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Daniel Best – President
Technology management, R&D, market analyst, communications

Dan Best

A passion for bringing new businesses, products and technologies into
the food and nutrition marketplaces.

Twenty-five-plus years committed to food and nutrition technology commercialization and
leading-edge business development in the food and nutritional productsindustries.

- Founder of BEST VANTAGE Inc. (1995)
- Executive Director – Dairy Research Foundation
- Co-founder of Pasteurized Eggs Corporation (now, National Pasteurized Eggs, Inc.)
- Eight-years as Technical Director/Editor of Prepared Foods magazine
- Two years as Executive Editor, AACC International's Cereal Food World

Work Experience Includes

- Turnaround management
- New technology start-ups
- Integrated Strategic Planning
- Product and process development
- Technical Advertising and Promotion (B2B)
- Technical Writing
- Market Research
- Innovation and Creativity Sessions
- R&D Management
- Intellectual Property and Licensing Support
- Technology due-diligence
- Cost-Savings and Supply Chain Enhancement
- Financial modeling
- M&A due diligence (BVI is an Illinois-licensed Business Broker)
- Marketing, Sales and Technical Service management.
- Creative Problem Resolution

Special Projects

- 2003–2004: Marketing Director for Pizzey’s Milling (Russell, Manitoba). Developed
  U.S. market for Pizzey’s, prior to Pizzey’s acquisition by Glanbia Nutritionals.

- 2009–2012: Sales and Technical Service Director for ENRECO, Inc. Helped
  ENRECO prepare financials and negotiate sale of company to Grain Millers, Inc.

Employment History includes:

- General Mills, Inc.; Rustco Products Co.; Prepared Foods magazine (Gorman
   Publishing Co.); Dairy Research Foundation /Dairy Management, Inc.;
   P asteurized Eggs Corporation.

Market Sector Expertise includes:

- Bakery products; dairy products; eggs; extruded snacks; fats & oils; food ingredients   (cereals, dietary fiber, flavors, fats and oils, gums and stabilizers, nutraceuticals,
  omega-3 oils, seasonings, water); grains, pasta; prepared foods, processed meats.

Professional Activities include:

National Science Foundation Proposal Review Panel (2009); Chair of Institute of Food
Technologists (IFT) Chicago Section
(2007/2008) and Rocky Mountain Section (1979/1980);
Sub-Committee Chair of 2008 American Society of Baking “Technology” program;
Chair of National IFT Marketing & Management Division (2006 and 2010);
Chair of “Low-Carb” Task Force for AACC--International (2004/2005) and Member of
AACC- International “Approved Methods” Task Force; Member: National Center for Food
Safety & Technology
(NCFST) Committee on Food Security (2000/2001); Member:
National Center for Food Safety & Technology
(NCFST) Task-Force on Extended Shelf
(ESL) Foods. (YR 2000/2001). Organizer and Chair: AACC International Product
Development Workshops on Next--Generation Carbohydrate Foods
(2004, 2005).
Daniel Best is the author of more-than 100 trade and technical articles, book chapters
and one patent (new cheese process) devoted to food and product and process development,
nutrition, technology management and food industry trends.

Education & Certifications include:

- M.B.A. University of St. Thomas (Corporate Finance)
- M.S. Colorado State University (Nutrition & Food Science)
- B.A. w/ HonorsUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison (Biochemistry & Psychology)
- Licensed Business Broker

Gerald Batsford – Senior Consultant
Supply chain efficiencies


Gerry Batsford has devoted his career to discovering added value in supply networks
from all the right places. His professional highlights span thirty years of hands-on
career experience improving domestic and international supply chains, manufacturing
operations, and information technology capabilities. He is able to cross-pollinating
“best practices” drawn from a range of food and non-food industries successes, including
in the automotive, electronics, pharmaceuticals, utilities, and sporting goods industries. 

Work Experience includes:

Thirty years of domestic and international supply chain, operations, and information technology. Executive food industry experience employing best practices cross-pollinated from a diverse
range of other industries that include automotive, electronics, pharmaceuticals, utilities, and
sporting goods.

