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.
Dr. Donald E. Buckingham is the President and CEO of The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI), as of July 1, 2017. He has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1988. In his career, he acted as a private lawyer, government lawyer, law professor, author and consultant in the areas of agricultural law, food law and international trade in agricultural products. Dr. Buckingham’s previous roles include Chair of the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal. He also worked as Legal Counsel at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Dr. Buckingham taught courses as a law professor at three universities and conducted research on agriculture law, food law, constitutional law, administrative law, international law and tort law. For the past three decades, Dr. Buckingham also provided legal counsel to both federal ministers and civil servants grappling with legislative and regulatory matters in the industry, as well as being a lawyer with the Halifax firm of Patterson Kitz.
Dr. Richard Arsenault is the executive director of the Domestic Food Safety Systems Directorate at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Dr. Arsenault began his food safety career as a veterinary meat inspector in 1989. He has been an auditor, a manager, and the Director of the meat hygiene program, and was involved in many significant Canadian food safety events over the past 25 years.
Dr. Arsenault leads the CFIA team that is finalizing the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and its coming-into-force strategy. His team also works on modernizing Canada’s meat inspection and on-farm food safety programs.
Dr. Arsenault has worked throughout his career to improve food safety in Canada and facilitate the international trade of food products under Codex Alimentarius principles. He is currently the representative for North America on the Codex alimentarius Executive Committee and the representative for Canada at the Codex Commission.
Vincent Strickland is the Compliance Coordinator at Pfenning’s Organic Vegetables Inc., where he manages their food safety and organic certifications. His passion for organics grew over time, starting with his education in biotechnology and food science, and fueled by a strong interest in sustainability and social justice. Working at the nexus of food safety and organics gives him a unique perspective on how regulatory regimes can ensure a safe and healthy food system.
Winnie Chiu is an experienced food scientist with over 25 years of research and development experience in both consumer packaged foods and the flavour ingredient business. Over her tenure at George Brown, she led dozens of research projects with private companies and the healthcare sector; these encompass both product commercialization and healthy recipes development, offering unique and valuable hands on experience for students.
She led her team on projects for organizations such as Sobeys Inc., General Mills Canada, Smucker’s Canada, Princess Margaret Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and enabling many small medium size entrepreneurial companies to commercialize innovative products. Prior to George Brown College, Winnie worked for MARS Incorporated and two internationally renowned ingredients company. Winnie received a B. Sc. (Hon) from the University Of Westminster (U.K.) and subsequently gained her M. Sc. in Food and Management Science from King’s College at the University of London (U.K).
Susan Abel is the Vice President Safety and Compliance for Food & Consumer Products of Canada where she works closely with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, and Environment Canada on diverse activities such as regulatory change and safe chemicals management on behalf of FCPC’s members. She has been with FCPC for over six years. While at FCPC she has spoken at various venues, in Canada and internationally on topics as diverse as supply chains in the food industry, allergen management, Smartlabel™, and food regulations. In addition to her role at FCPC, Susan is also co-chair of the Canadian Supply Chain Food Safety Coalition.
Prior to her tenure at FCPC, Susan worked for 25 years in food manufacturing in Canada, primarily in Product Development and Quality/Regulatory roles for the Breakfast Cereal Industry as well product development with the Dairy Industry. In her Quality/Regulatory role in a North American context, she oversaw the development of HACCP programs including prerequisite programs, real-time trace forward and trace backward systems, real-time laboratory data collection systems, and third party audits including NSF, GFSI/BRC, and GMA-SAFE. Susan was also very active with testing and monitoring mycotoxins in cereal grains, and created gluten-free production and testing protocols for a facility which primarily processed wheat-based products.
Susan graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture, with a major in Dairy Science, from the University of Guelph.
She manages the agency’s representation and positions at international standard setting bodies, such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission, and its various Committees, and engages with foreign governments on emergency notifications and systems recognition.
DeWaal is the former director of the food safety program for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and co-author of Is Our Food Safe? A Consumer’s Guide to Protecting Your Health and the Environment (Three Rivers Press, 2002). Ms. DeWaal has testified more than 20 times as a food safety expert before the United States Congress. She has presented papers on food safety at more than 100 scientific and public policy conferences and regularly publishes in scientific and legal journals. She has participated in World Health Organization consultations on food safety, and on FDA, USDA, and CDC food safety advisory panels.
She is a graduate of the University of Vermont and of Antioch School of Law.
Dr. Patrizia Barone is the Regional Regulatory Affairs Vice President at Unilever, leading the strategic regulatory activities for the North American region and Global Foods & Refreshment categories. Before joining Unilever, Patrizia held positions at Reckitt Benckiser, initially as Vice President of R&D for North America. She moved to Australia to head the Asia Pacific & South Asia R&D Laboratory, and upon her return held positions culminating as Global R&D Category Group Director - Regulatory Affairs & R&D Systems, responsible for product safety and regulatory strategies for all products globally. Earlier, Patrizia worked with Colgate-Palmolive and Miles, Inc. Household Products Division, a division of Bayer AG.
Patrizia has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Maryland College Park and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Andrea received her Bachelor of Science specializing in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Guelph. She joined Campbell Company of Canada in 2009 and currently manages the Canadian Regulatory Affairs/Nutrition team supporting brands such as Campbell’s® Pepperidge Farm® Pace® Prego®and V8® Prior to joining Campbell, Andrea worked at Sobeys providing regulatory and nutrition expertise for their private label business. She was involved in the launch of over 2,000 products and 4 different sub-brands including Organic, Balance (better-for-you products) and Greencare (eco-friendly household products). She began her career as a QA and Consumer Affairs Specialist at Olivieri Foods, a manufacturer of fresh pasta and sauces. Andrea is active in a number of nutrition and regulatory committees within industry including the Food & Consumer Products of Canada and the Canadian Association of Importers & Exporters.
