New Advisors Join University of Minnesota’s Innovative Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program

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Three New Food System Industry Experts Added to the IFSL Graduate Certificate Program

"It’s important to me that future leaders understand how critical it is to provide safe food to billions throughout the world, which is why I’m thrilled to be part of this innovative program,” said Jared Willbergh, Director of Food Safety at Specialty’s Café & Bakery.

The University of Minnesota’s Integrated Food Systems Leadership (IFSL) program is pleased to announce the addition of three new food system industry experts to its roster of cross-disciplinary advisors who provide insight, guidance and support for the program, as well as cohort mentoring.

Designed for working food professionals, the IFSL graduate certificate program expands emerging food system leaders’ knowledge, and exposes them to new and different approaches that help them be more effective in their professions and enables them to have a greater impact on helping address overall food system challenges.

The IFSL program has a robust roster of cross-disciplinary advisors as well as professors from three of the University of Minnesota’s colleges – the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, the School of Public Health, and the College of Veterinary Medicine – have collaborated to form this unique program, providing a multifaceted and robust learning opportunity for its participants.

The newest IFSL program advisors include:

  • Keith Cole, Vice President of Sales, CMX Technology
  • Jeanine Flaherty, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance, Legal Sea Foods
  • Jared Willbergh, Director of Food Safety at Specialty’s Café & Bakery

"It’s important to me that future leaders understand how critical it is to provide safe food to billions throughout the world, which is why I’m thrilled to be part of this innovative program,” said Jared Willbergh, Director of Food Safety at Specialty’s Café & Bakery. “I’m excited to play a role in the IFSL program that will open up new perspectives for the cohort, showing them how their expanded knowledge and leadership skills will have an impact on helping address the challenges in our food system, and in turn, advance their careers.”

“Throughout my career, I’ve learned the importance of working across teams and with a variety of industry stakeholders to ensure safe and clean food is delivered,” said Jeanine Flaherty, VP of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance, Legal Sea Foods. “I’m passionate about breaking down silos within our food system, so I’m excited to share the knowledge and skills I’ve gained with future leaders.”

“For twenty-five years, I’ve had a rewarding career working extensively with the world’s largest food producers, growers, and retailers,” said Keith Cole, VP of Sales, CMX Technology. “I look forward to giving back to the food industry, and helping the IFSL program grow their participants knowledge and understanding of the impact sales, marketing and technologies have on our food system. “

The growing list of industry experts from top food and beverage companies involved in the IFSL program include:

  • Dan Belina, Senior Scientist, Land O’ Lakes
  • Courtney Bidney, Director, Global Regulatory Affairs & International Nutrition, General Mills
  • Keith Cole, Vice President of Sales, CMX Technology
  • Jeanine Flaherty, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance, Legal Sea Foods
  • Rolando Gonzalez, Vice President of Public Health, The Acheson Group
  • Gabe Gusmini, President & CEO, The Plant Pathways Company
  • Nicole Neeser, Division Director Dairy and Meat Inspection, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Tamara Nelsen, Executive Director, AgriGrowth
  • Melanie Neumann, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Matrix Sciences
  • Steve Olson, Food System Strategist
  • Ruth Petran, Vice President Food Safety and Public Health, Ecolab
  • Joe Scimeca, Senior Vice President & Scientific Affairs, International Dairy Foods Association
  • Matt Surdick, Safety Manager, CHS, Inc.
  • Jared Willbergh, Director of Food Safety at Specialty’s Café & Bakery

“We are grateful for the role and contributions of our IFSL industry advisors, in both shaping the program curriculum and contributing to the growth and mentorship of our cohort,” said Dr. Jennifer van de Ligt, IFSL program Director. “We are delighted to welcome the newest industry advisors, as they bring additional expertise and roles to our advisor community.”

Applications are now being accepted for the next cohort that begins in September 2020. The IFSL 13-month program is primarily online with leadership sessions on-campus at the beginning and end of the program.

About the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program

Delivering a comprehensive and actionable educational experience, the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program (IFSL) broadens the knowledge and understanding of the global food supply chain and interdependencies across the food system, while promoting critical thinking and problem solving across disciplines. IFSL is a Post-Baccalaureate Regents Certificate program designed for working professionals and bridges the gap between traditional food system education and a professional leadership program.

For more information, visit https://ifsl.umn.edu/.

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