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2019 Speakers

Meet the expert speakers who presented thought-provoking content at Food Contact Conference 2019.

  • Melanie Abley MS, PhD

    Deputy Director Risk Management and Innovations Staff Office of Policy and Program Development USDA

    Dr. Abley joined USDA FSIS as an Enforcement and Investigations and Analysis Officer and later joined the Office of Policy and Program Development Staff within USDA FSIS. Dr. Abley is currently the Deputy Director of the Risk Management and Innovations Staff.   Dr. Abley has been working in the field of foodborne pathogens for a total of 12 years and for the past 6 years she has been working in the regulatory food safety field.

  • Doug Baker

    Vice President Industry Relations Food Marketing Institute

    Doug Baker is a food retail industry relations vice president for the Food Marketing Institute where he facilitates professional, non-competitive collaboration among member communities across private brands, technology  and asset protection issue areas.

    In addition to his oversight of the private brands council and their efficiency-driven initiatives to encourage brand owner innovation, Doug also leads FMI’s CIO Technology Board, Asset Protection Council, and joint industry initiatives, SmartLabel and Information Accuracy. Prior to FMI, Doug began his career in the food retail industry in 1984 with Fry’s Food Stores. His 30+ years in food retail have included leadership roles at Fry’s (a division of Kroger), Kraft/Nabisco and Federated Foods with focuses on retail operations, consumer packaged goods and private brand development and marketing.

  • Joan Sylvain Baughan

    Partner Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

    Joan Baughan practices food and drug law, focusing on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and comparable international regulation of food contact materials, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices. With a distinctive legal and scientific background in microbiology and medical technology, Joan helps clients establish regulatory compliance for their products globally, performs compliance audits and training seminars, and represents companies and trade associations before US agencies and their international counterparts.

    Joan Baughan also developed substantial experience in Brussels, counselling clients on the regulation of food packaging materials and medicinal products under European Union and Member State legislation.

    Joan frequently speaks at international conferences on various FDA and related regulatory topics and is an accomplished writer within the food and drug arena. She was a contributing author and the sole editor of the comprehensive food packaging book "Global Legislation for Food Contact Materials," and has written chapters – such as "Regulation of Nanotechnology in Food Contact Applications in the United States and Canada," and "US Legislation on Food Contact Materials," – for other publications. Joan also has written about drug packaging, including an article titled, "The Latest on Drug Master Files for Packaging Materials in the United States – and a Little History," for Packaging Digest.

    Bar & Court Admissions
    District of Columbia

    J.D., Catholic University of America, 1991
    B.S.M.T., University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1985
    B.S., University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1984

    Professional Affiliations
    American Bar Association
    International Bar Association


  • Phil Berrier

    Product Compliance Manager Printpack

    Phil Berrier leads global compliance and food safety for Printpack, a leading manufacturer/converter of flexible and rigid packaging for food, consumer goods, medical devices, and personal care products.  He has held leadership, research, and advocacy positions over the last 27 years with leading companies at all points of the plastics supply chain from chemical manufacture to brand ownership.

  • Dr. Mitchell Cheeseman

    Managing Director Environmental and Life Sciences Steptoe & Johnson LLP

    Dr. Mitchell Cheeseman is a managing director in the Washington Office of Steptoe and Johnson LLP, where he is a member of the Regulatory Affairs Department.

    He has 20 years of experience as an official in Food and Drug Administration's Foods program.

    His primary experience is managing the food ingredient and packaging programs including experience in the regulation of direct food additives and food contact substances, color additives, Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) food ingredients, and bioengineered food.

    He held a leadership position over all of these regulatory areas as either the deputy director or acting director of the Office of Food Additive Safety for over five years and has held leadership positions over FDA's Food Contact Notification Program for the program's first 13 years of operation.

    During his FDA career, Dr. Cheeseman has been a lead in the development and implementation of FDA's Threshold of Regulation process for food contact substances and FDA's Food Contact Notification Program.

    He also served in the development of FDA's GRAS Notice Program.

