“Bringing World class Research, Education, and Training to the Global Confectionery Industry
since 1907.”
2014 Production Conference Speakers

Ieme Blondeel

Barry Callebaut

Ieme Blondeel is a global project manager within Barry Callebaut and has been working in this position for more than 8 years. Barry Callebaut is the global market leader for the open cocoa and chocolate market. In this job, Ieme has gained knowledge from cocoa farming to cocoa production up to marketing of end products. A key project for Barry Callebaut is Acticoa, where pure indulgence should not lead to consumer guilt and is even actively supporting health. 



Industry Consultant

Jorge Bouzas is currently a consultant to the Global food industry applying technical and business expertise around the world specifically Latin America and Asia.

Jorge was Vice President, Global Product Development, The Hershey Company until July 2013. In this role, Jorge was responsible for chocolate and sweets & refreshment innovation in all markets, including the new product development program, global launches, and technology application across strategic countries/regions of the world. Jorge also leads local research and development resources in US and regional markets as well as technology support for Operations...Read more 

Tony Brubaker

Brubaker Farms

Tony Brubaker is a partner with his father and brother at Brubaker Farms, a 950 cow dairy which won national acclaim as the 2013 Top Producer of the Year. He is a 1990 graduate of Messiah College with a BS in Business Administration. Tony served six years as a commissioner on the Pennsylvania Animal Health and Diagnostics Commission, three years on Lancaster Farm Bureau Board and is currently serving his second term as President of the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP)...Read more 

Laura Enriquez

Edlong Dairy Technologies

Laura Enriquez is adept at understanding customer needs and applying her 28 years of extensive technical expertise in food science to develop solutions to formulation challenges. She works closely with customers in the U.S., Latin America and Europe and leads the applications team in tailoring customer-specific applications to deliver value and cost savings.

Andrew Fellowes

F.D. Copeland

Andrew started his career as a chef but quickly found that his true calling lay in sales and has now spent the last 37 years successfully selling Flavors and then Natural Essential oils to a global client base, encompassing the Confectionery, Candy, Chocolate, Gum, Bakery and Oral care Industries...Read more

Xiaoqing Huang

Hershey Company (Shanghai) Foods Research & Development Co. Ltd.

Currently Xiaoqing is the Senior Manager of Sweets & Refreshment Product Development at the Hershey Company (Shanghai) Foods Research and Development Co. Ltd. Previously she has worked for Mars Food Company and has 13 years chocolate and confectionery industry working experience. She is good at product innovation management and industrialization. She graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor in Food Science and Engineering from China Agriculture University. 


Didem Icoz


Didem Icoz is a Senior Research Scientist in the Sweetener Applications Group at Ingredion.  She is originally from Turkey.  She holds a PhD degree in Food Science from Rutgers University in NJ, and MS and BS degrees in Food Engineering from Middle East Technical University in Turkey.  Didem started her career in the starch division at Ingredion in 2007 where she worked on method development and measurement assessment, and joined the sweetener division in 2013 focusing on confectionery applications.

Muhammad Junaid

The University of Hasanuddin

 Muhammad Junaid is a junior lecturer and research plant pathologist at The University of Hasanuddin (UNHAS) Faculty of Agriculture, Makassar, South Sulawesi Indonesia. He obtained a Masters degree at the Postgraduate school of UNHAS in integrated pest and disease management in 2006.Three years after graduating, he won a grant from the Norman Borlaug Program, a short course in the Beltsville Agriculture Research- Systematic Microbiology and Mycology Lab. USDA, to carry out his research in Detection of Vascular Streak Disease Pathogen of Cacao under the supervision of mycologist Dr. Gary J. Samuels.Since then, he has focused on doing cacao research...Read More

Kerry E. Kaylegian, Ph.D.

Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Kerry E. Kaylegian is the Dairy Foods Research & Extension Associate at the Pennsylvania State University, Department of Food Science. Kerry focuses on technical support and outreach programs to improve the safety and quality of dairy products. She provides support and problem solving assistance through individual interactions, on-site custom training sessions, and short courses and workshops on dairy foods manufacture. Kerry directs courses on dairy HACCP, pasteurizer operations, cheese making, dairy basics for artisan processors, and fundamentals of food science. She assists with the ice cream and cultured products short courses. Her research focuses on improving the functional and nutritional properties of milk fat as an ingredient. Kerry is an international cheese and dairy product judge, and coach of the Penn State Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Team. Her degrees are in Food Science with an emphasis on dairy products, she has a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. and post-doctoral experience from Cornell University.

