CHICAGO — Nov. 18, 2021 — The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) today announced two new additions to its senior leadership team.

Mandy Zaransky-Hurst assumes the role of senior vice president of Marketing, Communications and Business Development where she will be responsible for strategizing, planning, budgeting, executing, benchmarking, and aligning the effectiveness of all communication for IFT, Feeding Tomorrow - the Foundation of IFT, and the IFT Student Association. Leisha Nicol joins IFT as the senior director of Integrated Marketing and Brand Strategy where she will be responsible for telling the story of IFT, owning the brand experience, and inspiring stakeholder engagement.

“The addition of two female leaders with veteran marketing experience positions IFT, both the organization and our members, for meaningful success as we navigate the various nuances that face the food industry and the professional community within it,” said IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean. “We look forward to the many ways both Mandy and Leisha will support the evolution of IFT and its many offerings.”

Mandy Zaransky-Hurst joins IFT from Ragan Communications and PR Daily where she most recently worked as the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Leadership Councils. During her tenure at Ragan Communications, she also held the role of Chief Marketing Officer for four years. Her experience includes directing strategic marketing, sales, and member engagement efforts, including virtual and live events. Prior to Ragan Communications and PR Daily, Zaransky-Hurst was a senior manager of Integrated Marketing with the Chicago Tribune Media Group.

Leisha Nicol comes to IFT after 14 years with The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) where she most recently served as the director of Investor Education Marketing. In her time at OCC, she oversaw a multi-faceted digital marketing program, promoted options education, managed advertising campaign launches to drive digital engagement to The Options Industry Council’s program and website as well as marketed a successful live event educational program.

To learn more about IFT’s senior leadership team, please visit:

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