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Nominations and Elections
2018 RCA Board Election
The deadline to cast your vote for the 2018 RCA Board of Directors has passed. View the full RCA Board nominations and election timeline.
RCA Newly Elected Board Members
I spent most of every summer of elementary school working my Grandparents farm. I loved everything about raising all of your food and animals then sharing with the community. We continue to focus on local and sustainable food sources. The RCA advancement of the discipline of Culinology is very relevant and important to support product development in order to feed people mindfully. Since cooking at 6 years old at that farm; I offer these few points that I have experienced and learned in order to gain your support for me to re-join the RCA board of directors. Thank you for your consideration.
After graduating from the University of TN-Knoxville with BS nutrition/food science, MS food technology; I went to Byron’s BBQ as QA inspector and then to a bigger plant QA experience with Oscar Mayer. I later joined ConAgra Meats as Product Development Manager. One trip to run an expensive test for Healthy Choice; the plant manager was concerned about a potential loss of dollars. I confidently explained the origin of my project, how I planned to proceed in “plant” terms that I had learned and earned his support.
Experience and knowledge are powerful partners and even stronger when used for collaborative success. I intend to bring forth my training in project management to the board in order to foster growth and achieve common goals. I am excited about the new logo and branding and believe we have very strong message to achieve our membership goals and attract talent.
My years in sales with IFF, Newly Weds Foods and Red Arrow Products; taught me value and respect for networking.
Networking is a favorite at RCA because it builds a culture of support for each other. I intend to foster more inclusive and purposeful networking by demonstrating actionable goals for new and old ideas.
I joined RCA in 2005, have had the honor serving on the RCA and Foundation Boards, and privilege as treasurer and vice president. I want to focus on actions to support growth of an RCA culture aimed at success and relevance among all members. In 2006 I completed my Associate degree in culinary arts then became Director of R&D for Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. Currently at Cryovac, I am still depending upon Culinology for market success.
I joined RCA in 2005 while I was a Sales manager at Red Arrow Products and had also been given the role of creating a stronger message for the company within the Food Service segment of the food industry. I was already one year into my Associates degree in Culinary Arts degree from the Atlanta Arts Institute where I graduated Summa Cum Laude and had a wonderful experience. Previous to Red Arrow I was Director, menu development at Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits after many years with large consumer packaged meat companies including Byron’s BBQ, Oscar Mayer and ConAgra as a product developer. I was also previously with other companies in sales of ingredients for national restaurant chains to include IFF and Newly Weds Foods all the while utilizing my Food Science BS and MS from University of TN-Knoxville, sales training and project management training as the lead support of my skill set.
I found immediate support for my dual educational and work experience career in Food Science and Culinary upon my first conference at RCA. I was among like-minded people of which many I had not met even though had been in food industry for many years. My conversations with this new group of diverse individuals carried me back to even the years of restaurant, mostly FOH, work while in high school and completing my work at the University. Everyone seemed to understand my journey at its base yet wanted to know more specifics about my own experience. Since that time I have been a vital member of the RCA and have made lasting connections on several levels not to mention the expansion of my knowledge of food and my experiences in leadership.
I am proud to be among the organizers of the Southeast regional section, on the RCA and Foundation Board, served as Treasurer and Vice President of the organization. My desire is to be elected now to the current board in order for me to continue to contribute to our organization that does not stop giving if you are willing to accept. I am also an invited member of the Atlanta chapter of Les dame d’ Escoffier and ACF member. My learning and growing never stops because I am a committed and curious person with leadership intuitions that have served me well for many years.
My vision for the RCA is to grow the membership in diversity of research chefs, chefs, food technicians and food scientists from more sources of the food industry by a collaboration of RCA history and new insights and ideas in order to identify actionable goals. These goals to be aimed at providing value to the Culinology message of the RCA, to the membership and impact the food industry as a whole. Achievement of a more inclusive approach to other individual’s roles vital to the food industries market success to feed people mindfully is key to the RCA continuing relevance to us all. Our organization thrives on the passion and expanded expectations of the members and its leaders.
Thank you for your consideration for me to join the RCA board of directors!
Jessica comes from a family that has been in the food business for generations. Her grandfather owned and operated Gold-De, a meat processing factory with a reputation for making the best corned beef, pastrami and tongue in New York City. Her father got his start in the family business, later working for other food manufactures and ingredient companies before having the opportunity to purchase NuSpice in 1994.
Jessica developed an interest in cooking at an early age by helping her mom in the kitchen and working on a produce farm during high school. She furthered her knowledge of food and its preparation in high school, completing two years of Foods and Nutrition as her electives and in college working as a waitress & bartender.
