Getting to Know Barbara Blakistone April 2016

Barbara Blakistone

Barbara Blakistone has led IFT programs and initiatives for nearly 30 years, and she attributes her continued involvement to the caliber of the scientists who belong to the organization. “I stayed involved because I met people who were well-known in my area and I was learning a lot. I was impressed with the scientists of IFT,” she says.

Blakistone’s involvement spans roles within three divisions, particularly the Food Packaging Division, where she served as executive board member, secretary, vice-chair, and chair, as well as many committees, including the Nominations & Elections Committee. “The process was fascinating,” she recalls, “reviewing many, many names of outstanding volunteers and striving to see them in just the right new position.”

Blakistone served on the IFT Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011, and she is currently working with the Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) on the Technology Architecture Working Group, a part of the Moore Foundation Interoperable Seafood Traceability project that is working to propose practical solutions to identify systems and technical specifications required to enable effective supply chain traceability throughout the seafood industry. “Being a part of IFT put me in touch with what’s going on,” she says. “You can’t stay isolated and keep up with food science. While working for National Fisheries Institute, volunteering with IFT’s GFTC was an exact fit for my duties.”

In her current professional role, Blakistone has traded the regulatory environment of Washington D.C. for the other Washington, working in Seattle at IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group, where she focuses on practical issues in processing food. “If I don’t go to local meetings of IFT, I will really be in a fix trying to understand the scientific support needs of the food industry of Seattle,” she observes. She believes it is in everyone’s best interest to attend their local meetings even if they might not have the capacity to take on additional responsibilities.

“Even if leadership isn’t right for you, go to the meetings!” she urges. “Support the society, and it will support you.”

Return to volunteers in the spotlight page


Contact Kate Dockins
Vice President, Volunteer Leadership Development
Executive Director, Feeding Tomorrow

Contact Shannon Conkright
Manager, Volunteer Leadership Development and Recognition