Dr. Jennifer Cleveland McEntire left the role of Chief Food Safety and Regulatory Officer at the International Fresh Produce Association in May 2023 to launch Food Safety Strategy, LLC, a consulting firm supporting the food industry and facilitating action-oriented initiatives that will have the greatest impact on public health.
She held previous food safety leadership positions with the Grocery Manufacturers Association, The Acheson Group and the Institute of Food Technologists. While with IFT and TAG, McEntire led the FSMA 204 traceability pilots. McEntire earned a PhD from Rutgers University as a USDA National Needs Fellow in Food Safety and received a Bachelor of Science with Distinction, magna cum laude, in food science from the University of Delaware, where she continues to serve as a member of the UD CANR Advisory Board. She’s a member of the technical committee for the Center for Produce Safety, serves as a peer reviewer for several food safety journals, was the 2020 recipient of the NSF International Food Safety Leadership Award and 2023 recipient of the Harold Barnum Industry Award from IAFP. She has published numerous peer reviewed articles and books, most recently “Food Traceability: from binders to blockchain”.
Mr. Kennedy is a global leader in food traceability technology, standards, and regulations. He co-leads New Era Partners, a division of iFoodDS, dedicated to assisting companies with the FDA Food Traceability Rule, FSMA 204.
Mr. Kennedy’s prior experience includes three years at the FDA in the Office of Food Policy and Response developing food supply chain traceability and recall systems, public-facing programs, and regulatory policy, including FDA’s Final Rule for Food Traceability and Tech-enabled Traceability, the first core element of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety. At FDA, Mr. Kennedy led the team that developed 21 Forward, used by FDA’s Foods Program to assist with COVID-19 vaccine distribution, monitor the impact of the pandemic on the U.S. Food Supply Chain, and assist with the powdered infant formula crisis response.
Prior to his work at the FDA, Mr. Kennedy led IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center and co-founded FoodLogiQ (acquired by Riverside). He co-convened traceability standards development working groups for GS1, the Produce Traceability Initiative and the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability. With Jennifer McEntire, United Fresh Produce Association, Mr. Kennedy edited “Food Traceability from Binders to Blockchain,” published by Springer.
Mr. Kennedy began his career at Accenture in New York City, then helped grow two startups, Clarkston – an early leader in SAP Consulting, and Diba Industries – an innovator in clinical diagnostic precision fluid handling (acquired by Halma, LSE:HLMA). Mr. Kennedy holds an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and an A.B. in Economics from Lafayette College.
Claire Zoellner, Ph.D., is Director of Data Science at iFoodDS, a leading provider of connected traceability, quality, and food safety solutions. She uses her expertise to lead innovation for data-driven decision-making in food safety and quality management solutions and collaborates with researchers in industry and academia on new decision-support tools for enterprise risk management. Claire has presented nationally and internationally on software, AI/ML, and predictive analytics for food safety and quality programs. She has published more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Claire holds a B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology with minors in Epidemiology and Systems Engineering from Cornell University.
The Future of AI and Advancing Food Safety & Quality Management
Artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities are rapidly advancing, driving efficiency across a wide range of sectors and business units, including food production, processing, distribution, and retail. This session will provide an update on the state of the art of AI/ML technology, examples of applications in food safety and quality management, and considerations for the future of fresh produce food safety and quality systems.
Kerry Bridges is the Vice President of Food Safety at Chipotle Mexican Grill. In her role, Kerry oversees food safety standards, quality assurance, and procedures.
Kerry joined Chipotle in January of 2019 and manages a team of individuals who are committed to enforcing Chipotle’s zero-tolerance policy and industry-leading processes, focusing on supply chain, in-restaurant practices, food prep, and employee training. Food safety is more than a collection of programs and processes; it’s part of Chipotle’s culture and is incorporated into all elements of the company’s business, from supply chain to day-to-day restaurant operations.
Prior to joining Chipotle, Kerry oversaw supplier food safety for the world’s largest food retailer, Wal-Mart, serving over 200 million customers around the world on a weekly basis. During her time at Wal-Mart, Kerry’s food safety oversight included tens of thousands of Wal Mart’s, Neighborhood Market’s, and Sam’s Clubs food suppliers, in addition to researching and assessing new and emerging food safety issues and handling regulatory compliance. Prior to Wal-Mart, Kerry’s food safety career also included roles with TESCO and Jack in the Box, Inc.
