The Western Food Safety Conference is an annual two-day conference designed especially for you—our food safety industry leaders! The conference will provide you with current produce safety information, research, and regulatory developments in the fresh produce industry that you can apply to today’s environment. Join us and industry-leading scientists, executives, and professionals for the latest science-based industry information and networking opportunities.
(early bird until February 29, 2024)
Frank Yiannas is a renowned food safety leader and executive, food system futurist, author, professor, past president of the International Association of Food Protection, and advocate for consumers. Most recently, he served under two different administrations as the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a position he held from 2018 to 2023, after spending 30 years in leadership roles with two industry giants: Walmart and the Walt Disney Company. Throughout his career, Frank has been recognized for his role in strengthening food safety standards in new and innovative ways, as well as building effective food safety management systems based on modern, science-based, and tech-enable prevention principles.
Soren Bjorn is the President of Driscoll’s of Americas and the incoming CEO, of the leading global brand for fresh berries. In his role, Mr. Bjorn leads the largest business unit for Driscoll’s and is responsible for all aspects of the business enterprise from the strategic planning process to its financial success. Family-owned for more than 100 years, Driscoll works with more than 900 independent growers around the world to create shared value in the communities where Driscoll’s berries are grown.
Soren has been with Driscoll’s for more than seventeen years and has led several key functional areas. He served as the company’s first senior vice president of international business and was responsible for oversight of Driscoll’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa business, an Australia-based joint venture and a new start-up venture in China. In addition, Soren has led Driscoll’s global research and breeding programs which focus on developing proprietary seedlings to deliver great-tasting berries to consumers. This superior flavor is a competitive differentiator and one of the primary reasons Driscoll’s is the market leader in fresh berries.
As a seasoned executive in the food industry, Soren spent six years with Del Monte Foods in San Francisco. There, his responsibilities included outsourcing manufacturing operations globally, and the management of the company’s sales and operations planning department. Soren also held the role of President and CEO for UniMark Foods, Inc.
Soren grew up in Silkeborg, Denmark. He earned an MBA from Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas, and a BBA from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Today, Soren lives on the California Central Coast and is the father of three boys.
The Hartnell College Foundation is an independent, non-profit corporation organized by community-spirited citizens in 1979 to benefit the Hartnell Community College District. The Foundation plays an integral role in supporting the students, faculty, staff, and programs of Hartnell College by garnering corporate, foundation, and private support for the college.
Please explore our website to find out the many ways that you can get involved in supporting the hard-working students of the Salinas Valley as they build a brighter future for themselves, their families, and their community.
The Western Food Safety Conference is an annual two-day convening, designed especially for you, our food safety industry leaders! The conference will provide you with current produce safety information, research, and regulatory developments in the fresh produce industry that you can apply to today's environment.
Join us and industry-leading scientists, executives, and professionals for the latest science-based industry information and networking opportunities.