Rachel Marshall

Fonterra (USA)

Rachel is currently an Account Manager at Fonterra (USA) Inc, looking after a range of nutrition focused customers.  She enjoys drawing on her career experience to bring a broad understanding of Fonterra’s products and processes to her customer interactions.  Born and raised in rural New Zealand, she is passionate about bringing New Zealand’s high quality products to life in a wide range of applications. 

Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology with Honors from Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.  She has worked for Fonterra for the past 13 years, in a number of roles and locations...Read more  

Sue Ann McAvoy

Sensient Food Colors LLC

Ms. Sue Ann McAvoy is Global Regulatory Scientist for Sensient Food Colors LLC, a unit of Sensient Technologies Corporation, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors, and fragrances.  In her current role, Sue Ann provides regulatory oversight for food colors throughout the world.  Since joining Sensient in 1979, Sue Ann has advanced through various positions within Technical Service, Marketing, and Regulatory Affairs.  In addition, she holds a Certificate in International Food Law from Michigan State University, has a B.S. in Food Science from the University of Missouri- Columbia and a M.S. in Food Safety from Michigan State University...Read more 

Gagan Mongia, Ph.D.

The Hershey Company


Gagan Mongia is currently a Sr. Manager for Research with The Hershey Company where he leads a team of scientists supporting the Adjacencies SBU by developing new technologies and ingredients. Gagan has a Bachelors in Dairy Technology from India, a Masters in Food Science from University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Food Science from Penn State University. Gagan studied the rheology and sensory properties of chocolate for his graduate work and later had a chance to translate it in the industry for practical applications. His graduate and industry work has led to several presentations, publications and patents.

Gagan has over 20 years of experience in the food industry. His areas of application include mostly working with product and process interactions for several product platforms. Gagan has worked in ice-cream, fruit juice beverages, cocoa, chocolate and sugar confections, chewing gum confections and dairy ingredients development platforms.  Gagan has worked both in the US and internationally to support the product and technology development efforts across product categories.  

Gagan lives with his family in Hummelstown, PA.

Justin Risser

Meadow Vista Dairy

Justin Risser is part of the fourth generation at Meadow Vista Dairy, home to 750 cows, 600 heifers and with 650 acres in crops, near Elizabethtown, PA.  The operation is a four-way partnership owned by Justin, his father, Gerald; uncle, Don; and cousin, Eric.  Justin manages Meadow Vista’s herd, with a rolling production average of 29,357 lbs, overseeing the maternity pen, fresh cows, milking parlor, hired labor, and the reproduction program for both heifers and cows.  Justin is currently serving his second term on the Board of the Professional Dairy Managers of PA, was Vice Chairman of the 2014 PA Dairy Summit and is part of the PA Dairy Farmers’ Speakers Bureau...Read more  

Robert Rogers


Robert Rogers Senior Advisor for Food Safety & Regulation at Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection Division in Tampa, Florida: With over seventeen years at Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection, Robert has gained his experience by excelling in several positions within the organization including field service, training and product testing departments. In his current role Robert participates as a subject matter expert to regulatory and industry organizations such as the FDA, GMA, FPSA and PMMI. Robert is an active member of several food safety committees and groups like the Alliance for Innovation & Operational Excellence, the Global Coalition for Sustained Excellence in Food & Health Protection and the Food Safety Modernization Task Force. Assisting in the development food safety management programs, focusing on foreign body prevention and other product integrity and safety programs Robert is a valued asset to the industry. 

Antoinette Sankar

Cocoa Research Centre

Antoinette Sankar is currently pursuing a PhD part-time while working at the Cocoa Research Centre, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Her primary duties focus on molecular analyses of the genetic material of cacao. She started out at the Centre when it was still the Cocoa Research Unit, assisting with the extraction of isozymes. While at the Unit, with help from then Head of Department, Professor John Spence, she was encouraged to apply for and received financial support to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Florida, Gainesville through an ARS/CBI/IDB Fellowship with additional support from The UWI. Spending almost five years away from Trinidad was an educational experience and she made lifelong connections with some of her fellow students....Read more

Frederick Schilling

Big Tree Farms

Frederick Schilling, is co-founder/co-ceo of Big Tree Farms, a vertically integrated sustainable supply chain and product development company with offices in Bali, Indonesia and Ashland, Oregon.   Big Tree Farms is Indonesia’s largest organic food company, working directly with over 13,000 organic farmers and operating as a vertically integrated social-food enterprise. BTF has won numerous awards for their innovative food products and has been featured in numerous media articles, including The New York Times Magazine, CNN, The Financial Times and many more.  Big Tree Farms is the pioneer of coconut sugar, a low glycemic, nutrient rich and highly sustainable organic sweetener...Read More 

Rick Schultz

Edlong Dairy Technologies

Rick Schultz is a highly accomplished Flavorist that directs dairy flavor technology and innovation at Edlong. With over 35 years of industry experience, his areas of focus include enzyme and culture technology, encapsulation and delivery systems, flavor cost optimization, flavor performance analysis and troubleshooting.