- Inventory reductions and service improvements through enhanced-
  forecasting strategies.
- Successful supply chain strategic planning and Enterprise Resource
  Planning (ERP) implementation.
- Transitioning between domestic to international sourcing for major
  U.S. manufacturers.
- Development and implementation of decision-making models for comparing
   in-house to outsourced manufacturing scenarios.
- Optimal integration of personnel, process and information technologies.
- Supply network optimization.

Work History includes:

Sara Lee Corp., Armour Swift-Eckrich Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., AT Kearney (EDS),
The Mpower Group, Brunswick Corp., Chrsyler Corp., Shure Electronics, Wilson Sporting
Goods, FibreCraft Materials Corp.

Educations and Certifications include

- M.B.A. Program, (Operations Management) – Syracuse University, New York
- B.A. (English) – St. Lawrence University, New York

JoAnne K. Colbert – Senior Consultant
Marketing communications, project management

JoAnne Colbert

With over 25 years’ marketing management, promotional and consulting experiences in
domestic and international markets, including Japan and Latin America, where she
managed McDonald’s Happy Meal program, JoAnne brings creative skills and practical
marketing insights to food and food ingredient companies. She serves as the leading
project manager for BEST VANTAGE Inc. on a wide range of market communications,
market research and applied technology projects.

Work Experience includes:

- Marketing Strategy
- Corporate imaged development
- Communications management
- Advertising management
- Consumer marketing
- Marketing and sales materials development
- Public relations and promotional campaigns

Work history Includes:

McDonald’s Latin America Happy Meal Program (acting director), Sony Creative,
Japan Airlines (Tokyo), Recycled Paper Products (Chicago).

Educations and Certifications include

- M.B.A. Northwestern University (Marketing & Intl Business)
- B.S. w/ – University of Illinois (Mass Communications; minors –
  Psychology and Asian Studies)

Thomas Judge, J.D. – Senior Consultant
Transactional attorney and entrepreneur

Tom Judge has over 30 years of experience as a transactions attorney, business principal
and entrepreneur in food and non-food business endeavors. Fields of emphasis include
mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private placements and intellectual property
licensing. He is AV* rated (pre-eminent legal skills and highest ethical standards) by
Martindale-Hubbell and holds degrees from Cornell, Michigan, Chicago and Oxford.

Work Experience includes

- Partner in leading U.S. law firms
- Debt securities and private equity placements
- Mergers and acquisitions
- New business start-ups
- Intellectual property development and litigation
- Transactional law, including leasing, financial workouts,
   and regulatory compliance
- Acting CEO for software development company
- Start-up investor and legal counsel for foodservice, green energy, biotechnology,
   international mobile phone and software companies

Employment History includes:

Altheimer & Gray (Chicago), Michael Best & Friedrich (Chicago), Sidley Austin (Chicago),
Chapman & Cutler (Chicago).

Educations and Certifications include:

- MBA (with Distinction) – University of Oxford (England)
- MLA (Liberal Arts) – University of Chicago
- JD (Law) – University of Michigan
- BA (with Distinction) – Cornell University (New York)
- Junior Year Abroad (First Class Honors) – University of Edinburgh (Scotland)
- AV Peer Review Rated from Martindale-Hubell, since 2002.

Rebecca Lopez-Garcia, Ph.D – Senior Consultant
International food quality, safety and regulatory compliance

An international food safety and regulations expert, specializing in cross-border
transactions for the food, food ingredient and nutritional products industries in
North America and Latin America. Rebeca Lopez-Garcia has helped companies
transact and negotiate the regulatory hurdles for producing, manufacturing and
shipping foods and nutritional products across borders, as well as training their
personnel in the latest standards of international food safety and quality compliance.
Lopez-Garcia is an experienced food plant quality and safety auditor with extensive
experience in more-than 20 countries.

Work Experience includes:

- International regulatory compliance
- Food safety and quality protocols and training
- Food safety plant auditor
- Risk management
- Food toxicology
- International food law
- Technical paper and seminar presentations (Spanish and English)

Employment History includes:

Tate & Lyle, Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Better Process Control School,
Universidad La Salle (Mexico), Michigan State University.