    • USA
  • Andrea G. Ferrenz

    Food Law Counsel, Legal Department Campbell Soup Company

    Andrea began her career working in labs, first as a research assistant with the Institute for Genomic Research and then with Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC.  Her undergraduate degree is in Biology from University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia.  After attending law school at George Washington University, she was an attorney for many years with Emord & Associates PC in the Washington, D.C. area, representing clients regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (and related agencies).  After leaving private practice, Andrea was Legal Counsel with Celltex Therapeutics, a ground-breaking stem cell company in Houston, TX.  Next, Andrea was Regulatory Director, Associate General Counsel with Innophos, Inc, a manufacturing company supplying ingredients to the food, dietary supplement, pharmaceutical and technical industries around the globe. Currently Andrea is Food Law Counsel with Campbell Soup Company working primarily with its Quality, Regulatory, R&D, and Marketing teams on some of the most iconic brands in the United States. 

  • Jeanine Flaherty

    Vice President of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance Legal Sea Foods

    Jeanine Flaherty holds a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Social and Behavioral Health from Boston University School of Public Health. She has over 25 years of experience in the health field in various professional capacities, including working in research at Massachusetts General Hospital, as a regulator for local government for many years, as an advisor and consultant for numerous municipalities as well as private clients, and experience in the private sector in retail food and food manufacturing. She was the Executive Director of Public Health for the City of Taunton, Massachusetts for 10 years. She served as an Executive Board Member for the Massachusetts Environmental Health Association for 11 years. In 1997, she was acknowledged for assisting in drafting the Foodborne Illness Investigation and Control Reference Manual for Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As a private consultant for 8 years, she advised and provided services for over 30 municipalities as well as private sector clients. Jeanine joined Legal Sea Foods, LLC, as a Director of Quality Assurance and Food Safety in February of 2015, overseeing food safety and quality assurance for the manufacturing plant and all restaurants, as well as leading the in house laboratory. In 2016 she successfully led the company through a Global Food Safety Initiative certification. She now holds the position of Executive Director of Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Compliance at the company.  Jeanine is passionate about food safety and is very active in the retail food and food manufacturing industry, academia and the regulatory arena.

  • Eric F. Greenberg

    Principal Attorney Eric F. Greenberg P.C.

    Eric F. Greenberg is Principal Attorney of the law firm Eric F. Greenberg, P. C., with a practice concentrated in food and drug law, packaging law, and commercial litigation.

    His food and drug work has included regulatory counseling, label and claims review, new product development, GRAS and food contact materials evaluations and clearances, negotiations with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state agencies, handling recalls, and defending enforcement actions.   

    He and his firm counsel a wide range of consumer product companies, packaging manufacturers and others on regulatory and labeling requirements, and handle related contractual and litigation matters.

    In addition to his law practice, Eric is a member of the Adjunct Faculty of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he teaches Food and Drug Law and Administrative Law, and Michigan State University School of Packaging, where he teaches Packaging Law and Regulation.  

    He serves as monthly legal columnist for Packaging World Magazine.  

    Eric wrote the book, Guide to Packaging Law, the Second Edition of which was published in October 2007.  

    His firm is based in Chicago and represents clients based all over the world.

  • Dr. Paul Honigfort

    Director, Division of Food Contact Notifications, Office of Food Additive Safety U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    Dr. Paul Honigfort is the Director of the Division of Food Contact Notifications, Office of Food Additive Safety, which is part of the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).  The Division of Food Contact Notifications is the segment of the US Government responsible for all regulatory actions for all materials that contact food, including food packaging.

    Dr. Honigfort has over 18 years of experience with food contact materials and food additive regulations.  As Director of the Division of Food Contact Notifications, Dr. Honigfort oversees all US Government regulatory matters pertaining to food packaging.  Dr. Honigfort is also the United States Delegate to the Codex Committee on Food Additives, which formulates international standards on the safe use and fair trade of food additives.  Prior to his time at FDA, Dr. Honigfort worked for GE Plastics as an Advanced Materials Developer specializing in engineering thermoplastics and food packaging materials.  Dr. Honigfort received his doctorate in polymer science in 2000 from the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, USA.

