2020 Big Data Safe Food Virtual Conference

Big Data, Safe Food

2020 Virtual Conference

Big Data, Safe Food

2020 Virtual Conference



Andrew (Andy) Kennedy (Keynote Speaker)

U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION | Office of Food Policy and Response

Andy Kennedy is the New Era Technology Team (the NETT) Leader in the FDA Office of Food Policy and Response (OFPR). Mr. Kennedy started working with OFPR in October, 2019 as a Subject Matter Expert in Food Traceability. As the NETT Leader, Hihis primary focus area is the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, Core Element 1, Tech Enabled Traceability.

Prior to his work at the FDA, Mr. Kennedy led IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center and co-founded FoodLogiQ, a leading Food Traceability platform for restaurant operators, food companies and retailers. He co-convened traceability standards development working groups for GS1, the Produce Traceability Initiative and the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability. With Jennifer McEntire, Mr. Kennedy edited “Food Traceability from Binders to Blockchain,” published by Springer in 2019.

Mr. Kennedy holds an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and an A.B. in Economics from Lafayette College.

Janet Stephens, Chief Information Officer, FSIS, portrait. USDA photo by Ken Hammond

Janet B. Stevens

USDA FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE (FSIS)| Office of Planning, Analysis and Risk Management

Janet B. Stevens, PMP, TKP, was appointed the Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) Office of Planning, Analysis and Risk Management (OPARM) in October 2019. In this capacity, Ms. Stevens is responsible for supporting food safety and protecting public health through strategic planning, evaluation, data analysis and visualization, enterprise risk management and internal controls Agency-wide. Ms. Stevens also oversees the Chief Data Scientist/Chief Data Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Evaluation Officer, and Statistical Officer. Her efforts directly impact FSIS’ Strategic Goal 2: Modernize Inspection Systems, Policies, and the Use of Scientific Approaches. In October 2018, Ms. Stevens held the OPARM Deputy Assistant Administrator’s position. In that role, she supported the OPARM Assistant Administrator in completing the functions of the program area.
From April 2007 to October 2018, Stevens was FSIS’ Chief Information Officer (CIO), and was the longest serving Federal CIO. As CIO, she was responsible for supporting food safety, protecting public health, and ensuring food defense requirements through the development, implementation and protection of data, infrastructure and information systems. Her efforts supported Goals 2: (see above) and 3: Achieve Operational Excellence.

Ms. Stevens oversaw innovative and multiple award-winning technical and customer experience work for cybersecurity, web and information technology (IT) leadership for FSIS. She was a representative to the Secretary’s Blockchain Task Force. She co-led USDA IT Modernization and Center of Excellence initiatives and was elected as the Director and Vice Chair for USDA’s OCIO Chief Information Officer’s Council. Additionally, she spearheaded several USDA eGovernment initiatives and participated in the development of the Federal recommendations for public websites as part of Office of Management and Budget's Interagency Committee on Government Information Web Content Standards Working Group, as well as the Federal Digital Government Strategy.

Previously, Ms. Stevens was the Director of the FSIS Web Services Staff from 2004 to 2006 and the Director of the Management Controls Technology Staff from 2006 to April 2007. She began her career at USDA in 1991 as a Writer/Editor for the Economic Management Service (now part of the Economic Research Service). In 1998, Ms. Stevens became the Web Manager for the Risk Management Agency, where she also served as the acting Public Affairs Director.

Ms. Stevens is a proponent of innovative methods of how people interact with data, information and technology to better protect public health, as well as avenues to improve data transparency with FSIS employees and external stakeholders. She is also an advocate for using data analytics and visualization as part of the decision-making process, and she strives to provide the best customer experience possible. In 2012, Ms. Stevens received the U.S. Government Information Security Leadership Award for the leadership of FSIS Accomplishments in Cybersecurity Process and Policy Improvements.

In 1991, Ms. Stevens earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with a concentration in Communications from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.


Aaron Lavallee


Aaron Lavallee was appointed the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education (OPACE) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in June 2012. In this capacity, he is responsible for planning and executing communication programs that inform and educate a variety of audiences, including Congress, the media, stakeholder organizations, and consumers on FSIS policy and public health responsibilities and activities, foodborne illness prevention, and safe food handling. He is accountable for and oversees four areas: The Congressional and Public Affairs Office, the Food Safety Education Staff, Freedom of Information Act Staff and the Digital Executive Correspondence Staff. Lavallee’s efforts directly support FSIS’ Strategic Goals 1: Prevent Foodborne Illness and Protect Public Health; 2: Modernize Inspection Systems, Policies, and the Use of Scientific Approaches; and 3: Achieve Operational Excellence.

