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Mike Fagel
Mike Fagel
Aurora Safety
Trainer-Educator-Facilitator
Mike has been involved in all phases of public safety since 1975, Fire, EMS Coordinator, Emergency Manager, Law Enforcement, and Occupational Safety & Health in Industry. Fagel was Corporate Risk Manager at Aurora Packing Company, North Aurora, IL. The first red meat sites in the OSHA VPP program in 1988. He served the US DOJ for 100 days at the World Trade Center Attacks in 2001. He was a FEMA reservist in their safety & health cadre and has been to the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 as a safety officer. He currently teaches for a DHS component on active threats. He has been a safety, security, and threat analyst for food industry since his retirement from Aurora Packing Company in 2005. Fagel was deployed to the Mideast for 18 months doing WMD and food threat vulnerability. He served the National Guard Bureau as the CERIAC watch officer for food and agricultural threats for 23 months. He served as the Chairman of the precursor to NAMI, AMI safety committee and testified before congress several times on safety and health Issues. He teaches workers comp, safety & disaster management at several universities. His 8th book earned ASIS book of the year award for “Crisis Management-Emergency Planning”. His 10th book, “Principles of Emergency Management and Emergency Operations Centers” was published in 2022 by CRC Press. Fagel travels nationwide helping facilities improve their safety, health & vulnerability in their operations.

Greg Benson
Greg Benson
Port Arthur Fire Department
Fire Chief
Benson has served 40 years in the public safety field. His career has spanned operations, administrative, and command level assignments in fire suppression and emergency management agencies. Benson has extensive experience in street-level response and command in a wide range of emergency incidents, including fires, mass casualty incidents, and disasters. Chief Benson has been an advocate of integrating training and operations among multidisciplinary public safety agencies to improve preparedness, response, and resiliency to the communities served. He has collaboratively developed and conducted high-risk and disaster response training with a range of public/private entities. Benson has functioned in all EOC roles during incidents and large scale events. Educational achievements include earning a Master's degree in Public Administration, numerous executive-level emergency service certifications, and designation as a Chief Fire Officer by the Center for Public Safety Excellence. Greg is an adjunct instructor at Chicago area universities and colleges in emergency service operations, emergency management, and cybersecurity. Competencies include conducting vulnerability and organizational assessments, performance analysis, program evaluation, benchmarking systems, and technology integration in operations for process improvements. He has contributed to textbooks and other professional publications. He continues to research and contribute best organizational practices on contemporary preparedness and response challenges. He remains committed to supporting community preparedness, response, and resiliency through training, education, exercises to increase capabilities and reduce vulnerabilities

Eric Mittenthal
Eric Mittenthal
North American Meat Institute
Chief Strategy Officer
Eric Mittenthal is the Chief Strategy Officer at the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), previously serving as the organization’s vice president of public affairs since 2012. He leads the Meat Institute’s sustainability initiatives and also focuses on developing communications to bust myths on the role of meat in the diet and how meat is produced. Mittenthal joined NAMI from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) where he worked closely with dietitians and led IFIC’s efforts in communicating with journalists and influencers. Mittenthal moved to Washington D.C. following a career as a television reporter and producer in several markets around the country including Atlanta, Jacksonville, NC and Idaho Falls, ID. He graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and also received a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.

Jason Grobbel
Jason Grobbel
E.W. Grobbel Sons, Inc.
President
Jason Grobbel is the President of EW Grobbel, whose mission is “To serve our customers with expertly crafted food products through continuous innovation and engaging people in a culture of respect.” Throughout all levels of the organization, Jason has worked to instill not only a culture of respect, but a complete intolerance of disrespect.

In his book Leading America Back to Work, Jason describes the systems and processes he developed that transformed the company from a small regional processor, established in 1883 by his Great Grandfather, to nationally distributed. He discusses a new vision for business framework; the five pillars for success: recruitment, on-boarding, supervision, evaluation, and job re-design. Going further, Jason identifies the key to unlocking the potential of today’s workforce through the ACE System. This drives performance focusing on three core areas: Attitude, Competency and Energy.

Jason is a father to five children. His interests range from engineering and architecture to psychology and philosophy. His passion is helping others grow personally and professionally, while making America's greatest Corned Beef on the side.

Sonja Totland
Sonja Totland
Agri Beef Co.
Director of Human Resources
As Director of Human Resources for Agri Beef, Sonja is responsible for fostering Agri Beef’s unique family culture and delivering solutions that ensure our people strategy and programs meet the needs of employees across the organization. Prior to joining Agri Beef, Sonja served in HR leadership roles with T-Mobile, Comcast, and Photronics. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

Adam Young
Adam Young
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Partner, Labor and Employment
Adam’s practice focuses on workplace safety counseling, the defense of OSHA and state agency inspections, and OSHA litigation. Adam is an accomplished trial lawyer on labor and employment matters. He has successfully represented clients at trials before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and numerous federal and state courts. Adam is an accomplished trial lawyer on labor and employment matters. He has successfully represented clients at trials before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and numerous federal and state courts.

