The judging panel for the 2020 World Food Innovation Awards, taking place at the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering show in March, has been announced.
They include recognised and reputable names from across the international food and beverage industry and between them, they will decide between all entries to this year’s World Food Innovation Awards.
There are 28 trophies to be won in total, and being shortlisted provides a hallmark of success that will prevail long after the awards draw to a close. To find out more information, including how to enter, click here.
A full list of this year’s judges can be seen below.
Executive Director, Future Food Americas
Chiara is the Executive Director of Future Food Americas, leading international corporate innovation and global outreach for the group. She holds a MSc in International Management (ICN Business School, France), a MSc in International Relations (Moscow State Institute of International Relations), and a MSc in Design Thinking and Food Innovation (UniMoRe, Italy).
Based in California, she has been a Research Fellow at UC Davis (Food Science and Technology Dept) for the past 2 years. Now, Chiara is part of the Expert Network at the World Economic Forum, she is a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Future, Researcher and Alumna at Barilla Center Food Nutrition Foundation, as well as part of the Expert Team at Unleash, a global innovation lab fully dedicated to youth and SDGs. Passioned about beekeeping, she loves running around the world (literally), convening people and writing about food innovation.
Click here to view Chiara’s LinkedIn profile
Head of Sustainability, Cervejaria Ambev
Richard Lee is the Head of Sustainability for Cervejaria Ambev, an Anheuser-Busch InBev subsidiary, and the largest brewery in Brazil. Diversity in knowledge and experience is a mainstay in Richard’s career.
Richard holds a Juris Doctor degree from Fundação Getulio Vargas and a Culinary Arts degree from Universidade Anhembi Morumbi, having been a visiting exchange on New York University’s LLM program.
On his 7 year tenure at Cervejaria Ambev, Richard has had roles in Sales, Technology and Marketing before heading Sustainability initiatives such as AMA water and the VOA program. AMA water is Brazil’s first social business within a big business – 100% of the profits from this mineral water go to water access projects in Brazil. So far, about 40,000 Brazilians have gained access to water through this initiative and AMA’s big bold dream is to raise that number to 1 million people by 2025.
Click here to view Richard’s LinkedIn profile
President, Association of Food Industries
Bob Bauer is the president of the Association of Food Industries, headquartered in Neptune, N.J. AFI is an international trade association which fosters international trade in food products. The association has approximately 1,000 member companies throughout the world. In addition to companies belonging solely to AFI, the Association of Food Industries includes the North American Olive Oil Association and the National Honey Packers and Dealers Association, organizations that act as stand-alone groups as well as sections of AFI.
Mr. Bauer has served as president of AFI since January 2002. Prior to that, he served as vice president of the organization for nearly six years. In 2005 he was appointed to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for trade in Processed Foods. He was reappointed to that committee in 2008 and again in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
In 2016-17 he was invited to and served on the task force that developed the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance course – with curriculum recognized by FDA – to teach the food industry about the requirements of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Mr. Bauer has been an instructor in more than 30 offerings of the course since it was launched in 2017.
Before joining AFI, Mr. Bauer was a journalist. While working in the newspaper field, he covered everything from town meetings to health-related issues to a wide range of sports, ranging from high school to professional levels. From newspapers, he moved to trade publications in the transportation field and then to the food industry. For the two years prior to joining AFI, he worked as the editor of the grocery section of Supermarket News, the leading trade publication in the supermarket field.
Mr. Bauer attended Temple University for two years and then completed his college education and received his bachelor’s degree from Glassboro State College, now known as Rowan University. He and his wife, Robin, have four children.
Click here to see Bob’s LinkedIn profile
Portfolio Director, Montgomery
Soraya Gadelrab runs the Food, Drink & Hospitality portfolio at Montgomery. Having been with the business for over 13 years, she’s been lucky enough to witness the development of some fantastic events including IFE, HRC, IFE Manufacturing Solutions, Speciality & Fine Food Fair, IFEX and ScotHot and is excited to take them forward as the industry’s they serve evolve.
She has an extensive knowledge of the food & drink industry as well as the hospitality sector and has been fortunate enough to be invited on numerous occasions to judge some of the most prestigious awards in the sector including the World Food Innovation Awards and World Beverage Innovation Awards!
