Gerald Wojtala Named Executive Director Of The International Food Protection Training Institute

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Gerald Wojtala, former Deputy Director of the Food Dairy Division with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, named Executive Director of the International Food Protection Training Institute.

The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) announced today that Gerald Wojtala has been named Executive Director effective April 1, 2010. Mr. Wojtala has served as IFPTI's Acting Executive Director since December 1, 2009. He will also continue as a member of the Board of Directors for IFPTI.

Mr. Wojtala joined IFPTI after a 26-year career with the State of Michigan. In his most recent position as Deputy Director of the Food Dairy Division with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, he managed the food protection programs in Michigan and was responsible for liaison with lawmakers on legislative issues. Mr. Wojtala is also the recent past President of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), an international non-profit organization recognized as a leading voice in shaping the regulatory playing field of the future. He is also a current lead instructor with the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education at Louisiana State University.

"I have been fortunate to spend much of my career working on protecting the food supply and I am grateful to have the opportunity to use that experience to lead IFPTI through the next critical phase of its growth and development," said Wojtala.

Prior to government service, Mr. Wojtala worked as a microbiologist in Detroit. He is a long standing member of the Institute of Food Technologists and a delegate to the Conference on Food Protection. Mr. Wojtala received the FDA Commissioner's Special Citation for his role in investigating an outbreak of Hepatitis A among school children from the consumption of strawberries and also for managing the response to the Power Blackout of 2003 that occurred in the N.E. United States. He has worked with Michigan's apple industry in efforts to implement safe cider production practices and with the Michigan food processing industry on process water discharge issues. Mr. Wojtala recently coordinated a multi-agency, four-state effort to assess food safety transportation practices and response. Mr. Wojtala holds a degree in microbiology from Eastern Michigan University and graduate work in food science at Wayne State University.

About IFPTI
The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization delivering career-spanning food protection training for state and local food protection professionals to assure competency and equivalency in meeting established U.S. federal food safety standards. Working in partnership with the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the Institute seeks to protect the public's health by working with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial food protection officials in the creation of an integrated national food protection system that ensures the safety of the U.S. food supply. IFPTI training programs are delivered at the Kendall Center through a partnership with Western Michigan University. Initial funding for IFPTI has been provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.ifpti.org.

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