Jean Buzby
Jean Buzby
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Food Loss and Waste Liaison
Dr. Jean Buzby has worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for over 25 years and is currently the USDA Food Loss and Waste Liaison in the Office of the Chief Economist. Prior to this position, she was on detail at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Resource Conservation and Sustainability Division. For most of her career, she has worked at USDA’s Economic Research Service (USDA/ERS), first as an Agricultural Economist and then as the Chief of the Diet, Safety, and Health Economics Branch. She is domestically and internationally known for her estimates of food loss at the retail and consumer levels in the United States. Dr. Buzby received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky.

John Wilson
John Wilson
Amcor
Sustainability Director
John Wilson is Sustainability Director for Amcor Flexibles North America. With 20 years of experience in packaging, he has worked on sustainability initiatives throughout time spent in supply chain, procurement, and marketing functions in the packaging industry. He believes more sustainable packaging and business practices can enable a company to thrive and grow in today’s rapidly changing environment.

Amcor is a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical, home and personal-care, and other products. Amcor works with leading companies around the world to protect their products and the people who rely on them, differentiate brands, and improve supply chains through a range of flexible and rigid packaging, specialty cartons, closures, and services. The company is focused on making packaging that is increasingly light-weighted, recyclable and reusable, and made using an increasing amount of recycled content. Around 46,000 Amcor people generate $13 billion in annual sales from operations that span about 225 locations in 40-plus countries.

Evadne Cokeh
Evadne Cokeh
ButcherBox
Vice President of Social and Environmental Responsibility
In her role, Evadne oversees ButcherBox’s social and environmental responsibility strategy which includes sustainability initiatives, charitable giving, and leading the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion group. She currently serves as the chair for the NAMI diversity, equity, and inclusion committee. Prior to her current role, Evadne successfully launched and ran ButcherBox’s sister company, SmoothieBox. She received her B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College and her M.B.A. from Babson College. As ButcherBox's resident bike expert, Evadne can often be found giving tips on bike maintenance around the office. Her favorite cut of meat? Steak tips cooked over a campfire.

Brandi Booher
Brandi Booher
Cargill, Inc.
HR Business Partner - Commercial NA Protein
Brandi Booher is the HR Business Leader for Cargill Protein North America, headquartered in Wichita, KS. Primary focus areas in this role include leading the people and talent strategy in support of the business and growth strategy, with emphasis in change leadership, team effectiveness, diversity, equity and inclusion and strategic talent planning. Prior to joining Cargill, Brandi has held executive HR Leadership roles with Peco Foods, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, and Newell Brands.

Brandi has a passion for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, obtaining a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion (DEI) from eCornell University and being an active member of the Pride Network and Ebony Council Business Resource Groups at Cargill. Brandi is co-chair of the newly formed NAMI Diversity Committee that provides personal education and training on DEI topics and best practices on how to incorporate DEI principles in your organization.

Stacey Schultz
Stacey Schultz
SugarCreek
General Counsel
Stacey Firsich-Schultz is General Counsel for SugarCreek, previously serving as SugarCreek’s Director of Compliance. Stacey leads the legal functions at SugarCreek with a particular emphasis on contract management, labor & employment, and regulatory compliance. Stacey helps resolve complex business matters with creative and cost-effective solutions. She also manages and oversees the security, health and safety team. She assists managers in developing and maintaining processes and procedures in safety, human resources, sustainability, and food safety/quality. Stacey is passionate about engaging the workforce and encouraging training opportunities. She helps identify additional tools and skills necessary to aid in a growing workforce. She collaborates with the SugarCreek University team on employee training initiatives and opportunities.

Josiah Allen
Josiah Allen
Velocity EHS
Senior Solutions Consultant
Josiah Allen, Senior Solutions Consultant and Ergonomics Engineer at VelocityEHS, facilitates the program development and deployment of Ergonomics, Risk Management, and Control of Work solutions. Josiah has experience implementing ergonomics processes across global organizations, performing musculoskeletal disorder risk assessments, and redesigning workspaces to enable employees to work within their capabilities while maximizing output. Prior to joining full-time, Josiah completed an internship with VelocityEHS while earning his degree. He also worked at Amazon as a Health and Safety Specialist, where he solved ergonomics issues and implemented safety-related initiatives. Josiah received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has achieved recognition as a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE).

