Meet the Speakers

Meet the Speakers 2019-01-03T16:36:03+00:00

Basics and Beyond Seminar – Making Chocolate Work for You!

Randy Hofberger

Randy Hofberger, R&D Candy Consulting

Randy has more than 35 years of experience in the confectionery industry, with many years at Nestlè Confections starting in the QA department and eventually into technical applications. He started R&D Candy Consulting in 2008 to help people with their confectionery challenges.

Randy is involved with RCI, AACT and PMCA and has assisted with lectures and technical courses. He is the recipient of the Henry Bornhofft and Stroud Jordan awards and has contributed technical articles to Candy Industry, Manufacturing Confectioner Magazine, AIB and co-authored chapters to several books. Recently, he has assisted with the book Confectionery Science and Technology.

Randy’s personal interests include candy making, hiking, cooking, traveling, biking and kayaking.

Laurent Besin, Barry Callebaut U.S.A.

Laurent is currently director of technical services and applications for North America, where his main responsibilities include troubleshooting at customer sites, recipe formulations and customer training in chocolate handling. His expertise includes understanding chocolate applications within industrial production and problem-solving any technical chocolate issues that ice cream, confection or bakery manufacturers encounter.

Prior to that, Laurent held similar positions in UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Far East, South Africa and Russia. He has more than 23 years of experience in the chocolate industry.

Laurent studied in both France and Belgium, gaining his master’s diploma in bakery, pastry and chocolate at l’Institut Technique des Métiers de l’Alimentation.

Ann Brinkerhoff, The Hershey Company

As a principal scientist in chocolate product development, Ann has led the development of several premium products for The Hershey Company. Most notable are Hershey’s Extra Dark 60% Cacao, Extra Dark Truffles and Extra Dark Tasting Squares, Swoops, Cacao Reserve Truffles in a Tin, Cacao Reserve Origin chocolate bars, Starbucks Chocolates, Scharffen Berger and Dagoba Chocolate Bars. In addition, Ann led the product development of Hershey’s Gold Peanuts & Pretzels.

For the past 10 years, Ann has been teaching the Chocolate Enthusiast Class for Hershey employees, a Temper-Temper class for The Hershey Story, and conducting chocolate and wine pairings for various groups. Ann has helped to provide direction to cacao farmers to improve their post-harvest practices which allows them to improve their livelihoods.

Ann joined The Hershey Company in 1992, initially working on new chocolate items. She quickly transitioned to the non-chocolate group and was responsible for the development of Hershey’s first hard candy, TasteTations, and herbal throat drops. Following her non-chocolate experience, Ann spent two years in a technical support group, allowing her to gain valuable manufacturing experience. After gaining experience with manufacturing, Ann returned to chocolate product development and played a significant role in the development of Hershey’s sugar-free chocolate. In addition, she was part of the acquisition team for Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt, providing technical and product development support.

Ann has been active in the community as a volunteer for the Harrisburg East Shore YMCA, Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, CMN and assistant coach for her son’s soccer team.

Ann and her team were granted a patent for chocolate-flavored hard candy. She holds both a BS and MS in food science from The Pennsylvania State University.

Thalia Hohenthal

Thalia Hohenthal, Guittard Chocolate Company

Thalia Hohenthal is the senior scientist of research and development for Guittard Chocolate Company and a graduate of University of California, Davis in food biochemistry. Thalia has dedicated almost 40 years to the science of chocolate. Thalia invents new technologies behind the scenes, contributing to the creation of new products. And, she has taught countless businesses how to make chocolate work for them. She has been an instructor in the industry since 1986 and was inducted in 2016 into the Candy Hall of Fame. She loves fine chocolate and believes it can solve any problem in the world.

