Coronavirus (COVID-19) Expert Conversations

Interview with the Experts - Dr. Martin Wiedmann, Cornell University

Dr. Max Teplitski sat down with Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety at Cornell, and co-director of the New York State Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence, Dr. Martin Wiedmann to discuss whole genome sequencing (WGS) and traceback investigations. Dr. Wiedmann shared his expertise in food safety, salmonella genomics, microbial evolution and bacterial stress response, while helping translate how WGS and SNPs play into outbreak investigations.

Interviews with the Experts: Audra Bohannon, KornFerry

Dr. Yvonne Bull, Chief Financial Officer of PMA, recently had the opportunity to speak with Audra Bohannon, Senior Client Partner at KornFerry about diversity and inclusion the workplace. In this interview, Bohannon shares powerful and timely insights about how unconscious bias impacts workplace culture and what companies can do to provide resources and training to create a culture of inclusion.

Interview with the Experts: Give Customers a reason to want to pay you... 

Lauren M. Scott, PMA Chief Marketing Office sat down with Samuel Keene, Senior Director of Integrated Marketing at XPERI, to talk about the how he found his passion in marketing after starting down a path in the medical field. This interesting discussion offers great insight on how to take what you learn from each company and incorporate it in your marketing style. Larger companies can teach you how to be better marketers - to think big and the importance of being "objectively great”. You don't want to miss these great tips!

Interviews with the Experts: Shaping and Changing Organizations

Lauren M. Scott, PMA Chief Marketing Office sat down with Dr. Rosabeth Kantor, Harvard Business School professor and co-founder of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership initiative, to talk about the value of modifying the behaviors to help business' flourish. They had a great discussion on how values have changed over the decades how these changes have affected business. Through out the conversation Dr. Kantor provided great tips such as - Think big! Always look at the big picture and never limit yourself.

Interview with the Experts: Marcus Collins

Marcus Collins is an Award-Winning advertiser and a Lecturer of Marketing at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He has spent the last decade helping brands navigate the challenges of digital transformation to create contagious marketing ideas that extend across both the online and offline worlds of “social.” His years of training and work experience have strengthened his innate ability to translate culture for brands and translate brands for culture. In this captivating conversation, Marcus and Lauren Scott meet at the intersection of culture and marketing as he shares his compelling learnings and insights, including marketing as a badge of identity and how brand endorsement functions as a signal of our place within the social hierarchy.

Interview with the Experts: Alan Miller 

Alan Miller is the Founder and President of COLLiDE, a Cannes Lion Award-Winning boutique marketing agency founded in 2014 focused on weaving brands into the cultural fabric of society. In this insightful and illuminating conversation, Lauren Scott speaks with him about the COVID19 impact to culture, including his thoughts on strategy and pivoting in times of disruption, and the potential ripple effect looking forward to the second half of 2020 and beyond

Interview with Experts:Sara Menker, from Gro Intelligence

Interview with the Experts: Sara Menker, Gro Intelligence– See the extreme price volatility in the produce market!

VP of Technology, Vonnie Estes sits down with Sara Menker of Gro Intelligence to discuss new data sets and interpretation showing price volatility in our industry. Using data from weather to exchange rates to price points, Sara shows examples of produce product volatility by variety, seasonality, location as well as packaging size. She also tracks year over year data with historic maximum and minimums. Sara helped explain that these data analytics can be used to understand and predict pricing and supply and

demand. It is a tool that can help the produce industry reduce volatility and smooth out supply and demand cycles.

Interview with Experts: Dr. John Branch

Interview with Experts: Dr. John Branch discusses Marketing to the industry and consumers, and how to make sure you are best prepared to make a difference with your brand.

Lauren M. Scott, PMA chief marketing officer, recently sat down with Dr. John Branch, clinical assistant professor of business administration, co-director of Yaffe Digital Media Initiative, Ross School of Business, and faculty associate, Center for Russian, East European & East Eurasian Studies to have a conversation about marketing, how it has changed throughout COVID-19 and what it will look like moving forward. Topics of discussion included what the industry will need to do differently to capture consumer interest and examples of the best educational tools out there for marketers to keep up with the latest trends and innovations.

