Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tony DeCastro discusses the future of Cactus IFT

Thanks to Brian Giannini's leadership and an outstanding effort by many members this past year, our Cactus IFT Section has a fantastic new foundation with which to engage the food science community here in Arizona. It has been great to see our group re-energized, to reconnect with old friends, and to meet wonderful new people. As the incoming section Chair, I am eager to help continue bringing together food and beverage industry professionals, educators and interested individuals in our local area.

In a similar way, the national IFT organization has been reaching out through their Section Engagement Advisory Panel. And as one of only seven sections invited to participate in their Section Pilot Program, we have a great opportunity to provide input to help increase the value of our section membership.  One great benefit was the recent offer of a free 1-year national membership (a $190 value) for those who aren't currently national members.  By the way, this offer expires August 30th, so "officially" join right away and be sure your section membership is current (for only $10)!

We can all then take full advantage of IFT membership and the informational and networking resources available to members only at

This core group has volunteered to take us through the next twelve months and we are here to serve you. Our goal is to provide a professional, fun and relevant forum for us to gather and share news, insight, and expertise.  We enthusiastically invite your thoughts, event ideas, discussion topics and anything else that could help us enhance your membership.  All of our committees would welcome your participation. Together, we can help provide a valuable and rewarding experience for everyone - thank you for being involved!

Effective September 1, 2011, here are your 2011-2012 Cactus IFT Section Officers and Committee Chairs:

Chair – Tony DeCastro

Chair Elect / Membership Committee Chair – 
Lynn Abarr-Boubelik

Treasurer – Lorraine Hansen

Secretary – Holly Curtis

Past Chair / Nominating Committee Chair - 
Brian Giannini

Member at Large – 
Darrel Swift

Programs Committee Chair – Ken Baseman

Student Committee Chair – Jessica Dykun

Newsletter Committee Chair – David Despain

Chair's Message

Chair’s Message 

The Cactus IFT Section has built a strong infrastructure of dedicated members that is committed to bringing its members strong educational programs and networking events.
By the end of December 2011, we will have had five meetings:

December 9, 2010 – How Recall Information can Enhance your Food Safety Program.
March 3, 2011 – What’s New at IFT and How the Food Safety Modernization Act will Affect the Food Industry.
May 18, 2011 – Using Sensory for New Product Development
August 25, 2011 – SanTan Brewery tour and food pairing networking event

Next Event: December 6, 2011 – E&J Gallo will be coming from Modesto, CA to teach us the art of tasting wine. Marie Shubin, Director of Consumer Affairs and Jennifer Jo Wiseman, VP Consumer and Product Insights at E&J Gallo are planning a fantastic program specifically designed for our group. We will learn about types of wines, how to identify wines you may like and how to talk about wine with confidence. The event will be held at the Fiesta Resort in Tempe, AZ and will include dinner and wine.

Membership in the Cactus IFT section is only $10. If you know of anyone who is interested in joining please have them contact our Membership Chair and incoming Chair Elect Lynn Abarr-Boubelik, her contact information is listed in this newsletter. If you join by August 30, 2011 you will automatically become a member of the National IFT, a $190 value, more details are in this newsletter.

The Cactus Section IFT elections have been completed and submitted to IFT National and I’m proud of all our elected officers and our committee members who have volunteered their time to keep our section strong. Tony DeCastro, VP Innovation and Regulatory Affairs, at Sun Orchard, is our new Chair as of September 1, 2011. Tony has been very instrumental in his participation on the board and I know he can take us to the next level. All of the board members and committee members are listed below please take the time to reach out and thank them for their commitment to our section.

— Brian Giannini, Cactus IFT Section President