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Nominations and Elections

2019 RCA Board Election

The deadline to submit nomination applications for the 2019 RCA Board has passed. The ballot for the 2019 RCA Board has been distributed to all RCA members. The ballot will close December 2018, and the elected candidates will be announced to the membership in early January.

Voting is now closed. View the full RCA Board nominations and election timeline to learn about next steps. 

Get to Know the 2019 RCA Board Candidates

There are 8 candidates for the 2019 RCA Board. From the 8 candidates, the seven candidates who receive the most number of votes will be seated on the 2019 RCA Board of Directors.

Please click on the candidates below to view their submitted bios.

RCA Board Candidate - Charles Hayes

Bio

I’ve always possessed a passion for cooking and science. Upon graduating private school in Boston MA, it was assumed by my parents that I would attend college. Their vision for my life was that I would study premed, follow the same pathway of my siblings and go on to practice medicine. I knew in my mind this would never happen.

I took it upon myself to research a culinary education and possible HRI degree. (My guidance counselor had little knowledge of the CIA or Johnson and Wales.) I applied to the CIA in the spring of 1976, enrolled in the fall of 1977 and graduated with honors in 1979.

I graduated in March which was perfect timing to seek employment on Cape Cod & the islands. I spent the next two years working in hotels and restaurants on Cape Cod and Nantucket island. Little did I know that I was building a network of culinarians who I would become life long friends, associates and impactful food industry leaders.

I departed the cape in 1982 and moved to Boston. My goal was to fire up my career and put some money away for college! I followed one of my mentors to the Bay Tower Room / Club which was managed by the Ritz Carlton, Boston. I worked as a Sous chef under Chef Hanken Blanken. (in the early 80’s all the Chef roles were filled with European trained Chefs. The wave of new American Chefs was just starting to build.) The Bay Tower Room was nicely seated atop 60 State Street tower which happened to also be ITT Sheraton Hotels World Headquarters. During this period, I became very involved with the ACF, working towards certification.

I joined Sheraton Hotels in 1983 as a “Task Force Chef.” My roll was to work closely with my colleagues opening new hotels and resorts worldwide. I had the pleasure to open hotels in Rome, Frankfurt, Dallas and Tucson. It was an amazing experience for a young Chef.

I met my wife Lynda while working together to open the Sheraton Tucson El Conquistador. We were married soon after the resort opened. Besides finding my partner for life I also rediscovered my passion for science. I had enrolled at the University of Arizona in order to complete my BS Degree. Here I discovered food science. It was there that I realized that I was a food scientist trapped in a chef uniform! Both worlds collided. For the first time in my career I was able to articulate cooking processes, how, why etc. This knowledge helped bolster my passion for food, pastry and bakery.

We followed Lynn’s career to San Diego CA. She remain working for Sheraton. I took a position at La Costa Hotel and Spa as Ex. Sous Chef. Two years later we moved to Chicago. Lynn became the Global Director of Sales for Sheraton. I joined the Ritz Carton Group as Executive Chef at the Whitehall and Tremont hotels.

In 1989 I took a position with Marriott Hotel as Ex. Chef at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. In 1991 I opened Desserts Etcetera, selling handcrafted pastries and breads to hotels and restaurants. The fall of 1996 I expanded our bakery to Grand Rapids MI. in 2001 I sold the business and joined the Schwan Food Company as Director of R&D for bakery. In 2005 I joined Sara Lee Food Service as Corporate Chef. In 2007 I left there to join Cara Restaurants and Airline Catering in Toronto Canada as VP Culinary innovation. In 2008 in returned to the baking industry at Awrey Bakeries as Director of Culinary. In 2012 I joined JMH Premium as VP Culinary innovation. Most recently I joined Deli Star Corporation as VP Culinary innovation.

Vision Statement

While I was not a founding member, I’ve had the pleasure to be involved with the Research Chefs Association for many years and joined the group soon after its inception. Working collaboratively has introduced me to new ideas and unprecedented discovery. I’ve been fortunate to work with many RCA members in different capacities over the years and believe the association is entering a pivotal time for tremendous growth. As Past President with a vision for developing future industry leaders, I hope to inspire and mentor those looking to achieve greatness. Watching the association evolve into what it’s become today has ignited my desire to run for the board of directors to help continue moving the association forward with future thinking. Between our loyal members and strong leadership, I believe that the Research Chefs Association can become the gold standard for innovative, culinary excellence. I look forward to the prospect of rejoining the community of thought leaders and sharing new ideas for generations to come.



