My 33-year involvement with IFT has shaped my career, my development, and my professional network.
It was an unexpected trip to the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in 1977 that provided me with a window into food science, and my first industry job at McCormick. Not a week goes by that I don’t recognize how lucky I am to be working in a profession that I love—one that challenges and inspires me, deals with the great, diverse subject of food, and allows me to interact with some of the brightest minds in food. My engagement with IFT has nurtured my connection to food science and technology, and has also provided the opportunity to give back to the profession through the IFT Foundation.*
This year the foundation is 25 years old. In celebration and recognition of the silver anniversary, he IFT Foundation’s Board of Trustees, chaired by Martha Rhodes Roberts, acknowledged this major milestone by considering past accomplishments, and, more importantly, by defining a vision for the future. In order to position the foundation for future success in its mission to advance global access to safe and nutritious food, the Board has refreshed the foundation’s visual presence. The new name, Feeding Tomorrow, The Foundation of the Institute of Food Technologists, is intended to facilitate foundation development so that we may continue to pursue our mission to promote service, education, and research.
Thanks to the generosity of individual, institutional, and corporate donors, over the past 25 years, the foundation has funded more than $10 million in programs to support global food science efforts and to support new generations of food scientists.
Feeding Tomorrow has provided more than 4,000 scholarships to attract young minds to food science, food technology and related curricula. The foundation awarded 110 scholarships this past academic year, totaling approximately $170,000. Each year, hundreds of dedicated runners, walkers, and contributors donate to scholarships through the foundation and the IFT Student Association’s Annual Fun Run & Walk.
In 2009, The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association worked with Feeding Tomorrow to establish the Dr. Richard L. Hall Scholarship in Flavor Science, awarded annually to a graduate student in flavor science. Feeding Tomorrow, through a committee of Ann Hollingsworth’s peers, has established a Student Leadership Scholarship in her honor to recognize students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership at their university and the IFT Student Association. The foundation has also invested more than $500,000 in research for the food science and technology profession, including support of IFT Expert Reports, which bring credible food science to policymakers, the media, and the general public.
Educating future generations continues to be critical. Discovery Education, IFT, and the IFT Foundation have partnered to provide food science resources to teachers and guidance counselors at every U.S. public high school—18,000 schools, reaching a potential student audience of nine million. The program highlights the remarkable world of food science and technology and the exciting career opportunities in the field.
Are you fortunate enough to be working in a profession you love? Spread the love. Invest in future generations of food scientists by donating what you can to Feeding Tomorrow. Visit the “Your Contribution” section of the foundation pages at ift.org, or e-mail [email protected]. Help feed tomorrow. It is something else to feel really good about.
*The Foundation is a federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation that was established on October 24, 1985, and is governed by an independent board of trustees with representatives from IFT, academic institutions, and the corporate community.
by Marianne Gillette, IFT President, 2009–2010
Vice President of Technical Competencies and Platforms, McCormick & Co. Inc., Hunt Valley, Md.