How can you make the most out of your IFT Food Expo experience as a student? Spend time on the expo floor! Meet as many people as you can, focus your time on companies you’re interested in, and learn as much as you can by exploring the latest in products and technology the exhibitors have to offer.
Hear from two IFT students, Matt Cael, and Kirk Smith, as they recount past success on the expo floor and visiting booths, talking with various companies. In addition, Kirk Smith offers an inside perspective as he shares his experience of actually working in a booth and provides tips and advice for what to expect from exhibitors.
Any student or professional attending the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo looking for tips on how to make exhibit visits productive
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
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Matthew is completed is his M.S. in Food Science at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with an emphasis on seafood technology research in product development, processing effects on protein structure and function, nutrient content of value-added shrimp products in August 2012. He is now the Texas and Oklahoma Account Manager for Kalsec Inc., a primary sprice extractor based out of Kalamazoo, MI specializing in natural flavor, color, and antioxidant solutions for the food industry. Prior to Kalsec, Matthew worked as a Microbiology Lab Technician in the Quality Assurance Department of Dynamic Foods in Lubbock, Texas. Matthew is a past Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University, where he earned his B.S. in Food Science in 2010, and has interned at Brinker International in Culinary Research and Development for Chili’s and On the Border. Matthew has a strong passion for the blending of culinary arts and food science. He attempts to bring both disciplines together in the product development process at all times. He is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists and the Research Chefs Association.
Kirk Thomas Smith
Kirk Smith is currently the Pacific West Area Representative for IFTSA. He
has experience working the IFT Food Expo floor as both a student and a booth
exhibitor. He obtained his B.S. in
Food Science at North Carolina State University. Presently, he is finishing his M.S. in Food Science at the
University of California, Davis. He
plans to begin working with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in August
Jennifer A Willig
Originally from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Jennifer attended the University of Kentucky and became an IFT student member in 2003. Upon graduating with a B.S. in Food Science in 2006, Jennifer moved to Columbus, Ohio to attend The Ohio State University, where she received her Master’s Degree in Food Science and Nutrition in 2009. While at The Ohio State University, Jennifer took on a leadership role in The Ohio State University Food Science Club, where she served as the Food Science Club Treasurer in 2007-2008. Jennifer also became active on the IFTSA Board of Directors where she held the IFTSA Vice President of Membership Experiences position from 2008-2009. In 2009, Jennifer became the IFTSA Vice President of Finance. Today, Jennifer is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Kentucky with a research focus in functional foods and food safety. Jennifer is the IFTSA President. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with friends and family, working out and attending live music events.