After completing her BS in Marketing and Creative Writing at Roger Williams University, Jessica decided to join her father’s business. Her tenacious marketing efforts have transformed a relatively unknown ingredient company to one that is well known and respected throughout the food processing industry. Determined to further her knowledge, she enrolled in the Masters Program at Montclair State University, majoring in Food Science and Nutrition.
With the opportunity to truly discover the culinary world, Jessica joined several professional organizations including the Research Chefs Association and discovered her passion for creating flavor experiences and learning how she could pull inspiration from culinary arts. In 2013, Jessica began working with Bergen Technical High School’s Culinology program to assist with their student’s educational development.
Jessica currently serves the Regional Key Contact for the New York Metro region of the RCA and has enjoyed putting together unique events for the region over the past five years. In 2014, she organized a nearly sold out and well-received olive oil and regional food pairing seminar presented by Nicholas Coleman, Eataly’s resident Oleologist.
In her spare time, Jessica can be found wandering the streets of Manhattan discovering new restaurants and street art. Music has always been a major influence in her life and she takes the opportunity to see a concert whenever possible.
Jessica’s role at Nu Products Seasoning Company (NuSpice) is Vice President/Director of Marketing & Sales. In 2016, her brother, a graduate of Niagara Community College Culinary School, entered the family business and together, they will continue to have a presence in the food world.
People often use the words “growth” and “learning” conjunctively when describing professional development. While they could have similar meanings, the relationship of the two words is much deeper than the surface assumption of bettering oneself-or climbing to achieve more intellect. These simple, everyday words are often used to describe the relationship between an educator and a pupil, where one talks and the other absorbs. But what if the roles were reversed? What if the pupil was the one offering the platform for perspective and enlightenment to the educator?
Today, we are privileged to live in an age of advanced technology and enlightenment, where those who are both eager to teach and learn can have endless opportunities. While I could make lists of reasons why my position on the board would be beneficial, it will not speak to my character and my drive for collaboration in the ultimate goal of gaining intellect and making the environment around me better. My entire life has been a platform for personal and professional growth and my ultimate goal is to see what roads my potential will take me. With that, I take immense pride in being able to help and positively influence others.
A Vision Statement is a glimpse into the future of what could be—not what was. While I could focus on my past accomplishments, those are not the actions or roles that will define my future potential in this next endeavor. My vision for the future of the Research Chefs Association is bring the down the educator and raise up the pupil so they have an opportunity to grow and learn together. Time is the only certainty. I choose to focus mine on making my immediate environment better than when I arrived.
Nick Landry start his career in his early teenage years after growing up around great cooking from his grandparents and parents. It was a career path he knew he needed to take and his love and passion for food was second to none.
After graduating high school, Nick Landry wanted to attend the Chef John Folse Culinary School on the campus of Nicholls State University, which was located just one and a half hours from the Acadiana Area and about one hour from New Orleans, Louisiana. Throughout college Nick worked at The Riverfront Restaurant in Abbeville, Louisiana when we would come from the weekend when he was not fulfilling his duties as an equipment manager for the Colonel Football team and Nick also worked at the World Famous Copelands Restaurant throughout college in Houma, Louisiana.
Throughout Nick’s college education in Culinary Arts, he knew he wanted to set his goal high for his externships. For Nick’s first externship he moved to St. Thomas, USVI to work at the Ritz Carlton under Chef Roger Stettler; whom gain his Certified Master Chefs Certificate in Switzerland. Nick worked as a line cooked for his summer at the Ritz Carlton.
For his senior externship Nick decided to go to work at the Westchester Country Club in Rye New York. After Nick’s externship at Westchester he returned to Nicholls to finish his Bachelor of Science Degree in Culinary Arts where he received his diploma in December of 2005.
After graduating Nick decided to move back to Rye, New York and spend 3.5 year working under Chef Leonard, CMC and Chef Jonathon Moosemiller, CMC. At the Country club Nick went from grill cook, to Sous Chef, and then was name Restaurant Chef at the fine dining restaurants the Sports House Grill and the Gun Club Grill.
Upon returning back to South Louisiana, Nick had his first opportunity to enter the Research & Development world of Culinary. That is where is work at Bruce Foods for 5 ½ years as Corporate Research and Development Chef. After leaving Bruce Foods, Nick was Quality of Life Manager at Cajun Maritime, LLC for 1.5 years before being laid off.
