2018 Beef Industry Safety Summit Speakers

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Jeff Canavan

Jeff Canavan

Jeff Canavan is Deputy Director of the Labeling and Program Delivery Staff (LPDS) in the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) where he is responsible for leading the development and implementation of policies for food labeling, food standards, and ingredients for meat, poultry, and egg products. He has worked extensively on policy issues for food allergens, nutrition labeling, animal raising claims, and the use of novel food safety interventions. Mr. Canavan also serves as the U.S. Alternate Delegate for the Codex Committee on Food Labeling. Prior to his career with FSIS, Mr. Canavan was a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Specialist Corps. He is a registered dietitian and food technologist with a Master of Public Administration Degree and Bachelor of Science Degree in Foods and Nutrition.

Raj Shah

Raj Shah

Raj Shah leads the strategy, product, and marketing teams at Alchemy. He works closely with clients, industry associations, and business partners to gain insights into their frontline workforce challenges and devise solutions to address them. Prior to Alchemy, Raj ran a strategy firm and was the founding executive at three successful technology firms in Austin and Silicon Valley. He was also a senior manager at McKinsey where he advised executives on growth initiatives at food, manufacturing, retail, and technology companies. Raj has an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Northwestern) and a B.S. in Accounting from LSU.

Sherri Jenkins

Sherri Jenkins

Sherri Jenkins

Sherri attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Science and a minor in Anatomy and Neurobiology. Sherri continued on with her coursework as a graduate student in the Meat Science program where she graduated in 1996 with a Master of Science in Animal Science – Meat Microbiology. Sherri is currently serving a two year term on the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI). Sherri has worked in the beef industry since graduating from Colorado State University in 1996. She has almost 20 years of experience in the food safety and quality assurance areas and has held varying positions as a HACCP/QA Superintendent, Quality Assurance Manager, and a Corporate Director of Food Safety. Sherri worked for Swift & Company from 1996 to 2007, when she joined Food Safety Net Services as the VP of Auditing and Consulting Services. In 2010, Sherri returned to JBS as a corporate Director for Food Safety and Regulatory Affairs for the beef division. Currently, she is the Head of Technical Services for JBS Regional Beef, in that capacity she has responsibility for five (5) facilities across the US in the areas of regulatory affairs, food safety, and quality assurance of the products that those facilities produce. Sherri is a Colorado native, married and has a daughter in college.

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Betsy Booren

Betsy Booren

Dr. Betsy Booren currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor for Olsson, Frank, Weeda, Terman, and Matz. She works with the food industry to ensure regulatory compliance and provides informed analysis on a variety of issues including food safety, human nutrition, food quality and processing, and public health initiatives. Before joining the OFW Law in August 2016, Dr. Booren spent sevens years at the Meat Institute and its affiliated organizations. She held a variety of roles, including Vice President of Scientific Affairs as well as President for the Foundation of Meat and Poultry Research and Education. In these positions, she executed the scientific policy platform for the meat and poultry industry and leveraged the industry’s scientific needs leading to better understanding of pathogens of concern for the industry. Dr. Booren currently sits on the USDA’s National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection. She is an active member of the International Association for Food Protection, Institute of Food Technologists, and American Meat Science Association, where she had served on the Board of Directors. Dr. Booren is a lead instructor for Preventive Controls for Human Foods, Preventive Controls for Animal Foods, and Foreign Supplier Verification Programs FSPCA courses. She earned a bachelor of science from Michigan State University, a master of science from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Dr. Booren resides in McLean, VA.

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Deb VanOverbeke

Deb VanOverbeke

Deb VanOverbeke is the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University and holder of the George Chiga Endowed Professorship in the Department of Animal Science. Deb received her B.S. in Animal Science from University of Nebraska. After earning her B.S., she worked for Nebraska Cattlemen in the area of producer education. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Animal Science, with a meat science focus, from Colorado State University. After 3 years on faculty at the University of Minnesota, Deb joined the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University in 2005. Beyond her assistant dean responsibilities, Deb teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in animal and food science, advises undergraduate students and student clubs, and has a research appointment. Her research focuses on quality/sensory attributes related to beef cattle management and includes the current and previous National Beef Quality Audits. Her teaching and research efforts have been recognized by the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, American Society of Animal Science and the American Meat Science Association. Deb and her husband, Kirk, have two children, Esther and Joshua.

