Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Member Registration Fee:
03/05/09 1:30 PM
2 hours 30 min.
Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz P.C.
Mr. Durkin is a principal at Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz P.C. He has been with the firm since 1988. Mr. Durkin's practice is concentrated in federal civil and criminal litigation and administrative proceedings, including court challenges to FDA, USDA, and DEA regulatory and enforcement initiatives, and ITC proceedings.
Mr. Durkin has addressed groups in North and South America, as well as the European Union, on trade and federal regulatory matters, including negotiation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Agreement, dispute resolution before the World Trade Organization (WTO), country-of-origin issues, fair trade in perishable agricultural commodities, and regulation of human tissue for transplant. He has also spoken to international audiences on other trade matters, including food safety equivalency for manufacturers, processors, and distributors, with special emphasis on fresh produce and seafood. Mr. Durkin has also written several manuals for specialized segments of the food industries regarding FDA inspections and recalls.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Durkin served a two-year appointment as Law Clerk to the Honorable Jaime Pieras, Jr., United States District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico. He received his law degree from the Catholic University of America in 1986, where he was the Publication Editor of the Law Review. He received his bachelor's degree in Philosophy from John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1981.
Areas of Practice:
Food, Drug, and Medical Device Law
Food and Drug Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
International Trade Commission
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Rena M Pierami
VP Technical Services
Ms. Pierami is Division Vice President of Technical Services for Silliker, Inc., and has implemented and assessed food safety and quality management processes for the food manufacturing, distribution, and retail sectors. Her current responsibilities include expansion of the organization’s auditing services throughout its global network as well as the management of its consulting and training services. Prior to joining Silliker in 1994, Ms. Pierami was with the KFC Corporation in Louisville, KY. As senior director of quality systems, she led the development and implementation of KFC's worldwide quality assurance and food safety systems, including establishing minimum standards for suppliers. She also managed the technical functions related to sensory and nutritional testing. In addition to her retail experience, Ms. Pierami has worked in microbiological quality control in the brewing industry. A member of several professional organizations, including IFT, IAFP, and ASQ, she represents Silliker on the SQF Institute Technical Advisory Committee, the GFSI Technical Committee, and the Board and Executive Committee of the International HACCP Alliance. Ms. Pierami holds a master’s degree in food science from Michigan State University and a bachelor's in biological sciences from Drexel University.
Dr William H Sperber
After completing undergraduate majors in zoology and chemistry, William Sperber earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In his subsequent employment with major food companies he became one of the world’s experts in designing and controlling the microbiological safety and quality of foods. Several of Bill’s innovations in graduate school included the development of M-Broth and the Enrichment-Serology procedure for Salmonella detection, which were forerunners of ELISA-based technologies. At Best Foods in 1970, twelve years before the Tylenol® incident, he led the development of the first tamper-evident packaging feature for a consumer food product. Hired in 1972 to conduct the first hazard analyses for consumer foods produced under Pillsbury’s novel HACCP system, Bill led Pillsbury’s microbiology and food safety programs until 1995. At that time he joined Cargill as chief microbiologist, where he remains employed today on a post-retirement basis as Global Ambassador for Food Protection. A former chair of the IFT Food Microbiology Division and the Food Microbiology Research Conference, Bill has had years of service on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, the U. S. delegation to the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene and with numerous trade and professional associations. In 2008 he was appointed to a standing committee of the National Academy of Sciences and he proposed the formation of the World Organization for Food Protection. The author of numerous publications and presentations, he is co-editor of The Compendium of the Microbiological Spoilage of Foods and Beverages, published in 2009, and co-author of Food Safety for the 21st Century, to be published in 2010.
Dr Robert B Gravani, CFS
Fd Sci Prof
Robert Gravani is a Professor of Food Science in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University. He received a BS degree in Food Science from Rutgers University and his MS and PhD degrees in Food Science from Cornell University with minors in microbiology and food marketing/management. He was appointed to the food science faculty in 1978 and currently serves as the Department Extension Leader and Director of the National Good Agricultural Practices Program. Dr. Gravani's primary responsibilities are in the area of food science/food safety extension and outreach where he maintains a very active program and conducts short courses, seminars, and workshops for food processors, food retailers, the foodservice industry, and government regulatory agencies. He is interested in the microbiological safety and quality of foods and consumer knowledge of these important issues.