Conrad Rebello, PhD
Dr. Rebello was introduced to IFT while pursuing his masters and doctorate degrees in Food Science at Rutgers University. At Rutgers, he was active in food science student activities, and in the IFT Student Association (IFTSA). The New York/Central New Jersey and Philadelphia sections provided him with opportunities to develop and strengthen relationships with local members of the IFT community.
After graduation, Dr. Rebello chose a career in the food industry with an initial focus on developing and launching products that are tailored to best meet the needs of the consumer. He kept abreast of technical and professional developments taking place in the industry, by attending section meetings, and the IFT Annual Meeting. A couple of years later he took on volunteer leadership roles at the national level which introduced him to the operations of the Institute, and provided him with a broader view of the food industry. As time progressed, Dr. Rebello continued to be actively involved at both the regional (Philadelphia section) and national level. He is particularly proud of the achievements of the task forces, panels and committees that he has been part of;
- Almost a decade ago, the Information Systems Committee tested WebEx and other communication technologies designed to enhance communication across our volunteer leadership.
- The Task Force on Strategic Plan Development helped inform our current vision, mission and strategies
- The Member Value Proposition Advisory Panel identified unmet member needs, which resulted in the creation of programs and services to best meet those needs.
- The Certification Feasibility Advisory Panel translated a member identified need, into the creation of the IFT Certified Food Scientist (CFS) program.
As Dr. Rebello progressed in his career and took on broadening assignments, he was introduced to concepts that helped strengthen his overall knowledge of the food supply chain. He is currently in an R&D role that focuses on aligning resources in order to best achieve strategic objectives.
Dr. Rebello believes that his career work experiences, together with his volunteer leadership roles at both the regional and national levels, will enable him to serve as an effective member of the IFT Board. In doing so he would like to help ensure the continued success of the organization and profession.
What do you feel you can contribute to the growth and advancement of IFT?
I believe that I can leverage my background, career history, and volunteer roles at IFT, to grow and advance IFT. Having served on several committees that helped create products and services to best meet member needs, I am aware of our member’s initial and ongoing receptivity to these programs. This awareness parallels my work experiences in the food industry, as a professional engaged in the development of products to meet consumer needs. Some products and programs need less time and investment to be successful, whereas others need more. I would bring this perspective to how we nurture, grow and refine programs at IFT.
In recent years, my professional work has focused on creating the appropriate forums for a discussion on, and a prioritization of efforts in order to achieve corporate objectives. I would bring the knowledge and skills gained from these experiences to help us focus and prioritize our efforts going forward, so that we best meet the current and future needs of our members, thereby growing and advancing the Institute.
What are the three most important strategic issues facing the profession and the industry that align with IFT’s goals and how would you address these as a member of the Board of Directors?
Three strategic issues that face the industry and the profession are:
- A need to elevate our credibility with the appropriate target audiences, as we endeavor to advance the science of food. The Institute and its members are actively engaged in generating scientific knowledge that directly impacts the health and well-being of the global community. We are adept at communicating scientific information to each other, but are challenged with determining how to access the minds and hearts of the broader consumer. As a professional food organization, we need to develop strategies on how to achieve this objective. In doing so we will help elevate the overall credibility of our profession, and enable us to achieve our mission of ensuring a safe and abundant food supply that contributes to healthier people everywhere.
- A multi-year decrease in research funding to our academic institutions and research organizations. Research institutions, by educating and nurturing the next generation of food technologists, make direct contributions to the level of innovativeness of our industry. As we look to meet the food, health and wellness challenges of the 21st century, our academic institutions and governmental agencies are dependent on a sustained revenue stream to fund their work. IFT has recognized this as a strategic imperative, and has expressed its desire to serve as a research champion and innovation catalyst. As a board member, I would look to further this effort by engaging in a dialog with the appropriate individuals, institutions, research organizations and industry partners with the explicit intent of reversing this funding trend.