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Jeffrey Tapick

Jeffrey Tapick

Jeffrey Tapick is President and CEO of Martin Preferred Foods, and represents the third generation of the Tapick family to lead their family-owned business. He first joined MPF in 2011 as its general counsel, a position he held for three years prior to his appointment as President and Chief Operating Officer in 2014. Prior to joining MPF, he served as a trial litigator with the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and was an attorney in private practice in New York City. He holds a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law. In 2014, he earned an M.B.A. in Family Business from the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University.

Kerri Gehring

Kerri Gehring

Kerri B. Gehring

Kerri B. Gehring is currently a Professor in the Meat Science Section of the Animal Science Department at Texas A&M University and the President/CEO of the International HACCP Alliance. Kerri earned 3 degrees from Texas A&M University. She has published multiple refereed journal articles and other publications. Her research focus includes food safety, quality, and nutrition. Kerri conducts HACCP/food safety training and disseminates food safety information across the U.S. by serving on multiple panels and programs. She works closely with the industry and provides valuable assistance with HACCP implementation, and she assists very small, small, and large establishments by providing hands-on assistance to help them develop and implement scientifically sound food safety programs that will comply with regulatory requirements. Her efforts and dedication to food safety are recognized on a national and international basis.

Angie Siemens 

Angela Siemens

Dr. Angela Siemens

Dr. Angie Siemens is the Vice President of Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory for Cargill in Wichita, Kansas. She is responsible for food safety issues and quality management systems and processes in approximately forty beef, turkey, egg, case-ready and processing facilities in North America. She also oversees the food safety issues of meat co-packers and meat and ingredient suppliers. Angie served as BIFSCo Chairman in 2014/15. Prior to her tenure at Cargill, she worked as Vice President of Food Safety and Technical Services for Smithfield Packing Company in Smithfield, Virginia. Angie also worked at the Oscar Mayer Foods Division of Kraft Foods in Madison, Wisconsin, and Beatrice Cheese. She served a year as a Congressional Science Fellow to the US House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture, Washington, DC. The National Provisioner named Angie as one of 25 Future Icons. Angie received a Ph.D. in Meat Science and M.S. in Animal Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia and a B.S. in Animal Science from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. She received the 2010 Purdue University College of Agriculture Distinguished Alumni award. Angie grew up on a diversified grain and livestock family farm in eastern Indiana, and participated in 4-H, FFA and livestock judging. Angie is married to Dr. Mike Siemens, Director Business Development, Arrowsight Global Agribusiness and they have one son, Nicholas (age 16).

Jennifer Williams 

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams is currently the Senior Director- Beef Food Safety and Quality Assurance for Tyson Fresh Meats. She joined Tyson Fresh Meats in 2001 and has 15 years of red meats slaughter and processing regulatory, food safety and quality experience. She is currently responsible for the safety and well-being of ~ 300 team members as well as providing risk analysis, regulatory compliance assistance, program administration and oversight of food safety execution with the Tyson beef division. Jennifer’s emphasis and expertise is applying data science to working industry food safety systems and beef processes with special interest and commitment to STEC. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s Degree from Graceland University and is working on a Master’s Degree from Kansas State University and has recently co-authored her first referenced journal article.

Scott Goltry

Scott Goltry

Scott Goltry is a Business Development and Technical Services Consultant at Merieux NutriSciences. He has extensive expertise in food safety, quality control and regulatory issues related to fresh and ready-to-eat meats at the plant and corporate level. He was directly involved with BSE related export verification programs, creation of HACCP and pathogen control plans, and various consumer protection and economic related control systems. At the North American Meat Institute, he provided oversight to the nation’s meat packer and processor members on current and proposed inspection-related issues. Goltry served as the staff liaison to the NAMI Food Safety and Affairs Committee, was a member of the NAMI Crisis Management Team, and supervised residue control, sanitary equipment design and foreign animal disease preparedness matters for NAMI. Goltry received his bachelor of science in Animal Science and Industry from Kansas State University and a master’s of science in Food Science and Nutrition from University of Missouri and has held prior positions at Kayem Foods, OhSe Foods, Land O’Frost and Cargill.