RCA Board Candidate - Darryl Holliday

Bio

Dr. Darryl Holliday is a senior level food and beverage professional with expertise in culinary and food science product development, ingredient functionality, cost reduction, and business development/market presence. After completing his undergraduate education at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University, Dr. Holliday continued his culinary training through internships with Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits and Firmenich Flavors and Fragrances. He then furthered his education at Louisiana State University where he completed a Master’s of Science in Food Science with a focus in food engineering/flavor chemistry with a minor in business marketing.

After working in the food industry for several years as a research chef for the Wright Group providing insight for customers in vitamin and mineral fortification foods, Dr. Holliday returned to school to complete a PhD in Food Science with an emphasis in food processing/product development with areas of focus in Culinology®, food chemistry, nutrition research, and organic chemistry.

This educational background plus his restaurant and industry experience has allowed him to become a Certified Research Chef during this time. Afterwards, he has served as Director of R&D for Kajun Kettle Foods, LLC developing private label soups and sauces for restaurant chains. He then took a position as Corporate Chef at Ballard Brands where he grew the number of corporate stores and helped launch their catering division. This position led him to an opening as Director of Business Development for Angelica Manufacturing, a small growing commissary kitchen and co-packer where during his time, he helped double the number of customers and increase food service sales options for their primary customer. He was then hired as the Director of R&D for KOR Food Innovation to aid in their product development and innovation mission.

His passion for education led him back to Louisiana where he joined the University of Holy Cross as a Visiting Professor of Food Science before being promoted to Director of the Food Science Program and Department Chair for Biological and Physical Sciences where he currently is responsible for teaching (collegiate and continuing education), program and department growth, research, and fundraising.

Vision Statement

My original reasons for joining RCA were to network and secure a position in R&D/Product Development after earning my undergraduate degree. However, that quickly changed when doing my second internship where I was tasked with creating the initial student focused portion of the organization, the student subcommittee. Here I began to realize how much I had to offer the organization from my time serving on the IFT Student Association Board. With effort from many additional volunteers and sponsors, the first student Culinology competition and Poster Competition were created. Since that time, I have continuously served on numerous RCA committees including: Membership, Annual Conference Planning, Marketing, Education (where I co-wrote a chapter for the RCA Culinology Book), and Higher Education (where I continue to serve today). Each time I have volunteered within the RCA, I have learned more about the organization and seen it being pushed in a direction to propel it forward for the future as it continues to find its ideal role/need to the industry. Being a part of such a great organization continues to excite and motivate me in my daily career as well. I strive to represent and promote the RCA at all industry events and especially here at the University of Holy Cross and through our partnerships with other educational institutions as UHC works towards RCA Culinology degree accreditation. Because I have had the opportunity to see the CRA through the eyes of a student, industry professional, and now, academic, this unique viewpoint allows me to understand the needs and desires of all areas and will ensure that all voices are shared/considered during planning for RCA’s future. My main goal during my time on the board would be to enhance the inclusiveness of each subsection of membership and work to reinforce the unity of these groups that has been lost a bit over time. My second goal would be to help increase the perceived value of the organization by both members and the industry.

In order to achieve these, I feel that RCA must set a path to ensure that all membership groups are shown a focus both at the annual meeting as well as throughout the year. Some basic ideas include ensuring RCA is developing new and creative student and industry competitions, ensuring the highest caliber and poignant educational learning sessions, highlighting members and their organizations in Culinology magazine, promoting excellence in work and continued education, and strengthening the relations of RCA to other professional organizations.

RCA Board Candidate - Justin Kanthak

Bio

My name is Justin Kanthak and I have spent the last twenty-two years growing, engaging and leading within the food industry. I began my education at the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY) earning my Associates in Culinary Arts (2002) as well as my B.S in Food Science Technology/ Minor in Microbiology from Iowa State University (2007). To continue my education, I am currently working toward a Masters in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University (2020).

As for my work experience in the industry, I spent ten years in fine dining throughout the United States as a line cook & Sous Chef. Upon completion of my BS from ISU, I spent two years as a Food Scientist with Cargill, three years as a Corporate Chef with The Schwan Food Company, two years as an adjunct instructor at Southwest Minnesota State (teaching Culinology® and Hospitality Management) and three years with Tate & Lyle as the Manager of Global Culinary Development. I have since transition to business development, and over the last four years have continued to grow as a National Account Manager for Kellogg’s and Griffith Foods focusing on chain restaurants & new business development.