Alongside her role at Montgomery, she also sits on the Association of Exhibition Organiser’s Development Board as well being co-founder of the UK Chapter of the Women In Exhibitions Network, both striving to inspire the next generation of event organisers.”
Click here to view Soraya’s LinkedIn profile
Tariq Ahmed Al Wahedi
CEO, Agthia Group P.J.S.C.
Tariq Ahmed Saeed Al Wahedi joined Agthia in September 2015 as COO leading the manufacturing and supply chain operations of the Group. In November 2016, he was appointed as Acting Executive Vice President of Agri Business in addition to his COO responsibilities. Tariq is currently the CEO of Agthia Group PJSC since July 2017.
Tariq is a UAE national who graduated in Engineering from the University of Tulsa and holds an Executive MBA from Kellogg School of Management. He also serves on numerous boards as Board Member and Advisor to various non-profit organizations and companies across diversified industries including logistics, building materials and industrial development.
Prior to joining Agthia, Tariq held senior executive positions, most recently in Senaat, and prior to that in the Abu Dhabi Basic Industries Corp, for 8 years.
Click here to view Tariq’s LinkedIn profile
Executive Director of Innovation & Growth, Simplot Australia
Angeline is a globally recognized and respected leader in commercializing innovations to market, a practicioner of building innovation capabilities and export pathways into Asia markets. With a career spanning over 20 years of diverse international innovation and leadership experience in blue chip multinational companies like MasterFoods Japan, Fonterra, Yum! Brands and Mondelez International which as has resulted in more than 800 innovations launched in grocery retail, foodservice and quick service restaurants.
Angeline is on a number of advisory boards and committees and most noteworthy is the development of Victoria’s Food & Fibre strategy in 2015. Angeline most recently set up a world first food innovation hub in Australia and over its six year journey saw more than 7000 Food and Beverage organisations engage and co-create with the hub. Angeline’s leadership and passion has led to significant impact in supporting the Australian food and agrifood sectors in a strong position to leverage growth through innovation. Angeline is currently Executive Director with a remit for Innovation and Growth for Simplot Australia with focus of creating value from seed to plate.
Click here to view Angeline’s LinkedIn profile
Co-Founder & CEO, Tastewise
Alon Chen is the co-founder and CEO of Tastewise, a food trend analysis and prediction platform that helps companies produce innovative, healthy, tasty, and sustainable food.
Previously, Alon worked as an executive at Google, where he founded and launched Google Partners in 27 countries. He served as Google’s Chief Marketing Officer in Israel and Greece, and led the global relationship with the World Economic Forum. Subsequently, Alon joined the leadership team at Voyager Labs ($100M backing from Oracle & Horizons Ventures), where he built an AI mar-tech solution for eCommerce.
Click here to view Alon’s LinkedIn profile
Food and Drink Communications Strategist
Cat Jennings is a senior communications expert who has worked with B2B and B2C companies internationally in the food and drink sector to deliver marketing and communication strategies that not only heighten brand visibility and value but are essential drivers to commercial growth and success. Many of the communication and marketing campaigns she has designed and successfully delivered in collaboration with her clients and teams have been awards winning and industry recognised for their strategic insights, creativity and business impact. These businesses range from new business start ups to well respected international brands in the consumer and trade sectors from The Spice Tailor and Speakeasy Ice Creams to BRITA, illy, Procter & Gamble and Nestlé Professional. Cat is passionate about providing strategic guidance to brands and their Boards on how to articulate their vision, purpose and overarching values in a meaningful and memorable way.
Click here to view Cat’s LinkedIn profile
Co-Founder, Too Good To Go
Jamie Crummie, Forbes 30 under 30, trained as a lawyer before pursuing his mission of fighting food waste. He is the co-founder of Too Good To Go: the world’s largest marketplace for surplus food. The free app connects retailers who have unsold food available with local consumers who purchase, collect and enjoy it. Too Good To Go in now active in 13 countries (and counting!) with over 14 million Waste Warriors who have rescued over 20 million meals collectively.
Click here to view Jamie’s LinkedIn profile
Food Packaging Expert
Silvia D’Alesio is a food packaging designer and an international speaker on food innovation, author of several projects regarding the development of new food and beverage products. Her professional career began within the university environment, where she obtained the BSc. in Food Sciences and Technology and later the International Erasmus Mundis MSc. on Food Innovation and Product Design.