Tuesday Technical Sessions

Laura Shumow

Laura Shumow, National Confectioners Association

Laura Shumow began her career at the National Confectioners Association in 2009. As director of scientific and regulatory affairs, Laura works on regulatory issues related to labeling, ingredient safety, international standards and nutrition policy. She represents NCA before federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and has served as the delegate of the International Confectioners Association to international regulatory bodies such as Codex Alimentarius. In addition, Laura oversees the development of health-related research and education about the role of candy in the diet and has authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles, as well as book chapters and presentations, at scientific conferences.

Laura received her Master of Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and bachelor’s degree in food science from the University of Wisconsin. She is an active member of several professional societies, including the American Association of Candy Technologists, the American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is the chair-elect of the DC section of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Stan Andrews

Stan Andrews, Ph.D., ADM

Stan is a research applications scientist for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and adjunct professor at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. His past industry experience includes further processed meat applications, spices and blends, salad dressings and sauces, frozen soups and sauces and bakery and bakery mix applications.

He has worked for Specialty Brands, Inc., T. Marzetti Company, Chef Francisco, Inc. and Westco, Inc.

Akshay Arora, Ph.D., Ingredion, Inc.

Dr. Akshay Arora is business scientist – global protein development at Ingredion Inc. In his current role, he is responsible for driving evaluation, development, and commercialization of plant protein sources. Prior to joining Ingredion, Akshay has more than nine years of experience in the food industry. During this time, he has developed and commercialized food products with leading CPG companies. He worked as an R&D principal scientist at PepsiCo’s Quaker division from 2015 to 2017. In this role, he was responsible for innovation and renovation initiatives for the hot cereals portfolio. From 2008 to 2015, Akshay worked at General Mills, Inc., where he developed several shelf-stable snacks and advanced upstream development of novel proteins for GMI’s diverse consumer products.

Food proteins have been the main focus of Akshay’s academic career. Akshay completed his PhD in food science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he developed a β-cyclodextrin-based process to reduce off-flavors in soy protein. In addition, he researched the role of proteins and small molecular weight surfactants in stabilizing pressure-treated emulsions for his master’s degree at The Ohio State University. Akshay has co-authored five peer-reviewed papers.

Mark Heim, R. Mark Heim Confectionery Consulting

Mark is currently an industry consultant at R. Mark Heim Confectionery Consulting.

He retired from Hershey as a Hershey Fellow in R&D, after 38 years of product development, studying the art and technology of traditional and contemporary sugar and chocolate confections. Mark is active on the PMCA Education and Learning Committee, and has been an instructor for courses such as Caramel, Fudge and Toffee and Premium Chocolate Centers.

Lois Duquette

Lois Duquette, McNees Wallace & Nurick

Lois is a member of the Intellectual Property and Food and Beverage Practice groups at McNees Wallace & Nurick. She counsels clients in the areas of trademark, copyright, trade secrets, licensing, open innovation, advertising, promotions and food regulation. Lois’s 18 years of in-house experience helps her to provide legal counsel with an understanding of the business challenges likely to be associated with the legal situation.

Lois has experience developing and implementing cost-effective intellectual property strategies that utilize trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, licensing and litigation to grow and protect brands worldwide. Her experience includes developing and protecting a wide variety of trademarks and trade dresses including both famous marks and new marks, as well as color and product design marks, and surnames and geographic names. In addition, Lois has experience drafting and negotiating license, joint development, open innovation, advertising and promotion agreements, and advising on the intellectual property and food regulatory aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Lois also advises clients on food regulatory matters such as the risk level associated with making different food claims about a product.

Prior to joining McNees, Lois worked for 18 years as an attorney for The Hershey Company where she held many positions of increasing responsibility, with her final role being associate general counsel of global intellectual property and regulatory in which she led a team responsible for intellectual property and food regulatory matters worldwide. In that role, Lois had responsibility for protecting world famous brands such as HERSHEY’S, REESE’S and KISSES including their associated trade dresses and product designs. While at Hershey, Lois also gained experience advising in a wide variety of commercial contract matters. Prior to Hershey, Lois practiced for six years as a litigation associate for a large Boston law firm with an emphasis on intellectual property.

