Speakers 2018-05-03T08:44:31+00:00

Each year the Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference strives to provide a lineup of the most relevant speakers to bring you the most current information, constructive workshops and timely presentations regarding food safety in the Rocky Mountain Region

2018 Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference Speakers

Patrick Quade
Patrick QuadeFounder & CEO, iwaspoinsoned.com
Patrick Quade is the founder and CEO of Dinesafe.org & Iwaspoisoned.com. These platforms are designed to identify food safety issues early and catch outbreaks in real time. Patrick gained his analytical skills working on Wall Street and uses them today to improve Dinesafe.org & Iwaspoisoned.com for the benefit of consumers, public health, and industry.
Dr. Anne StrailyCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
Anne Straily, DVM, MPH, DACVPM is a veterinary medical officer with CDC’s Center for Global Health, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Parasitic Diseases Branch. In her current position, she is the lead epidemiologist for foodborne parasitic diseases, including cyclosporiasis and toxoplasmosis. Her work at CDC also focuses on the epidemiology, control, and prevention of non-foodborne parasitic diseases like Chagas and schistosomiasis, among others. Anne first came to CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer assigned to the Rickettsial Zoonosis Branch. Prior to joining CDC, she was an infectious diseases epidemiologist at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and a public health officer in the US Air Force (Reserves). Anne completed her undergraduate degree and veterinary training at Kansas State University, and her graduate degree in public health at the University of Kansas. She is board certified in veterinary preventive medicine and public health.
Terry Moran
Terry MoranColorado Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry
Terry has worked for the Colorado Department of Agriculture in the newly created position of Industrial Hemp Certified Seed Specialist since December of 2015.
He has a BS in Agronomy from Colorado State University, 1985 and has been a career Seedsman as a: Plant Breeder, Assistant Plant Breeder, Product Manager, and Purity & Multiplication Manager.
The majority of his career was spent in the vegetable seed industry breeding sweet corn, with additional roles working with: strawberries, tomatoes and small grains in CO, CA, ID and FL.
Former employers include: Limagrain Vegetables, Driscoll’s Strawberry Associates, Centest, Mesa Maize, Busch Ag, Sunseeds, NAPB and the University of CA, at Riverside.
Cristy DiceColorado Department of Agriculture
Cristy Dice is the Produce Safety Rule Program Manager for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, working under the FSMA Project Director, Steve Bornmann. Her role is to implement the Produce Safety Rule in Colorado by developing policies, goals, objectives and strategies for the program. She works closely with CSU Extension, grower organizations, and other states to create a program that is uniform and consistent with other programs in the nation and meets the needs of Colorado produce growers.
Karla WorfKing Soopers/City Market and Kroger
Started with King Soopers in 2003 after graduating from college at Marshall University in West Virginia. First Management Role with Kings Soopers was Assistant Deli Manger. I have held the positions of Deli Manager, Assistant Store Manager, Loyalty Manager, and most currently Expense Sanitation Sustainability (ESS) Manager for all 153 stores throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Lane Drager
Lane DragerBoulder County Public Health
Lane Drager works for Boulder County Public Health and serves as the Consumer Protection Program Coordinator overseeing the Food Safety, Body Art, and Vector programs in the environmental health division. Lane is on the executive committee of the Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence. Lane serves as a member of the Jefferson County Board of Health.
Dr. Ruth EdenBioExpert
Dr. Ruth Eden, President of BioExpert, has dedicated her career to the development of new microbiological product and their commercialization. Ruth has developed numerous methods, systems and devices in microbiology that streamline procedures, minimize sample preparation, reduces time to results; provide automation and real time communication for faster and easier microbiological testing. Dr. Eden earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in food microbiology and biotechnology with a bachelor degree in chemical and food engineering from Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Technion City, Israel. In the past year she has dedicated her time to the http://ask-bioexpert.com/ website that serves the food safety community. This is a new interactive forum for the discussion of topics facing the food safety community.
Chantell BassettKing Soopers/City Market and Kroger
Chantell is the Expense, Sanitation, and Sustainability Assistant for King Soopers and City Market. Since the inception of a composting program in 2012, King Soopers and City Market have diverted 42.9 million pounds of compost from the landfill. King Soopers and City Market currently has a successful sustainability program and is looking forward to expanding the program in years to come.
