Getting to Know Jennifer McEntire January 2016

Jennifer McEntire

“IFT has been an integral part of my life,” says Jennifer McEntire. Like many of IFT’s volunteers, she began her involvement as a student, attending Philadelphia Section meetings during her freshman year at the University of Delaware and serving as a student liaison to the section. For a while after that, she says, she was not as active as a volunteer—because she spent eight years on IFT’s staff, serving as senior staff scientist and director of science and technology projects in DC, though she did remain involved with the Washington DC Section. Now the vice-president of science operations with the Grocery Manufacturers Assoc., McEntire currently serves on the Nominations & Elections Committee.

McEntire believes that volunteering with IFT can provide opportunities for both personal and professional growth. “The food science community, and especially the IFT community, is very nurturing and encouraging and I met a lot of wonderful individuals through IFT—and they took the time to share their experiences and advice with me,” she says. “Each position I’ve held has required that I have an extensive network, and IFT provides the ideal forum to connect with experts in the various food disciplines.”

She also encourages members who might be intimidated by volunteering at the national level to begin locally within their section, where they can meet other volunteers face to face. “Alternatively, volunteering within a division, where you know you have something in common with other volunteers, can also be a great entry point,” she notes. “As the network grows you may become more comfortable with the breadth of volunteer opportunities.”

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Vice President, Volunteer Leadership Development
Executive Director, Feeding Tomorrow

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Manager, Volunteer Leadership Development and Recognition