Before his current post, Aaron worked in USDA’s Office of Communications as a Communications Coordinator, providing strategic communications and public relations support to USDA’s Office of the Secretary and USDA mission areas including the Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services and the Office of Food Safety. He was responsible for planning and implementing more than 35 comprehensive strategic communications efforts with far-reaching impacts on the American public. His communications work is highlighted in initiatives including MyPlate, Let’s Move!, Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, and Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food. He also served as a departmental and agency spokesperson and agency contact for policy and other matters directly supporting the mission and goals of the Secretary and USDA.

Before joining USDA, Lavallee was a Communications Director at Kelley Campaigns Public Relations. He also worked in Congressman Paul W. Hodes office (D-N.H.) as a Congressional Liaison.

Kevin Otto                          GS1 US

Kevin Otto

GS1 US | Senior Director, Community Engagement for Blockchain

As the Senior Director, Community Engagement for Blockchain at GS1 US, Kevin Otto works to educate the industry about the value of GS1 Standards as a foundation for leveraging blockchain to create supply chain visibility and other emerging use cases. He leads the GS1 US Blockchain Discussion Group, collaborating with representatives across several different industries to address data sharing and interoperability challenges, and determine best practices for leveraging the GS1 System of Standards with blockchain.

Prior to this role, Mr. Otto was the Senior Director, Community Engagement for Foodservice at GS1 US and was responsible for driving the use of GS1 Standards and GS1 US offerings within the foodservice channel, managing all business development initiatives and customer relationships. Before joining GS1 US, Mr. Otto worked in various supply chain roles for large CPG companies. At Unilever, Mr. Otto worked in several customer facing roles collaborating with companies like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco and BJs Wholesale Club to drive greater business efficiencies.  At L’Oréal, Mr. Otto led the team responsible for the global supply of all Ralph Lauren Fragrances, as well as domestic supply of several top European cosmetics and fragrances.

Mr. Otto received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas and received his Bachelor of Science in Business Logistics from Penn State.

MDB 825 x 850

Mitzi Baum

STOP FOOBORNE ILLNESS | Chief Executive Officer

Mitzi Baum joined the team at Stop Foodborne Illness as the Chief Executive Officer in May 2019.  She is motivated by the mission to create a new strategy for Stop and its constituency that will drive change through advocacy, collaboration and innovation.

Prior to beginning her tenure at Stop, Mitzi cultivated a 23-year career at Feeding America beginning as a network services representative rising to the senior level position of managing director of food safety.  As managing director of food safety, Mitzi guided the continued development of food safety initiatives including development and execution of the food safety strategic plan; oversight of third-party food safety audit program; food safety educational summits; development of food safety resources; and coordination with donors and regulatory agencies to support food donations.  Prior to her career with Feeding America, Mitzi managed restaurants for the Peasant Restaurant Co. in Atlanta, Funky’s Restaurants in Cincinnati, and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in Chicago.

Mitzi holds a Master of Science in Food Safety and a certificate in Food Law from Michigan State University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. She has earned certificates in Non-Profit Management from the University of Chicago, Quality Management from DePaul University and Food Safety Management from Cornell University. She is a certified seafood HACCP instructor and is a certified PCQI. Mitzi is a member of the International Association of Food Protection, the Conference for Food Protection and the Association of Food and Drug Officials.


Greg Siragusa

SCOUT MICROBIOLOGY | Chief Science Officer

Greg Siragusa is a research microbiologist and food safety and protection scientist focusing on areas of food microbiology including safety, quality and production. He specializes in fundamental approaches to understanding the microbial ecology of foods and systems, and has broad experience and fundamental interests in enzymatic preservation systems, bacteriophage biology, microbiome science, rapid detection genomics and microbial systematics.

Greg has substantial specialized experience in poultry microbiology and food safety, including stints as Poultry Research Director at DuPont and Agtech. Here, he directed discovery research in the areas of intestinal microbiology, gut immune response (including discovery and application of novel food antimicrobials), food microbiome applications and probiotic strains in poultry.