Devin KoontzFood and Drug Administration
Devin Koontz, Lead Health Communications Specialist (Denver, CO) Mr. Koontz leads the team of FDA’s professional communicators representing the agency in the western half of the United States. This team works closely with the media, government partners, industry associations, academia and community based organizations to promote compliance with FDA regulations and ensure safe usage of FDA regulated products. Devin returned to the FDA in 2015 after having served as the public affairs director for the USDA/Food and Nutrition Service, Mountain Plains Regional Office, for the previous two years. In that capacity he led a team of public affairs professionals responsible for media relations, public relations, and event planning for ten states in the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains regions. From 1998-2013 he was the public affairs specialist for FDA’s Denver District Office and before that held several other positions in DEN-DO compliance branch beginning in 1991. Devin earned a Bachelor of Organizational Communications from the Metropolitan State College of Denver. He does not generally write about or refer to himself in the third person, but in this case he will make an exception.
Hamish WalkerSeattle Fish Company
Hamish is the Chief Operating Officer at the Seattle Fish Company, a 100 year old Denver based distributor of fresh fish and gourmet products.
Karen Fifield
Karen FifieldMichigan State University Extension
Karen has worked for Michigan State University Extension for 20 years. She has had a variety of assignments within Extension. For the last six years she works in the area of Food Safety. As a life long learner she earned her Masters degree from Michigan State University in 2012 with a focus on Clinical Social Work. She feels this provides her with tools to better work with people in all areas of life. Karen’s personal life brings a lifetime of food preservation and safe food practices with agriculture. Karen’s experiences on the farm begins as a child growing up on a small farm, milking cows as a first job and then continued when she married a farmer. She has been married for 37 years to James Fifield and together they own a beef farm in Northern Michigan. They have raised three adult children on their farm and are blessed with three grandson’s, which bring them great happiness. She believes that the simple things in life can bring the most happiness. Her philosophy is; the best way to avoid a food borne illness it to simply, wash your hands!
Hunter BuffingtonColorado Hemp Industries Association
Hunter Buffington is the Executive Director of the Colorado Hemp Industries Association. She has been working with municipal and state based organizations to achieve sustainable development that includes economic, environmental and social benefits for over a decade. Hunter is excited to work to build the industrial hemp movement with a focus on supporting entrepreneurs and farmers while bringing new markets and technologies to fruition. As Executive Director she works for the members of COHIA to give them a voice in the future of hemp. “I believe by celebrating enterprise, capitalizing relationships and working together we can change the world. Industrial Hemp is the realization of that opportunity.”
Derek BoerColorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Derek is a Pollution Prevention (P2) Specialist in the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Derek provides P2 technical assistance to businesses, outreach and training to industry, and promotes P2 and sustainability through regional and statewide networks. Derek has a B.A. from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver.
Jeff LawrenceColorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Jeff Lawrence is the Division Director for the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Jeff has been with the department for over 25 years and has worked in a served in a variety of roles and in his current role for 9 years. Jeff has a Bachelors of Science from Colorado State University in Microbiology and a Bachelors of Sciences in Environmental Health.
Jon Strauss
Jon StraussColorado Department of Public Health and Environment
During my career with the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability I have been involved in all aspects of field investigation. I have training and advanced field experience in GMPs, Juice HACCP, Seafood HACCP, acidified foods, and am also a Certified Shellfish Standardization Officer. I have over 18 years of experience with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and I became the State Manufactured Food Program and Recall Coordinator in 2015. My job duties include providing training to and assessing program staff; conducting industry inspections, training and outreach; and developing program policy. When I’m not working I can be found close to my wife Renee and son Michael, usually in the kitchen or volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America.
Therese Pilonetti
Therese PilonettiColorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Therese Pilonetti is a graduate of Colorado State University’s Environmental Health program. She is a unit manager in the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability within the Colorado Department of Public & Health Environment. She oversees the statewide child care and school inspection programs and has over 20 year of experience in public health and food safety. Ms. Pilonetti is the principal manager for the food safety in long-term care study and the primary author of the final report. She is passionate about protecting vulnerable populations from preventable communicable illnesses. In her free time, Ms. Pilonetti enjoys traveling and volunteering abroad.
Maggie Staab
Maggie StaabDenver Public Health and Environment
Maggie Staab is a Program Supervisor for the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, Public Health Inspections Division in the Food Safety and Marijuana Program. She attended the University of Denver and obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Hospitality Management. Prior to becoming a supervisor, she was the lead food truck investigator for approximately two years and has been with the Department for nearly three and a half years. She is excited about empowering Denver’s communities to live better, longer.
Grace NelsonDenver Public Health and Environment
Grace Nelson is a program supervisor for the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, Public Health Inspections Division in the Food Safety and Marijuana Program. She has been with the City for 3 and a half years. She received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language Studies from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She has a passion for education and working with her team to make Denver a world class city.
Gina Bare
Gina BareBoulder County Public Health
Gina Bare is a registered nurse and environmental health specialist with over 20 years of experience. She currently is the food safety team lead for Boulder County Public Health’s Food Safety Program, which was awarded the 2017 Crumbine Award. Ms. Bare currently sits on the National Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response with other food safety experts from across the nation. She also was awarded the 2014 Colorado Environmental Health Association Innovation Award.