Dr. Michelle Illing joined the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in 2004, where she has held a number of positions and is currently the Director of the Animal Feed Division. She has worked on a range of regulatory and policy files at the CFIA, including: animal biotechnology; biosecurity; livestock feed; and animal health programs. Prior to joining the CFIA, Dr. Illing spent 3 years working as a project manager at Ingenuity Systems, a biotechnology company in California. She joined Ingenuity Systems after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University in neuronal research. Dr. Illing has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of British Columbia. She also has a M.Sc. in Biology and a Honours B.Sc. in Biology and Biotechnology from Carleton University.
Jeff Howard is the North American Quality Assurance Operations Supervisor for Gordon Food Service.
Gordon Food Service is the largest family operated distributor in North America, a business started in 1897. We operate eight divisions coast-to-coast across Canada and 16 distribution centers in the U.S.
Jeff has over 30 years of Quality Assurance management experience at Gordon Food Service developing, implementing and advancing quality, food safety and regulatory compliance programs for U.S. and Canadian operations.
In his current role, he is responsible for leading and performing a number of key duties critical to ensuring Operations compliance to regulatory, customer and internal quality and food safety expectations. He also acts as primary conduit between Gordon Food Service Quality Assurance, distribution center operations, and customers, supporting programs to meet customers’ quality and food safety-related standards.
Jeff recently helped their U.S. Operations with the development and implementation of programs to comply with the U.S. FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, and has been actively involved in similar activities with their Canadian Operations in preparation for the Safe Food for Canadians Act.
Chris Healing is one of our Western Canadian Technical Services Managers and brings our Canadian team a wealth of knowledge as he has over 22 years of experience in the food industry with over 10 years of safety experience and another 10 years in sanitation operations. In his current role, Chris assists with ensuring all 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, Chris manages all safety and food safety programs within PSSI facilities through corrective actions, coaching employees, troubleshooting industry problems, analyzing and developing equipment maintenance standards to improve the sanitation process and managing injury claims, and human rights complaints. Liaises with government safety officers when required. 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 for our customers.
Joe Mullin has over 20 years of experience in the food and packaging industry, PlantLeadership, Operations Management as well as Training and Development. Joe is currently the Operations Manager of the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre in Colborne Ontario where he is responsible for overall operations and the strategic growth of this government run facility.
Prior to assuming the Operations Manager position, he has been and remains a Professor at Loyalist College in Belleville where he has taught for over 15 years. Joe assisted in the design of the Process Operator Food Manufacturing Operator Apprenticeship standard and has now taught in this program for
over 3 years in addition to conducting corporate training sessions covering subject matter such as Microbiology/Food Safety/Sanitation, Entrepreneurship, Conflict Resolution, Human/Industrial Relations. Some of the more recent food clients he has worked with include: Kellogg, Reid’s Dairy, Sprague Foods, and Stirling Creamery.
In addition to his years as an educator, Joe has held several senior management positions including Plant Manager, Operations Manager, and Human Resources Manager, while employed with multinational companies such as Unilever, Nestle, Pillsbury/General Mills Canada and the Linamar Corporation.
Dr. Amy Proulx is Professor and Academic Program Coordinator of the Culinary Innovation and Food Technology Program at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College. She was the lead developer for the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Innovation Centre Technology Access Centre, which has provided innovation and technical services for companies across North America and Asia.
Joel Aitken is Inspection Coordinator with Ecocert Canada, managing the English inspection team in the maritime provinces, Ontario and Western provinces. He is also an experienced organic inspector and certification officer with Ecocert Canada and Ecocert ICO, having completed organic inspection of farms, processors and input suppliers since 2010 when he completed the IOIA organic inspection training program. He also works as a certification consultant helping start-ups and established businesses develop their organic system plans and record keeping systems. He has a Master of Science (2014) and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (2010), both from the University of Guelph. He has completed research on organic farm nutrient cycles and world crops marketing channels in the GTA. He is actively involved in the alternative agriculture sector as a board member of the Organic Council of Ontario. He strives to promote sustainable local food systems in all of his daily activities for the betterment of our ecology, our health and our economy.
Nick has been involved in the development of intra-logistics solutions for over 20 years. Typical solutions for distribution center operations include process improvements, best practice logistics methods, performance optimizing software, and material handling automation. He has collaborated with end-users, 3PL companies, and consultants to find optimal solutions for distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. To develop a solution, Nick uses a data driven agnostic approach with an operations focus that includes current state analysis, operations planning, and strategic/tactical planning. As Director of Business Development, Nick supports Dematic in providing engineered logistics solutions for warehousing and distribution operations across Canada.
Karen possesses over 16 years of experience in the food industry. She is passionate about food research and development and has developed numerous products across a broad array of food categories, including dressings, sauces, jams, jellies, pasta sauces, syrups, burgers, and sausages. At NSF, Karen is responsible for leading the Product and Process Development team to achieve client’s food and beverage formulation, processing and commercialization goals. The clients of NSF range from entrepreneurs to multi-national companies, situated locally, nationally and internationally. Karen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science from the University of Guelph.
Lindsay Walker is the Operations Manager for the Supply Chain Food Safety department at NSF International in North America.
Using positive business practices to encourage collaboration, inclusion, and creative thinking, she provides leadership to her team to ensure strategic goals and customer expectations are met. Lindsay’s focus is primarily on strategic and business planning (processes and execution) as they relate to 2nd party, 3rd party and certification food safety audits. She is an advocate for integrity and continuous improvement to support improving processes, providing an optimum customer experience and managing the flow of information between staff, scheme holders, clients and their customers, auditors and other NSF departments.