As a member of the RCA, I have maintained my Certified Research Chef and Certified Culinary Scientist certifications for the last seven years, noting I was the third person in the RCA to earn both the CRC & CCS certifications.

Since 2012, I have been an active committee member and leader within the organization. The past six years have included serving on the Certification Committee for three years (2012-2015), being a member of the Culinology Education Foundation since 2015 (President from 2016-2018), RCA Board of Directors for two elected terms (2015 to current) and serving on the Executive Council as both the Secretary (2017) and Treasurer (2018) – with notable projects including selecting and transiting management partners, revising the RCA Bylaws and participated in the creation of the first RCA Higher Education Summit (2017).

Outside of the RCA, I have been active with IFT leadership via the LEAD 360 program (13/14), a member of the Iowa State University FSHN External Advisory Council for six year (Elected chair for four years 2013-2017) as well as a member of the James Beard Foundation’s Food Waste Advisory Board (17/18).

Vision Statement

My Vision for the Research Chef Association is focused on the following five commitments:

  1. To continue the work of our current leadership in building a healthy, financially responsible organization that will endure for the future via a strong partnership between our members and our management partner Smith Bucklin.
  2. To continue to focus on driving value per dollar spent by each member of the organization, specific to their needs, to assure our members feel a dollar invested in the organization is returned to them in services multifold.
  3. To commit the RCA leadership to providing the guidance needed to grow and further develop our Culinology® Degree programs via our University and Collegiate partners. This work will assist in building an ongoing sustainable pipeline of students and of early career with graduates with the initial skills needed to be an impact value in the industry. (Wondering if the end of this sentence should be “of students and early career graduates with the initial skills needed to be valuable to the industry.”)
  4. To investigate and create a plan to improve diversity within the RCA membership body by expanding opportunities for the Food Science and Culinology members, in addition to improving the gender and ethnic diversity within the organization.
  5. To assist in the continual growth of the Culinology® Education Foundation and its mission to provide financial assistance in the form of scholarships to qualified students and professionals pursuing higher learning and continued education in Culinology®, culinary arts and food science.

Commitment on these five key areas of focus for the RCA will permit the organization to retain and expand our current membership, as well as increase our ability to further develop the skills of our members. This is vital to enable evolution in our industries and to assure a healthy organization that will endure the ever changing economic and evolving global food industry. My Vision is that RCA members will not be bystanders to change, but the active agents of change shaping the future of food.

RCA Board Candidate - Sara Menard

Bio

My food science days began early on, before I even had a clue what the field consisted of. Growing up, I participated in many 4-H cookery contests and won many awards. Beginning LSU for my undergraduate studies was an intimidating time. I felt pressure to decide a major that would dictate my life. My dad worked for the LSU AG Center and served on committees with a Food Science professor who is the one that can be credited with introducing me to food science my freshman year of college. Before that, I had no idea this was even a major field of study.

From the time I stepped foot in the Food Science building I was hooked. I was immediately placed on the RCA culinology team! Little did I know this would begin shaping my career path, I became involved in the product development jab and the LSU Food Science club. Through the club, I was introduced to the IFT Student association and participated on the quiz bowl team. As part of the RCA culinology team, we advanced to the finals my first year. RCA Phoenix was my first ever professional conference. I was mesmerized from the start with how welcoming the industry was and how much I learned at that conference. My undergrad experiences pointed me to graduate school as my next step to further my food science background and gain leadership skills.

I attended graduate school at Kansas State University where I also had heavy involvement with mentoring undergrads. I served as mentor for the food science club and RCA Culinology team. Both were almost non-existent at this huge food science school! I was able to take them to IFT quiz bowl, trips to local food processors, and serve as the student ambassador for the KC-IFT section. Graduate school helped stretch my leadership skills, realizing how much I enjoyed and was gratified when mentoring the younger generation.

Currently, I am a Technical Sales Manager covering the West for Grande Custom Ingredients and pursuing my MBA. Previously, I was in technical support for our customers as a liaison between sales and the customer. The MBA will help me bridge the gap between sales and technical support. I was selected for the IFT Emerging leaders program. My education and experiences have cultivated a skill set and enthusiasm for our industry and ready to contribution to the RCA Board of Directors.