Prior to his industry positions, Greg was a Lead Scientist/Research Microbiologist with USDA-ARS for nearly 18 years.

JKC - Headshot 2016

Jennifer Crandall

SAFE FOOD EN ROUTE, LLC | Chief Executive Office / Founder

Jennifer Crandall founded Safe Food En Route, LLC in 2018, a food safety consulting firm that provides assistance to small and medium sized companies with FSMA regulations and food safety programs. Jennifer is passionate about providing full solution, corporate-like food safety and quality programs to businesses that want to level up. She also has a passion for education, as a regular guest lecturer and alumni contact for Purdue University Food Science students; also she served on the Curriculum Advisory Committee for Cincinnati State’s recently approved Culinary Arts and Applied Food Science Bachelor of Arts program. Jennifer just contributed to Dr. Darin Detwiler’s book, Building the Future of Food Safety Technology: Blockchain and Beyond (Anticipated Publish Date: June 2020) in hopes to provide more focus on food safety management programs in the early stages of food safety focused software platform development.

Prior to founding Safe Food En Route, LLC, Jennifer worked in the food industry in various roles including 8 years in dairy and juice manufacturing and 12 years at Kroger Corporate in their Corporate Food Technology and Sourcing departments. Jennifer worked in various roles exposing her from “farm to fork” which helped her understand the many obstacles within the supply chain. In her last 2 years at Kroger, she was the business lead for developing the software solution initially intended to ensure Kroger’s compliance to applicable FSMA regulations.

Jennifer has a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science from Purdue University, and an Associate’s Degree in Agriculture from Vincennes University. Throughout her career, she has achieved many other certifications to compliment her food safety centered career including HACCP, FSVP, PCQI, BRC Internal Auditor, SQF Practitioner, ServSafe and Gluten Free Certification Program (GFCP).


Ananth Iyer

PURDUE UNIVERSITY | Krannert School of Management

Professor Iyer is the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair in Operations Management at the Krannert School of Management, as well as is the Department Head of the Management department and a Senior Associate Dean. He is currently the Director of DCMME (Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises) and the GSCMI (Global Supply Chain Management Initiative). From 2012 to 2016, he was the Director of Purdue NExT, a University-wide system of modular online interactive courses for global distribution. He was the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs (2011-2013) and Director of DCMME and the founding Director of GSCMI (2006-2011) at the Krannert School of Management. Previously, he was Purdue University Faculty Scholar from 1999-2004.

His teaching and research interests are operations and supply chain management. Professor Iyer's research currently focuses on analysis of supply chains including the impact of promotions on logistics systems in the grocery industry, and analysis of the impact of competitors on operational management models and the role of supply contracts. His other topics of study include inventory management in the fashion industry, effect of supplier contracts, and use of empirical data sets in operations management model building.

He has four books on various aspects of supply chains, as well as numerous publications, and blogs about  Global Supply Chain Management at http://aviyer2010.wordpress.com/author/aviyer2010/


William Hallman

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY | Department of Human Ecology

William K. Hallman is a professor and Chair of the Department of Human Ecology and is a member of the graduate faculty of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, and of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He is a 1983 graduate of Juniata College in Huntington, Pennsylvania and earned his PhD. in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1989. Dr. Hallman's research examines public perceptions of controversial issues concerning food, health, and the environment. Recent research projects have looked at consumer perceptions and behaviors concerning genetically modified foods, animal cloning, avian influenza, accidental and intentional food contamination incidents, and food recalls. His current research projects include studies of public perceptions and responses to food safety risks, the safety of fresh meat, poultry, game, and seafood products purchased on the Internet, the use of nanotechnology in food, and public understanding of health claims made for food products. Dr. Hallman serves on the Executive Committee of Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH), and helped to found the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market, which offers food insecure residents access to fresh, locally grown, affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate produce and other food products. Dr. Hallman formerly served as the Director of the Food Policy Institute (FPI) at Rutgers, and currently serves as the Chair of the Risk Communication Advisory Committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Fisk photo

Mark Fisk

IBM | Partner - IBM Digital - Public Service Blockchain Leader

Mr. Fisk (BSCEE 1991, Purdue) is a Partner in IBM Digital for Global Business Services focused on #blockchain in the Public Service Industry. As the leader of IBM’s Public Service Blockchain initiatives, Mr. Fisk is leveraging his twenty-five years of experience in the public sector working with federal and state governments to help determine where and how blockchain can uniquely increase value while improving trust, transparency, and accountability in today’s government business networks.

