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Speaker Biographies

Return to April, 2021 FPTF Agenda

Kimberly Stryker

Program Manager, Food Safety and Sanitation Program, Division of Environmental Health

Kimberly Stryker is the manager for the Alaska Food Safety & Sanitation program. Alaska’s program is responsible for food safety and sanitation oversight for a wide range of activities, including molluscan shellfish, retail and food service, manufactured food, pools and spas, and body art shops. Kim has been with the program for the past 22 years, managing it for the past 10.

Contact: kimberly.stryker@alaska.gov

Miriam Burbach

District Director Seattle District and Program Division Director of the Office of Human and Animal Foods- Division 6 West U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Miriam R. Burbach is the Director, FDA’s Seattle District Office, in charge of field operations. Her responsibilities include providing executive leadership, and implementing, managing and evaluating FDA's regulatory operations within the District which is comprised of the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington; and providing the Executive leadership and technical direction to staff in the execution of investigations, inspections, enforcement and compliance programs. Since the implementation of the Office of Regulatory Affairs’ Program Alignment initiative on May 15, 2017, she is also the Program Division Director where she oversees direction and coordination of FDA investigational and compliance activities for the Human and Animal Food Programs. There are 13 FDA offices and one FDA Laboratory located in the five-state area. Prior to these appointments she was the Compliance Director, in FDA’s Seattle District Office from 2009-2014, where her responsibilities included providing leadership to the global operations compliance staff. Ms. Burbach implemented, managed and evaluated FDA's compliance operations. She provided leadership and technical assistance to compliance staff in the execution of enforcement and compliance programs. Prior to obtaining her position as the Seattle District Compliance Director, Ms. Burbach was the Federal-State Program Director for Seattle District, from 2004 – 2009, coordinating state work and emergency response work in the five state area. She was also a Compliance Officer with the FDA Office of Enforcement, Division of Case Management From 2000 – 2004, providing compliance and regulatory guidance to Team Biologics investigators, reviewing inspectional casework of vaccine, allergenic, therapeutic drug, viral marker test kits, plasma derivatives manufacturers. She was also a supervisor in the Seattle Distinct Investigations Branch from 1990 – 2000, and an investigator in San Francisco District and Seattle District from 1983 – 1988. Ms. Burbach has served on several committees within FDA including the Center for Veterinary Medicine field committee, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) working groups, the Pacific Region import work group, the FSMA Preventive Controls for Food and Feeds work group, the Program Alignment food/feed Action Plan Negotiation Team and the Advisory Council for FDA State Liaisons. She is the recipient of the 2019 Orien J. Wiermann Award for her dedicated service and enduring support to the Western Association of Food and Drug Officials. Ms. Burbach holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Contact: miriam.burbach@fda.hhs.gov

Claudia Coles

President, Seafood Products Association

Claudia Coles is President of the Seafood Products Association (SPA) located in Seattle, Washington. SPA provides regulatory and scientific technical assistance to the Seafood and Food Processing Industry.

Claudia retired from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) after 35 years of public service in 2018. During her time with WSDA she served as the Policy & External Affairs Advisor, Compliance Officer, Food Safety Program Manager, Field Inspector and Food Microbiologist . Claudia was responsible for bringing several FDA cooperative agreement projects to WSDA such as the Produce Safety Cooperative Agreement, the Rapid Response Team Cooperative Agreement, the Manufactured Foods Regulatory Program Cooperative Agreement, Recall Coordinator Cooperative Agreement as well as a variety of USDA grant projects.

Claudia is a member of several National Food Safety Committees such as the Association of Food and Drug Officials where she was the 2012-2013 President, the Food Safety Preventive Control Alliance (FSPCA) where she is part of the Trainer of Trainer Workgroup and the Seafood HACCP Alliance (SHA) Executive Board. As a State Regulator she participated on the Partnership for Food Protection (PFP) Governance Council, the National Conference of Interstate Milk Shippers and held a variety of board positions on Regional and National Food Safety Associations. Claudia is also a Past President of Western Association of Food and Drug Officials (WAFDO) the National Association of Dairy Regulatory Officials (NADRO) and the Puget Sound Institute of Food Technologists (PSIFT).