Kerry is a past president of the International Association for the Southern California Affiliate of Food Protection (IAFP) and former board member of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI). Kerry attended California Polytechnic State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Food Science.
Johnny McGuire is the Director of Information Technology for The Nunes Company, Inc. AKA Foxy Produce and he currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Producesupply.org, a consortium of some of North America's leading produce suppliers who are working to facilitate technology adoption in the produce supply chain. For almost 20 years, Johnny has worked at the forefront of produce traceability in a variety of technology-based roles including the early development of field-based labelling systems and item traceability.”
Director of Industry Relations, iFoodDS
Johnna Hepner has an extensive and diverse background with more than 30 years of experience in food safety, supply chain, and technology experience. Johnna currently works for iFoodDS as Director of Industry Relations and is responsible for developing relationships with industry partners and elevating awareness of digital transformation and technology adoption. Johnna spent ten years working at the Produce Marketing Association as Director of Food Safety and Technology providing technical expertise in the development of food safety education for small and local growers and well as representing the association to members, commodity groups, and allied industry organizations. Additionally, she focused on identifying new and emerging technologies for the fresh produce and floral industry. Prior to joining PMA, Johnna worked for Markon Cooperative Inc., Salinas, California, as food safety director. In this position, she forged extensive industry contacts while interacting with company suppliers and vendors to fulfill responsibilities that included setting, evaluating, and enforcing Markon’s food safety standards.
A recent graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Class 46, an advanced leadership development experience for emerging agricultural leaders. Johnna was one of 24 agricultural leaders to be selected to participate in the 17-month esteem program. Johnna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in food science with minors in nutrition and chemistry from California State University. A native Californian, Johnna resides in the rural town of Hollister with her husband and three daughters.
Joe Stout, Founder / Senior Advisor - Commercial Food Sanitation LLC
Joe Stout is known in the industry for his work in sanitation and hygienic design as the Director of Global Product Protection, Sanitation, and Hygienic Design for Kraft Foods. Joe was with Kraft for 30 years and during that time held a variety of positions in quality, and sanitation. While at Kraft in his Product Protection role, he had responsibility for global plant cleaning controls and processes, including allergen/pathogen control programs and pest control. Also in his scope was the responsibility for hygienic design for facilities and equipment used in Kraft plants to ensure the equipment and facilities were cleanable and effectively cleaned. He led the American Meat Institute's Equipment Design Task Force, which won the Industry Advancement Award. He is the Founder of the GMA Sanitary Design Working Group and developed the training course “Sanitary Design for Allergen & Pathogen Control for Low Moisture Foods. Recently he served as Vice Chair for the GFSI Hygienic Design Technical Working Group.
Following retirement from Kraft in 2010 Joe founded Commercial Food Sanitation (CFS) and began consulting for the food industry – essentially doing for the Food Industry what he did for Kraft. The company has grown to 40 members and has merged with the Intralox Company enabling a global presence. Commercial Food Sanitation offers Sanitation Essentials Training, Hygienic Design Training, and a Professional Course. Annually CFS trains up to 1200 students at training locations in New Orleans, Amsterdam, Shanghai & Brazil.
In partnership with QSRs, starting in 2013, Joe and CFS engaged with the Produce industry processing plants and recently with Harvest Equipment control with a focus on continuous improvement in preventive controls using the “Continuum” for sanitation and cross-contamination prevention. In 2019 he led the creation of the Harvest Forward initiative and its recent transition to an industry Coalition. The coalition is requesting company partners to commit to advancing Harvest Equipment Forward sanitation, design practices, and adoption of a culture of hygienic design and sanitation excellence for Harvest Equipment.
IAFP Recognized Joe with the Sanitarian of the Year award in 2015 and in 2020 again with the Food Safety Award in recognition of exceptional service to the profession of sanitarians and his contributions to Food Safety Research and Education.
In 2022 Food Safety Magazine awarded Joe with the Distinguished Service Award for his years of service in advancing food safety and quality in the food industry.