Getting to Know Marianne Gillette December 2015

Gillette Marianne

Marianne Gillette credits her longtime involvement with IFT to serendipity—something she says is probably true for most members. “In 1978, my boss was not able to make it to the IFT annual meeting and asked me to sit in on a division executive committee meeting for her. I enjoyed the meeting and was very impressed with the people I met (in awe, to be truthful—these were icons in my field),” explains Gillette. “That simple errand started me on a path to become a president of IFT 30 years later!”

In addition to leading IFT, Gillette has also served as chair of the Maryland Section and the Sensory Evaluation Division, and she has spoken at many symposia and short courses, including the CFS Prep Course. Gillette credits these roles with shaping her career. “Early in my career I was able to network with impressive role models and professional icons, which helped to shape my own professional character and values,” she says. “As a young professional, the opportunity to work with other professionals in the same field provided me with extraordinary perspective, resources, and grounding that I cannot imagine my career without. Without IFT as my mentor, my view and my career would have been significantly more limited.”

That career has been spent at McCormick and Co., where she started as a sensory analyst before assuming a variety of roles within R&D. She also served as director of marketing on the business-to-business side and recently retired from the role of vice-president of applied research.
Gillette encourages all members to find a way to get involved. “I would tell any food professional that their career potential, performance, success, and enjoyment will be enhanced significantly by engagement with IFT through active engagement in a work group at the section, division, or global level.”

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