We are proud to announce the speaker lineup for 2019: 

  • Nicole Acevedo, PhD

    Founder & CEO Elavo Mundi Solutions, LLC

    Nicole Acevedo is a reproductive and environmental health scientist with expertise on the health risks of everyday exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals. Dr. Acevedo received her doctorate in Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan and a career in clinical embryology afforded her a clearer understanding of the many factors that contribute to human reproductive success, including the health of our external environment. With this awareness, Dr. Acevedo returned to academia as a postdoctoral scholar at Tufts University School of Medicine to study the effects of early-life exposures to industrial chemicals that disrupt our natural hormone systems and how these exposures lead to adverse health effects in adulthood.

    Her research formed part of an unprecedented collaboration between government and academic scientists to integrate the strengths of academic and regulatory research approaches to identify best practices for hazard assessment of environmental chemical contaminants for informing chemical risk assessment. Dr. Acevedo also collaborated with a multidisciplinary group of scientists, clinicians, and community health advocates to examine the current state of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and to provide recommendations directly to the Agency. In 2015, she was recruited by Beautycounter, a pioneering brand in ‘clean beauty’, to lead and build out their company strategy on ingredient and product safety and sustainability.

    In 2017, Dr. Acevedo launched her own scientific consulting business, Elavo Mundi Solutions, LLC, to provide personal care and household cleaning brands clear solutions for cleaner, more sustainable and high-performing product development. She is also actively involved with international working groups engaged in creating viable business solutions for cleaner, safer, more sustainable product development across different industries.

  • Joseph Baumert

    Associate Professor and Co-Director – Food Allergy Research and Resource Program University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

    Dr. Baumert's research interests include the examination of the digestive stability of major food allergens and determining how digestion-resistant allergens may impact allergic sensitization to foods; the determination of minimal eliciting doses for specific food allergens; the examination of processing effects on food allergens; and the development and improvement of immunochemical methods for detection of allergenic food proteins.  Dr. Baumert is an associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

  • Rob Brown

    CEO and President Lebermuth

    Rob has been with Lebermuth for 28 years, and spent time learning the business from the ground up, working summers as a teenager. He graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts.

    Since then, he has learned his way through the company, having worked in purchasing, sales, and R & D before becoming CEO and President. Rob’s current focus is on health and growth, using his years of experience and deep knowledge of and passion for the industry to create and pursue opportunities beneficial for Lebermuth and for the industry.

    He’s a board member of the Fragrance Creators Association, member of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA), the American Society of Perfumers (ASP), The International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades (IFEAT), and Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild.

  • Michael Bumgarner

    Founder and CEO Cannuka

    Growing up on a farm in rural Ohio, Cannuka founder Michael Bumgarner always had a passion for the livelihood of his fellow farmers — as well as products that benefit health and the environment. So it wasn’t surprising when he developed an early interest in legalizing industrial hemp cultivation … a quest that led him to the discovery of the powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties of hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD.

    Bolstered by an entrepreneurial spirit and the support of his wife Kelly, Cannuka was created, a breakthrough natural product line combining two unique ingredients: Cannabis CBD and New Zealand’s Manuka honey — part of the tea tree family offering more beneficial anti-bacterial and anti-irritant properties than other honey types.

    As they embarked on their journey, Michael and Kelly knew they wanted to be more than just another medicinal Cannabis line. They decided early on that skincare would be the gateway to introducing Cannuka to the world, and they leveraged Kelly’s experience and expertise as a dermatology PA-C to do so.

    It was an approach focused on mass appeal, one that allowed them to showcase the aesthetic benefits of beauty — something tangible people could actually see. This was easily accomplished, because while CBD and Manuka honey work together to calm inflammation and heal the skin, they also produce a glowing, rejuvenated complexion as a welcomed “side effect.”  

    Today, this family-run company has truly paved the way for legitimizing the Cannabis industry, and they show no signs of stopping. In fact, Michael and Kelly are poised to add even more health and wellness products to their repertoire soon, including creams providing pain and anxiety relief.

