Michael Brodsky, President, Brodsky Consultants

Michael has been an Environmental Microbiologist for more than 46 years. After graduating from the University of Toronto, School of Hygiene in 1972, he joined the Laboratory Services Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Health as a Research Scientist. In 1982, Michael accepted the position of Chief, Environmental Microbiology, which he held until he changed his career path in March of 1999. He is currently operating as Brodsky Consultants, an independent microbiological consultant in food and water safety, laboratory accreditation and quality assurance.

He is a Past President of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), the Ontario Food Protection Association (OFPA) and AOAC International. He was recently re-appointed to the AOAC Board of Directors. He serves as Co-Chair for the AOAC Expert Review Committee for Microbiology, as a scientific reviewer in Microbiology for the AOAC Official Methods of Analysis and the AOAC Research Institute, as a reviewer for Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater and as a chapter editor on QA for the Compendium of Methods in Microbiology. He is also a certified lead auditor by Exemplar Global. He is a lead auditor and technical assessor in microbiology for the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) and for the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).  

Vice-president, Global Food & Beverage Intelligent Supply Chain, Optel Group    

Vanessa holds a bachelor's degree in Food Engineering and an executive MBA. She works since 10 years in the food industry and held several positions in R&D management, quality and food equipment design. Ms. Grondin has a solid base of experience in food production as she worked for start-ups and multinational businesses as well. Her role as vice-president of agri-food industry at Optel consists in optimizing efficiency of supply chains, improve food safety, reduce food waste and create value for trademarks.   


                                                                      Spir Marinakis
                   Vice-president Food Safety, Quality and Technical Services, Maple Leaf Foods

Spir is currently serving as Vice President, Food Safety, Quality and Technical Services for processed meats, further processed poultry, fresh poultry, fresh pork at Maple Leaf Foods (MLF).  As overall leader of this function Spir is accountable for the strategic direction to deliver on MLF’s Food Safety & Quality (FS&Q) strategy, Food Safety Promise, Quality Vision, day-to-day operations of the FS&Q Management Systems and Microbiology and Chemistry labs that service all MLF’s plants.

Spir began her professional career at Unilever Canada, one of the world’s largest CPG company. She progressed through various roles that included food scientist, sales representative, brand manager, innovation manager, R&D/QA manager, Canada and customer activation manager, North America. During this time, Spir achieved two prestigious Global Innovation Awards for innovative concepts and successful execution. Throughout this time her efforts on the commercial side of the business enhanced my appreciation of the importance of innovation, and customer-centric focus.

In 2004, Spir joined Maple Leaf Foods as Director FS&Q for the poultry division. During this time, Spir was awarded the President’s Award. In 2007, she moved into Six Sigma. During her tenure in Six Sigma, she was responsible for critical projects within marketing and food safety. In 2013, Spir moved into the Director, FS&Q systems role where she  took over leadership and execution of  the company’s quality strategy, performance metrics, FS&Q Pillar of the Operational Excellence System, complaint management, and control of the FS&Q Management System. Earlier this year Spir was a part of the Women in Leadership program at Ivey School of Business







                              Mario Leclerc, Canada Research Chair in Polymer Science

Mario Leclerc was awarded a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Université Laval. After a short stay at INRS-Énergie et Matériaux, he joined the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, as a postdoctoral fellow.

He has been professor for 10 years at the Université de Montréal before joining the Centre de Recherche en Sciences et Ingénierie des Macromolécules (CERSIM). He is the currently the recipient of a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Polymer Science. He is author or coauthor of more than 250 scientific publications and 10 book chapters and has 10 patents.

His current research activities focus on the synthesis and characterization of new poymeric materials for applications in solar energy, micro-electronics and genomics..