  • Jim Huang

    Director, Food Contact Materials Safety | Global Scientific & Regulatory Affairs The Coca Cola Company, USA

    Jim Huang is the director of food contact materials at The Coca-Cola Company’s global scientific & regulatory affairs in Atlanta, Georgia.  His current portfolio includes safety assessment, regulatory compliance, and advocacy initiatives.  Prior to this role, he was the head of scientific & regulatory affairs for a global manufacturer of flexible packaging for food, drug, and medical devices.  He was the chair of Project Passport, an industry initiative in the US to streamline the risk communication in the food contact supply chain.  He received his academic training in chemical engineering with a focus on polymer synthesis and rheology and held various R&D positions in plastic production and processing.

    • USA
  • Alistair Irvine

    Senior Manager, Food Contact Testing Smithers

    Alistair manages the Food Packaging Safety Section within Smithers. This involves advising clients on the safety legislation which applies to food packaging in a wide range of different countries throughout the world and coordinating work programmes to ensure that clients' products meet these requirements. His expertise spans all the EU countries, USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Russia and all the South American countries.

    Alistair graduated with a degree and PhD in Chemistry from Birmingham University. After working for BP and the Department of Health, he joined Smithers in 1994, taking up his current position in 1995.

  • Kevin C. Kenny

    Chief Operating Officer Decernis, USA

    Kevin is co-founder and owner of Decernis and is an experienced regulatory attorney who has worked and consulted for 20+ years in the food and consumer products space.  He advises some of the world’s largest manufacturers on Food, Food Contact and Supply Chain Compliance challenges globally. Working with a team of native speaker experts in all major markets, Kevin has led a Decernis team effort to expand regulatory coverage to over 200 countries.  He spends much of the year meeting with clients to identify and satisfy their needs across the Decernis global client base. Kevin builds cooperative and partnering relationships with governmental agencies and organizations (today 40+ countries across five continents, including US FDA, European Union, Canada, China and Japan).

    An expert on food contact and food additive regulation globally, Kevin is a frequent speaker at international conferences and an active participant in the Regulatory Affairs Committees of food, cosmetic and consumer product associations.  Kevin also attends the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Additives in China annually as a member of the International Food Additives Council.

    Prior to founding Decernis, Kevin worked as a regulatory attorney and later VP, International Operations at Ariel Research, which managed product safety regulations globally for chemical manufacturers.

    Kevin has lived and worked for seven years across five European and Asian countries and is fluent in German, French and Spanish. He possesses an honors Juris Doctor, an LL.M. in International Law and the Hague Diplôm de Droit International.  In 1992, he was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship in Bonn and later taught International Law courses at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany.

    • USA
  • Dr. Sharon Koh-Fallet

    Consumer Safety Officer, in the Office of Food Additive Safety/Division of Food Contact Notification U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    Sharon Koh-Fallet completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Northwestern University in 2007. Following the completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Koh-Fallet worked for Milliken & Company, working as a Research Chemist to develop innovations for advanced materials including textiles, carpets, plastics, and silicones. After spending more than 6.5 years in industry, Dr. Koh-Fallet went to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as an American Society of Engineering Education Postdoctoral Fellow where she worked for 1.5 years on developing new computational methods to understand energetic materials. Following her time at NRL, Dr. Koh-Fallet worked at Strategic Analysis where she provided programmatic and scientific technical support to various program managers in different government agencies. Dr. Koh-Fallet started at the FDA in the Office of Food Additive Safety in the Division of Food Contact Notification in January of 2017 where she works as a Consumer Safety Officer (CSO). As a CSO, Dr. Koh-Fallet manages the review process for premarket industry submissions for food contact notifications. She helps facilitate communicate between the industry and FDA, and serves as a regulatory scientist on the review team.

  • Dr. Andrew Kolbert

    President & CTO Avomeen Analytical Services

    Andrew has 20 years of experience executing and managing analytical and product development programs, both internally and in external organizations.  His expertise is analytical chemistry in highly regulated areas including pharmaceutical development and testing, food contact migration studies, extractables and leachables studies, food additive and food contact notification testing and registration, and pesticide and insecticide testing under FIFRA.  He has served as an expert witness to support litigation in the areas of pharmaceutical development and analytical testing.  He has participated in FDA pre-notification conferences, FDA site audits, and trained FDA inspectors on analytical technology.