Paul Kiecker

Paul Kiecker

Paul Kiecker

Mr. Paul Kiecker was named Acting Administrator for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in August 2017. Throughout his 29 years with FSIS, Mr. Kiecker has been committed to a strong public health vision that has guided him to overcome obstacles, identify opportunities for improvement, efficiently manage resources, and achieve food safety objectives to prevent foodborne illness. Since joining FSIS in 1988 as a food inspector, Mr. Kiecker has served in a number of roles at the agency. Most recently, Mr. Kiecker served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Field Operations (OFO). He came to Washington, D.C. to serve as Executive Associate for Regulatory Operations, after serving as the District Manager in Springdale, AR and Madison, WI, as well as Deputy District Manager in Madison, WI. Mr. Kiecker’s experience with FSIS also includes work with the Office of Investigation, Enforcement, and Audit (OIEA), where he has served as a Compliance Investigator and as Supervisory Compliance Officer. In his various positions with FSIS, Mr. Kiecker has played a critical role in leading external coordination with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, international organizations, and law enforcement agencies. He has also had oversight responsibility for strategic planning, policy formulation and implementation, budget development and execution, human resource management, and day-to-day inspection operations.

David Goldman 

David Goldman

David Goldman

Dr. David Goldman was appointed in November 2004 as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Public Health Science (OPHS) at the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and serves as the Acting Chief Medical Officer for the Department. He was formerly Director of the Human Health Sciences Division at FSIS, joining the agency in 2002. He is a family practice and preventive medicine/public health physician, and a member of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). Dr. Goldman oversees the OPHS, which provides expert scientific analysis, advice, and recommendations on all matters involving public health and science that are of concern to FSIS. During his time in OPHS, Dr. Goldman has led the creation and implementation of a comprehensive scientific agenda that focuses on the Agency’s most significant needs, including updating the National Residue Program, analyzing environmental contaminants, developing a plan to meet the Healthy People 2020 goals for Salmonella illness reduction, and communicating scientific measures to mitigate the risk of Listeria contamination at retail. He is the Agency’s point person during foodborne illness outbreaks, collaborating and coordinating with other public health leaders throughout government to support a swift and effective response. The FSIS labs are also under his purview. Among his other duties, Dr. Goldman is a co-lead for USDA’s participation in the One Health initiative, a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of diseases for humans, animals and the environment. One Health seeks to advance health care for the 21st century and beyond by accelerating biomedical research discoveries, enhancing public health efficacy, and expeditiously expanding the scientific knowledge base for zoonoses. In August of 2013, the USPHS named Dr. Goldman as its new Chief Professional Officer for the medical category. In this capacity, Dr. Goldman serves as the primary point of contact between the Office of the Surgeon General and the 800+ physicians in the PHS. Since 2005, Dr. Goldman has served as the Surgeon General’s Policy Advisory Committee representative for USDA to represent any needs of FSIS to HHS with respect to 22 officers detailed here. Dr. Goldman spent 10 years in the US Army Medical Corps in both family practice and preventive medicine. He then spent 3 ½ years at the Virginia Department of Health, first as a District Health Director, then briefly as the Deputy State Epidemiologist, before joining the Public Health Service. He is board-certified in both Family Medicine and General Preventive Medicine/Public Health and continues to see patients 1 day per month at a free clinic in Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in 1979, a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Virginia in 1988, and his Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington in 1996.