- A heightened focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) areas such as food safety and security, global health and wellness and the environment. As the industry looks to feed a population size that is anticipated to grow to nine billion by 2050, concurrently it is faced with the task of addressing these three social responsibility issues. IFT operationalizes forums (IFT Annual Meeting, conferences, workshops, and webcasts) that promote dialog and debate on these important issues. I would look to further programming in these three areas, as well as promote the identification and creation of new ways to help the industry best meet these challenges.
Why do you want to serve on the Board of Directors and how has your work and volunteer experiences prepared you to be a strategic board member?
As an active member of IFT at both the section and national levels, and through my participation on the Management Committee on Membership Experiences, and the Member Value Proposition Advisory Panel, I have developed an appreciation for the diverse needs of our members. These two appointments resulted in targeted IFT programs and activities that enhanced membership engagement with specific audiences, and with the overall community. As a member of the Task Force on Strategic Plan Development, I helped inform our mission, vision and strategic objectives. These roles, together with my professional work experience, have helped me acquire a broader perspective of the needs of IFT members, the industry and of the professional community. At his juncture, I would like to elevate my overall contribution to the Institute and to the industry, by serving as an elected member of the IFT Board. I look to you for your support in enabling me to do so.
What defines a successful board and how would you contribute?
From an operations standpoint, a successful board ensures that the Institute has a clearly defined vision for the future and is poised to achieve it. Board members guide all programs and activities towards those strategies that enable the organization to best achieve its mission and vision. They provide financial oversight so that the Institute operates in a responsible manner, and is financially secure for the future. In cooperation with the other board members, I intend to fulfill these operational responsibilities to the best of my capabilities.
Successful boards have members that embody the values and culture of the organization. They serve as vocal and passionate champions of the organization. Recognizing that all members possess diverse backgrounds and experiences, successful boards drive for a meaningful debate at their meetings, but once aligned, they actively and passionately support the majority decision. I have been an active member of IFT for the past twenty one years, and intend to continue exemplifying these values and behaviors as a member of the board.
A successful board has members that are well attuned to the needs of the membership. They are also acutely aware of the strategic and tactical needs that face the industry and the profession. They focus on what needs to be done and leave the executional responsibilities to the staff and personnel best suited to do so. As a board member, I will channel the input I receive from section and division members, in order to make certain that I am attuned to the diverse needs of our membership.
PhD, 1998, Food Science, Rutgers University
M.S., 1993, Food Science, Rutgers University
B.S. (Tech.), 1989, Technology of Oils, University of Mumbai
B. S., 1986, Chemistry, University of Mumbai
Certificate, 2008, Business Essentials, University of Pennsylvania
PepsiCo Sr. Program Manager – R&D Strategy and Portfolio Mgmt. 2010-Present
Pepperidge Farm Inc. Manager – Supply Chain Mgmt. (Master data) 2008-2010
Pepperidge Farm Inc. Manager- Commercialization & Program Management 2007-2008
Pepperidge Farm, Inc. Program Manager 2005-2007
Campbell Soup Company Sr. Research Scientist 1998-2005
- IFT 2013 Wellness Conference Advisory Panel Panel Member September 2012-March 2013
- Nutmeg Section of IFT Secretary September 2012-August 2013
- Philadelphia Section of IFT Chair September 2005-August 2006
- Philadelphia Section of IFT Member at Large September 2002-August 2005
- Member Value Proposition Advisory Panel Co-Chair September 2009-August 2010
- USDA - CSREES: Education Portfolio Reviewer Reviewer September 2009-September 2009
- Certification Feasibility Advisory Panel Member September 2008-August 2009
- Management Committee on Membership Experiences Chair-Elect September 2007-August 2008
- Task Force on Strategic Plan Development Member September 2005-August 2007
- Task Force as the Go-To Resource for Non-Members Member September 2002-August 2003
- Information Systems Committee Chair September 2003-August 2004
- Information Systems Committee Member September 2000-August 2002
- Juror, IFT Achievement Award Juror September 2000-August 2002