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Joseph Baumert, Ph.D., Co-Director, Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Joe L. Baumert, Ph.D., currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science & Technology and Co-Director of the Food Allergy Research & Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska. Dr. Baumert received his Ph.D. in food science and technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln specializing in food allergy research in association with the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program.  He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Animal Science at the University of Nebraska specializing in Meat Science and Muscle Biology.

Dr. Baumert maintains active national and international research and extension programs. His research interests include identification and characterization of novel food allergens, examination of the digestive stability of major food allergens, development and improvement of analytical methods for detection of allergenic food proteins, and development of quantitative risk assessment models for food allergens. Extension activities include outreach and training for food industry on allergen control solutions and processing plant sanitation, expert consultation to help minimize the risk of allergen cross-contact, and quantitative risk assessment consultation.


James Garriss, Editor, The Browning World Climate Bulletin
James Garriss began his career with The Browning Newsletter when he was four years old, photocopying jet stream maps from the stacks of various University libraries. He now has over 15 years of experience in climatological consulting. He was a partner for over 8 years and is now a co-owner and CEO of Browning Media LLC. As third generation, James is producing new services to provide accurate climatological projections for a myriad of U.S. and international regions and industries. Today, James is bringing a fresh international economic perspective of weather and climate and its impact around the globe.
Todd Hale, Principal, TODD HALE, LLC

Todd Hale, former Senior Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Insights with Nielsen, is a frequently sought-after industry and client speaker. Todd earned an MBA and a BS in Business from Wright State University. Todd shares his insights on consumer shopping, buying and media consumption behaviors and attitudes to provide manufacturers and retailers with strategic visions to facilitate brand, category and retail sales growth. Todd has more than 40 years of experience in the consumer research industry, including 30 years with Nielsen, where he held various marketing and sales management positions within advertising/product testing, advanced analytics and consumer panel practice areas.

At the 2019 Annual Meeting, Todd will be discussing the ways that economic, demographic, competitive, and other influencers have created fundamental changes in the way retailers and manufacturers responded to shopper demand over the past several years. The retail environment continues to evolve, yielding growth for some, but not all. This presentation explores growth drivers and disruptors which should matter to you today and tomorrow.

Gary Kushner, Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP
Gary Kushner has served as the National Pasta Association’s legal counsel for over 40 years. At the 2019 Annual Meeting, Gary will be speaking about the following: As the Trump Administration begins the second half of its term, and with a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and Republican-controlled Senate, the political dynamics will be much different from the Administration’s first two years. As they anticipate the 2020 elections, both the Administration and Congress will need to demonstrate meaningful progress on significant public policy goals in the legislative and regulatory arena. This will continue to be challenging especially with a split Congress, potentially in an increasingly contentious environment. Gary’s presentation will review the 2018 midterms, make-up of the 2019 Congress, and summarize key legislative and regulatory initiatives affecting the food industry.
Dr. Craig F. Morris, Director, ARS Western Wheat Quality Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Dr. Craig Morris is Director of the US Dept. of Agriculture’s ARS Western Wheat Quality Laboratory housed at Washington State University, in Pullman, WA. Dr. Morris is a leader and recognized international expert in the field of wheat grain quality, breeding and genetics. Dr. Morris directs the milling and baking evaluation of ~5,000 experimental wheat breeding lines each year, conducts research on the genetic improvement of wheat grain and flour, and develops and transfers technology. He is Chair and co-founder, Pacific Northwest Wheat Quality Council. Among other distinctions, he is also is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Cereal Chemistry, and Fellow & Past Director, AACC International. Dr. Morris holds five patents and has authored more than 215 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has a Ph.D. from Kansas State University.

Jim Peterson, Marketing Director, North Dakota Wheat Commission

Jim Peterson is the North Dakota Wheat Commission's marketing director. He assists with three major program areas: export marketing, trade policy and issues, and research/customer service. Peterson's specific responsibilities include foreign customer service, gathering and analyzing market information, and evaluating transportation issues affecting North Dakota wheat producers. He also studies U.S. domestic and export programs as well as trade agreements related to wheat. Peterson presents programs to wheat producers and customers on spring wheat and durum use, their economic and quality advantages, and supply and demand outlook. He is also involved with efforts to maintain and enhance the quality of U.S. wheat by serving on the Wheat Quality Council's Spring Wheat Committee and U.S. Wheat Associates' Wheat Quality Committee. Peterson joined the Commission as a marketing specialist in 1991 and assumed the duties of marketing director in 1998. Earlier in his career, Peterson was a grain merchandiser for Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Decatur, Ill. He worked with corn and soybean purchasing at an Illinois river terminal and with canola in Velva, N.D. Peterson is a graduate of North Dakota State University with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics. He grew up on a farm near Makoti, N.D., where he continues to be involved in the family's small grain, sheep and beef cattle operation.

Janice M.W. Rueda, Ph.D.,  Director, Research and Business Development, Archer Daniels Midland Company

Dr. Janice Rueda holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition and Food Science, and she has worked extensively in child nutrition research, program evaluation and nutrition policy. Dr. Rueda’s primary role at ADM is to develop global markets for beans and specialty ingredients, and she also works to develop policy initiatives and research programs aimed at increasing the availability of novel healthy foods and ingredients in the global food supply.


Alexandra Smith-Ozerkis, Senior Account Supervisor, Public Relations, Kellen Communications

Alexandra Smith-Ozerkis brings over 17 years of experience in public relations and marketing with knowledge in a wide range of sectors, both corporate and nonprofit, and a strong background in food and nutrition communications. At Kellen, Alex has overseen the marketing and communications efforts for NPA since 2009, including the association's hosting of World Pasta Day in New York City, and design and execution of the Pasta Fits program which launched in 2011. Alex holds a  B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and serves as a Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador. She has lectured on the topic of public relations at the National Society of Association Executives, New York Women in Communications, Fashion Institute of Technology, and The New School in New York City. She is also a pasta-lover who comes from a long line of Italian home cooks!



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