Nick is currently employed by Southeastern Mills as Culinary Development Chef where he has been for the past 2+ years.
As a member of the Research Chefs Association I strive to be a leader in the industry as a Research and Development Chef. In becoming new to the Research & Development world in early 2008, I knew I needed to get more involved with this side of the industry and RCA was a group that was highly recommended by my colleagues. With being the leader in the industry, the RCA builds great reputation to food manufactures, food processors, ingredient suppliers, and national chains. RCA has been a great support system in asking fellow peers with questions in regards to product development or sourcing out particular ingredients. The RCA is a wonderful family to be a part of in bettering my career path and where I see myself.
I personally became a member; to not just say I am a member, but to put forth the effort in networking, customer engagements, and attending RCA sanctioned events. I have met many great friends within the organization and as we grow the organization many more friends will come. We need to be the face for RCA for the upcoming Culinology students and young culinarians. Our world is growing and we need more strong and dedicated candidates to join this amazing organization. As I got more involved with the organization, I saw how close everyone was and after attending the local events; I enjoyed every aspect. Once I got further involved, I realized I can set an ever higher goal for myself in competing in the first ever culinology competition offered by the RCA Conference, which was in San Antonio. The RCA allowed me to test my strengths and weaknesses by partnering with a Food Scientist in coming up with 3 gold stand products and the manufactured product; where my partner and I placed 2nd and received a bronze medal by the American Culinary Federation. Serving on the Board for the Research Chefs Association I can assure you I will continue being a leader in the industry and show positivizes of this organization. By spreading the word to my fellow colleagues and talking to Culinary Colleges in educating the students of the Research Chefs Association and how they can benefit from being a part of the organization early on in their careers. I am all about the education and teaching the up and coming Culinologist and Culinarians. We are the face of RCA and I will stand by that 110% and show my dedication in whatever these duties make take to be fulfilled. I will work closely with Southeastern Mills, whom I am currently employed by, with doing facility tours and having RCA and RCA members engaged with our SEMU Classes as well as seeing where else further education for all of us may be.
The Research Chefs Association is a strong organization and we will continue our duties in keeping it strong and the leader of organizations in the Research and Development world. As members we show our true passion and love for not only our food; but who we meet and well respected we are in the industry.
Noah Michaels, Culinary Team Leader at Symrise holds a B.P.S. in Culinary Arts Management and an A.O.S in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America. In addition, he holds an M.S. in Food Science from Rutgers University and is a Certified Research Chef. Prior to joining Symrise, Noah worked as a Technochef for Firmenich for seven years. In addition to his food science skills and flavor experience, Noah brings deep culinary expertise from previous work in New York City restaurants, including the three Michelin Star restaurant, Jean Georges, and the French stalwart, La Cote Basque. Noah’s personal interests include food-related travel, home brewing, and expanding his collection of cookbooks. He is also passionate about the ways chefs can combat social problems like hunger.
The marriage of food with science is an indisputable part of my being. But it wasn’t always so. I worked in the restaurant industry for over ten years, never quite understanding there was a formal career path for those that wanted to explore ways science might enhance or in some cases, disrupt, the way we create and enjoy food.
When I first learned of the RCA, I had just joined Rutgers Food Science program. A turning point for me was attending a lecture by Jeff Cousminer, then the Director of Culinary at Firmenich. Jeff spoke about the blending of food and food science called Culinology®. It was a field I had never heard of until that point. But it seemed the perfect path for me, a person who loves culinary arts, yet always longed to understand the “why” behind the techniques.
I approached Jeff after the discussion to learn about what it would take to transition from chef to research chef. He inquired about my background, was impressed with my passion and curiosity for cooking, and recommended I join the RCA. Shortly after, he offered me an internship at Firmenich so I could see for myself Culinology® in action.
While interning at the age of 31 seemed less than ideal, it was a fantastic opportunity that couldn’t be passed up. Though I had ascended quite far in the restaurant industry, I knew I needed to learn an entirely new skill set. I was fortunate enough to join Jeff at the 2007 RCA Conference and had my eyes opened by the sheer number of people working in this field and their commitment to it.
While I was not in a position to ensure involvement in RCA during my time at Firmenich, I knew the RCA was critical to my field. When I joined Symrise in 2014, I knew that to differentiate ourselves and show our commitment to the field, we would have to be more involved with the RCA. In addition to sponsoring several conferences and regional events, I have brought my team to the ’15-’17 conferences. They represent a great opportunity for development and inspiration.
