Decadent Chocolate Tasting and Italian Feast

Morley Chocolates Hosts November Meeting in Clinton Township

On November 7, Mike Koch and his Team welcomed the GLS IFT members to the Morley Chocolate Factory headquarters in Clinton Township, MI.

Accompanied by the pleasant chocolate scent that inundated the air, the evening started with a delightful taste of warm freshly made caramel-chocolate chunk cookies and an insightful video about the discovery, tradition, and manufacture of chocolate.

Mike shared the Morley Chocolate Company history along with insights related to the current market status and opportunities.  He explained the critical importance and commitment to deliver premium quality chocolate products.

We then proceeded to tour the factory – which at that time was operating 2nd shift.  Our guides explained to us the process of chocolate and candy making and the caring manual labor involved in the packaging of these fine products. Morley2 Morley1

After the meeting & tour we spent lively, fun GLS IFT networking time at Mario Luigi’s Downtown restaurant, where we enjoyed hearty appetizers & a delicious Northern Italian style cuisine.

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Day of Service

Day of Service

Students and professionals came together throughout Michigan to support the Day of Service events sponsored by Great Lakes IFT.  Pictured are volunteers at Feeding America Grand Rapids who packaged food  donated by Spartan stores on Sept. 26th.

Each event was coordinated by a GLSIFT member in that area of the state. Service events were held at Food Banks in Detroit, Fremont, Traverse City, Grand Rapids & Battle Creek.

Vasiana Tomco from Wayne State coordinated the Detroit event  on Sept. 17 at the Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Volunteers were given lists of food products that they located and then weighed and packaged for distribution.

In Grand Rapids, Liz Margosian coordinated the Service event where IFT members repackaged produce that had been donated such as lettuce, apples from the orchards, and potatoes. Others took inventory of canned and boxed foods and worked in the pantry — tallying up and packaging food orders for distribution to families in need.

In Traverse City, Heidi Farkas set up the event for volunteers on Sept. 23rd to work at the Benzie Area Christian  Neighbors.

In Fremont, Andrea Gerstle set up an event at True North Community Center on Sept. 25th where volunteers assisted with the monthly distribution of food to over 100 families in western Michigan.

The event in Battle Creek was coordinated by Kiery Wilson on September 17 at the Food Bank of South Central Michigan.

In all, 71 volunteer hours were donated by students and professionals from GLS-IFT. As a token of thanks, all volunteers were given a tote bag with the Great Lakes Section logo!

Day of Service 2 Day of Service 1

Open Innovation and Creativity at GRid 70!

Meijer Hosts September Meeting in Grand Rapids

Students and professionals experienced creativity personified in downtown Grand Rapids at the GRid 70 complex. It is here that Meijer Foods opened its doors and shared its unique space and philosophy of innovation with GLSIFT members at the September 24th meeting.

Meijer QA Manager Cindi Cole explained that GRid 70 (Grand Rapids Innovation & Design @ 70 Ionia) brings together non-competing companies to share space and a spirit of creativity. Currently, the complex houses designers and new product development teams from Meijer, Amway, Steelcase and Wolverine, with space now available for expansion and new tenants. Collaboration among these companies flourishes on a daily basis as prototypes of boots, salads and office desks are shared and evaluated by all, allowing developers and designers to gain diverse feedback and ideas for improvement.grid 70 1st floor kitchen and demo area

meijer alternative meeting space bean bags

Chef Jen Gritters provided a tour of the Development Kitchens where new products are created for Meijer stores. She presented Meijer’s approach to new product innovation through the combination of Culinary Arts and Food Science.Chef Jen with members

After the meeting, members enjoyed meeting new colleagues and reuniting with old friends at nearby San Chez Tapas Bistro. Tapas were served family style to allow everyone to sample a wide variety of Spanish cuisine from appetizers to dessert. From the Bistec con Pimienta (peppered bistro steak, grilled medium-rare with tortellini and manchego mustard cream sauce) to the pitchers of Sangria with fresh orange and lemon slices, the great food and fun atmosphere made for a memorable night for GLSIFT members!san chez dinner 2

Suppliers Day 2013

Thanks to the hard working committee chairs Sue Riippa and Erin Groeb and all the volunteers who made the 2013 Suppliers Day a great event for suppliers and attendees. This year we had 131 vendors exhibiting and a steady stream of attendees walking the aisles of the Kellogg arena. The always popular wine dinner that follows the day was at capacity with 200 people in attendance!

Congratulations to Deluxe Pecan for winning the booth competition with their patriotic decorations!
1st place winner

2013 Spring Meeting and Student Awards Night

The 2013 Spring Meeting at Student Awards Night was held at Copper Restaurant at Walnut Hills Country Club in East Lansing, MI on March 26th. We had an amazing turnout of 56 people for the dinner, which was the most in recent memory for many in attendance. Before the dinner, a tour of the MSU Artisan Distilling Facility was led by Prof. Kris A. Berglund, who was our invited guest and speaker for the evening.


Nestle employees enjoy the dinner.


Great Lakes IFT’s youngest member! Past Chair Andrea Kirk’s son Jeffrey, with Andrea’s mom Carol.


Prof. Kris A. Berglund speaking about the MSU Artisan Distilling Program.

After dinner, Scholarship Committee Chair Todd Van Thomme presented six $1000 scholarships to this year’s winners:

Scholarship Winners

Chair Sarah Smith-Simpson, Alyssa Kilgore, Kanika Bhargava, Marianela Medellin-Lopez, Siyi Wang, Haiquin (Harry) Wang, Scholarship Committee Chair Todd Van Thomme (not pictured – Justin McComb)

Undergraduate Achievement Award – Siyi Wang
Siyi Wang is a senior in Food Science at Michigan State University. Outside of the classroom, she has gained knowledge of the foodservice industry by working in the MSU Cafeteria as a Student Cook. As a Student member of IFT, she has volunteered for the FFA Food Science Competition and participated in a Job Shadow Experience at Amway. Siyi has also served as an MSU Student Summer Orientation Leader. Siyi hopes to continue her education with a graduate degree and focus Food Safety Issues.

Clifford L Bedford Memorial Scholarship – Justin McComb
Justin McComb is a senior in Food Science at Michigan State University. He is currently at a 15 month co-op with The Hershey Company. He has worked with University Outreach for 3 years as a Michigan Science Olympiad Student Site Coordinator. He is a member of the MSU Food Science Club and was a member of the MSU Product Development Team for 2011-2012. Justin aims to one day be a strong leader in a well-respected food company.

Ph.D. Achievement Scholarship – Haiqiang (Harry) Wang
Haiqiang (Harry) Wang is a PhD candidate in Food Science at Michigan State University. His research focuses on microbial safety of fruits and vegetables during post-harvest washing and fresh-cut processing. To date, he has published six conference abstracts and has given two oral and three poster presentations on his research at the International Associational for Food Protection annual meeting, for which he won 2nd place (poster) and 3rd place (oral) in the “Developing Scientist Competition” in 2011 and 2012, respectively. He serves as the student committee chair for Chinese Association for Food Protection in North America, a community coordinator at Spartan Village (MSU), and also worked as a food safety & packaging intern at Freshway Foods. Harry’s long-term goal is to become an enthusiastic food microbiologist with a focus of industrial processing in the food safety area.

Great Lakes Diversity Scholarship – Kanika Bhargava
Kanika Bhargava is a PhD candidate in Food Science and Nutrition and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Wayne State University. Her research in food microbiology deals with the molecular epidemiology of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in retail meat. She is the current Wayne State Student Representative for Great Lakes IFT, serves as President of Phi Tau Sigma Wayne State Chapter and has held several leadership positions in the IFT Quality Assurance Division. Her mentors applaud her ability to connect with her students and her talent at teaching both simple concepts and advanced topics as a GTA. Kanika’s career goal is to share her knowledge and experience with the upcoming generation of food technologists.

Great Lakes Section Active Member Scholarship– Alyssa Kilgore
Alyssa is a junior in Food Science at Michigan State University. She is the current Michigan State Student Representative for Great Lakes IFT and is the Historian for MSU Food Science Club. She has been very involved with the Great Lakes Section of IFT as well as National IFT. She has attended IFT annual meetings since 2010, and in 2012 served as a student volunteer. This year, she was a member of the first MSU team to submit a proposal to the IFTSA Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition. Alyssa has participated twice in the Job Shadow Program. Alyssa also serves as President of the MSU Chapter of Civitan International, a service organization, and has worked at the MSU Product Center since the fall of 2010.

Master of Science Achievement Scholarship – Marianela Medellin-Lopez
Marianela is a Masters Student in Food Science at Michigan State University. She has been an active member of the Great Lakes Section, volunteering her time for several events and attending the Annual Meeting in 2012. Her current research is focused on food processing, studying viable techniques for the production of turkey meat products. Her research has been presented at the national meeting of the Poultry Science Association and a patent has been filed around aspects of her research. She is currently a Product Development Intern at the Kellogg Company. Marianela hopes to continue to apply her knowledge in the industry, and one day start her own business.

Congratulations to all of the Scholarship Winners!

Basketball Watch Party 2013!

A fun afternoon of basketball and spirit was enjoyed on January 27th at the Hall of Fame Café in East Lansing, where students and professionals met for the 3rd annual GLS-IFT Basketball Watch Party. Although the Spartans came up a bit short against the Indiana Hoosiers, there was no shortage of good drinks and food, good conversation and lots of door prizes. Thanks to all who attended and brought food for donation. A special thanks goes out to Heidi Farkas, Membership Committee Chair, and Nancy Tonda for organizing a successful event.


Nancy Tonda and Heidi Farkas


MSU students chat with Professional Members


MSU students enjoy the watch party


Food that was collected for the food bank

Open Position at Nestle Applications Group

Sr Food Technologist


This Sr. Food Technologist position has primary accountability for growing top- and bottom-line of the nutrition business by developing new product platforms and line extensions, or making improvements to existing products.

Project Assistance for Product/Process Innovation & Renovation Projects:
• The associate will be responsible for assigned projects related to product renovations, line extensions and product related cost savings initiatives. They will provide technical leadership within the cross-functional team to execute projects from concept through implementation.
o Determine & execute all elements of product development, including technical strategic direction, timeline development, risk management, and technology transfer.
o Partner with brand group, co-create project direction, and lead the overall technical execution.
o Accountability for the overall success of the project.
• Provide product and process related technical assistance to our M&D factories and Co-manufacturers where appropriate.
• Provide Technical assistance to Purchasing and Quality Assurance by evaluating alternative ingredients, suppliers or supplier manufacturing locations.
• Maintain Formulations and Procedures databases where appropriate and required.

• The on-time delivery of new or renovated products, alternate ingredients assessments and/or productivity project completion has significant impact to divisional sales and profits.

• BS degree in Food Science or related discipline.

The ideal candidate would possess 2-5 years of experience in a product development role within the food industry.

• Broad-based technical understanding of applicable technologies, preferably with demonstrated tactical execution skills involving development of new products, and ideally from concept through commercialization.
• Competence with development of thermally-processed products desired.
• Ability to solve technical problems associated with product development with technical excellence.
• Partner effectively with cross-functional input through the planning and decision-making process.
• Provide technical leadership and project management within cross-functional teams to influence strategic project direction.
• Work independently with minimal supervision in technical disciplines after appropriate training.
• Ability to leverage out-sourced project support.

R&D/Scientific/Product Development
Primary Location
61044075NUTINF Fremont Applications Group

To apply, please email your resume to Andrea Gerstle and visit the Nestle website to formally apply.

2012 IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo in Las Vegas

We were able to send several GLS Exec Board members to the Strategic Leadership Forum. Here is past Secretary Rachel Klataske and past Chair Andrea Kirk posing with Elvis!


2012 Suppliers Night



The expo was a success with 131 Supplier Booths and over 140 attendees.

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Special thanks to Mintel for a Trends Presentation before the Expo, and to Firekeepers Casino who brought us some true Vegas spirit!

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Suppliers Day Chair Sue Riippa and the MSU student volunteers pose with Elvis.

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Images from the Annual Wine Dinner after the Expo at Yarrow.

March ’11-New Professionals Basketball Watch Party Success!

We all had a great time at the first New Professionals gathering at Hall of Fame Cafe, East Lansing MI.