatched in today's gluten-free community.
Martin Galan is our Canadian Technical Services Director and brings our Canadian team a wealth of knowledge as he has over 20 years of experience in the food industry with over 7 years of safety experience and 4 years with Cargill, Incorporated as a Sanitation Manger. In his current role, Martin assists with ensuring all external requirements are met through documentation and verification of HACCP, GMP and FSEP. He also represents our client’s interests in all 3rd party audits (safety/food safety, BRC, USDA, CFIA, SQF, etc.). Internally, Martin manages all safety and food safety programs within CCCSI’s facilities through corrective actions, troubleshooting industry problems, analyzing and developing maintenance standards to improve the sanitation process and managing injury claims and human rights complaints. His role is an integral part of our sanitation process, and we rely on him to ensure we truly are providing the best sanitation program to our customers.
Todd has over 29 years of experiences starting with 13 years within the Pork industry. Responsibilities included manufacturing operations, food safety, HACCP, and employee development / training. Todd has been with PSSI for 16 years and currently leads a large team of “boots on the ground” technical service specialists whose roles are to provide leadership, service and support involving food safety, safety, workman’s compensation and employee development / training to PSSI operations and PSSI customers. Certified Food Safety Professional, HACCP certified, BRC / SQF practitioner are a few examples of many of his certifications he has accomplished throughout his career.
Todd and his team focus are safety 1st, being audit ready at all times and helping in delivering a clean facility to PSSI clients on a daily basis.
Over the past fifteen years Colin has held executive level positions in companies focused on providing Internet of Things (IoT), wireless technology and SaaS-based solutions that fundamentally change the way businesses operate. Currently Colin is the Vice President of Digi Cold Chain, and the former CEO of bluenica, which he founded in 2012 to provide an IoT solution for monitoring perishable goods in the cold chain.
In 1999 Colin founded Turnpike Global Technologies Inc., the first company in the transportation field to combine Bluetooth communications between transport vehicles and cellular phones in order to automate government regulatory requirements using an SaaS model. Colin was President and CEO of Turnpike until it was acquired by XRS Corporation in 2009. Post-acquisition, he took on the role Vice President of Development at XRS to help further exploit the SaaS model in transportation.
In 2011, as a leader and visionary in the field of wireless technology in transportation, Colin was invited to the White House to participate in President Obama’s Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative (WIII) roundtable discussions. Colin holds patents in the wireless communications field and has co-authored research papers on the use of wireless technology in transportation. Colin received his Bachelors of Engineering Physics degree from McMaster University in 1995.
Robin leads strategic IoT solutions and partnerships at TELUS including the food safety solution from Digi International. As a key stakeholder in launching the TELUS Internet of Things Marketplace in 2014, Robin helps Canadian businesses across a wide array of industries become more efficient, productive and profitable with ready-to-implement wireless network solutions. Prior to TELUS, Robin worked as a management consultant and in a business development role, with leading global technology and engineering companies. He is an alumnus of the Ivey Business School at Western University.