Getting to Know Lauren Shimek November 2015

Lauren Shimek

“IFT’s vibrant and energetic Student Association was my first introduction as a volunteer,” says Lauren Shimek, explaining her initial involvement with IFT. “Both as a national IFTSA finance chair and a Western Area representative, I gained exposure to IFT, IFTSA, and our Northern California IFT Section,” she explains. “That early exposure to both the local level and national level was hugely influential in my career over the years.”

Since her early involvement with IFTSA, Shimek has continued to stay closely involved in IFT, serving as an industry adviser to IFTSA and on a task force to help launch the Certified Food Scientist program. She is currently a member of the Nominations & Elections Committee.

Shimek encourages all members to seek out a volunteer role that suits them. “Jump in with both feet!” she advises. “Volunteering for IFT is a wonderful experience and has so many benefits for you as a member but also for the profession and the broader organization. I would encourage everyone to find an area they are passionate about and get involved.”

Shimek, an IFT professional member, is a senior portfolio director at IDEO, where she uses human-centered design, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and technical expertise to create innovative food and beverage products. She says IFT can be a valuable tool for establishing more-personal-feeling relationships with other professionals.

“In a world of digital, virtual, and often impersonal connections, IFT has created a trustworthy and personal network of professionals who share a common enthusiasm and core belief for science in food and beverage,” says Shimek. “This network, the professional relationship, and lifelong friendships from it have been instrumental in my career.”

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Vice President, Volunteer Leadership Development
Executive Director, Feeding Tomorrow

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Manager, Volunteer Leadership Development and Recognition