Professional Activities include:

Rebeca Lopez-Garcia is a renown presenter on food safety and regulatory topics and
widely published, She belongs to the Editorial Board of the World Mycotoxin journal
and as a contributing editor to AACCI’s Cereal Food World and Sosland Publishing’s
Baking & Snack and Baking & Snack International trade publications as well as
Enfasis Alimentos, published in Latin America. Lopez-Garcia has held multiple
positions in the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), including: Chair of the Senior
Food Officials
(2008) and Continuing Education (1999–2003) committees; Treasurer
of the Food Laws and Regulations Division (2002), and active member of the
Food Safety and Quality Conference (2004–2006)and Global Interests committees,
as well as the IFT’s Strategic Task Force (1996). She was a Scientific Committee
member for the First and Second World Mycotoxin forums (2001 and 2003) and jury
member for Premio Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos

Claudia O’Donnell – Senior Consultant
Technical communications, market research

Claudia's bio picture

Industry perspectives and insights forged from hands-on experiences,
analyzed and distilled into practical, clearly defined conclusions.

Claudia O’Donnell draws on more-than 35 years of hands-on food industry experience
as an R&D and Quality Analysis & Control director for food companies, Editor of a
leading food industry trade publication, and years of consulting and market analysis
for leading food organizations. She is also a Managing Partner of Global Food Forums, Inc.,
an international food conference organizer. O’Donnell is a recognized market analyst of
and presenter on food industry technology, nutrition and nutraceutical trends.

Work Experience includes:

- Technical and digital communications
- Food, nutrition and nutraceutical market analysis
- Food product development
- Quality assurance and control
- Food ingredient market analyst
- Problem analysis and resolution

Employment History includes:

Global Food Forums, Inc., Prepared Foods magazine (BNP Media), RQA / New
Product Insights, International Multifoods (Minneapolis), Alex Foods (Los Angeles),
Orval Kent Foods (Chicago), United Soybean Board, Dairy Management, Inc.

Market Sector Expertise includes:

Bakery products; dairy products; food and nutritional ingredients; nutraceuticals;
frozen meat dishes; nutraceuticals; salad dressings; soy protein ingredients.

Education includes:

- M.B.A. (Marketing) – Northern Illinois University
- M.S. Food & Nutrition – University of Minnesota
- B.A. Biology – St. Olaf College (Minnesota)

Rick Stier – Senior Consultant
International food safety and regulatory compliance

A consulting food scientist with extensive international experience in: food safety
(HACCP); food plant sanitation; quality systems; process optimization; GMP
compliance; and food microbiology for a wide range of processing systems, products
and environments. Richard Stier has worked in more-than 500 manufacturing
environments in 39 countries during the course of his career. Stier demonstrates a
unique ability to work with domestic and international companies at all levels—from
top management to line workers—to train and help them understand, develop and
implement systems to enhance productivity and operations. Stier has been
instrumental in helping processors, including many small processors, develop the
quality, food safety and sanitation systems needed to compete and thrive in today’s
international marketplace.  

Work Experience includes: 

- Manufacturing operations
- Process Development
- Quality assurance and control systems design and training
  (40+ countries, 6 continents)
- Quality compliance auditor
- Canning, freezing, dehydration, deep-fat frying, aseptic systems, meat processing
- Certified HACCP instructor (Assoc. of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO) and
   by the International HACCP Alliance

Employment History includes: 

Dole Packaged Foods Company, Libra Laboratories, National Food Processors
Association (NFPA).  

Market Sector Expertise includes: 

Aseptic products; bakery products; canned foods; chocolate; confectionery products;
fried foods; fruit and vegetables (fresh and processed); fruit and vegetable juices
and concentrates; gluten-free products; honey; nutritional supplements; pet foods;
sauces; seasonings and spices; snack foods; prepared foods.

Olivia Thomas – Senior Consultant
R&D and operations efficiency

Olivia draws upon a career spent in food R&D management and production start-ups
to develop a clear view of manufacturing operation efficiencies. Her professional
successes range from large company start-ups to large company process optimizations.

Work Experience includes:

- New product and process development
- Process labor and energy cost optimizations
- Government regulatory and labeling compliance
- Value Engineering, Six Sigma and Change Management implementation
- Supplier-Manufacturer interfacing at production level
- Processing equipment evaluation and selection

Employment History includes:

H.J.Heinz, Appetizer Division (Chicago), Appetizers, Inc. (Evanston, Illinois),
American Pouch Foods (Military Contractor).

Educations and Certifications include:

- B.S. Food Technology – South Bank University (U.K.)
- Lean and Six Sigma



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