Interview with Experts: Tony Ferreira. Black Sheep Restaurants

Lauren Scott, PMA Chief Executive Officer sat down with Tony Ferreira. Culinary Operations at Black Sheep Restaurants, to discuss how Black Sheep Restaurants got on top of the COVID-19 situation, stayed ahead of the curve and are looking to come out the other end of it as a team with their values intact.

Adaptation has always been the key to survival and if you are a small organisation this is easier for you, so maximize your strengths. What you lack in resources you can make up for in agility. If you are bigger and traditionally have many layers of approval to push decisions through, consider even a temporary restructure that allows you to be swift and use your resources to get creative. Download this manual to read more.

Interview with Experts: Dr. Ben Chapman discusses food safety in the restaurant industry, and how COVID-19 affects best practices.

Well known for his expertise in microbiological food safety, Dr. Ben Chapman’s also excels at understanding and communicating the social and cultural aspects of food safety in food service. Dr. Chapman is a professor and extension specialist at North Carolina State University, and is also a contributing author at “Barf Blog: Safe Food from Farm to Fork.”

Here, Dr. Chapman discusses existing food safety best practices that address food-borne pathogens, and how COVID-19 safety requirements are supplementary to these practices. Specifically, restaurant workers will need to ensure that non-food related high touch surfaces are sanitized both in the kitchen as well as in the front of house. Dr. Chapman also points out that communication will be critical for the food service industry to convey their new safety protocols, and build trust with wary customers.

Interview with Experts: Dr. Alan Fyall

Lauren M. Scott, Chief Marketing Officer sat down with Dr. Alan Fyall, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor at the University of Central Florida, to discuss the future of travel and hospitality foodservice. With large gatherings still limited and stay-at-home orders still in effect in many geographic regions, travel, tourism, and associated foodservice in the hospitality industry has been greatly impacted. Much remains to be seen; however, the need for innovative thinking and solutions is paramount as the industry prepares for gradual recovery. Download this one-pager for additional information relating to the topic.

PMA Interview with the Experts: Drs. Kastner and Unruh, Kansas State University Discuss Resilience

PMA CSO Dr. Max Teplitski sat down with Dr. Justin Kastner and Dr. Daniel Unruh of K State University to discuss how the produce industry can assuage public concerns and fears, as well as ways for our industry to provide access to fresh produce during the COVID-19 pandemic. They outline food system resilience and how to address ways to reemerge after a catastrophe, such as the current pandemic.

Interview with the Experts: Dr. Steve Goldman, MIT - Economic Resilience and Functional Redundancy

Dr. Steve Goldman, consultant and a faculty member at MIT discusses economic resilience and steps companies should take as the economy comes out of the pandemic. Dr. Goldman is clear in that there will be no return to the old ways, and companies should not wait for the economy to stabilize before implementing changes to their businesses. Dr. Goldman is clear in that resilient companies are built on three pillars: people, facilities, and connectivity; and functional redundancy within even small organizations is critical to weathering the pandemic.

Dr. William W. Li is an Internationally known physician, scientist and author

Well known in the industry for his New York Times best seller Eat to Beat Disease – New science on how the body can heal itself. Dr. Li’s ground breaking work has lead to thirty new medical treatments and impact care for more than seventy diseases including – Cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart diseases, and obesity.

When it comes to food, Dr. Li has 3 key recommendations: Choose foods that resonate with you, Eat mainly whole foods – fruits and vegetables, Break barriers – “get cooking” and explore new things.

Interview with the Experts: Dr. Lori Francis, Penn State University.
Telling the story of food to get kids excited about fresh produce.