  • Mikel Cirkus

    Global Creative Director, Foresight & Trends Firmenich

    Mikel goes where the fun, action, danger and pain is and reports back  from ‘the edge’ to share the new. His signals have proven over the last nineteen years that Firmenich truly has an eye on the consumer lifestyles of the earliest adopters from around the globe. With a unique ability to connect the dots and form viable trends, he consistently shares his process for accurately identifying change as much as four years in advance. Mikel is constantly documenting and disseminating global trends and implementing them directly to concepts for new product development. He travels the world and photo-journalistically records the trendiest neighborhoods while inspiring and contributing to many successful new products for Firmenich.

  • Kathleen Crossman

    Vice President – Regulatory FONA International

    From chairing committees at the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association to presenting before a host of professional organizations, Kathleen Crossman is a trusted authority on regulatory matters in the flavor industry. She has more than 25 years of relevant experience and currently leads FONA’s formidable regulatory team. She and her team work to provide customers with accurate information and solutions that help mitigate risk and keep their products and customers safe.

    Kathleen currently chairs FEMA’s Regulatory Affairs Committee and has led and participated in many initiatives, such as a supply chain task force, intellectual property webinars and served as Flavor Labeling Committee Chair. She has shared her knowledge through presentations to ABA, SFC and GMA and has taught several short courses for IFT.

    Before joining FONA in 2013, Kathleen was the Head of Global Policy & Process Management for Givaudan in Cincinnati, OH, where she worked to maximize regulatory efficiency and mitigate risk. She also developed training programs and audit plans that ensured ongoing organizational compliance.

    Prior to that, Kathleen was the company’s Head of North American Regulatory Affairs, responsible for regulatory customer service, compliance, policy development & implementation. She was involved in strategic decision-making around new regulatory issues and worked to develop data systems to support regulatory needs.

    Earlier in her career, Kathleen worked as a chemist for Cadbury Beverages where she was instrumental in establishing water quality and pesticide residue monitoring for a product line before moving into the regulatory field as an analyst. Kathleen has a B.S. in chemistry from St. Joseph University, West Hartford, CT.

  • Jiten Dihora

    Vice President, Technology Trucapsol LLC

    Jiten was previously Principal Scientist at Procter & Gamble for 19 years. He developed and commercialised new fragrance delivery technologies for dry laundry detergents (Ariel, Gain) and liquid fabric softeners (Downy).  He has formulation knowledge in household cleaning products as well as personal care products (shampoos, conditioners, and antiperspirants) and is the primary inventor on 35 patents in this technical area. His work at Trucapsol, over the past 3 years, has focused on the development of new tools and capabilities to achieve controlled release of a variety of actives (flavors, fragrances, neutraceuticals), while maintaining a favorable environmental biodegradability profile.

  • Sara Farahmand, Pharm.D., PhD

    Senior Toxicologist The Clorox Company

    Dr. Farahmand is an experienced skin scientist and consumer product toxicologist. Her areas of expertise include: skin absorption, dermatopharmaceutics, dermal toxicology, and exposure based risk assessment including animal-alternatives risk assessment methodologies, clinical safety, safety claim substantiation, and formulation of cosmetic/topical drug products. Dr. Farahmand is currently a senior toxicologist at Clorox and has over 9 years of experience as toxicologist in P&G, GP and Avon. 

  • Imad Farhat

    Global VP Taste Firmenich

    Since joining Firmenich in Jan 2006, Imad held positions of increasing responsibility in Product & Technology Management and Technical Business Development in Europe, North America and Asia.

    Prior to joining Firmenich, Imad was Associate-Professor of Food Physical Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, UK where he authored more than 70 scientific publications in areas of food science and served on several international academic committees and editorial boards of scientific journals. He also held a Visiting Professorship at the Department of Food Science of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

  • Eric F. Greenberg

    Principal Attorney Eric F. Greenberg P.C.

    Eric F. Greenberg is Principal Attorney of the law firm Eric F. Greenberg, P. C., with a practice concentrated in food and drug law, packaging law, and commercial litigation.

    His food and drug work has included regulatory counseling, label and claims review, new product development, GRAS and food contact materials evaluations and clearances, negotiations with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state agencies, handling recalls, and defending enforcement actions.   

    He and his firm counsel a wide range of consumer product companies, packaging manufacturers and others on regulatory and labeling requirements, and handle related contractual and litigation matters.