Claudia received five awards from the Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration for her consistent leadership in food safety, Seafood HACCP, Botulism Recall Team, Interstate Milk Shippers Conference committees such as Dairy HACCP and the International Certification Pilot Program, training teams, and promoting state and federal partnerships.

Claudia earned her Bachelor of Science in Food Science from North Dakota State University and she is a Class 14 graduate of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program.

Contact: ccoles@spa-food.org

Virginia Ng

Director of Regulations and Food Processing, Seafood Products Association

Virginia Ng is the Director of Regulations and Food Processing at the Seafood Products Association (SPA) where she provides support to the seafood industry in regulatory compliance, training support, audit assistance, and sensory analysis. Prior to her position at SPA, Virginia did her graduate studies at California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, where she researched toxin production of Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium commonly found in canned products. With her background in microbiology, Virginia is always on the look-out for new technologies and practices to minimize and control pathogens in food. Virginia is part of the Institute of Food Technologists’ 2021 Emerging Leaders Network and looks forward to providing mentorship and collaboration wherever possible. She is an avid cook, enjoys the extra dose of cosmic radiation that comes with flying, and loves cats (even though she’s allergic to them).

Contact: vng@spa-food.org

Kevin Graham

Area Manager, Wesmar Company, Inc.

Kevin Graham is a rep for the Wesmar Company, specializing is seafood plant sanitation. Kevin's first seafood experience was as a deckhand in Bristol Bay at 14 years old. Some years later, he is able to bring a lot of experience, with a passion for teaching, to clients seeking to provide the safest and highest quality seafood to their customers. Kevin believes production starts with sanitation, and that sanitation comes from using the correct products, correctly.

Contact: keving@wemarcompany.com

Donald Jones

Area Manager, Wesmar Company, Inc

  • Area Sales Manager - Idaho at Wesmar Company
  • B.S. in EDCI from Texas A&M University.
  • 9 years in the food processing industry. Held manufacturing and operations management positions at Pepsi/Frito Lay, Stroh Brewery and Anheuser Bush Brewery.
  • 31 years in the food plant sanitation and specialty chemical industry and chemical equipment industry servicing the food and beverage and dairy processing markets.

Don has taught classes in Basic Cleaning and Sanitation, Basic Sanitizers, Chemical Safety, Chemical Testing, Sanitary Design, SSOP Documentation and Basic CIP / COP to major food manufacturers. Don has also presented at the following organization’s training programs:

  • NW Food Safety and Sanitation Workshop (Co-Sponsors: WSU, OSU, and U of I)
  • Washington State University: Food Safety and Sanitation Workshops
  • Penn State University: Food Plant Sanitation Workshop
  • Oregon State University: Food Safety and Sanitation Workshops
  • University of Idaho: HACCP Certification Course and Sanitation Workshops
  • Seafood HACCP Certified from University of Alaska / Cornell University

Contact: djones@wemarcompany.com

Dr. Jennifer McEntire

Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Technology, United Fresh Produce Association

Jennifer McEntire, PhD, is Senior Vice President of Food Safety at United Fresh Produce Association. A food microbiologist by background, she has worked in the Washington, DC area for 20 years, bringing the scientific perspective to food safety regulatory issues. She was previously Vice President of Science Operations at the Grocery Manufacturers Association. She has also had roles as VP and Chief Science Officer at The Acheson Group and as the Senior Staff Scientist and Director of Science & Technology Projects at the Institute of Food Technologists. 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. She serves as an advisory board member of the Global Food Traceability Center, on the technical committee of the Center for Produce Safety, and was the 2020 recipient of the NSF International Food Safety Leadership Award.

Contact: jmcentire@unitedfresh.org

Jeff Weier

Technical Director, Sprague Pest Solutions

Jeff Weier has worked in the pest control industry since 1973. In 2020, he retired from the position of Director of Technical Services for Sprague Pest Solutions based in Tacoma, Washington. Jeff is now working as a consultant to Sprague, the Pest Control and food processing industries.

