2019 Beef Industry Safety Summit Speakers
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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 has worked in the beef industry since graduating from Colorado State University in 1996. She has over 20 years of experience in the food safety and quality assurance and animal handling 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 to include animal handling. Sherri has been a member of the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) since 2014.
Jennifer is responsible for leading the Food Safety & Quality Assurance Team Members within the Fresh Meats Business Unit. Providing for her family, serving our work family and contributing safe, nutritious food for millions of families world-wide is the driving force in her life.
Prior to her current role, Jennifer held several positions over a 20-year period related to food safety, quality and regulatory compliance. During her tenure within the Tyson Fresh Meats Corporate FSQA Team, Jennifer has been part of a world-class team partnering in food safety research and innovation ideas, including development of pathogen risk mitigation systems recognized by industry, academia and regulatory experts as gold standards and basis of industry wide best practices.
Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Graceland University and is working to obtain her Master of Science degree from the Kansas State University with expected graduation date of Spring 2019. She serves within the Beef Industry Food Safety Council as an executive committee member and is an in-coming co-chair of the North American Meat Institute’s Food Safety and Inspection Affairs Committee.
Rob Ames is a husband, father of three and lifelong consumer of beef. As Business Development Manager for Corbion, Rob works to develop the company’s Harvest Intervention business by identifying and onboarding products and services of increased benefit to the meat and poultry industries. He exclusively roots for alma matter’s Kansas State and Colorado State on Saturday’s but many more meat and animal science programs during the week.
Mandy is the Sr. Executive Director for the Science, Culinary and Outreach 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 culinary program. 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.
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 17).
Sharon provides strategic, operational, and technical leadership and support in the critical area of food safety and quality for CTI Foods manufacturing facilities, as well as for their customers and suppliers. She brings nearly 40 years’ experience in food safety, quality and regulatory compliance and in addition to CTI Foods, has worked for US Foods, Maple Leaf Foods, Smithfield Packing, Tyson Foods/IBP, Orval Kent Foods, Arby’s and Land O’ Frost. Sharon is actively engaged in the industry and is currently the Chair for the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo) and has served on the American Meat Science Association Board (AMSA). Sharon graduated from Cornell University where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science.
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.
Roger received his BS & doctorate degrees from University of California in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. He has served as President of Heller Seasoning, President of the National Seasoning Manufacturer’s Association, and chaired both the Executive Committee of the Technical Group and the Microbiology Committee for the American Spice Trade Association. He currently leads development efforts for ingredients that make food safer and taste better as Sr. Director of R&D for Newly Weds Foods. When not saving the world from food borne illness, he is either doting over his four-year-old granddaughter or racing off road motorcycles in the woods, placing 3rd in his class in the 2018 National Enduro Championship Series.
Ken Davenport began his career with Celanese as the lead scientist responsible for development of new processes for the production of acetaminophen and ibuprofen, both commercialized during the ‘90s. He transitioned from R&D to business, leading the strategy team and implementing AgrEvo’s FiberMax™ cotton business. Subsequent positions included:
• CEO of ArborGen, a forestry biotechnology company.
• Director of New Business Ventures for Bayer CropScience where he led the company’s plant-made pharmaceutical initiative.
• Vice President of Strategic Development and CTO of Chromatin, Inc., an agbiotech company.
Ken is now the principal of Bio-Economics LLC, a Dallas based consulting firm focused on corporate strategy, working with start-up and early-stage growth companies.
Ken earned his doctoral degree in physical organic chemistry from Texas A&M University. He has been a recipient of several awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award, (College of Science, Texas A&M University, 1997) and Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (EPA, 1997) as part of BHC.
Curtis Pittman is the Director of Food Safety & Quality Assurance with Harris Ranch Beef Company where he oversees the systems designed to protect both the product in the box and the name on its side while exceeding our customers’ expectations. He joined the Harris Ranch family in 2013 as a Food Safety Manager after completing degrees from The Ohio State University and Colorado State University.
Curtis has grown to believe that education and empowerment proactively protects our consumers, our industry, and our future. He is an avid learner, wood-worker, and recently started jiu-jitsu. He and his lovely wife, Meagan, have a rambunctious toddler whose current, go to response is, “why”.
Ashley Lembke is the Director of Quality Assurance & Food Safety for American Foods Group, LLC. In this capacity she oversees five beef slaughter facilities in the areas of regulatory affairs, food safety, quality assurance and animal welfare. Ashley received her B.S. in Animal Science from Colorado State University, M.S. in Animal Science from Texas Tech University and is currently finishing her Ph.D. at Texas Tech in Meat Science – Food Microbiology. She also serves as co-chair for the Animal Welfare Committee at the North American Meat Institute. Ashley and her husband Tyrel, Head Cattle Buyer for Long Prairie Packing, reside in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She enjoys riding and competing in National Reined Cow Horse Association events.
