Pam Coleman, MBA, CFS

President-Elect Candidate
Current Title:
Vice President, Research Services and President, Biofortis
Employer: Mérieux NurtiSciences

Why do you want to serve in this role?

I'd like to continue my service to IFT, an association that has provided me with many invaluable opportunities over the years to deepen my technical knowledge and practice vital skills such as networking and leadership. I’ve also personally observed the strength and continuity we have in our Office of the President structure as well as the high caliber individuals serving there alongside the dedicated IFT staff.  Joining this group would be both the highest honor for me as well as an immense responsibility.  I would work to preserve and better prepare IFT for the current and future members.  We have such a fantastic community of people within IFT that have so much to offer our world.  In this era of mistrust of science, our measured, common sense, and scientific approach to some pretty big questions is something we need to continue to build on and communicate. 

Please describe how your attributes and experiences have prepared you for board service.

In my career, I've interacted with people from all parts of the food industry including academic, industry and government leaders.  I've seen how all can work together in a section or a division to add value to the membership experience.  While I have a scientific background and several years as a bench analytical chemist in the food industry, I went on for a business degree.  My expertise is in applying scientific techniques to address the needs of the food industry to verify quality, increase food safety and to create differentiated new ingredients and products.  I employ enthusiastic engagement as a management style, working side-by-side with my 100 person team to meet our needs of our research customers.  I also have several years of international food business experience spanning Asia, Latin America and Europe when I worked to establish our global key accounts program. 

In reviewing IFT’s Strategic Promises, please describe the challenges and opportunities you believe IFT will face in achieving our mission and vision.

The opportunities that speak to me right now are ensuring the continued success and growth of our local Sections and topical Divisions, where many of our members experience IFT first.  They are also the first venues for most volunteer experiences.  Secondly, we added a new entity to our Network promise this year during the annual review:  companies in the food industry.  Our value proposition must be clear to the food industry company leaders so they will support employee IFT membership and volunteer activities.  Thirdly, with the successful launch of Food Evolution, we are ready to think about “what’s next” in our Advocacy promise.  The initiatives of IFT Next are needed to maintain relevancy to our members in a rapidly changing industry.  Finally, we must recruit, welcome and develop a diverse membership and volunteer pool, equipping them as our future leaders.

Please describe an IFT or other volunteer leadership experience and how it will assist you in serving on the board.

During the board’s strategic plan review committee, I've learned how even an expertly crafted strategic plan requires careful scrutiny. This scrutiny can yield some important changes, not in the overall strategic direction, but in tools and programs used to fulfill the objectives. In a multi-faceted industry association such as IFT, this is such an important process if we are to maintain our key strength, maintaining relevancy to our members even as the industry needs change.  Secondly, I was recently the sole dissenting vote on a board issue.  Later, during a local section meeting, several members disagreed with the board's decision, but I was able to happily and vocally support the overall board decision, without revealing my own initial personal misgivings. Personal feelings and opinions must give way to a well debated group decision. I would work to gain alignment as a leader and expect support for group decisions. 

Please provide a short narrative biography of important career and personal accomplishments.

Analytical services excellence in support of client projects is the theme running through my career.  I worked in R&D/QA laboratory roles for 8 years before moving to the contract laboratory business, with the past 23 years at Silliker Laboratories, now Mérieux NutriSciences.  As VP of Research Services, I currently lead a 100 person research services team including 10 PhD scientists, 15 MS and 2 physicians, and operational and project management professionals.  Our team performs clinical nutrition, sensory and consumer studies as well as vital food safety and quality research for leading food industry companies seeking to develop innovative ingredients and products.  In 2017, we completed more than 500 studies, both large and small.  Our science team also collaborates with clients in publishing in peer-reviewed journals.  In 2017, we published in the Journal of Food Protection, the International Journal of Food Microbiology and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 


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