Vision Statement

RCA is one of my favorite organizations to be a part of and I am a huge advocate of promoting it in the industry when I talk culinary strategies with my customers. I am proud to introduce them to the CCS program since I work with food scientists who are trying to bridge the culinary gap. Darryl Holliday was my first introduction to RCA when I joined his Culinology team at LSU. He has served as a mentor for me from undergrad and still now into my career. Nick Landry was the very first industry person I met at RCA when he hosted our Culinology team for dinner. Now I follow him on LinkedIn to stay current on culinary trends and gain a chef's perspective. Paul Rockwell was the next person I met. Our LSU ties made the strong connection. Now, he is also a mentor and has offered opportunities to some students I send his way looking for internships. Janet Carver, while she may not know me by name has influenced my career upon hearing her speak about her culinary team. She is a visionary for Culinology in the workplace. The list goes on of people and connections I have made through RCA.

I so strongly want to give back and be one of these people to someone, one day. Serving on the RCA board will allow me more involvement with shaping the vision and structure of the organization. I have gained so much knowledge from participating and mentoring the RCA culinology team. I also just joined the student committee to further develop the student portion of RCA. This is very important to me, since many students across the nation are not aware of the opportunities of RCA.

My vision is to further grow RCA’s membership and continue to bring value to the members. I still run into colleges who are not aware of RCA. I will make it my goal to continue to advocate and work on the content of RCA to add membership value. I also feel this starts at the student level. Those students are our future! We will be working with them one day!

My goal in the food industry is to be a leader and advocate for accurate information and portrayal of our industry. With so many negative things going on in the media, I feel it is my duty to continue to educate consumers. Serving on the RCA board will allow me to continue to gain leadership skills and continue to advocate for our industry.

RCA Board Candidate - Jaime Mestan

Bio

Growing up in a household that held family food traditions in the highest regard, every dish was a lesson in love and labor. Helping her grandmother roll out the dough for mandel brot, or making sure to carefully drop each handmade kreplach into a steaming pot of golden chicken broth, Jaime has been cooking all her life. When the time came to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up, she naturally chose the foodservice industry.

While attending Kendall College, Jaime worked as a teaching assistant where she supported Chef Instructors in managing on-campus restaurants and events. After winning first place in The Chef's Of Grey Poupon Competition as well as a $20,000.00 scholarship, she graduated from Kendall with a Bachelors Degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. She is currently on the Kendall College Culinary Advisory Board.

After graduation, Jaime worked for Oprah's personal chef, Art Smith, at Table Fifty-Two in Chicago's Gold Coast. At the suggestion of a former instructor, she made the transition in to Research and Development as Assistant Research Chef at Ed Miniat, Inc. Her responsibilities there include working with national chain accounts and creating new menu items and protein concepts. At the advice of her boss, John Draz, she joined the Research Chef's Association and started the adventure in the world of Research and Development. While participating yearly in the RCA’s Professional Culinology Competition Chef Mestan obtained her Sous Chef Certification through the American Culinary Federation by demonstrating her skill, knowledge and professionalism in the food service industry.

In 2016, she began a new chapter as Director of Bistro Products with Vienna Beef Ltd. her role has expanded to include leadership. She oversees most aspects of the kettle operation from ideation to ingredient sourcing, product development and marketing. With her experience, and with the occasional question sent out on RCA connect, Chef Mestan plans to grow the Bistro Soups & Chili business for many years to come.

None of this would be possible without the Research Chef's Association. The connections made through that organization are woven into the path taken to get where she is today and continues to lay the foundation for her future success.

Vision Statement

To enact change and be a voice for Culinology® and its far reaching importance into the hands and minds of future members to continuously grow the Research Chef's Association. Vienne Beef.

RCA Board Candidate - Mickey Miller

Bio

I worked 17 years for mechanical contracting company. 14 of those years were spent as a supervisor and project manager installing food processing equipment, along with, related piping, controls, etc. When the opportunity to work for Bush Brothers & Company arose, I did not hesitate. The position combined my love of making food (since early childhood) and the processing aspect that had become so familiar to me.

Shortly after, I returned to school and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science & Technology with focus on business and technology at The University of Tennessee.

After graduating, I moved from Engineering to Product Development. Since then, our company has been exploring flavorful new avenues that promote mainstream consumption of vegetable protein…eat more beans! Within my tenure at Bush’s I have gained extensive knowledge in thermal processing, process improvement, and product development. I currently manage the development of several new products via co-manufacturers and suppliers. I am deeply involved with every step from ideation to full production including; market research, product development (product and packaging), quality, food safety, and regulatory.

I have served as the Volunteer Section of IFT president twice, receiving the “Outstanding Section Volunteer” award 8 times and a Certificate of Appreciation for leadership and dedication from IFT National. I was an instrumental voice in the decision making process leading to the recent change in membership options making it easier to join IFT.

