The Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) is proud to launch the inaugural Award and Lead Instructor Recognition Program at the 7th FSPCA Annual Conference that was successfully held at Marriott Chicago Southwest, Burr Ridge, Illinois, October 17-18, 2023.
The FSPCA Award and Lead Instructor Recognition Program was developed to recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals, volunteers and Lead Instructors who have helped FSPCA achieve our mission of building food safety capacities worldwide.
In a video address, Congressman Sean Casten, whose district includes IFSH, introduced the conference and sent his congratulations for the 35th anniversary of the founding of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, the first U.S. FDA Center of Excellence.
“We’re so lucky to have the Institute for Food Safety and Health in Illinois and just so appreciative of all the work that you do as a public-private partnership, with Illinois Tech’s team of researchers and all the work you do coordinating with the National Center for Food Safety and Technology,” Casten said. “Your work with collaborators at FDA, industry experts, and contributors in food safety and nutrition is so useful, and I applaud all of you in your mission to help ensure safe and healthy food for everybody.”
At this year’s Inaugural FSPCA Award and Recognition session of the Annual Conference, Jenny Scott, retired Senior Advisor, FDA CFSAN Office of Food Safety, was awarded the FSPCA Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition and appreciation of her contributions and support to FSPCA and a lasting impact on Global Food Safety through a lifetime of professional achievements in food safety.
Kathy Gombas, FSMA Solutions, was awarded the FSPCA Volunteer of the Year Award, in recognition of her exceptional dedication, time, expertise, leadership of the FSPCA Executive Advisory Board, and services to FSPCA.
Dianne Milazzo, Consumer Safety Officer at Office of Surveillance and Compliance, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, was awarded the FSPCA Special Appreciation Award, in recognition and appreciation of her nine years of support and contributions to FSPCA.
In addition, at this year’s Annual Conference, we also recognized the Top Ten FSPCA Lead Instructors in each of the Alliance’s curricula, based on the number of course participants trained, with FSPCA certificates issued, between August 15, 2022, and August 15, 2023.
The “FSPCA 1,000 Club” recognizes FSPCA Lead Instructors who have cumulatively trained a minimum of 1,000 course participants, with FSPCA certificates issued, in total of the four FSPCA training curricula. A total of 16 Lead Instructors received the “FSPCA 1,000 Club” recognition this year, with a “FSPCA 1,000 Club” lapel pin.
“The FSPCA is a very unique organization that currently has more than 3,000 Lead Instructors offering FSPCA training courses across the world to food safety professionals who are involved in the importation and/or manufacturing of food for sale in the U.S.,” said the FSPCA Executive Advisory Board Chair, Kathy Gombas. “I am deeply honored to be part of this organization, and to receive the Volunteer of the Year Award. I love what I do, who I do it with, and who I do it for.”
“All of the Lead Instructors must be trained by FSPCA, and we appreciate what each and every one does to help make food safe,” said Matt Botos, chair of the recognition working group. “So, we based the Top Ten Lead Instructor and the 1,000 Club recipients on the number of FSPCA course participants taught with FSPCA certificates issued.”
“The FSPCA would not have succeeded without the continued support and contributions of numerous food safety experts, volunteers, and FSPCA Lead Instructors”, said IFSH associate director and FSPCA director Jason Wan. “We developed this program to thank and celebrate those who help us fulfill our mission.”