President, Taste and Wellbeing, Givaudan
At Givaudan, Louie D’Amico has provided leadership for the company on global strategy, marketing, business development and sales, mergers and acquisitions, business optimization and other key areas. During his 30-year tenure at Givaudan, he has been engaged in the work of several business units spanning the United States, Europe, LATAM, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He is currently serving as President of the International Organization of the Flavor Industry. Louie earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan State University and he completed a variety of courses at Mahler Executive Development, Kellogg Business School, University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Suzanne Johnson
Vice President R&D, McCormick and Company
Dr. Suzanne Johnson has over 25 years of flavor industry experience focused primarily in Research and Development. She is currently serving as the Vice President of R&D for McCormick and Company’s Retail Division focused on new product development and innovation. Suzanne shares her passion for flavor chemistry as an adjunct faculty member and speaker. She earned her Ph.D. in Physical Analytical Chemistry from Northwestern University and her B.S. in Chemistry from Bradley University.
FEMA Vice President & Secretary
Chief Integration Officer, IFF
Shawn Blythe has an extensive background in cross-functional leadership, including engineering, IT, finance, manufacturing, supply chain, regulatory, procurement, R&D and others over the course of his 30-year career at IFF. He is currently serving as the Chief Integration Officer overseeing the integration related to the merger of IFF with DuPont Nutrition & Bioscience. In addition to his board position at FEMA, Shawn is currently serving as the Chair of both the Research Institute of Fragrance Materials (RIFM) and the Fragrance Science & Advocacy Council (FSAC). He has previously served on the boards for Fragrance Creators Association, the Personal Care Products Association, and the New Jersey Chemistry Council. He also taught Finance as a graduate school Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland for four years. Shawn completed his M.S. in Financial Management at the University of Maryland and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Grove City College.
Paul Graham has more than 30 years of international experience in general management, innovation, marketing and business development, and new product development for B2B and consumer markets in Australasia, Europe and the United States. In addition to his flavor industry experience, he has worked at Allied Domeq and he held various sales and marketing roles at Unilever. He earned an MBA from the University of New England and the Australian Graduate School of Management.
Vice President, North America Beverages Research & Development, PepsiCo
Danielle Barbaro is the Vice President for PepsiCo’s North America Beverages Research & Development with over 20 years of experience in product development and innovation. She serves as the primary R&D point of contact for all North America business partners and is responsible for the technical development of all domestic brands. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Danielle was a product developer for Nabisco Foods/Kraft, focusing on formulation requirements and process commercialization. She also partners with multiple universities and organizations to help provide educational opportunities in STEM. Danielle holds a double major in Nutrition Dietetics and Food Science from the University of Delaware and an M.S. in Food Science from Rutgers University.
President & CEO, Flavor Dynamics, Inc.
Dolf DeRovira is a certified flavor chemist and President & CEO of Flavor Dynamics, Inc. He authored The Dictionary of Flavors and has taught courses in culinary arts at The Culinary Institute of America, sensory evaluation at Rutgers University, and flavor chemistry at institutions throughout the world. Recently, he jointly presented a decision tree protocol to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for flavor safety. Dolf has been awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Research Chefs Association, “The Golden Blotter” from the Society of Flavor Chemists, and the President’s Excellence in Service Award from FEMA. Dolf is a past president of the Society of Flavor Chemists and the Chemical Sources Association and is currently treasurer of the National Association of Flavors and Food-Ingredient Systems. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from The City College of New York.
Dr. Markus Eckert
Vice President of Flavor Creation and Technology, Takasago International Corporation
Dr. Markus Eckert is an executive with over 30 years of international experience in flavor creation, flavor commercialization, taste modulation and encapsulation systems and new process technologies for flavor ingredients. Before taking his position of Vice President of Flavor Creation & Technology at Takasago International Corporation, he held various managerial and executive positions with leading international flavor and fragrance corporations. Markus is a member of the American Chemical Society, Institute of Food Technologists (CFS credential), British Society of Flavorists, and the Association of German Food Technologists. Markus studied at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, earning a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences with an M.S. in Food Engineering and Nutrition.
Vice President of Marketing, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.
Kelli Heinz directs and manages global marketing teams at Bell Flavors & Fragrances with a primary focus on establishing communication and marketing networks. As part of her industry affairs role, she serves on the boards for Women in Flavor and Fragrance Commerce Chicago Chapter, the Fragrance Creators Association, and FEMA. Kelli earned both an M.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Communications from DePaul University, and she completed an executive program at Harvard Business School.
SVP, Taste & Beyond North America, Firmenich
Christopher Perkins oversees the Taste & Beyond North America division at Firmenich. He has served in various roles at Firmenich for more than 25 years, from business development to flavor operations. Prior to his time at Firmenich, he worked in sales at Pfizer and product development for Nabisco. Christopher holds a bachelor’s in food science from Penn State University.
Vice-President, Strategic Ingredient Supply, The Coca-Cola Company
In her current role at The Coca-Cola Company, Lucy Reid leads the Company’s supply chain sourcing activities for all flavor and non-agricultural ingredients used across the global system. Lucy has held various leadership and technical positions in scientific and regulatory affairs, R&D and quality for Minute Maid and North America business units and in April 2021, the Board of The Coca-Cola Company elected her as a Vice-President and Officer of the Company. She has been a Member of the Institute of Medicine Food Forum, University of Massachusetts Food Science Strategic Policy Alliance, Juice HACCP Industry Coalition, and the U.S. delegation for Codex Alimentarius Intergovernmental Task Force for Fruit Juices, as well as a board member for the Juice Products Association. Lucy has also made presentations at multiple industry events and served as a guest lecturer for her alma mater. She holds an M.S. in Food Science and B.S. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.
President & CEO, The Edlong Corporation
Laurette Rondenet has more than 25 years of experience in the food ingredient industry. As President and CEO of Edlong since 2008, she has led the largest independent, certified woman-owned flavor house in the world. She began her career in consumer affairs, followed by positions with several food manufacturers. She serves on the boards of Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network, President’s Forum (SAGE), the Society of Fellows of the Culinary Institute of America, Women Business Enterprise National Council Enterprise Forum, the International Women’s Forum, National Association of Women Business Owners, and the C200 Women’s Executive Leadership Organization. Laurette has a B.S. in Food and Nutrition from Purdue University.
Roderick W. Sowders
President & CEO, Synergy Flavors, Inc.
Roderick Sowders has been the President & CEO of Synergy Flavors, Inc since 2003. In that role he has led the company through a multiple acquisitions and accelerated growth throughout the Americas, while also serving on the Carbery Global Leadership Team. He has over 30 years of experience in the food and specialty chemical industries, including experience at Sensient Technologies and Monsanto. He is a long-standing member of the Institute of Food Technologists, National Confectioners Association, and the Candy Production Club of Chicago. He holds an MBA from Emory University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.