PMA CSO Dr. Max Teplitski and The Produce Mom Lori Taylor sat down with the Penn State associate professor Dr. Lori Francis to discuss access to fruits and vegetables in various communities, strategies to promote healthy eating that every parent can implement and some unexpected discoveries about kids’ eating while they watch TV. Dr. Francis also emphasizes how "telling the story of your food" helps not only with engaging children with their food, but also allows for children to create associations and greater appreciation for food. 

Interview with the Experts: Dr. Lori Francis, Penn State University.
How parents impact children’s habits and play a role in food literacy.

PMA CSO Dr. Max Teplitski and The Produce Mom Lori Taylor interview Penn State associate professor Dr. Lori Francis to learn from her work on parent’s impact eating and exercise habits, and how food literacy impacts child’s relationship with food. She also offers insights on food literacy, "Eating the Alphabet," and more.

Interview with the Experts: Satri Alpine, The Oppenheimer Group

Megan Nash, Program Director with Center for Growing Talent sat down with Satri Alpine, Director, Talent & Culture with The Oppenheimer Group, to discuss the health and safety of our work forces, adjusting to the new normal, and planning for re-entry back into the office.

Interview with the Experts: Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, North Carolina State University.

Dr. Max Teplitski sat down with the NCSU Distinguished Professor and Member of the National Academy of Sciences Food and Nutrition Board, Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus to discuss when environmental sampling for SARS-CoV-2 in a food production facility is warranted, share her work on the effectiveness of fogging and technical considerations for the implementation of fogging to control foodborne pathogens. Dr. Jaykus weighs in on issues of personnel safety during fogging as well as treatment of employees with ozone and chlorine dioxide. Finally, she offers her thoughts on what else the industry could do to minimize person-to-person spread of the coronavirus.

Interview with the Experts: David Poirier, The Poirier Group

Ed Treacy, PMA VP, Supply Chain and Sustainability sat down with David Poirier of The Poirier Group to discuss navigating and enhancing your operations through the COVID-19 situation. David goes over ways to seize opportunities.

Interview with the Experts: Jeff Brandenburg, JSB Group

Dr. Trevor Suslow sits down with Jeff Brandenburg of the JSB Group to focus practical insights and tips for those considering entering or enhancing operations in e-commerce. They also look at packaging for e-commerce and distribution.

Interview With the Experts: Dr. Martial Ndeffo on Going the Extra Mile to Protect Farm Laborers

What can we do beyond face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and social distancing to protect our essential employees? Dr. Max Teplitski spoke with TAMU professor Martial Ndeffo, who spent his career investigating ways to combat diseases like Ebola, TB, measles, chikungunya, African sleeping sickness and others.
PMA board member Patrick Vizzone interviews Dr. Maximo Torero, Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to discuss the future of agriculture as we come out of the pandemic.

Interview With the Experts: Richard Rosenkranz on Industry Health and Safety

Richard Rosenkranz
Kansas State professor Dr. Richard Rosenkranz discusses unhealthy habits of those of us who work from home during the lock-down, whether better nutrition can compensate for the lack of exercise, opportunities to teach kids how to eat healthy and measures to take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Interview With the Experts: Andrew Zimmern on Foodservice

We continue to focus on the unique challenges of the foodservice sector. PMA has convened a foodservice working group and has linked with the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), whose goal is to fight for local restaurants and their entire supply chain. Our CMO Lauren M. Scott talks with one of IRC’s organizing members, Andrew Zimmern.

Interview With the Experts: Dr. Don Schaffner on Public Health

Don Schaffner
Rutgers Distinguished professor Dr. Don Schaffner clarifies how to interpret data on SARS-CoV-2 persistence on surfaces and what the persistence data means to the food industry and consumers; how to handle groceries during the pandemic and how to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission from person-to-person in food production facilities, in retail and at home. We also learn what we are doing wrong while washing hands.

Dr. Max Teplitski regularly talks with experts in virology and public health, such as Dr. Don Schaffner, distinguished professor at Rutgers University.