Mandy Carr

Mandy Carr

Mandy Carr

Mandy is the Sr. Executive Director for the Science & Product Solutions team at National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. This department includes programs focusing on human nutrition research and influencer outreach, product quality, sustainability, and beef safety research as well as the beef innovation and culinary programs. This talented team provides key information needed by influencers and industry decision makers to continually improve beef production, processing, consumer options and perceptions about beef. The team also provides foundational insights that other checkoff programs including marketing, communication and issues management utilize in science-based responses to consumer and media questions about beef. Mandy also leads the beef safety research program and facilitates the functions of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council, a group of industry food safety professionals working together to provide industry driven research, guidance materials and educational programs. Mandy was raised in the small rural community of Sudan, Texas where her family still lives and raises beef cattle. Mandy is a graduate of Texas Tech University with an undergraduate degree in Food Science and Technology, a Master’s Degree in Food Science, and a Ph.D. in Animal & Food Science specializing in food safety. In 1999, Mandy joined the faculty at Angelo State University. During her almost 8 year tenure at Angelo State, Mandy developed a meat and food science undergraduate and graduate teaching program and designed and managed the federally inspected ASU Meat Laboratory. Mandy joined NCBA in 2007. Mandy and her husband Todd, originally of KS and a Kansas State University graduate, live in Highlands Ranch, CO.

Jim Lanier

Jim Lanier

Jim Lanier

Jim was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle. He has a Bachelor’s in Animal Science from Texas A&M University. Jim has over 20 years’ experience as a leader and auditor in the food industry with expert experience in the meat and poultry industries. Former positions include supervisory and quality assurance roles in several beef slaughter and fabrication facilities to include serving as the supervisor over the ground beef programs at Wendy’s International. Jim has been H-E-B Grocery Co.’ s Senior Quality Assurance Manager for market for 18 years. He has used his knowledge of the food industry to develop, implement and manage the vendor auditing and verification programs, regulatory and food safety compliance programs for COOL and ground beef traceability at the market level for over 300 retail stores. Jim is PAACO (Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization) trained and his role also encompasses the development and oversight of H-E-B’s Animal Welfare Standards. He is an active member of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council and actively participates at AMI, SMA, NAMI and BIFSCO events by serving on expert industry panels. Jim and his wife Nicole have been married for 24 years and have 4 children: Harlee, Sierra, and twins Jack and Luke.

Kendra Waldbusser

Kendra Waldbusser

Kendra Waldbusser

Kendra Waldbusser has served as Head of Food Safety and Quality Assurance since joining Pilgrim's Pride Corporation in March 2010. In her role, she oversees the food safety and quality initiatives for the US, Mexico and European operations. Prior to joining Pilgrim's, Ms. Waldbusser spent 13 years with Tyson Foods in various food safety and quality assurance roles in both the human edible and pet products sides of the business. Kendra is currently serving a 3 year term on the National Chicken Council Board of Directors.

John Dillard

John Dillard

John Dillard

John Dillard is a food and agriculture law attorney at Olsson Frank Weeda (OFW) in Washington, DC. John regularly advises OFW’s USDA and FDA-regulated clients on food safety and labeling matters, including the FSIS label approval process. John also devotes a substantial portion of his practice to animal feed regulatory issues and matters arising under the Packers and Stockyards Act. John grew up on a beef cattle farm that his parents still operate. He received a bachelors in Animal and Poultry Sciences from Virginia Tech, a masters degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and a law degree from the University of Richmond.

Kim Stackhouse

Kim Stackhouse

Kim Stackhouse

Kim Stackhouse is the Director of Sustainability for JBS USA where she is responsible for coordinating the North American sustainability program, inclusive of the Company’s beef, pork, poultry, case ready, transportation, and branded product business. In this role, Kim leads the Company’s internal sustainability program and public reporting initiatives to leverage best practices and reduce environmental and social impacts. Kim is a board member and the chair-elect of U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and is active in the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry and Egg. Kim received her PhD in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis and was a postdoctoral fellow at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

KatieRose McCullough

KatieRose McCullough

KatieRose McCullough

Dr. KatieRose McCullough serves as a director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the North American Meat Institute where she provides expertise on a variety of topics including: meat science, meat quality, spoilage, food safety, pathogen control, intervention technologies, HACCP, regulatory issues and more. Prior to joining the Meat Institute, McCullough designed and conducted research studies related to pathogen reduction, system validation, pathogen identification, shelf-life, and sensory. McCullough also has experience in foodborne outbreaks investigation. McCullough received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Texas Tech University, her Master of Science in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Animal Science from Colorado State University. In May, McCullough will complete her Master’s in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health focusing on Animals, People and the Environment.