Laura Shumow

National Confectioners Association

Laura Shumow has worked at the National Confectioner’s Association for five years on technical, regulatory and health and nutrition issues.  At NCA, Laura works with federal agencies on new rules, provides regulatory updates and guidance to the industry and oversees NCA’s health and wellness programs.

Prior to NCA, Laura had several internships including one at General Mills in product development and another in the Netherlands at ADM Cocoa working on cocoa applications research.

Laura is the secretary of the DC section of the Institute of Food Technologists. Laura has a Bachelor in Food Science from University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Masters in Toxicology from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.  

Russell Tietz

Clasen Quality Coatings

 Russell Tietz has been with Clasen Quality Coatings for nearly five years as the R&D Manager working on formulation, process improvements and innovative technical applications for confectionery coatings and chocolate. He has 15 years of industry experience having worked in product development, process development, equipment engineering and package development. He has worked with many different food systems from confections, bakery, snack foods, dairy, dressings and sauces. His technical strengths are in fats and oils, emulsifiers, chocolate and coatings. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where his graduate work was focused on fat crystallization in confectionery fat systems including chocolate.

Russell has attended and given talks at numerous NCA Candy Courses, PMCA, IFT, American Association of Candy Technologists, American Oil Chemist Society, Prepared Foods Seminars and the Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturing Association.  

Session Moderators 

Cynthia L. Angelo

Givaudan Flavors Corporation

Cynthia is a Pennsylvania native who has been a professional in the confectionery industry for over 20 years.  She graduated from Penn State with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science & a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition.  Her career started as a Product Development Scientist in R&D with M&M/Mars, working primarily on sugar brands.  

Later, Cynthia joined Givaudan Flavors as a Food Scientist in the Sweet Goods Lab and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio.  In her current position, she flavors and develops confectionery, cereal, and sweet products.  Cynthia is married to a fellow Penn State Graduate and the mother of 4 small children.

She has been a member of the PMCA program committee for several years and is currently serving on the Board of Directors.   

Steve Genzoli

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

 Steve holds a Bachelors degree in Food Science from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo.  He began his career with Nestle Chocolate & Confections where he held various positions within Operations Management and Technical Service.   After 9 years with Nestle, Steve joined Fuji Vegetable Oil where he was the Technical Marketing Manager. In this capacity, he supported the technical needs of key customers in both North and South America. 

In 1997 Steve joined the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company where he is the Vice President of Quality Assurance and Research & Development. 

Steve is active with the PMCA serving as a Board Member and on the Program Committee.  He is also serves as the World Cocoa Foundation’s Vice Chairman.

Shawn Houser

The Hershey Company

Shawn Houser is currently the Director Snacks and Adjacencies Product Development and is responsible for leading a group of food scientists, who develop new products in the syrups, beverages and snacks area of the business.  Her team’s most recent launch is a line of Hershey’s Spreads- Chocolate, Chocolate Almond and Chocolate Hazelnut.  Prior to her most recent role, Shawn was Senior Manager Chocolate Excellence Product Development at The Hershey Company.  Shawn and her team developed and launched many innovative new Hershey products including Hershey’s Simple Pleasures, Hershey’s Drops, many new filled HERSHEY’S® KISSES®  including Caramel, Peanut Butter, Cherry Cordial, Coconut Crème and Mint Crème to name a few. She developed new assortments of HERSHEY’S POT OF GOLD confections and line extensions of REESE’S PIECES.  She and her team also led some fun projects at Hershey’s Chocolate World including the building of “The World’s Largest Hershey’s Kisses Chocolate”,  the building of Chocolate and Candy houses at Hershey’s Chocolate World, and developing the “Create Your Own Candy Bar” attraction!..Read More 

Reg Ohlson

Reg Ohlson has been in the candy business since 1956, retiring as Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Mars Incorporated where his responsibilities included the coordination of Mars' worldwide technical and food regulatory activities and participation in U.S. and international industry trade associations.

With Mars Inc, Reg held research and development positions in England, Holland and the United States.

Reg’s active involvement in U.S. confectionery trade association activities has continued since his retirement. He is a member of PMCA's Board of Directors. His various awards include the American Association of Candy Technologists Stroud Jordan Award, induction into the U.S. Candy Hall of Fame, and both the National Confectioners Association's and the Chocolate Manufacturer's Association's Distinguished Service Awards". 

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