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Looking Ahead, Making Changes
It is quite an honor to be elected President of IFT, to be recognized by my peers to lead our organization. As I take office this month, I would like to discuss some of the activities and changes that have occurred and others that I foresee.
• MyIFT. Over the next 12 months, I will be sending you messages about my activities as President as well as those of IFT in general, and I encourage you as IFT members to communicate and share your thoughts and your concerns with me and other members.
One way to do this is through the myIFT.org Web portal. As described on p. 37 of the November 2003 issue of Food Technology, myIFT is an operating system that enables seamless communications and information sharing within IFT. To IFT and to anyone concerned about good business practices, timely and efficient communications, and information sharing, such operating systems are the future. Improvements in myIFT are in progress.
• Annual Meeting + Food Expo®. After more than three decades of “the same old thing,” this year significant changes were made to streamline the Opening Session of the IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo in Las Vegas. For me, the change was a breath of fresh air. Are we done making changes? No. Do I know what the next changes will be? No. Will I share them with you when I know? Yes.
IFT’s “Three Presidents”—President, Past President, and President-Elect—and our new Executive Vice President all agree that we must continue to enhance the Annual Meeting + Food Expo and to increase the excitement of Food Expo for exhibitors and visitors alike. Certainly, the presence of the New Products Pavilion and the Culinary Challenge Pavilion demonstrated that we can create excitement.
We do not plan to stop there. The Annual Meeting + Food Expo is one of the best ways to increase membership, which in turn builds a stronger IFT.
• Membership Development. All IFT Presidents, and not just the current team, agree that we have to create programs that attract and maintain new members. We do this individually and collectively as we go about our everyday activities as food scientists and food professionals.
• Communication. Communications are essential for the Three Presidents to keep you informed of what is happening nationally and internationally. We will be launching some new electronic communication initiatives soon.
• Washington Office. I can’t emphasize enough how valuable our presence in Washington, D.C. is. It is exciting to be in the Senate Office Building or other similar location and hear the recipients of IFT’s Congressional Support for Science Award acknowledge our presence and the impact our reports are having. I have heard requests that we stay the course, that we continue to be a voice for sound science in Washington. We are having an impact.
• International Activities. I am always pleasantly surprised when I encounter food professionals around the world who know about IFT and speak in glowing terms about our organization and their plans for attending the Annual Meeting + Food Expo. As someone who has actively worked in the international sector for the past 30+ years, I cannot underestimate the importance of our presence around the world. In recent years, IFT has had an increased importance at Codex Alimentarius Commission meetings. This will continue and grow, as will our newly established link with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). These activities represent a concerted effort on the part of individual IFT members who contribute their time and knowledge to enhance IFT’s presence around the world.
In November 2004, IFT will co-host a summit in China with the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology. The summit will highlight developments in the Chinese food industry as well as provide an opportunity to discuss the future needs of this growing segment of the world’s food industry.
• Transition. On behalf of IFT, I want to thank Ann Hollingsworth for her leadership as President over the past year. As Past President, she will continue to be part of the Three Presidents team, along with me and President-Elect Margaret Lawson. I look forward to working with them and with all of you over the next 12 months.
by HERBERT STONE
IFT President, 2004–05
President, Tragon Corp.
Redwood City, Calif.