    In addition to his law practice, Eric is a member of the Adjunct Faculty of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he teaches Food and Drug Law and Administrative Law, and Michigan State University School of Packaging, where he teaches Packaging Law and Regulation.  

    He serves as monthly legal columnist for Packaging World Magazine.  

    Eric wrote the book, Guide to Packaging Law, the Second Edition of which was published in October 2007.  

    His firm is based in Chicago and represents clients based all over the world.

  • Kelly Kovack

    Founder and CEO BeautyMatter

    Kelly's career bears the marks of a true iconoclast. The first signs of this are her beginnings in the fashion business where she simultaneously worked with prestige standard-bearers Bergdorf Goodman and the mavericks of Chrome Hearts. After spending time on the supply side of the fashion industry, Kelly made the dive into beauty.

    As a member of the original executive team of Bliss and the Managing Director of the seminal Bliss Out catalog and product division, Kelly took on the way women bought beauty. This venture fundamentally changed the way cosmetics and personal care were merchandised, developed and presented to consumers creating waves of change in the industry landscape that are still felt today and led to the successful acquisition of Bliss by luxury conglomerate, LVMH.

    It was with this combination of experiences that Kelly went on to co-found Chemistry, a consultancy aimed at advising emerging personal care brands on matters of branding and strategy, followed by Purpose-Built, a one-stop shop for all creative and strategic needs specializing in integrated vertical product and brand development.

    As an advisor and creative strategist, Kelly has advised an eclectic array of
    clients ranging from multi-billion dollar brands like Old Navy and Mattel to notable independents like Zirh and 21 Drops.

    Always entrepreneurial, Kelly has also created and built her own brands. Most recent among these ventures is Foundry NYC the holding company for the award-winning fragrance brand, Odin, co-founded in collaboration with the New York fashion brand. Odin New York fragrances can be found throughout the world at groundbreaking fashion stores, Barneys New York, Collette Paris, Liberty London and others.

    Kelly’s projects have been featured prominently in the media and her work as a creative director and brand architect has been recognized with several awards, including a Pantone Color Award, Pentaward, FiFi and numerous Allure Best of Beauty awards.

  • Catalina Monroy

    Worldwide Director, Global Flavors & Fragrances Colgate-Palmolive Company

    Ms. Catalina Monroy is a Worldwide Director of the Colgate-Palmolive Company, providing global leadership to the team responsible for developing and recommending world-class flavors and fragrances that ensure the best tasting and smelling experience to the consumers. Her team support Colgate’s Global Research & Development organization by developing and recommending flavors and fragrances for all Oral Care, Home Care and Personal Care Colgate-Palmolive brands.  Catalina’s guidance and input to her teams have contributed to the launch of many successful products. As the flavor and fragrance group leader, Catalina has established strong partnerships with the Marketing, Consumer Insights and Product Development teams, facilitating a better understanding of the role of flavors and fragrances in Colgate-Palmolive products.

    Catalina joined Colgate in 2015 and brought with her over 25 years of experience in the flavor industry, most recently with Firmenich. Since 2011, she worked as a Senior Flavorist for North America and Latin America Oral Care at the Firmenich U.S. affiliate in Plainsboro, NJ, where she strengthened her expertise in mint flavors and sensates for Toothpaste and Mouthwash applications and was the lead Flavorist providing flavor-creation support to Colgate.

    In 2000, she joined Firmenich in Mexico City and was responsible for the development of sweet goods flavors for the Latin America region.  After two years, she moved to their headquarters in Geneva, where she led the development of flavors for confectionary applications. She later managed the European Flavorist team as Senior Flavorist.

    While in Europe, from 2010 to 2011, Catalina joined Givaudan in Switzerland were she developed flavors for the European region in the Sweet Goods area.

    After studying food engineering at La Salle University in Medellin, Colombia, Catalina gained knowledge as a Flavorist at Lucta, a Spanish Flavors and Fragrance company. From 1990 to 1999 she worked in their Colombian affiliate where she successfully completed the Flavorist training and created flavors for Sweet Goods, Beverage and Savory applications.