His work in blockchain education, analysis of blockchain’s applicability to address public sector dilemmas, and in the leadership in the execution of several high visibility blockchain proofs-of-concept and production pilots within the Public Sector have helped pave the way to realizing the true value of blockchain for his clients and move beyond the peak of the hype curve with this transformative capability.


Amy R. Reibman

PURDUE UNIVERSITY | Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Amy Reibman is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. She pursued 23 years of industrial research at AT&T Labs -- Research, where she was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff and a Lead Inventive Scientist. Her research interests are in video analytics, video stabilization, and image and video quality assessment. She has also done pioneering work on video transmission over packet networks. She has published over 35 journal papers, 100 conference papers, and holds more than 40 US patents. Her current research focuses on video analytics for real-world applications where inputs may have substantial quality impairments.

Dr. Reibman was elected IEEE Fellow in 2005, for her contributions to video transport over networks. She was chair of the IEEE Fellow Committee in 2016-2017, a Judge on the IEEE Fellow Committee from 2012-2015, and on the IEEE Fellow Strategic Planning Committee from 2013-2019. In 1998, she won the IEEE Communications Society Leonard Abraham Prize Paper Award.  She was the Technical co-chair of the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing in 2002, a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Signal Processing Society from 2008-2009, and a member of the IEEE Awards Committee from 2010-2012.


Audrey Ruple

PURDUE UNIVERSITY | Department of Public Health

Dr. Ruple’s primary research interest lies in the area of “One Health,” the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health. Her diverse and extensive experiences lend themselves to her One Health research in both comparative/translational medicine and infectious diseases that occur at the human-animal interface. Dr. Ruple’s comparative medicine research is primarily focused on the companion dog as a model for health and disease in human populations. This model system has many advantages over other animal models due to the fact that companion dogs share our environment in addition to a large amount of shared ancestral genetic sequence. Dogs also share much of the disease burden seen in human populations, especially in regards to cancer outcomes, and can be used as a model for healthy aging.

Dr. Ruple is also an expert in infectious diseases, biosecurity, and hospital infection control. Her veterinary background is especially important in this research area given recent estimates that up to 75% of emerging infectious diseases in human populations are zoonotic, meaning they arise from animal populations. Several of her published works on hospital infection control and biosecurity have received awards from international organizations such as the International Society for Disease Surveillance.

Widmar photo

Nicole Olynk Widmar

PURDUE UNIVERSITY | Department of Agricultural Economics

Dr. Nicole Widmar is a Professor of Agricultural Economics and the Associate Head and Graduate Program Chair for the Department of Agricultural Economics.  Dr. Widmar participates in inter-disciplinary research ranging from providing support for on-farm decision making regarding technology adoption to assessing food purchasing decisions by consumers with varying tastes and preferences.  Widely recognized for expertise in collecting and analyzing survey-based data, Dr. Widmar has recently begun integrating data from social media and other Web-sources into her research. Her most recent work integrates insights from large datasets - including those developed from social media spaces - into agricultural and food markets.


Valentina Trinetta

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY | Departments of Biological Sciences and Pathology, Microbiology, & Immunology

With an emphasis in Food Safety and Microbiology, Dr. Trinetta's research focuses on understanding foodborne pathogens ecology and the identification on microbial entry routes into the food supply chain (from farm to fork). Dr Trinetta's research focuses also on the development and implementation of antimicrobial intervention technologies to reduce and control foodborne pathogens on different commodities. Recently, Dr. Trinetta has expanded her research on identifying microbial entry routes in a food supply chain to the international scale with a project focused on evaluating microbial contamination of produce distribution centers for informal markets in Cambodia.

The main microorganisms studied in Dr. Trinetta's lab include Salmonella monovariantListeria, and STEC E. coli as they are of great concern in the animal and human food industry.

Dr. Trinetta obtained her degrees in Food Science and Technology with an emphasis on active packaging and food safety. During her study she moved to the USA as a visiting scholar (Penn State University) After her post-doctoral training (Purdue University) she worked 4 years at the Research and Development Center of ECOLAB.