Shawna Johnson
Shawna JohnsonBoulder County Public Health
Shawna Johnson has a Master’s degree in Public Health and works for Boulder County Public Health as a food safety specialist. She enjoys using her diverse background in veterinary medicine, research and public health to educate consumers and the restaurant industry about food safety and how to prevent foodborne illness. She is also a huge Rockies fan. Go Rockies!
Kara LavauxDenver Public Health and Environment
Kara Lavaux is a Food Safety and Marijuana Supervisor in the Public Health Inspections Division at the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment. She has been with the city for almost four years, and has spent much of that time with a focus on marijuana and hemp regulation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from Colorado State University and has spent her career working in Colorado health departments in the area of food safety.
Natasha Rowley-Phipps
Natasha Rowley-PhippsQuality Food Management
Natasha Rowley-Phipps has more than 20 years of experience in food quality, nutrition labeling, manufacturing and research. Natasha graduated from Kansas State University receiving her B.S. in Bakery Science Management with further studies in a master’s program of Cereal Chemistry. Early in her career she held positions within the USDA Grain Marketing Research Center and AIB International, collecting and analyzing research data. Her career focus then progressed into restaurant quality assurance with several top quick service restaurant chains. During this time her primary responsibilities were nutrition labeling, vendor audit programs, and restaurant food safety management. After this she took a position within manufacturing quality with a top gluten free producer of baked products. Her responsibilities within this role included retail product labeling, developing all quality and safety programs, analytical laboratory management, and sanitation program management. Natasha is now a consultant providing services to food manufacturers, retailers, and brand owners in all areas of food safety, quality and regulatory compliance.
Troy HuffmanColorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Troy joined the State of Colorado 2 1/2 years ago from the State Health Department in Nebraska. 24 years with the State of Nebraska set the foundation for Troy to coordinate and manage the retail food program for Colorado. Over the past year CDPHE, through the stakeholder process, has adopted the nation FDA Retail Food Model Code. With a January 1, 2019 implementation date. Troy’s team has initiated a process to transition the retail food operators over the next year to the new code. Through multiple outreach opportunities the Department will be messaging the changes to all of our stakeholders.
Thuy Vu
Thuy VuThuy Vu Consulting, LLC
Thuy is the Founder and CEO of Thuy Vu Consulting, a consulting firm committed to training and educating industry and government agencies on the food safety and life safety concerns of marijuana and industrial hemp operations, in efforts to promote public health and public safety. Thuy earned her Bachelor of Sciences in Microbiology from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY and holds certifications as a Preventative Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI), ServSafe Food Protection Manager, ServSafe Instructor and ServSafe Proctor. She was employed by Denver Environmental Health Public Health Inspections Division as the lead foodborne illness, foodborne illness outbreak, and marijuana investigator for the City and County of Denver for five years. Following Colorado marijuana legalization in 2010, Thuy spearheaded inspections, investigations, and enforcement of the burgeoning marijuana industry, issuing the first five food safety recalls of marijuana infused products and leading the first foodborne illness outbreak investigation of a licensed marijuana operation in the nation. As an Environmental Public Health Investigator, Thuy promoted interagency collaboration by working with Denver Fire Department, Denver Public Health, Denver Police Department Vice and Drug Bureau, and the Colorado Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division. Thuy went on to work in the marijuana and industrial hemp industries specializing in solvent and solventless extractions; post-extraction processing and refinement; concentrate and infused products manufacturing; new product development; packaging and labeling; inventory tracking; and compliance. Thuy oversaw the product research and development of marijuana concentrates and infused edibles for Leafs By Snoop, the first commercial celebrity cannabis product line. Thuy consulted with the Denver Fire Department, resulting in the hazardous location classification requirements for Class I Division I and Class I Division 2 Extraction Rooms in the City and County of Denver in 2015, helping set the precedent for the rest of the nation. Currently, Thuy works closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability following the announcement of their new Industrial Hemp Policy in July of 2017 and has connected the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division with key agencies concerning VOCs released during cannabis extraction and post-extraction processing operations. In October 2017, Thuy successfully petitioned for rezoning approval of the first industrial hemp extraction operation in Colorado. Thuy sits on the cannabis planning committees for the Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference (RMFSC), Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), and Western Association of Food and Drug Officials (WAFDO). She has presented at numerous food safety conferences, the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council (ICC), and at the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). Thuy has also conducted marijuana training for the Alaska Division of Environmental Health Food Safety and Sanitation Program, the Hawaii Department of Health Sanitation, Food and Drug Branch and the Louisiana Department of Health.