She collaborated with the prestigious Netherlands Packaging Centre (NVC), the association of companies thatprovides packaging activity, being an active contributor to the ‘web retail packaging and ‘design packaging for intended use’ projects, and enhancing her consulting and designing skills on logistics and packaging requirements for new solution suitable for the e-commerce and FMCG. Later she became Brand Marketing Manager for a local (Italian) food supply company which in turn led her to join a bio-based packaging start-up as a consultant. Lastly, she collaborated with Seeds&Chips, the food innovation global summit, building awareness about the importance of implementing innovation in the food supply chain.
She is skilled in everything that concerns food and packaging. Gained experience and allow her to design functional products for consumers, stretching her profile into numerous fields such as Marketing, Design and Engineering.
Her motto: help people live in a positive environment through a constructive and creative way.
Click here to view Silvia’s LinkedIn profile
Founder & CEO, Forward Fooding
Alessio is the founder & CEO at Forward Fooding, the world’s first collaborative platform for FoodTech Data Intelligence and Corporate Startup Collaboration.
In 2014, he founded the company (formerly known as Crowdfooding) with the aim of broadening access to capital for food and FoodTech entrepreneurs and ever since started to build a community of innovators tackling some of biggest challenges affecting our food system.
Alessio is an avid startup aficionado and a big-time foodie determined to create the largest community of food innovators in the world. He now works with F&B companies of all sizes to support them with their endeavors of understanding how entrepreneurship, collaboration, and investment models can be used to create a more sustainable future of food.
Alessio regularly speaks and consults food companies on technology and investment models to foster food innovation. Some of his recent speaking engagements include keynote presentations at Food IT conference (USA), Cambridge Open Innovation Forum (UK), Food & Beverage Innovation Forum (CHI), EIT Food Open Innovation Forum (SP), Food Vision (UK), Food Matters Live (UK), Sweden FoodTech (SE), Agtech&Foodtech Berlin Summit (GE), Smau (ITA – UK) among others. He is a council member of the Launch Food Forum and a London Tech Advocate within the FoodTech chapter.
A global citizen at heart he has lived and worked in Italy, South Korea, Australia, US and UK where he is currently based. He very much enjoys connecting passionate food people when not trying new forms of food.
Click here to view Alessio’s LinkedIn profile
Neil Shackleton is the founder of Medoola, a expert packaging consultancy that delivers a modular approach to packaging projects. This innovative approach combines the individual expertise of packaging professionals from across the globe to successfully deliver innovation, optimisation and sustainability to clients in the FMCG sector.
With over 25 years working on a myriad of packaging projects around the world, Neil now provides brand owners and retailers with key opportunities and solutions in packaging process, packaging design, innovation and sustainability that add value to their brands and total supply chains.
A Fellow of the Packaging Society, Neil has a true passion for packaging that is prevalent in his work with many leading brands.
Click here to view Neil’s LinkedIn profile
Founder & CEO, Taiga Chocolate
Mirja Palola is CEO and founding partner of Taiga Chocolate a multi-award-winning artisan luxury chocolate company from Finland. Palola has been establishing the Taiga brand for export market, creating the networks and collaborations to improve brand recognition and launching the brand and products into new markets in Asia in a record time.
Palola is a scale-up and start-up executive and changemaker. Her board experience in developing and expanding businesses in the areas of content digitalisation, fintech and influencer marketing have proven to be success factors in brand building in the food industry too.
Meeting people, building connections, making every encounter count and quickly adapting to new things motivates her. That gives her the passion to create new and energy to manage the daily routines. Both are needed in making the change.
Click here to view Mirja’s LinkedIn profile
Sophie de Reynal
Marketing Manager, NutriMarketing
Sophie de Reynal is the Marketing Manager for NutriMarketing, a French agency involved in the monitoring of innovation, the development of new products and the communication in nutrition. At NutriMarketing she is an innovation expert for food manufacturers and carries out market studies and trend presentations.
Sophie is also a speaker for international food trade shows and well as being a co-author for the book ‘de l’étiquette à l’assiette : vérités et mensonges sur les produits alimentaires’ and for the collective work ‘Additifs et auxiliaires de fabrication dans les industries alimentaires’. She also uses her food marketing knowledge and ‘trend hunter’ mindset to review international events, such as Natexpo, Vitafoods, SIAL, SIRHA, FIE, HIE, CFIA and more.
Click here to view Sophie’s LinkedIn profile
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