John D. Floros

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” That inspirational quote from John Quincy Adams is the essence of our upcoming IFT national leadership election. Throughout my career, but particularly before I took office last fall, I reflected upon what it means to be a leader. What could I bring to the IFT leadership team that would help us advance our organization and the food science and technology profession? How could I contribute to the growth of our scientific society and guide us through all of the positive changes within IFT and our profession? Could I inspire my friends and colleagues to join me in these noteworthy pursuits?

Some of my questions were answered when I took office and engaged in planning the strategic direction of the organization. Other answers were formed when I joined my colleagues in ongoing discussions about leadership qualities and characteristics that best complement our community.

Here are some qualities and characteristics that IFT leaders should possess. IFT leaders serve as role models for our members. Being an IFT leader means that you are committed to the ongoing success of the organization. IFT leaders are typically consensus builders, yet have the ability to make tough decisions. They are innovative, strategic thinkers, and team builders. In addition, they are results oriented, generally open minded, effective communicators, ethical, engaging, enthusiastic, and welcoming. IFT leaders have demonstrated their determination, focus, and diplomacy throughout their careers. Above all else, IFT leaders are passionate about our organization and its mission to advance the science of food.

The Nominations and Elections Committee, under the leadership of Michele Buchanan, worked tirelessly to finalize our ballot over the past several months. A Task Force, led by IFT Immediate-Past-President Dennis Heldman, brought forth our Nominations and Elections candidates to the ballot, which was then approved by the IFT Board of Directors in its entirety. Our 15 talented candidates offer a breadth of knowledge about the profession, a diverse volunteer history within IFT and beyond, and an unwavering commitment to each of you.

As you learned last month, we have two exceptional nominees for President-Elect—Roger Clemens and Marianne Gillette. For Board Member, the strong list of nominees includes Colin Dennis, Bill Franke, Russ Flowers, Bob Gallatin, Guy Johnson, Conrad Rebello, Julie Ruder, and Justin Shimek. Nominees selected to serve as members of the Nominations and Elections Committee include Ellen Bradley, Eric Decker, Maryanne Drake, Dallas Hoover, and Scott Lineback. IFT’s voting membership elects one member for President-Elect, four members for the Board of Directors, and three members for the Nominations and Elections Committee.

As the governing body of IFT, the Board of Directors ensures that the Institute has a clear strategic plan and aligns the resources of the Institute to support the strategic direction and mission of the organization. The Board of Directors is also responsible for the fiduciary health of the Institute. Board members use their time and talent to participate in strategic discussions to ensure IFT’s long-term success. The IFT Nominations and Elections Committee is charged with managing the election process, including the call for nominations and the national election. The committee assists in the identification of emerging leaders and, in concert with the IFT Board of Directors, identifies leadership qualities and characteristics to best serve the organization.

Each of IFT’s elected leaders serve three-year terms to ensure continuity and oversight.

During our election from March 10 to April 10, 2008, IFT members can cast their ballots electronically from any Internet-accessible computer worldwide. To vote using the online process, members will visit a secure Website that contains background information on all of the candidates. Access will be restricted by a required login, username, and password. Confidential votes will be tabulated automatically by an outside consultant and a report of the results will be issued by IFT shortly after the close of the election.

In addition to approval of the slate of candidates, the IFT Board of Directors approved a 45-day petition cycle beginning on the date of electronic member notification of the candidates in January 2008. Members have 45 days to submit petitions for President-Elect, Board of Directors, and candidates for positions on the Nominations and Elections Committee. Deadline for receipt of all petitions is March 1. Please forward any questions about the slate, petition process, or the online elections to Heather Lang at [email protected].

Do your homework by visiting to learn more about our talented candidates, and make it a priority to vote in the upcoming IFT national election beginning March 10.

by John D. Floros,
IFT President, 2007–08 
Professor and Head, Food Science Dept., The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.
[email protected]