Getting to Know Lu Ann Williams February 2016

Lu Ann Williams

As Lu Ann Williams’ experience shows, volunteering with IFT can lead not just to professional development and networking opportunities: it can also create lasting friendships. “I was on the Wellness Conference organizing committee for several years, and this was one of the events where I developed some good friendships that turned IFT into more than just an industry event for me,” she says. “One friend I made there has become a very good personal friend and we even vacation together.”

In general, Williams’ experiences volunteering with IFT—which have ranged from roles on the Nominations & Elections Committee and the Annual Meeting Scientific Program Advisory Panel to involvement in the Marketing Division—have provided opportunities to expand her horizons. “Working in all these groups has given me a lot of opportunity to interact with people I might not normally meet, and the exchange of ideas has been very valuable,” says Williams, who is director of innovation at Innova Market Insights. “It’s also a good way to build your network. The food industry is really quite small, and I meet so many people I know everywhere I go all over the world.”

It seems that Williams was meant to do the work she does. “When I was 15 years old, a teacher made us write down what we’d be doing when we were 30,” she recalls. “She mailed those letters to us when we were 30, and mine said I’d travel the world and be an international business woman. I was right! Sometimes I describe very good data analysis as like having a crystal ball. Perhaps I have always been good at seeing what’s coming next!”

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

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Manager, Volunteer Leadership Development and Recognition