Associate Professor, Food Safety Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University

Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. At North Carolina State University, Dr. Chapman supports Extension Agents, focusing on consumer, retail and foodservice food safety issues. Dr. Chapman has designed, implemented and evaluated on-farm food safety programs; consulted for industry and government around food safety issues and conducted observation studies at community dinners, foodservice, farmers’ markets and in food production settings.  Much of Ben’s focus is on telling food safety stories with the aim of creating and fostering good food safety culture. Chapman co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. He is also a regular contributor to barfblog.com.    


                                           Patrick Boucher, Head, eCommerce, Metro Richelieu

Patrick Boucher works in the retail business, specifically in the food sector, since 20 years. He undertook different duties such as operations, labour management, resource protection and finance. He is head of the ecommerce department since more than one year at Metro Richelieu.

Patrick Boucher holds a Bachelor's degree in business administration and is qualified as a Chartered Accountant.




                             Karen Low, Primary Lead, Food Safety, e-commerce group, Loblaw

For the past 15 years Karen has worked in the field of food safety, with the last 13 years as Sr. Food Safety Specialist for Loblaw Ltd. She has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree and Accreditation in Food Safety through the Royal Institute of Public Health. Karen has been the primary lead for Food Safety with the Loblaws E-commerce group since 2016.


                                    David Drouin, Food Safety Manager, Sobeys

Holder of a technical diploma in Dietetics and a certificate in Food Science and Quality from Université Laval, David Drouin works in the food sector since 1998, mainly in the quality management field.

David works for Sobeys since 15 years as food safety manager after having offered his expertise during several years to food consulting firms. At Sobeys, he ensures the proper functioning of food safety operations and compliance to several governement regulatory requirements. He is known by his peers as a great popularizer, a strong communicator and a genuine and passionate person.


                             Wei Que, Vendor Audit and Food Quality Assurance Manager
                                                       Costco Wholesale Canada

Wei Que is a graduate from McGill University with an M.Sc. specializing in Food Chemistry. At the completion of her M.Sc., Wei started working for Costco Wholesale Canada and has been there for almost 5 years. Her current role is Manager of vendor audit and quality assurance. Wei is managing the supplier 3rd party food safety audit program and the Food Quality Assurance Laboratory at Costco Wholesale Canada.

Executive Director, Food Safety Science Directorate and Deputy Chief Food Safety Officer at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Dr. Dimitri is responsible for providing science advice, scientific risk intelligence, and overall science direction to inform policy analysis, program design, algorithm development and operational decision-making in the area of food. She is also responsible for designing food safety surveillance and monitoring programs, such as the National Chemical Residue Program and the National Microbiological Monitoring Program, as well as providing leadership on the food research agenda for the CFIA. 

As the executive lead of the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) initiative within CFIA, she collaborates extensively across the Government of Canada, with international partners, and with stakeholders in the development and implementation of the pan-Canadian action plan in response to the global threat of AMR.   Aline is a graduate of McGill University where she received her Ph.D. in Food Science.   


                     Director Compliance and Risk Assessment, Agropur Cooperative

Guy Latreille works at Agropur cooperative since June 2016 as Director of Compliance and Risk Assessment. He develops and maintains corporate programs such as suppliers' qualification, quality of dairy producers, shippers, imported cheeses and co-manufacturers, corporate audits, hazard mapping, processing compliance, biosecurity, SQF certification and many others. He is head of a team covering the 28 Canadian dairy plants.

Guy Latreille has more than 34 years' experience in the food processing sector, in operational roles, R&D and quality for meat, processed foods, cider and dairy products. He also has been BPF and GFSI auditor for american certificators. He is actively involved in the Performance Network of the Quebec Quality Movement.


                                                                      Sébastien Beaulieu
                                                       Vice-president Quality, Leclerc Group


Sébastien Beaulieu holds a BSc in Food Science and Technology from Université Laval in Quebec, Canada. In 1996, he obtains a position as quality and R&D Supervisor for Maple Leaf Foods. In 1999, he is recruited by Groupe Leclerc as Director of HACCP and Food Safety. He became Director of Quality in 2002 and is currently Vice-President Quality since 2007.