Denise Chludzinski
Denise Chludzinski
Miller Resource Group
Director of Food and Beverage Manufacturing Recruiting
Denise Chludzinski is an award-winning recruiter with over 16 years of experience in Recruiting and a focus on Food and Beverage Manufacturing. Denise assists companies with growing their world-class teams by providing hiring authorities with access to her extensive talent network obtained over many years the industry and attendance at countless tradeshows and industry-specific events. She is a part of Miller Resource Group, which recently celebrated it's 50th anniversary. Their office focuses on talent advisory and recruiting in both industrial technology and food and beverage, which is the ideal mix for this audience.

Mark Ritsema
Mark Ritsema
JBS
Head of Environmental Sustainability
Mark Ritsema oversees the environmental affairs at JBS USA and is the current Chairman of the NAMI Environmental Committee. He also is very active in the sustainability efforts of JBS USA, leading the technical implementation of Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emission reduction efforts. JBS is the world’s largest protein company, and its North American headquarters is based in Greeley, CO. Mark earned a mathematics degree from Hope College in Holland, MI and is a member of several professional organizations, and has authored and co-authored numerous articles for industry and wastewater publications. Mark has 28 years of experience in the meat industry and environmental affairs.

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Jeff Jones
American Foods Group
Sr Director EH&S
Jeff is the Senior Director of EH&S for American Foods Group where he is responsible for the development and implementation AFG’s strategic plan for workers safety, environmental affairs and sustainability efforts.
Jeff’s strengths include front line leader development, creating compliance systems and root cause analysis. His interest is teaching not just “what” has to be done but focusing on the “why”. In his experience, he believes it drives better employee engagement and consistency but also builds the capability of leadership to drive continuous improvement.
Jeff graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in Occupational Safety and Health. Jeff has over 25 years of diverse safety and environmental experience in multiple industries and for the last 20 years he has worked extensively in the meat industry.
Jeff is active in various professional organizations. He is a committee member of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) Workers Safety Committee and Environmental Committee. Jeff is also active with the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and is a Past President of the Badgerland Chapter.

Tom Young
Tom Young
Smithfield Foods
Director, Safety
Tom Young is the Senior Director of Corporate Safety at Smithfield Foods where he has been for 14 years. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Ohio University.

Beth Fye
Beth Fye
Omaha Steaks International, Inc.
Director of Risk Management
Beth Fye is the Director of Risk Management at Omaha Steaks International, Inc. In addition to handling the company’s property and casualty insurance, she also manages the Safety Department, which includes 2 Occupational Health Nurses, 5 Safety Professionals, and a Claims Coordinator. Beth has worked in Safety for over 27 years and has been on the Board of Directors of the Great Plains Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers for 21 years. She is currently the President of the Great Plains Chapter of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, and she has been on the North American Meat Institute Worker Safety Committee since 2011.

Liz Hoerning
Liz Hoerning
EHS Support
Project Compliance Specialist
Liz is an experienced, highly motivated, and passionate environmental engineer. She specializes in due diligence, EHS compliance reporting, and ESG consulting and reporting. Liz has years of experience in greenhouse gas emission reporting, spill prevention, control and countermeasures plans, stormwater pollution prevention plans, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. As a project engineer, Liz manages environmental compliance projects for clients meeting state and federal regulatory requirements for stormwater, wastewater, chemical inventory, and hazardous waste. Her further experience includes completing corporate sustainability reports for clients, as well as performing life-cycle analyses, corporate ESG and water footprint assessments, and supply chain GHG emission quantifications

John Meyer
John Meyer
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Senior Director - Environmental Affairs
John currently serves at Senior Director of Environmental Affairs at Smithfield Foods. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering and a MS in Environmental Engineering both from the University of Iowa. He is a registered Professional Engineer and is in his 33rd year in the environmental engineering field – 9 years as a consulting engineer, 9 years at IBP and Tyson Foods, and 15 years and counting at Smithfield.

Drew Ackerman
Drew Ackerman
Black & Veatch
Senior Water Quality Engineer
Drew Ackerman is an analytical, data-driven water resource manager with more than 25 years of consulting and research experience who has successfully navigated complex environmental and water quality compliance issues in consultative, research and project management engagements. He has specialized, multi-state experience characterizing and quantifying runoff impact and discharges on freshwater, brackish, and saline environments and demonstrated a record of developing innovating hydraulic, hydrologic, hydrodynamic and water quality models to enhance clarity of water management issues. He is a senior water quality engineer who customizes tools to understand pollutants, nutrients, sediments, and bacteria fate and transport.