My personal interests include spending time with my daughter (the artist), coaching my son in little league baseball, riding my Street Glide, playing with the culinary arts, and the occasional round of golf.

Vision Statement

I joined the RCA a few years ago not fully understanding what RCA was. During the first conference I attended, I fell in love with the concept of Culinology, the variety of members, trend awareness, and the overall environment.

While IFT has an important role and is certainly a place for the science of food, the environment is not always warm and is often specific to regulatory, quality issues, ingredients, and equipment. The science behind making quality food safely is there, but the aspect of making great tasting products while staying on trend is missing. As a developer, I want an equal share of all of these things.

What I love most about the RCA is the blend of culinary and science (Culinology). I feel a warmness and camaraderie within the RCA and its members. It seems everyone here has a unique story just like me. RCA just “fits” my personality, professional goals as a developer, and curiosity for what comes next.

It would be a great opportunity to bring more science through members and content to this already great group of Chefs and Scientists. My goal is to be able to help everyone make quality, great tasting food that is always safe. I believe my extensive knowledge in processing and food science would support that goal.

I am currently on the Food & Beverage committee for the 2019 conference. Thank you for your consideration.

RCA Board Candidate - Anh Nguy

Bio

Anh Nguy is a Project Leader in the Culinology® Group of the Customer Solutions & Product Innovation Technical Services at Ingredion Incorporated. She leads a team of culinologists that support the North America business promoting plant based clean label texturizers, specialty sweeteners and nutritional food ingredients for food & beverage solutions. As culinologists, Anh and her team deliver fast track innovation utilizing the Go-To-Market strategy to deliver innovative concepts aligned with the portfolio and balanced with customer needs. Anh started her career in the poultry industry at Perdue Farms, Inc. where she supervised fresh pack line production and managed the Quality Assurance Department to ensure food safety and quality meet USDA standards at a Live Evisceration Plant. She was promoted to Corporate R&D Food Scientist responsible for managing product and process improvement projects and collaborated with corporate marketing and sales teams on product development and optimization for National Accounts at a Further Processing Plant. Anh devoted 11 years at David Michael & Co. Inc. (now Tastepoint by IFF) in the Technical Services and Applications Department leading key projects for dairy, bakery, beverage, and savory applications as a Food Technologist. As a Product Development Research Chef at DM & Co. Anh created and developed innovative concepts with flavors and systems and provided technical support to help drive business strategy at key platinum savory accounts. Her proudest accomplishment at DM & Co. was being part of the culinary capability development team planning and designing the original blueprint of a brand new Culinary Kitchen.

Anh graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Food Science and The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia with a Culinary Arts degree. She is an active member of the board of directors with responsibilities as chair for Nominations Board & Development Committee (NBDC). Anh is also a facilitator for Diversity & Inclusion Awareness Education for Ingredion’s US/Canada employees. With her unique vocation Anh was interviewed and featured in The New York Times on November 29, 2015.

Vision Statement

I joined RCA because it is invaluable to my career development and it provides a great credential to my company. I have been a proud and active member of RCA for 14 years and I look forward to many more years with this great organization. RCA helped me found my current job at Ingredion via RCA Employment Network. Currently, I am member of the board of directors and Vice President of the Executive Committee. My main focus is on succession planning for future board members leading as chair of the Nominations Board Development Committee (NBDC). As member of the Membership Research Task Team I work with other board members and RCA staff to find ways to better engage and provide values to our membership. Previously, as a co-chair on the Membership Committee, a member of the Regional NY Metro Planning Committee and a board liaison for the Student Committee I helped promote increase member engagement and involvement for RCA at a regional level.

If re-elected, I would continue to be the influencer and a role model for young professionals and students of RCA to grow membership via College Roadshow visits, word of mouth promotion, social media, and customer visits/interactions. In addition, I would continue to work with NBDC to identify, elevate and develop the best possible candidates for RCA leadership positions. I would also strive to improve communications from members to the Board via the Regional and Membership Committees to foster a trusting, open, value/meaning, and encouraging environment. I remain a committed member of this organization and would look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve the membership in a greater capacity.

RCA Board Candidate - Nelson Serrano-Bahri

Bio

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, from an early age I was exposed to the culinary wonders of the island. Until the age of 5, my family lived in a small town in the mountains, and I loved to explore the outdoors and pick up the agricultural treasures that would fall of bananas, plantains and mangos. As I grew, along with cartoons I loved to watch Julia Child on Saturday mornings. My interest in the culinary arts continued to grow, as my grandmothers invited me into the kitchen to cook with them. I started to learn the recipes of our diverse family, which have roots in Spain, France and Lebanon. In our small household, we would cook anything from arroz con pollo y habichuelas to tabouli and dolmas.