  • Koustubh Kulkarni

    Platform Leader, Reactive Adhesives, Corporate Innovation Eastman

    Koustubh Kulkarni
    Platform Leader, Reactive Adhesives
    Corporate Innovation
    Koustubh Kulkarni works as a Platform Leader at Eastman, a global specialty chemicals company with its headquarters in Kingsport,TN. Koustubh is leading an Innovation Platform to develop novel specialty materials for reactive adhesives, used across multiple markets, including raw materials for adhesives used in food contact applications. Koustubh graduated from University of Florida with a Master of Science in Material Science & Engineering degree and is currently an MBA candidate at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He has 10+ years of experience in the Specialty Chemicals industry through roles in Corporate innovation, Technology and Application development.

  • Rebecca Lipscomb

    Assistant Director Global Regulatory Affairs INX International Ink Co.

    Coming Soon

  • Naeem Mady

    VP Regulatory Services Intertek

    Naeem H. Mady, V.P., Regulatory Services at Intertek has various responsibilities including worldwide notification of U.S. products and food contact chemicals regulatory compliance. Prior to working for Intertek, Mr. Mady designed and implemented Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and Quality Management Systems programs for Ciba. He also designed and developed migration studies for FDA submissions and had been responsible for the FDA and EPA regulatory compliance at Ciba since 1995. Mr. Mady joined Ciba in 1980. Prior to his present position, he was the Manager of the Analytical Department and the Manager of the Quality Assurance Unit for Ciba’s Additives Division. Previous business experience includes working as a Manager of Analytical and Technical Services at Phillip Morris and as a Senior Analytical Chemist at Allied Signal.

  • Paul G. Miller

    Sr. Manager, Regulatory Affairs Evergreen Packaging LLC

    Paul Miller is the Sr. Manager of Regulatory Affairs for Evergreen Packaging for paper-based packaging materials and articles for dairy, juice, and food products.  Responsibilities include management of Regulatory Affairs functions: compliance, food safety, and risk assessment for supplied and manufactured materials; also, compliance verification for customers’ requirements.

    Paul has 45 years’ experience in operations management, food contact materials quality, and compliance.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University Of Memphis with emphasis in Quality Systems Engineering and Communications.  He has specialized in quality systems and compliance for food contact materials manufacturing for 28 years, serving in his present role for 6+ years in Evergreen’s Memphis, TN corporate center.

  • George G. Misko

    Partner Keller and Heckman LLP

    George Misko is one of the firm's Food and Drug practice group leaders. Mr. Misko's practice focuses on food and drug matters and environmental concerns, including pesticide regulation, right-to-know laws, and toxic substance control regulations. He has extensive experience counseling clients on regulatory requirements relating to chemical substances, plastics and food products in the U.S. and other jurisdictions, including Canada, the European Union, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. He also represents trade associations, including acting as legal counsel to the Global Silicones Council.

    Prior to joining Keller and Heckman, Mr. Misko was Senior Regulatory Counsel for the Chemical Specialty Manufacturers Association (now known as the Consumer Specialty Products Association), where he provided counsel on a broad range of environmental and health and safety issues. Mr. Misko also is an experienced civil trial and appellate litigator, and served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Nicholas S. Nunzio, Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

    Mr. Misko is a frequent contributor to trade publications, including Food Safety magazine and Packaging Digest magazine. He also speaks at numerous conferences on food and chemical control laws, and acts as the firm's editor for (


  • Ron Osborn

    Principal Scientist, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Americas R&D Mars Wrigley

    Ron Osborn is currently a Principal Scientist for the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, at their Global Innovation Center in Chicago, IL.  He is a member of the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs group and is primarily responsible for the Safety and Regulatory Compliance assessments of food contact materials.  Additional responsibilities include safety evaluations of the seasonal add-on items marketed with Wrigley products and leading the development of Wrigley’s Packaging Compliance Management System.  Prior to his current position, Ron had a successful 20 year career in the analytical laboratory.

  • Dr. Gregory Pace

    Senior Director, Regulatory Compliance Health, Environmental, and Regulatory Services US Regulatory Market Access Intertek

    Dr. Pace is Senior Director of Regulatory Compliance for Intertek’s Health, Environmental, and Regulatory Services (HERS). He leads the Group’s Global Food Contact Compliance Assessments, which include review of the Analytical Laboratory reports; and directs the implementation of the Business development.