Jeff has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Loyola University of Chicago and a Master of Science degree from Northwestern University. Jeff is Board Certified Entomologist. He holds pest control licenses and/or certifications in eight States

Jeff has extensive experience working with rodents, bedbugs, stored product insects, fumigation, pheromones and food plant sanitation. Jeff has developed and implemented numerous innovative pest management tools including precision targeting, mating disruption and Integrated Pest Prevention.

Jeff has authored multiple articles in numerous publications as well as chapters in several books including the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control and the PCT Guide to Commercial Pest Management.

Contact: jweier@spraguepest.com

Alyssa Rodrigues

Director, Alaska MEP Center

Dr. Alyssa Rodrigues has over a decade of experience with Alaska's economy as a research economist and economic developer. In her most recent role as the Development Manager for the State of Alaska, she managed the implementation of the Statewide Comprehensive Development Strategy. Dr. Rodrigues has a BA in Forest Management and a Masters in Forest Economics from Oregon State University and a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Economics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Dr. Rodrigues wants to be a resource for manufacturers to improve their businesses; whether that be decreasing costs, increasing sales, or providing classes for manufacturers to work internally with a group to problem-solve and relate to one another. She is excited to partner across the state to tackle challenges and capitalize on opportunities in Alaska's manufacturing industry.

Contact: avshanks01@alaska.edu

Sami Jo Lewis

Client Services Manager, Alaska MEP Center

Born and raised in Palmer, Lewis graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications and a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. After graduation, she honed her client management skills as an account coordinator for a local public relations agency before joining the Alaska MEP team.

Lewis plays a vital role in assisting local manufacturers to improve their business, decrease costs, increase sales, and build relationships to help advance Alaska’s manufacturing industry. She is eager to utilize her experience in strategic communications and public relations to assist in developing the MEP to grow and diversify Alaska’s economy.

Contact: sjbailey4@alaska.edu

Chris Sannito

Seafood Technology Specialist, Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center

Sannito has over 25 years of experience in the Alaska seafood industry. In 1995 he earned a Master of Science degree in Food Science from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a Fulbright scholar and completed a research project on the post-harvest handling techniques of sashimi tuna from Fiji. In 2003, he founded the Kodiak Seafood Laboratory, Inc., which provides analytical and environmental services for Alaskan seafood processors. Sannito has been involved in numerous primary and value added seafood processing ventures across Alaska with both large and small companies.

Sannito’s years of experience and expertise in the Alaska seafood industry plays a significant role in providing clients with specialty services including seafood HACCP training, food production development assistance and beyond.

Contact: csannito@alaska.edu

Dr. Brian Himelbloom, PhD, CFS

Retired, Associate Professor of Seafood Microbiology, Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center

Education

  • PhD, Food Science (Microbiology minor). 1985. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
  • M.S., Food Science. 1980. Louisiana State University. Baton Rouge, LA
  • B.S., Biology. 1978. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
  • A.S., Biology. 1976. College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL

Experience and Accomplishments

  • UAF-CFOS-KSMSC Associate Professor of Seafood Microbiology. 1987-2017 (retired in 2017)
  • Sabbatical in Seafood Microbiology. 1999. Dept. Seafood Research, Danish Technical University, Lyngby, DK
  • Postdoctorate. 1985-1987. Dept. Microbiology, Univ. Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
  • Certified Food Scientist (since March 2014)
  • Food Processing Authority in Alaska (since November 2015)
  • Lead Instructor, FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food (since July 2016)
  • Smoked Seafood School, Guest Lecturer (2014 – present)
  • Trainer, Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (since February 2020)
  • Trainer, Seafood Sanitation Control Procedures (since February 2020)
  • 38 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 book chapters, 3 agency reports, 17 proceedings, 92 conference abstracts
  • 3 M.S. students supervised or co-supervised, served on 8 other graduate committees, taught or co-taught in 3 undergraduate courses and 6 graduate courses, co-taught in 7 non-credit workshops

Contact: bhhimelbloom@alaska.edu

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