    Catalina brings tremendous passion and dedication to her work while effectively adapting to diverse teams and cultures, enabling her to foster strong partnerships with key stakeholders.  She enjoys mentoring junior flavorists and motivating them to walk the extra mile for success.

  • Phil Porter

    Research Fellow Perfumer P&G

    Joined P&G in the UK in 1991 after completing my MA in Chemistry at the University of Oxford.  Spent several years in Laundry Product Development in Europe before training to become a perfumer.  I have spent the last 20 years creating fragrances for P&G products across the world.  For the last 5 years I have also led P&G's perfume raw material innovation program.

  • Jamie Rosenberg

    Senior Global Household and Personal Care Analyst Mintel

    Jamie has close to 20 years’ experience as a competitive intelligence analyst and consultant, with a focus on new business opportunity, trend analysis and futures tools. Prior to Joining Mintel, Jamie spent 11 years with Kimberly-Clark Corporation, where he led intelligence projects supporting new product launches, corporate strategy and emerging market growth. Jamie also worked for ORC International where his role as a market opportunity consultant honed his ability to spot shifts in market trends, while exposing him to numerous businesses across the healthcare and consumer packaged goods industries.

  • Richard Stewart

    Technical Specialist Ingredion

    Rich Stewart is a technical service project leader with the sweetener team at Ingredion Inc. and leads an internal team of beverage specialists.  He is a graduate of the Rutgers Food Science Program with a culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America with over 15 years of experience in the flavor industry.  He holds a CCS® certification from the RCA and is an avid member of IFT and ISBT.

    Rich is an avid gardener, home brewer, and loves to travel.

  • Graham Wasilition

    Founder Truth Spirits

    Graham Wasilition is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Endless Fields (LLC), purveyors of a line of functional spirits that are changing the way we drink, set to launch in Q4 2019.

    Graham is based in Austin, Texas and focuses on developing consumer goods brands from the ground up particularly in underserved and emerging markets.

    Before co-founding Endless Fields, Graham co-founded The Hate Stains Co. to take stain removal out of the laundry room and into life. Without using chlorine bleach, peroxide, or phosphates The Hate Stains Co. formula was named as “unequivocally and indisputably” the Best on the market by Wired Magazine in 2015 currently selling in nearly 2,500 domestic retail stores and 6 countries.

    Prior to the Hate Stains Co., Graham founded Truth Spirits, to develop and launch a traditional blanche absinthe into the US market. The absinthe was formulated by the author of The Absinthe Encyclopedia and was awarded a gold medal for both the package and the formula at the world renowned San Francisco World Spirits Competition. At it’s peak, Truth Spirits had 9 states of distribution and high profile cocktail menu placements around the country including New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Austin, Chicago, Boston, etc.

  • Xiaolu Wang

    Regulatory Research Analyst, Asia Pacific 3E Company

    Ms. Wang brought extensive legal and regulatory knowledge and expertise in the field of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) compliance to the 3E Company. Before joining 3E Company as a regulatory analyst for the Asia Pacific region, she worked for a regulatory consulting firm based in DC as a senior regulatory specialist, monitoring and analyzing regulatory changes in Asia on EH&S related issues, including renewable energy, air/water pollution prevention, hazardous chemicals, food contact materials, natural resource restrictions, cosmetics, and medical devices. In addition, she worked as a litigator in Beijing, advising her clients on corporate law matters and contracts.

    One of the major topics that Ms. Wang closely monitors and analyzes is food contact material-related regulations in multiple Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Korea.  Ms. Wang recently conducted an in-depth analysis of a total of 160 Chinese technical standards for food contact materials, including national and industrial standards that are currently in force. She identified applicable migration limits for food contact materials from these standards and ensures that they are reflected in the regulatory compliance tool that 3E offers.  Ms. Wang also researched specific legal issues concerning food contact materials, such as the required format of expression of migration test results for food contact materials.

    Ms. Wang obtained her Bachelor of Laws (JD equivalent) from the Capital Normal University (CNU) in Beijing, China and a Master of Laws degree (LL.M) from American University in Washington DC. She is a licensed attorney admitted to the bars of China and the State of New York. She is a native Chinese (Mandarin) speaker and fluent in English.