I feel now that I have reached a point in my career where it’s time for me to take on a mentorship role, much like Jeff did for me, helping young Chefs and Food Scientists become Culinologists®. Outreach and education are critical to accomplishing that goal. If selected for the Board position, my primary interest would be ensuring conferences are accessible, inspiring, and meaningful for a diverse array of participants. I would also like to make sure cooks know about the field of Culinology® and give it consideration as a future career path.
Due to Symrise’s unique relationship with StarChefs we have access to premier chefs from around the country, many of whom we can reach out to participate in RCA conferences and regional events. As a Board member, I would work on further solidifying partnerships between RCA and the widespread culinary community. Additionally, I feel that educational outreach along with internship and mentorship opportunities will guarantee there is a pipeline of young Culinologists® working in the field and participating in the RCA, protecting the long term health of the organization.
RCA Re-elected Board Members
At the age of 24 and still finishing Culinary School, Chef Erich landed the position of Sous Chef for the Tournament Players Club of Michigan/PGA Tour Investments. Chef Erich was elevated to Executive Chef after a year and half and held that position for six years. During his leadership at the TPC, the Club was honored with four F&B Operation of the Year Awards.
His next stop - Pillsbury/General Mills Company as Senior Corporate Chef working with National Accounts: leading three Chefs working with Contract Management Accounts. Chef Erich developed products, recipes and menu items for leading national accounts. During his time with General Mills, he was honored with a Team Innovator Award for his work with the R&D Team on multiple product platforms.
From General Mills, Chef Erich then joined Sartori Foods leading all things culinary for this artisan cheese company. His work with national accounts was instrumental in Sartori’s growth in that channel.
Four years later he was called to join one of his favorite home town companies, Awrey Bakeries as Director of Culinary. In his three years at Awrey Bakeries, Chef Erich worked with leading national accounts on custom dessert development. Chef Erich developed a line of mini desserts for Awrey Bakeries that won Innovation Awards from Prepared Foods Magazine and Bakery & Snack Magazine both in 2011.
Next up Lactalis Culinary with brands such as Galbani and President. In the role of Culinary Sales Manager, he worked directly with national account culinary/purchasing teams on their needs for cheese on their menus or in their products produced by key manufacture partners.
Currently Chef Erich works as the Director of Culinary Sales for Sadler’s Smokehouse. LLC leading relationships in national and industrial accounts.
Besides his day to day work with Lactalis, Chef Erich owns and operates a Culinary Consulting firm called – One Quick Chef, LLC. In this operation, Chef Erich and his partners develop and bridge relationships between emerging manufactures and national accounts.
Chef Erich is a current RCA Board Member and also a board of his alma mater - Oakland Community College Culinary Institute. He resides in Commerce, Michigan with his wife Kim and their two girls Molly & Erika. An avid foodie, car buff, golfer and music fan; you might find Chef Erich hanging out with his girls supporting their activities or par-taking in one of his favorite activities when he is not building relationships and working on his commitment to his profession.
My vision for the future of the RCA is to continue to work on developing the relationships and presence of the RCA through meaningfully work within our industry. I hope to expand the relationships of RCA membership specifically building stronger ties which will further bring our membership closer together.
In addition, if we all can become more active as members we will further expand the RCA by drawing more interest from multiple areas of our industry thus further growing our membership, our industry and one another. We can only survive with our member’s input and continued work; by doing this the RCA and discipline of Culinology will continue to grow. Thank you for reviewing my message.
Paul began his professional food career in 1987 as a dishwasher and busboy at a Japanese hibachi restaurant. During high school and college he worked at various restaurants on the line. Paul earned his BS in business administration from Greensboro College, where he was a defenseman on the lacrosse team. Through his education he gained a strong understanding of economics, marketing, finance, management, accounting, and corporate structure. After college Paul passed the series 7 and 63 and worked with First Union Securities as a financial advisor where his business training solidified. In 2001 he moved to Louisiana and spent five years at Maison Lacour, a white tablecloth French restaurant, as chef de cuisine. Paul’s passion for food flourished during this time and his culinary skills were sharpened. While in Louisiana he began work on his MS in food science from LSU and joined the RCA.
In 2006 Paul moved to the Atlanta GA area and worked with several different foodservice establishments while finishing his master’s degree in food technology from UGA. It was clear that his passion for all things food had not waned as all his hours were spent in kitchens or studying food science.
In 2009 Paul joined Wayne Farms as an executive research chef. One of the connections he made there turned into a research chef position at Reed Food Technology. At Reed his product development skills were strengthened and his knowledge grew. In 2010 Paul joined Diversified Foods and Seasonings, and a strong R&D team that is truly driven by blending culinary arts and food science.