Paul is a graduate of Purdue University and has worked for over 20 years in the meat and food processing industry. Paul began his career at Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods in Madison, and continued at Nestle and Smithfield with positions in quality, operations, R&D and regulatory. He is currently the Food Safety and Quality Director for Proteins at US Foods.
Dr. Mindy M. Brashears is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. Dr. Brashears comes to USDA from Texas Tech University where was a Professor of Food Safety and Public Health and the Director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence.
Dr. Brashears’ research program focused on improving food safety standards to make an impact on public health. Her work evaluated interventions in pre- and post-harvest environments and on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance in animal feeding systems. Dr. Brashears also led international research teams of students and faculty to Mexico, Central and South America to improve food safety and security in these sectors and to set up sustainable agriculture systems in impoverished areas. She taught courses in food microbiology and food safety and offered industry training opportunities in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), food sanitation, recalls and food security.
Dr. Brashears has been nominated to be USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety. She is a past-Chair of the National Alliance for Food Safety and Security and of the USDA multi-state research group. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and has received numerous awards including the International Association for Food Protection Laboratorian Award, the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) Distinguished Research Award, the AMSA Distinguished Industry Service Award and was listed in the National Provisioner’s Top 25 Future Icons in the Beef Industry. She has an extensive publication record in peer-reviewed journals and has been invited to speak at national and international events on the topics of her research to give keynote addresses. Her research has resulted in more than 20 patents/patents pending for her innovative approach to improving food safety in the food supply.
Under Dr. Brashears’ leadership, the Food Safety and Inspection Service will continue its mission of protecting the public’s health through the implementation of its three strategic goals: Prevent Foodborne Illness and Protect Public Health; Modernize Inspection Systems, Policies, and the Use of Scientific Approaches; and Achieve Operational Excellence.
Catie Beauchamp is currently Vice President, Technical Services for Colorado Premium Foods, a multi-facility processor of portion controlled, marinated raw and RTE beef, pork and poultry products. She oversees Regulatory Compliance, Food Safety/Quality, R&D, and implementing Lean Six Sigma Processes. She has served on the BIFSCo Executive Committee for the last two years and is a member of multiple food industry supplier councils and working groups. She holds a Master’s Degree in Meat Science and Ph.D. in Meat Microbiology from Colorado State University. Catie is a Colorado Native, and when not at work, can be found running a combine and raising a family.
Beejan Mehrabani is the Associate Director of Market Research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The market research team helps enhance a range of Beef Checkoff funded work, by bringing consumer insights into the equation when issues management, production, nutrition, quality and communications work is being designed and implemented.
Beejan is originally from Tucson, Arizona and attended Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2015, he received bachelor degrees in both Economics and Marketing with a specialization in Customer Analytics. Prior to NCBA, Beejan worked for 20|20 Research, where he was a Research Manager implementing and managing multiple market research projects for a wide array of clients. Prior to market research, Beejan also spent time as a Flight Schedules Analyst for Frontier Airlines. Beejan enjoys living in Colorado where he woodworks, snowboards and plays golf with his fiancée.
Shawn Darcy is the Director of Market Research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The market research team helps enhance a range of Beef Checkoff funded work, by bringing consumer insights into the equation when issues management, production, nutrition, quality and communications work is being designed and implemented.
Shawn has nearly 10 years of Market Research experience, having conducted hundreds of consumer studies. Topics have ranged from consumer perceptions regarding how food is raised, consumer segmentation, food preferences, foodservice and retail trends, new product opportunities, advertising evaluation, messaging and brand insights. Previous to NCBA, Shawn worked for comScore ARS, where he was an Account Manager of Market Research on the company’s top Pharmaceutical and Consumer Package Goods accounts. Prior to market research, he also spent time as an Assistant Store Manager at Kroger in the Cincinnati division. Preceding his career at Kroger, he received his B.A. at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. Shawn loves living in Colorado where he looks forward to sharing the next adventure with his wife and two kids.
Saurabh Kumar is currently the Strategic Innovation Director, globally for Meat business unit for Corbion leading the innovation strategy for the organization. Before this business position, he has been with Corbion for 10 years in various R&D positions in US and in Innovation Center in The Netherlands leading global preservation platforms. He has extensive food science, microbiology experience, application research, natural preservation experience for the meat, and other foods segments. He has also worked in the area of antimicrobials, food microbiology, food safety, food supply chain and project management. He has several journal publications and more than 15 granted patent & patent applications in the area of food & meat preservation. He regularly presents scientific research in the area of food safety at various leading research conferences like IAFP, IFT, RMC, ICoMST, IPPE among others. He is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Food Science from KSU and has obtained his M.S. degree in Food Science and Technology as well as business degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and undergraduate degree in Dairy Technology from NDRI, India and. His past work experience includes working as a Quality Assurance Officer for HJ Heinz India.