Keith Belk

Keith Belk

Keith Belk

Keith Belk is a Professor and Holder of the Ken & Myra Monfort Endowed Chair in Meat Science with the Center for Meat Safety & Quality, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, and a Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from CSU, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. He has been employed in the private sector as a buyer by Safeway, Inc., and by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service in Washington, DC, as an International Marketing Specialist. At Colorado State University since 1995, he has authored or co-authored 204 refereed scientific journal articles and over 740 total publications, generated >$19M in external funding, and was the primary inventor on two patents. He served as the state Meat Extension Specialist between 1995 and 2000, on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Animal Science in 1997-2000, on the Board of Directors for the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) between 2003-2005, and as President of AMSA in 2009-2010.

John Ruby

John Ruby

John Ruby

Dr. John Ruby is currently the Vice President of PassTrac Analytics, a division of Passport Food Safety Solutions. Prior to joining Passport, John spent 17 years with the JBS Beef Division overseeing Food Safety and Quality. Over the course of John’s career, he held positions as Laboratory Services Manager, Director of Microbiology, and Vice President of Technical Services. John has served on the North America Meat Institute Foundation - Board of Directors, the Meat Industry International Stewardship Advisory Council, and the University of Georgia-Department of Food Science and Technology Advisory Committee. In addition, John is currently serving a second appointment on the United States Department of Agriculture National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, as well as serves as an Affiliate Faculty member for Colorado State University’s Department of Animal Sciences. Dr. Ruby earned his Ph.D. in Food Microbiology and Safety from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where his research focused on developing prediction tools for identifying the presence/absence of Salmonella spp. and microbial intervention systems designed to reduce E. coli O157:H7 and multi-drug resistant Salmonella spp.

Zaid Abdo

Zaid Abdo

Zaid Abdo

One of my main research objectives is to understand the microbial community structure, its interactions and function and how this microbial community interacts with and affects its host, and affects and is affected by its surrounding environment. Another major objective of my research is to study the mechanisms of acquiring, transmitting and maintaining antibiotic resistance in bacteria and to study the mechanisms of adaptation of different microbes within their natural environments. My experience and background is mainly focused on developing and utilizing computational and statistical methods and models in genomics, metagenomics and microbiome research with aim to facilitate our understanding of these systems.

John Locke

John Locke

John Locke

John Coleman Locke is a 6th generation cattleman from Hungerford, Wharton County, TX. A 2001 graduate of Texas Tech University, and a current TALL XV Cohort, Mr. Locke has been in a managing roll at his family’s Registered Brahman operation for the last 16 ½ years. Many farmers and ranchers were forced to weather a direct hit from Harvey. John’s family went relatively unscathed by Harvey’s hurricane force winds and record rainfall, only to find themselves fighting for the lives of their livestock and livelihood a few days later. The scope of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey to such a widespread area across the state of Texas will most likely be remembered for generations. Mr. Locke will give a personal account of his experiences dealing with this crisis and immediate threats they experienced, as well as navigating the emotions and the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Eric Brown

Eric Brown

Eric Brown

Dr. Eric W. Brown has been with the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) since 1999 and currently serves as Director of the Division of Microbiology in the Office of Regulatory Science. Here, he oversees a group of 60 food safety microbiology researchers and support scientists engaged in a multi-parameter research program to develop and apply microbiological and molecular genetic strategies for detecting, identifying, and differentiating bacterial foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, and shiga-toxin producing E. coli. Recently, his laboratory has been instrumental in adapting next-generation sequencing technologies to augment foodborne outbreak investigations and to ensure preventive control and compliance standards at the FDA including the establishment of the GenomeTrakr whole-genome sequencing network for food safety. Dr. Brown received his M.Sc. in Microbiology from the National Cancer Institute/Hood College joint program in the biomedical sciences in 1993 and his Ph.D. in Microbial Genetics from The Department of Biological Sciences at The George Washington University in 1997. He has conducted research in microbial evolution and genetics as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as an Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Loyola University of Chicago. He has been a member of the American Society for Microbiology since 1994 and was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2015. He has co-authored more than 170 refereed publications and book chapters on the molecular differentiation, evolutionary genetics, and ecological persistence of bacterial pathogens.

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