The RCA organization and its members have been an integral part of Paul’s career. Kit Kiefer, Marshall Scarborough, and others took time to mentor and guide him to get to where he is. Caroline Morris got Paul involved in the regional committee while at Wayne Farms, and he’s been involved ever since.
Paul’s culinary skills and knowledge, food science knowledge, and experience are what make him a true chef member of RCA. His dedication, work and business ethic, ability to work well within a team, and leadership and communication skills are what make him an ideal candidate for the board.
His vision for RCA is to see overall membership grow, regional participation to increase, and the organization to continue to be the preeminent organization for culinary minded food product developers and affiliates.
My RCA story began when my food science advisor at LSU, Witoon Prinyawiwatkul, handed me a copy of Culinology magazine in 2003. I had cooked in restaurant kitchens for about 7 years and had just started studying food science. How amazing to find an organization that was at the intersection of culinary arts and food science!
I remained a member of the organization as I moved around, but I didn’t start getting fully involved until my mentor, Caroline Morris, linked me up with the regional committee. I was able to help plan events, meet more members, and start to make an impact. Next, I moved back down to Louisiana and chaired the newly formed Gulf regional committee.
In 2013 I was elected to the board of directors and truly began to see how the organization works on so many levels and impacts professionals across the food industry. I continued to serve on the regional committee as a chair, but also helped plan the annual conferences. Throughout my tenor on the board I have served with several committees and have helped students in various ways. One role I truly enjoy is traveling to universities and speaking with students about the RCA and how it can help them as a student and as a professional embarking on a career in the food industry.
As I move forward with the board I would like to see the RCA continue to be the preeminent association for food industry professionals whose job involves culinary arts and the food sciences. I would also like to see the RCA take a more forward role in cutting edge food ideas and be at the media forefront of food industry innovation and practices.
Rosemary Trout is Program Director and Assistant Clinical Professor of Culinary Arts & Food Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During her ten years at Drexel, Rose taught and wrote laboratory exercises for introductory level food science, food microbiology, food composition, and sensory analysis courses. As Program Director, Rose helped to establish the Center of Food & Hospitality Management in 2017. She has done research in anti-oxidant properties of fruit juices, chocolate sensory appeal, and is currently working on food sustainability and reduction in food waste-centered curriculum with colleagues through the James Beard Foundation. Prior to Drexel, Rose taught culinary and hospitality courses at Northampton Area Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
She spent time as a Restaurant Manager at Disney’s Grand Floridian Beach Resort, and The Sequoia Lodge and DisneyLand Hotel at EuroDisney in Marn La Valee, France. She has also done promotions for food companies and food retail outlets. In addition to her course load at Drexel, she teaches food safety practices to employees in the commercial food industry as well as restaurant employees. She has worked in the test kitchen at Rodale Press, Inc. in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Rosemary earned her BS from the Pennsylvania State University and MS in Bioscience, with an emphasis on Food Science from Drexel University. Rosemary lives with her husband Joe Trout Ph.D., who is a physicist at Stockton University, in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, where they share a community garden with neighbors. Living in a large city, she is always happy to see how much food you can grow in a city block! In regard to food, I think it’s important to consume the food you purchase to minimize waste, enjoy what you eat, cherish family food traditions, appreciate every link in the food-supply chain, and remember conventionally grown ingredients are not the enemy.
As a member of the RCA Board of Directors, I would like to move RCA forward as the association of innovative product development experts by integrating all aspects of the food industries, respecting and learning from all members of the food supply chain, and incorporating untapped expertise from the restaurant and technical sectors.
I have been a member of the Food Science & Technology category of RCA since 2013. My perspective is based on my career as an Assistant Clinical Professor and Program Director of Culinary Arts & Food Science at Drexel University. I see my position on the Board as one of liaison. I look to RCA members for information on how to incorporate innovation from industry into our curriculum so that the next generation of product development professionals are prepared for the food industry. In turn, I share new research, student expectations, and updates on the state of higher education in regard to food.
As a member of the Board of Directors since 2015 during our transition to a new management company, we have completed a major overhaul of the organization which includes a new logo, website, and realignment of committees to include more members in steering the direction of RCA. As education committee chair, and with generous input and donations from key members, we have established a higher education task force and will have our first summit in November 2017. Good professional relationships are a hallmark of this organization. I am grateful for all that I’ve learned through RCA and for the friends that I’ve made. Thank you for considering my application to continue to serve on the Board of Directors.
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.
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
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.