With my culinary interests piqued, I decided to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts and Nutrition and I selected Johnson and Wales University as the place to develop and grow my skills. During my time there I was a teaching assistant, culinary and nutrition resource at Kids First Rhode Island, interned at Marriott International Hotels, and had my first culinary R&D job as a co-op at ConAgra Foods Culinary Center of Excellence.

Inspired by my mentors at ConAgra, I decided to pursue a second degree in Food Science and chose Rutgers University as the place to do it. During my time at Rutgers I had various internships with Kraft Foods and did graduate research at the sensory analysis lab. I graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Food Science and Management Economics. I went on to take a job with Kraft Foods in Chicago as a Food Scientist and Culinary Resource for the Pizza Division. The Pizza Division was acquired by Nestle and through the acquisition, I continued my work on Pizza at Nestle. After almost 2 years with Nestle and looking to continue to strengthen and grow my culinary acumen I took the role of North American R&D Chef at Unilever Food Solutions in Chicago.

Coming from a very entrepreneurial family I always had hoped to explore that segment of the industry and in 2015 I launched Puerto Rico Food Innovations. Focused on the import and distribution of retail and foodservice premium food products as well as consulting. Through the consulting arm of the company I helped local industry develop, commercialize and market products that can compete with national brands. As part of this opportunity, I’ve also been able to work with local small food service chains on menu development and standardization, food cost optimization, and employee training across multiple locations.

Vision Statement

The RCA has been an integral part of my professional life, career growth and development. I joined while I was a student and was exposed to a world of possibility and a wealth of knowledge and creativity. I was exposed to nuances of the food industry, seasoned professionals, and an array of resources. The RCA has provided networking opportunities to connect and build relationships at the annual meeting and beyond. I can even credit the RCA for helping me find culinary career opportunities.

As a steward and guiding member for the future of the RCA, I would bring a unique perspective and diversity to the board. I am fully bilingual (Spanish and English) and have lived and worked in both the United States and Puerto Rico. I not only understand both languages, but have an intrinsic understanding of both cultures. I bring a diverse work background having worked in both technically driven scientific roles and culinary driven roles, as well as at Fortune 500 versus smaller family owned operations.

My initial goals would be to maintain the high quality services; annual meeting, networking opportunities, resources and learning tools. As well as looking to the future, to envision and plan with the rest of the board how our organization continues to evolve to ensure it maintains its position as the place for Food Industry professionals.

I first heard about the RCA while I was completing my degree in Culinary Nutrition at Johnson and Wales University. During my co-op at ConAgra Foods I met Chef Catherine Proper and she shared her experiences with the RCA and encouraged me to get involved. Since then I have had many other professional experiences. As the R&D Chef for Unilever Food Solutions, I led the chefmanship program for scientists; cultivating basic culinary skills and appreciation for culinary arts. Also as part of the role, I served as lab manager for R&D lab and managed overall operations and technicians. During this time, I also served on the culinary board of trustees for Technology Center of DuPage and was a culinary judge for the American Culinary Federation certification.

Currently, I am a member of the RCA Membership Committee, Marketing Committee, and Board Member. I am the President and Executive Chef of Puerto Rico Food Innovations. I manage a team of over 20 people focused on retail, foodservice and consulting. And consult with local entrepreneurs and the agriculture sector to develop products that can compete with national brands.

Nominations and Board Development Committee

To maintain strong leadership in the Research Chefs Association (RCA), the Nominations and Board Development Committee (NBDC) is charged with identifying and elevating top talent who are willing and able to serve on RCA’s Board of Directors.

Chair Committee Members

Anh Nguy
Ingredion

Dolf DeRovira
Flavor Dynamics

Anne Druschitz, CRC
Edlong Dairy Flavors

Catherine Proper, CEC
Freshly

The Committee's Mission

  • Solicit and recruit candidates based on stated eligibility requirements
  • Evaluate potential candidates against current and future needs of the board
  • Present slate of nominees
  • Assure leadership development
  • Advise president and board of directors of potential appointments in the event of vacancies


Questions?

You can find more information about the nominations and election process and procedures on the Nominations and Election FAQs page. For more information, contact a Nominations Committee Member or RCA Headquarters.