Getting to Know Adam Getzel February 2018

Adam GetzelAs the commercial director for CitraSource, a citrus house in Winter Haven, Fla., Adam Getzel spends his days helping perfumers and flavorists overcome challenges. His interest in the field began as a college student. While pursuing a degree in chemistry at night, he accepted a job at Firmenich, a privately owned flavor and fragrance company. “My career quickly evolved,” he says, “from application labs to analytical labs, specifically reverse engineering fragrances.” Each day brought a new challenge, solving a variety of “fragrance puzzles”—from fine fragrance and body care to air care and home care. “Occasionally,” remarks Getzel, “I’d find beer, candy, flowers, or wine on my desk, left by perfumers to analyze. Once I even worked in the cafeteria to capture and replicate the smell of baking cookies.”

After a nearly 18-year stint with Firmenich, Getzel accepted a position with Bontoux, a family-owned company that manufactures essential oils, where, he says, “I had the opportunity to learn sales, marketing, and how small businesses work.” Today Getzel uses his collective technical and commercial experience to help customers overcome their challenges and provide unique tools to perfumers and flavorists. “I enjoy empowering our customers with the knowledge and products they need to be successful,” he says.

Throughout most of his career, Getzel was aware of IFT, but it wasn’t until the mid-2000s that he became involved. “I joined IFT because the group provided an opportunity to learn. During my first season I accepted a position with the Central New Jersey Subsection as member at large. Once I understood more about the organization and how important it was to the industry, I wanted to get more involved. The following year I was Central New Jersey chair. Since then, I’ve been New York chair twice. Last year, under my leadership, our chapter started a mentoring program, and New York hosted our 75th anniversary with a gala.”

Getzel says his involvement with IFT played a role in developing some of the skills he uses every day while communicating with customers and colleagues from around the world. “Throughout my years volunteering with Central New Jersey and New York, I’ve learned many things, including leadership skills. I’ve become more mature, and met many friends. Most importantly, I’ve built a solid network of diverse colleagues.”

Getzel likens the benefits of participating in section events and volunteer activities to that of a gym membership. “Simply buying a membership doesn’t get results,” he says. “The folks who get the most out of it are the ones who put the most in. Whether you’re a member or not, you’ll find value in attending suppliers’ nights, local dinner meetings, and other sporting and social events. You’ll learn more about your industry by discussing current trends and building your network with new colleagues. Once involved, you’ll realize what this organization is trying to accomplish. You may even want to share your knowledge because part of IFT’s goal is to help by educating everyone. By working together, we will be the ones to feed tomorrow.”

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