    Previously at Sun Chemical Corporation; Greg directed the North American and European Regulatory Teams; interpreting Government Regulations and Brand Owner specifications applied to printing ink materials for the intended consumer use. Greg was also Technical Manager of Analytical and Characterization, in support of all printing ink product lines. He designed the migration testing protocol.

    Dr. Pace obtained his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Food Science from Rutgers University. Both researches were in the field concerning migratory substances in packaging. 

  • Melissa San Miguel

    Head of Red Flag Americas Red Flag

    Melissa advises Red Flag and its clients on policy issues and strategic responses. She was previously Senior Director for Global Strategies at the Grocery Manufacturers Association in Washington, DC, where she developed and implemented trade and global competitiveness strategies for the world’s leading food, beverage, and consumer product companies. Prior to joining GMA, Melissa served in the U.S. diplomatic service handling trade policy issues in Latin America and Asia, most recently as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.

  • Cindy A. Thompson

    Senior Manager Product Stewardship Georgia-Pacific, LLC

    Cindy Thompson JD, is a Senior Product Stewardship Manager at Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP (GP). She provides oversight to GP’s regulatory compliance, research and intelligence for food packaging products including recycled materials. Prior to GP, she was employed as a consultant for medical devices at Thompson Regulatory Affairs.  Prior to that she was employed at Kimberly-Clark handling consumer products and medical devices.  Cindy received her JD from Brigham Young University and a BS in Political Science at Utah State University.

  • Katja Tuomola

    Business Development Director Metsä Board

    Katja Tuomola works as a Business Development Director in Metsä Board Finland. Her days are filled with managing the new barrier board product development including boosting the sales, creating new businesses, finding new application areas, networking and training personnel, creating great customer experiences and building up materials to do all this. She is also a known speaker in international conferences as well as in customer events.

    Prior she has worked for over 19 years in the global product safety and sustainability, product development, formulation and application areas both in paper and paper chemical industry giving her plenty of experience in teamwork and leadership. Katja graduated from Jyväskylä University, Finland with a Master of Science in the field of Applied Wood and Paper Chemistry.

    Being a very active and joyful person, she enjoys travelling and discovering new places with her family and friends. You can read more about her

  • Dr. Peter Walther

    Regional Head of Product Safety and Regulatory Siegwerk USA Inc

    Peter has the position of Regional Head of Product Safety and Regulatory (PS+R) at Siegwerk USA Inc. in Des Moines / IA.

    After obtaining his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Kaiserslautern (Germany), he joined Siegwerk in 1993 and worked in the Global Headquarters in Siegburg (located near the city of Cologne) for 22 years. During that time, he has dealt with all kinds of Product Safety related topics like Chemical Legislation, Food Safety, Environmental subjects and Sustainability, since 2005 in a Global responsibility.

    In Mai 2015, he relocated to Siegwerk USA Co. where he is responsible for all PS+R related activities of Siegwerks locations in the US.

  • Weldon Williams

    Sr. Director, Quality Assurance, Global Quality Lead HAVI

    Weldon Williams is the Sr. Director, Quality Assurance at HAVI and is the global lead for quality assurance. HAVI is a global, privately owned company focused on innovating, optimizing and managing the supply chains of some of the world’s leading quick serve restaurant brands, offering services in supply chain management, packaging and logistics. Weldon is responsible for food packaging safety, compliance and quality assurance, providing strategic oversight of HAVI’s quality services globally, including product stewardship, regulatory compliance, advanced quality planning, supplier quality assurance and field quality activities. He is responsible for ensuring that products are safe and compliant, produced consistently, satisfying HAVI’s customers’ expectations for fit, form and function, driving continuous improvement.

    Weldon has almost 30 years of experience in manufacturing split between the food & beverage industry and commercial printing/packaging. Prior to working at HAVI he worked for Diageo, Altivity Packaging, Vertis and Campbell Soup in roles ranging from engineering to production management to quality/regulatory compliance. Weldon is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering.