Previous Award Winners

Name Organization Award Type Year Citation Summary
Dionne Crawford McDonalds Corporation MCAFDO Special Recognition Award 2024 Dionne has been a faithful member and asset to the MCAFDO organization. She has voluntarily served as a retail industry representative to the MCAFDO Board since September 2020 and has participated in numerous board meetings helping to plan MCAFDO's annual educational conferences. She has provided valuable ideas and input on conference topic ideas and speakers. Furthermore, she has actively participated in MCAFDO's annual educational conferences through her attendance, delivering presentations, serving as a member on several conference panel discussion groups, and facilitating group discussions amongst presenters and participants. In one particular instance, Dionne voluntarily stepped up to deliver an impromptu conference presentation when there was an unexpected change in the conference schedule. Dionne's willingness to voluntarily serve has been vital to the continued success of the organization's mission and providing quality educational opportunities for MCAFDO members. She has advocated for and been instrumental in helping to build relationships and partnerships between industry and regulatory communities. Dionne's dedication and commitment to the MCAFDO organization and its members is greatly appreciated.
Sue Holbert Conagra Brands MCAFDO Special Recognition Award 2024 Sue has been a long-time standing member of the MCAFDO organization, serving the organization both as an industry member and an industry advisory to the MCAFDO Board. From the period of 2014 to 2023 Sue served as an advisor to the MCAFO Board, where she participated in numerous Board meetings and helped to plan MCAFDO’s annual educational conferences. As an advisor, Sue provided valuable suggestions and feedback to MCAFDO Board members to help MCAFDO achieve annual goals, visions, and build partnerships between regulatory and industry communities. Additionally, Sue helped to brainstorm educational topic ideas for the annual conference and was often called upon to serve as a liaison between MCAFDO and industry partners to secure industry presenters for the annual educational conference. Sue also volunteered as a MCAFDO awards committee member, where she helped to review award nominations and select recipients for annual awards presentations. In addition to Sue’s direct contributions to the MCAFDO organization, she was also a founding member of the Heartland Food Safety Roundtable, which is a meeting forum comprised of State, Local, Regional, and/or Federal regulatory personnel and food industry personnel. The goal of the Heartland Food Safety Roundtable meeting is to bring regulatory and industry partners together in an informal setting to discuss hot topics, issues, and updates in the world of food safety for local and national food industry and regulatory professionals. As a founding member, Sue was pivotal in organizing and scheduling Heartland Food Safety Roundtable meetings in conjunction with MCAFDO’s annual educational conferences. During these meetings, Sue often acted as the meeting moderator guiding and leading discussion about important food safety topics and issues. MCAFDO wishes to recognize and thank Sue for her years of voluntary service and contributions to MCAFDO members and helping to foster relationships between the industry and regulatory communities.
Julie Kraling, Kayla Becker, Rosa Haukedahl, Thao Schlichte Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing MCAFDO Achievement Award 2024 Over the last 5 years, Julie, Kayla, Rosa, and Thao led Iowa’s retail food inspection program with an unwavering commitment to training, risk-based inspections, program quality, uniformity, complaint, outbreak and emergency response, compliance and enforcement, outreach and overall accountability. In March of 2023, their efforts resulted in a self-assessment showing Iowa met all 9 Voluntary Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. This was confirmed during a verification audit in May of 2023. This is no small achievement. There are currently 959 jurisdictions enrolled in the Voluntary Retail Food Program Standards, and according to our FDA Retail Specialist, the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing is currently one of four jurisdictions in the nation meeting all 9 retail program standards. While conformance with all 9 retail standards is not unheard of it is extremely rare and this achievement should be recognized and celebrated. It really does take “a village” but the village needs leaders. While these four individuals did not achieve this alone and the entire program deserves recognition, these four individuals embraced the standards, laid the groundwork, gained the commitment and trust of all retail program staff and stayed the course for 5 years setting the stage for full conformance. This achievement not only deserves recognition, it is a demonstration of one of MCAFDO’s primary purposes “to promote the development and enforcement of uniform, food, drug and consumer protection laws”.
Joy Ramsey, Julie Vosilus, Lourdes Genera, Samuel Gibbons, Steven Allen US Food & Drug Administration Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2024 FDA State Liaisons are an integral and vital part of the existing relationships and partnerships between State regulatory programs and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These individuals often perform many functions such as the following: Performing work planning sessions with State partners who maintain an animal or human food contract with FDA; aiding in the coordination of joint compliance and enforcement actions with State partners for non-compliant firms; coordinating resources and opportunities for joint training inspections and/or field audits with State partners; coordinating personnel, educational partners, and subject matter experts for carrying out investigations and/or compliance actions related to recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks; receiving, answering, and/or directing questions from individuals or state programs regarding regulations, contract work performance and execution, inspection/investigation activities, FDA policy and guidance, credentialing of individuals, and so much more. This nomination is submitted on behalf of the FDA State Liaisons who serve the MCAFDO affiliate region in recognition of their efforts to support State programs and carrying out the mission and interest of protecting public health. Without their assistance, efforts, and dedication, the success and mission of State programs would be significantly impacted, and the protection of consumers greatly compromised.
Rosa Haukedahl, Sam Pang, Sherri Sigwarth Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2024 During a two-week period in 2023, Rosa, Sam and Sherri encountered and overcame two complex and challenging situations at two Iowa food processing establishments. During an inspection of a commercial bakery, Sam and Rosa encountered an operation that posed a significant public health threat. Products were manufactured and distributed from this location which were made with adulterated ingredients, prepared under gross insanitary conditions, and without adequate control of allergens. In addition, products were distributed with undeclared allergens. During this investigation, Rosa and Sam worked directly with the firm to gain a voluntary closure of the plant, voluntary destruction of contaminated ingredients, and a voluntary recall of distributed products. During an inspection of an Amish processor of fudge and candies, Sherri identified several products were distributed from the facility with undeclared allergens. Sherri worked closely with this small firm to help them through the voluntary recall process. What made this task even more challenging was the processor's inability to use electronic communication. Sherri tapped into FDA and Departmental resources and successfully bridged the communication and technology gaps and guided the facility in recalling hazardous products. This would not have been possible without Sherri’s ability to gain the trust of the processor and her commitment to working with those the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing regulates. In both instances, Rosa, Sam and Sherri were able to get food products recalled which posed a significant public health threat before the inspection was closed out. Additionally, in both instances, these public health professionals identified and used both FDA and Departmental resources to achieve a positive outcome very quickly. Their work protected consumers and is a shining example of what Domestic Mutual Reliance between states and the FDA means. One of MCAFDO’s purposes and goals is to “Improve communication and cooperation within the local, state and federal program.” These instances where communication and cooperation along with the drive of individuals to protect public health should be recognized and celebrated by the MCAFDO Community.
Elizabeth Nutt AFDO MCAFDO Special Recognition Award 2023 Elizabeth has had an over 35 year career as in retail food safety. She has led the Environmental Health program at Tulsa Health Department, and for the last 2 years led the retail food safety program at AFDO. She was CFP Conference Chair along with serving on numerous committees, and multiple times serving on Council I (one). She is passionate about moving retail food safety forward and making the retail program more public health centric through things such as risk-based inspections, root cause analysis, and improving staff training. Elizabeth will be retiring in 2023.
Tabbatha Revas-French Oklahoma State Department of Health MCAFDO Achievement Award 2023 Tabbatha is a hard-working individual who cares about public health. She has worked in public health for over 11 years. This last year she spent a lot of time outside her normal job duties helping with COVID pods (both vaccine and testing). She has volunteered to work events outside her area and has helped train new inspectors. Tabbatha used to run the public bathing program and is always happy to answer questions, brain storm, train, and help the current public bathing program. She does thorough inspections and works well with her establishments to bring them into compliance. Tabbatha is an outstanding inspector and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is lucky to have her!
Gary Rutherford Oklahoma State Department of Health MCAFDO Special Recognition Award 2023 Gary has been in public health for many, many years; including time in the military when he retired. He has worked at Oklahoma City County Health Department, and now works for the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). He has so many years of experience and knowledge. He trains new inspectors, educates other inspectors, and works with facilities. He has a practical approach and is happy to explain the science or why something is done a certain way. Gary is always happy to help a coworker or a facility. Gary is retiring in April 2023, his knowledge and wisdom will greatly be missed throughout OSDH, and public health in general.
Bryon Ferro Harris County MCAFDO Achievement Award 2023 In my 22-year Environmental Public Health career, I've seen numerous civil servants' patience, sacrifice, and commitment to protect, educate, and assist their fellow citizens. Bryon is a great colleague, and an integral member of the Harris County Public Health Department. Bryon is the Senior Environmental Health Investigator who leads the Plan Review & Pre-Opening team at Harris County Public Health. His primary responsibilities include interpreting and reviewing architectural blueprints, food establishment applications, and other documentation submitted by architects and contractors. He verifies accuracy and authenticity, and assures compliance with Texas and FDA Food Codes. In addition, as a Subject Matter Expert for the department, Bryon liaises with applicable regulatory officials to ensure compliance and manage regulatory concerns throughout the county. His knowledge with regards to Plan Review and Environmental Public Health is exemplary. There is seldom a time when Bryon is unable to answer a question presented to him. Harris County Public Health is one of the nation's most diverse and populous jurisdictions, with nearly 5 million people spread over 1,778 square miles. To provide service to this level of population density, you must have outstanding team leaders like Bryon. He's the first one to the office daily, never complains, and he's always willing to assist his colleagues and customers where needed, despite the tremendous volume of work.Hopefully, this picturesque metaphor of Bryon provides a little perspective. I, at one time, was something like Robin and Bryon was the Batman of Plan Review. As Robin, I supported and assisted Batman Bryon's lead so that we could conquer any scenario or circumstances that came the department's way. Working side-by-side with hardworking and humble professionals such as Bryon has undoubtedly helped me maintain a sense of pride and desire to contribute to the greater good. Most public health professionals will agree that that sense of pride and desire is essential when your chosen career path is local government.With great pleasure, this nomination is respectfully submitted for Bryon Ferro to receive the MCAFDO Achievement Award.
Jose Victor Baldovinos City of South Padre Island Ruth Hendy Award (Administrator Award) 2023 J. Victor Baldovinos, Environmental Health Director, has been a leader in our City whom many people from other local, county, and state contact for advice because of his 20 plus years of knowledge and experience. During his first year of employment, he often had to go to larger cities for training. As a result, he became frustrated and became a member of the Texas Environmental Health Association (TEHA) and started providing trainings within the conference for people in the Rio Grande Valley. Within five years, he had to change venues as people from all over the state flocked to his conferences due to the magnitude of speakers. This December, Jose will celebrate 20 years of hosting conferences, and he plans to hand the conference off to others for continuance. Jose garnished his Bachelor's in Multidisciplinary Studies with honors from the University of Texas Rio Grange Valley via attending night classes and online, hybrid courses. Jose was also recognized as the National Environmental Health Association’s only Texas recipient of the Certificate of Merit. He has received the Texas Environmental Health Association – Members Spotlight Award and Presidents Award, and the Valley Environmental Coalition Founder Recognition Award. He also was issued a Proclamation by Senator Eddie Lucio Senate Gavel Recognition.He is the Chairman of the Port Isabel Housing Authority, President of the Texas Environmental Health Association South Texas Chapter, and the association's former President. He has served in the following capacities: Chairman of the Port Isabel Volunteer Fire Department, Vice-Chairman of the Port Isabel Historical Museum and Preservation Board, and Vice-Chairman of the Laguna Madre Golf Association.Jose is also an active member of the following: Code Enforcement Association of Texas, Texas State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association, National Environmental Health Association, Texas Animal Control Association, State of Texas Alliance for Recycling, Mid-Continental Association of Food & Drug Officials, Texas Association of Municipal Health Officials, and South Texas Tropical Medicine & Vector Borne Conference.
Thao Schlichte Merri CrossKurt RueberTaylor BoyleCourtney ThomasSherri SigwarthJoe LuingKim MillerCathy LordRyan JepsonKemi OniTara MarriottRosa HaukedahlMark Speltz Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, University of Iowa State Hygienic Lab, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2023 Iowa's Food Emergency Rapid Response Team and Iowa's Environmental Assessment Team is nominated for the Outstanding MCAFDO Award for their exceptional response to the 2022 Multi-State Salmonella Typhimurium Melon Outbreak. Iowa activated Incident Command and stood up a Unified Command Structure (ICS) to respond to the outbreak. In response the team investigated 39 cases and visited 38 businesses including several retail stores, numerous unregulated roadside and farmers market produce stands, distributors, brokers and an Amish auction house. The team collected 54 melon samples which were analyzed by the lab along with a myriad of traceback documents. The command staff successfully pieced together information from multiple sources to create a complex traceback diagram which ultimately identified the likely source of the outbreak. FDA later confirmed the likely identified source. During the investigation, the Environmental Assessment Team overcame multiple challenges in order to collect essential information, documentation and samples. Many points of sale were unregulated produce stands which operated in temporary locations. The team was able to track down these stands and collect samples, information and documentation using non-standard and sometimes very creative means. In most cases, the points of sale were unregulated. The team was able to successfully obtain necessary information from vendors, distributors, and brokers on a voluntary basis.Each member of the team worked countless hours including many hours outside of normal business hours during the investigation.The Iowa team continuously fed information to the FDA and responded to FDA’s questions throughout the investigation. This information was delivered timely and provided the FDA with information needed to make critical operational decisions.This groups responses to the 2022 Multi-State Salmonella Typhimurium Melon Outbreak was truly outstanding and representative of the core values and purpose of MCAFDO.
Mark Speltz Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals Ruth Hendy Award (Administrator Award) 2022 Mark is a passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated public servant committed to food safety. He uses his knowledge and vast experience to improve food safety here in Iowa and around the country. He further uses his skills and talents to mentor his staff so the impact on food safety can cast an even wider and more profound impact. Mark’s accomplishments are many.- Navigating through the ever-changing COVID-19 changes that impacted food establishments, providing education and regulatory enforcement in order to ensure compliance and promote public health.- Modernizing our licensing system, which will reduce red tape and redundancy for Iowa businesses.- Serving as MCAFDO President for two terms.- Providing Iowa businesses excellent customer service and advice during the land hurricane (Derecho) that impacted Iowa during the Summer of 2020.-It is hard to put into words the impact Mark has had on our department and state. We are incredibly proud of Mark and his many accomplishments. We are very grateful to be able to call him a colleague. He is very deserving of the Ruth Hendy Award.
Ivy Bremer Siouxland District Health Department MCAFDO Achievement Award 2022 Ivy was a key partner with Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals after her discovery of food products for retail sale produced from unlicensed kitchens. She thoroughly investigated the sources of these products, and determined the products originated from multiple sources in Iowa and Nebraska. Ivy spent time reviewing social media accounts to track the retail locations selling these unapproved foods and put together a detailed spreadsheet which enabled DIA to activate ICS. Ivy was a key partner in our ICS activation, and through her efforts, allowed the investigation to move quickly and effectively, removing all unapproved products from retail sale in Iowa, and helping to get the Iowa and Nebraska producers to begin the licensure process. Ivy is a motivated investigator who is very thorough and follows through. She has been receptive and always willing to help DIA, and for her hard work and steadfast partnership with DIA she was nominated for this award.
Thao Schlichte Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals MCAFDO Achievement Award 2022 Thao has done an extraordinary job over the past two years evolving and growing the Rapid Response Coordinator role, utilizing tools provided to her to better Iowa’s program when in need. Thao stood up Incident Command Structure (ICS) more the past 2 years than the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) has ever done over the same period of time. This has allowed the Food and Consumer Safety Bureau to respond to natural disasters (Derecho, and Mini Derecho), and imminent health hazard to the public health, in a focus, timely, and effective manner. Thao oversaw the enforcement with COVID-19 due to the Iowa Governor's Proclamations and worked diligently to ensure the Food Bureau was responding appropriately while keeping DIA staff as safe as possible. She takes her job very seriously and cares for it's role and purpose.
Julie Kraling Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals MCAFDO Achievement Award 2022 Julie Kraling was nominated for the MCAFDO Achievement Award due to her accomplishments of brining valuable training to both new and experienced Food Safety Inspections Officers through in-person, on demand online training modules and virtual training courses which incorporate adult learning techniques. For the last decade Julie has set the standard for retail food safety inspection officer training in Iowa. Over that time Julie has developed, continuously improved, and modernized how Food Safety Inspections Officers are trained in Iowa. Just prior to the pandemic, Julie completed development of four online training courses made available through IFPTI’s ABSORB Learning Management System to food regulatory professionals both in and outside Iowa. These courses included Risk Based Inspections, Report Writing Documentation, Compliance and Enforcement, and Supervision and Active Managerial Control. Most recently, during the pandemic, Julie successfully transitioned the Iowa New Inspector Training Course from a week-long in-person training course with field activities to the Google Classroom platform. This transition not only required a redesign of the training modules and exercises but also implemented new techniques for the students to connect the classroom training through field based homework exercises. Julie’s “we can do better” approach to training and mentoring new and existing inspectors is great example of how one individual can make a tremendous contribution to food safety and advance mission and purpose of MCAFDO.
Sara Kingland Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals MCAFDO Special Recognition Award 2022 Sara served as a mentor, trainer, standardization officer, and advocate for change to ensure employees are cultivated, educated, and able to succeed in completing Risk Based Inspections. Sara worked to educate establishment operators and worked to assist them in evaluating risk and working towards and achieving long term compliance to reduce food borne illness risk factors in their establishments and communities.
Kim Miller & Taylor Boyle Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2022 While the Department of Inspections and Appeals, Food & Consumer Safety Bureau had two open vacancies for well over 9 months, Kim and Taylor covered retail food territory inspections spanning over 20 counties. These counties made up a majority of South Central and South West Iowa. Kim and Taylor documented over 200 inspections outside of their assigned inspection territories and completed their high priority inspections between 96-100% on time. Kim and Taylor did not let long drive times and a lot of high priority work slow them down. They were organized, efficient, and had strong communication with each other to get the job done. Their accomplishments were imperative to the IA Food & Consumer Safety Bureau's success.
Tenesha Stubblefield Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2022 Tenesha Stubblefield was nominated for the Outstanding MCAFDO Award. One year ago, Tenesha accepted the position of Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Program Lead. Over the course of a year, Tenesha has overseen the implementation of Iowa’s new Consumable Hemp regulatory program. In the last 12 months she has conducted numerous outreach activities for industry, regulators and the general public including participation in webinars, development of guidance documents and training materials, created registration video scripts. She has also delivered presentations during state, regional and national conferences and meetings. Including participating in a Hemp Panel discussion during the 2021 AFDO Annual Educational Conference. In a short period of time she has developed highly collaborative relationships with other state agencies including the Department of Public Safety, Iowa Poison Control, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Board of Pharmacy, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, State Hygienic Lab and Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Her collaboration efforts have not stopped at the Iowa boarder. During a visit to Colorado this past year, Tenesha was able to tap into the experience and knowledge of a more mature program and bring back valuable insights for Iowa’s Program. The knowledge and expertise she has acquired has led to changes in Iowa's Consumable Hemp law and regulations. She has become a Subject Matter Expert in regards to hemp manufacturing and is leading Iowa’s Consumable Hemp Program compliance and enforcement activities. She is continuously searching for and identifying new collaborators and partners. These efforts along with her relentless research into arguably the most dynamic industry we have ever seen has made Iowa’s consumable hemp regulatory program “Smarter”. Tenesha embodies MCAFDO’s purpose and mission.
Merri Cross & Scott Platt Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2022 Scott Platt and Merri Cross were nominated for the Outstanding MCAFDO Award. Merri and Scott successfully lead the Iowa Manufactured Food Program to achieve 100% conformance with all 10 Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) without any findings or necessary corrective actions. This is a tremendous achievement in itself, but to continue to maintain the level discipline and quality standards necessary during a pandemic and while the Iowa Manufactured food Team is rebuilding makes this an extraordinary accomplishment. Over the last two years, together, Merri and Scott reviewed, audited, developed interventions and guidance, trained, mentored, reinforced and followed up with both new and existing manufactured food team members to ensure we did what we said we would do. They are both incredible assets to Iowa and the MCAFDO family. Additionally, Merri is recognized for many other contributions she makes outside of her job position and title. Besides coordinating all of the IA Food Bureau’s grant deliverables, she is an inclusive team player who will fill in a gap when key players are missing during any of the Bureau’s Incident Command Structure (ICS) activations, or any other project the Department is involved in. Merri is inquisitive and always willing to try something new and out of her comfort zone. Her input and work with the IA Food and Consumer Safety Bureau is invaluable.
Tressa Madden-McGill FDA Retiree Recognition 2022 Tressa Madden-McGill, Consumer Safety Officer/Standards Implementation Staff at FDA, is retiring in March 2022. She has been in her current position since December 2010 (11 years 2 months). Before working for FDA, she was with the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) where she was a Program Director - Consumer Protection. She worked for OSDH from December 1986 to December 2010 (24 years 1 month). During her career, Tressa has been recognized with the Association of Food and Drug Officials’ President’s Award in 2013 and again in 2015; in 2013 she received the Tim Green Award for Environmental Health Professional from the Oklahoma Society of Environmental Health Professionals; in 2010 she was recognized for exemplary service in the environmental health profession by the Oklahoma Public Health Association. She is a member of: Association of Food and Drug Officials; Association of Southern States Food and Drug Officials; Mid-Continent Association of Food and Drug Officials; National Environmental Health Association and Oklahoma Society of Environmental Health Professionals. Tressa also serves as a Chair/Director for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Inc.
Dan Kahler Nebraska Department of Agriculture Retiree Recognition 2022
Nancy Beyer Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Retiree Recognition 2022
Jennifer "Jenny" Pierquet AFDO Special Recognition Award 2020 "Jenny Pierquet has been an active member of MCAFDO from her early days of working for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals - Food and Consumer Safety Bureau. Even though she has left that agency, she continues to server her fellow MCAFO members. Jenny was the main person who worked on and submitted our Small Conference Cooperative Agreement (grant) with the Food & Drug Administration. As a result of her hard work, we were awarded the grant. This is just one of a few examples of why Jenny is deserving of this recognition. While she worked for Iowa, she was the Manufactured Foods Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) Coordinator. She was one of several coordinators that worked on developing the Coordinators Manual. This is a guide that is helpful to all programs that are enrolled in the MFRPS. She was also instrumental in developing a workshop for Program Standards Coordinators during the annual MFRPA meeting.In her current position with The Association of Food & Drug Officials as Project Manager, she continues to assist those MCAFDO state programs that utilize USAFoodSafety or USAPlants. She has been instrumental in getting a new software support vendor for the state users. She communicates issues with the state programs and the new vendor, and she is the main point of contact for state to process the licensing agreements between the State of Pennsylvania and the user states.For the above reasons, I nominate Jennifer “Jenny” Pierquet for this award."
Tenesha Stubblefield Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2020 "2019 was a busy year for Tenesha. Due to severe snow storms late in February, the Missouri River and its tributaries rose significantly in mid-March and floodwaters spread throughout SW Iowa. During the entire event, Tenesha was the “boots on the ground” representative of Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, visiting food establishments door to door in Glenwood and other small towns that were safe to enter. Hamburg and other small towns were not fully accessible but Tenesha and other DIA staff used telephone and email messages to check on the status of the water systems and the establishments affected. During the first several days of flooding, the Department’s Food Emergency Rapid Response Coordinator, Operations Section Chief and Planning Section Chief were on vacation. Tenesha immediately took charge of all field operations in SW Iowa while coordinating activities with the Bureau Chief. During this phase, Tenesha capitalized on existing relationships with community leaders and reached out to others to build new relationships.During Iowa’s RRT Activation, Tenesha continued to lead field operations and feed valuable information into the RRT’s incident command. This information was also shared with the State Emergency Operations Center.Glenwood and Hamburg were the main communities operating under boil orders and boil advisories due to floodwater infiltration in their treatment plants. Tenesha initiated contact with and led the Department’s efforts to coordinate operations with Iowa’s water authority, the Iowa Department of Natural (DNR). As a result of her collaboration with the Iowa DNR, Tenesha helped to create new guidance regarding the use of dishwashing machines at establishments operating under a water advisory, and the new document was sent to all food establishments affected.Most establishments had safe water supplies by mid-April and the Iowa RRT stood down on April 19, but Tenesha’s work was not yet finished. She maintained contact with communities that still had boil advisories, especially the town of Pacific Junction. She did not get access to that community until May, and the town of Hamburg did not have the boil advisory lifted until the end of May.More rains brought more flooding over Memorial Day weekend, with evacuations taking place from the town of Percival. Floodwaters continued to cause concern through the summer and fall, including one establishment that was not accessible by Tenesha for inspection until October. Some areas still have standing water but it appears there are no longer food establishments operating on an emergency basis.Through her efforts, Tenesha has maintained a positive relationship with the communities and DNR staff while working through issues of establishments operating without water or using an unapproved water source. She has been consistent in her efforts to reach the unreachable areas. In fact, persistence is her key quality trait that has served her well during her response efforts, and for that reason, she deserves recognition – for going above and beyond in the service of public health."
Kurt Rueber Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2019 In the past year, Kurt Rueber, Environmental Specialist, has worked on two complex investigations for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, Food and Consumer Safety Bureau. The first was a long-term compliance case with an operator resistance to change. This investigation was conducted jointly with our FDA District Office. Kurt showed great poise, patience, and resolve to move this operator towards compliance. The investigation stretched over a year with the end result of the operator selling the business. Once the business came under new ownership Kurt worked tirelessly to ensure the new owners were educated on all the regulatory requirements. A second instance of Kurt’s ability to work on complex investigations was demonstrated during investigation into at a dietary supplement firm using kratom as an ingredient. Kratom is an unapproved dietary supplement ingredient that has been linked to adverse health effects. Again, this investigation was jointly conducted with our FDA District Office. Kurt worked alongside an FDA CSO for over a week. Although this investigation began as a joint FDA/Iowa inspection it quickly became much more. Product samples were collected, both finished products and raw materials were embargoed and ultimately all kratom and products containing kratom were destroyed with full cooperation of the firm. Kurt’s positive attitude and ability to dive into any investigation with confidence and poised enthusiasm makes him an excellent nomination for the Outstanding MCAFDO Award.
Brian Church, Barry Phillips, Tenesha Stubblefield, Scott Platt Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals Achievement Award 2019 We would like to nominate this group of inspectors for the Achievement Award due to their above and beyond response to an investigation initiated by our FDA District Office. Our FDA District Partners were inspecting a facility with possible human health impact but could not clearly establish interstate commerce, so our Bureau decided to send in our manufacturing team to conduct an inspection and environmental sampling. This may sound routine, but our inspectors were informed of the assignment and the need to be onsite the same week of our staff meeting. This required quick reaction time on their part to mobilize as a team and make arrangements to be at the firm all week with just 48 hours of notification. Once on-site the team conducted a limited scope PC inspection and spent two days collecting environmental samples for a for-cause investigation. Their work allowed the Bureau to take quick and decisive action to fortify our request for recalling of product as well as demonstrating to the firm that their current processes lacked adequate controls to ensure safe production of food and posed a significant health risk to their consumers, which included students of several Iowa schools. Their collective effort was an example great teamwork, flexibility, and willingness to protect the public. The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, Food and Consumer Safety Bureau recommends that this group be consider for the Achievement Award for their exemplary response.
Elizabeth Nutt Tulsa Health Department Special Recognition Award 2019 Elizabeth Nutt has been a longtime member of MCAFDO as a local regulator. Elizabeth’s impact on food safety spans well beyond the jurisdictional boundaries of the Tulsa Health Department. In addition to her work in Tulsa, she has represented her program and MCAFDO on the national level as the Chair of the Conference for Food Protection and as a board member for the Association of Food and Drug Officials. Elizabeth has been instrumental in the planning and implementing of several MCAFDO Conferences, has worked on countless committees providing a local voice on national issues, and has always represented her program and MCAFDO with knowledge and passion. Her leadership as a MCAFDO Board Member has been vital to the continued success of our organization and has given countless hours helping lead this organization.
Christopher Sparks Houston Health Department Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2018 Mr. Sparks Managed the Public Sanitation and Retail Food Safety Group under the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) from 2013-2016 and was pivotal in the implementation and adoption of the 2013 FDA Food Code into the 2015 Texas Food Establishment Rules. Before Mr. Sparks there were many failed attempts to pass new FDA Food Code into Texas due to legislative issues like Raw Milk and Cottage Food. Mr. Sparks with his first attempt was able to setup stakeholders meeting, answer comment periods, and pass a draft of proposed rules by DSHS General Council and then into the Texas Administrative Code giving Texas a new food code in almost 10 years. Doing all this while working on and completing his 2nd Master’s Degree in Public Health from Texas A&M University.
Steve Mandernach Iowa Department of Inspecitons & Appeals Ruth Hendy Award 2018 Steve Mandernach has been very involved in MCAFDO since he started in his current position almost 10 years ago. Mr. Mandernach has served as MCAFDO president and he has assisted in the planning of nearly every conference for the past 10 years, and has consistently promoted MCAFDO. Without Steve's leadership, MCAFDO may have not continued in 2010-2011. Steve has demonstrated commitment by bringing a large number of his staff to the conference each year, providing speakers, committee members, and countless hours leading the organization.
Preston Moberly Iowa Department of Inspecitons & Appeals Achievement Award 2018 "Since joining the Department less than two year's ago Preston has become a leader in the food safety program. He has a positive ""can do"" attitude with a passion for food safety. He has been a leader in working to improve processes in many areas and always up for a new challenge. He has embraced the concept of environmental assessments for foodborne illness investigations, actively improved the process for temporary food events, exceeded productivity expectations, and has handled complex enforcement with little coaching. "
Sue Holbert ConAgra Foods Certificate of Appreciation 2018 Certificate of Appreciation is herby presented to Sue Holbert for her outstanding and unwavering support for Mid-Continental Association of Food and Drug Officials and leadership in advancing collaboration between the food regulatory and regulated communities.
Julie Loera Texas Department of State Health Services Certificate of Recognition 2018 Certificate of Recognition is herby presented to Julie Loera recognizing her twenty-six year career with the Texas Department of State Health Services and her leadership with the US Food and Drug Administration's Manufactured Foods Regulatory Program Standards and the Human and Animal Food Rapid Response Team programs.
Angela Kohls FDA Office of Partnerships Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2017 Angela has been a longtime member of MCAFDO in both her state and federal positions. In her current FDA position Angela has taken it upon herself to be the motivator that keeps the MCAFDO Board of Directors moving forward. Her dedication to regularly scheduled conference calls and taking control of the conference agenda has been vital in organizing our annual conference. Angela is also an asset in scheduling and confirming FDA speakers and participants in our annual conference.
Scott Platt Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals Outstanding MCAFDO Award 2017 Scott Platt has been the MCAFDO Treasurer since 2011. In that role he has been instrumental in making the annual conference happen, administering the small conference grant, and maintaining a web site presence. Without his participation we would be unable to make the annual MCAFDO conference a success. He also was instrumental in moving MCAFDO forward and instituting credit card acceptance and moving us into the Wild Apricot membership and meeting management system.
Steve Moris Kansas Department of Agriculture Ruth Hendy Award (Administrator Award) 2017 Steve Moris has been very involved in MCAFDO since approximately 2007. Mr. Moris has served as president for nearly two terms, he has assisted in the planning of numerous conferences, and has consistently promoted MCAFDO. Without Steve's leadership, MCAFDO may have not continued in 2010-2011. Further he has served AFDO as its secretary, treasurer, and is now Vice President. Steve has demonstrated commitment by bringing a large number of his staff to the conference each year, providing speakers, committee members, and countless hours leading the organization.
Jeff Jackson Arkansas Department of Health MCAFDO Recognition Award - Achievment 2017 Jeff has been a longtime member of MCAFDO. Within the last year, Jeff had to take on temporary supervisor responsibilities in addition to his inspector duties. Jeff is always knowledgeable and offers input in many areas of discussion during conferences and is always there to answer questions when needed. I appreciate Jeff and his ability to go outside of the box to find a solution to a problem.
Tom Jensen Retired from NE Dept of Agriculture - August 28, 2016 Special Recognition Award 2017 Brief description of accomplishments : Tom Jensen has been with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture since 1977. He was the Nebraska State Lab Director for 32 years before becoming the Chief Administrator in 2011. Tom has made an impact on the field of environmental health with his commitment to the Association of Food and Drug Officials, and the Mid -Continent Association of Food and Drug Officials, as well as the American Association of Control Officials who regulate feed, fertilizers and pesticides. Tom is also active in the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and has been a member of AOAC International. Tom served on several committees and boards, including the Official Methods Board and the AOAC International Board of Directors. In 2001-2002, he served as President of AOAC International. For his service to the Association, he has been named a Fellow. Since 2003, Tom has served as the department’s Emergency Coordinator, with responsibilities in Homeland Security and emergency management. Under his direction, NDA employees have learned the Incident Command System, which has been used several times; most recently with the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) event in northeast Nebraska. Tom has been instrumental in acquiring grants to keep the Department in a leadership role in many areas. The Feed program and Food program are enrolled in the Regulatory Standards Programs. The Department is actively involved in the Specialty Block Grant program and the Farmer Market Program.
Patty Harvey ConAgra Foods Certificate of Appreciation 2016
Melva Ball Nebraska Department of Agriculture Ruth Hendy Award (Administrator Award) 2016