Adrian Timms

Adrian Timms, ATimms Consulting, LLC & Techinfusers, LLC

Adrian Timms is founder and owner of ATimms Consulting, LLC, providing innovation and technical consulting services, primarily to the confectionery and food industries. He is also co-founder of TechInfusers, LLC, a small, diverse team of consultants who help clients in multiple industries to innovate bigger.

Adrian brings a uniquely holistic view of innovation, from a career with The Hershey Company and previously with Cadbury in the USA, and in the UK, working with familiar brands in several confectionery, snack and food product categories. More recently he was senior director, confections for Chew LLC, where his team developed products for global food company clients.

He has had roles in both the technical and consumer business sides of all aspects of innovation, from strategy through research, development and commercial implementation, as well as designing, facilitating and leading the processes of managing innovation across projects, programs and pipeline portfolios, and including open innovation and partnering.

Adrian serves PMCA on several committees, and is currently Chair of Long Range Planning, with prior roles including President and Chair of the Association.

Kimberly Knoll, Eurofins

Kim Knoll works as business development manager for Eurofins Scientific, within the auditing and certification division. Prior to joining Eurofins four years ago, Kim worked for a third-party food testing laboratory as senior microbiologist, customer service representative, and eventually technical sales manager. Her previous roles also include working as a food safety and QA manager for several local food manufacturers, including Appeeling Fruit, Bimbo Bakeries and DeMet’s Candy Company.

Karen Bryant

Karen Bryant, Fine Chocolate Industry Association

Since 2014, Karen Bryant has served as the executive director of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, where her focus is building value for members through new programs, networking and educational opportunities. With the support of the FCIA Board of Directors and volunteers, FCIA is launching a mentoring program, regional meet-ups, webinars and the recently completed National Research into Consumer Perception of Fine Chocolate. Another of her passions is Red, White & Chocolate, a book she is working on which tells the story of the people, companies and dynamics moulding the US chocolate experience. Bryant’s previous experience was in corporate marketing and nonprofit management.

Tuesday Night Dinner Speaker

Peter Greweling

Peter Greweling, The Culinary Institute of America

Since 1991, Peter has been with The Culinary Institute of America as Professor of Baking and Pastry Arts in Hyde Park, NY. His previous experience includes the positions of pastry chef, pastry chef/baker and pastry sous chef in various New York and Connecticut locations. Peter’s awards include the Gold Medal, Chocolates and Confections Display, Société Culinaire Philanthropique Salon of Culinary Art, 2013 and the Prize of Honor, First Prize, Salon of Culinary Art, NYC, 2010. He is the author of multiple books and articles, including Chocolate and Confections at Home and Chocolates & Confections Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner.

Peter graduated with an AOS degree from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT.

Wednesday Technical Session: Developing Flavor in Chocolate

Tobias Lohmueller

Dr. Tobias Lohmueller, Bühler

Dr. Tobias Lohmueller is head of the R&D business unit Cocoa and Nut at Bühler Barth and registered manager with statutory authority. In these roles, he holds budget responsibility for R&D activities within the nut, cocoa and malt/grain market segment, coordinates activities with academies, technical institutes and key customers and secures know-how transfer within the global sales and service organization. He is also responsible for marketing activities and is a member of the executive board for strategic development of Bühler Barth.

Previously, Tobias was fermentation innovation manager at Barry Callebaut. There, he managed international innovation teams and was a member of the clinical research committee for judgment and follow-up of clinical studies in therapeutic areas.

In 2007, Tobias earned his doctoral degree at the Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research.

Ray Major

Ray Major, RAMajor, LLC

Ray Major retired from The Hershey Company in September 2015 after 39 years working in the chocolate and confectionery industry. At Hershey, he held a variety of positions in manufacturing, crop research, product development and procurement. For six years he ran Hershey’s manufacturing operations in Brazil and for 10 years he traveled the world searching out fine cocoas for Hershey’s artisan brands, Scharffen Berger and Dagoba. In 2010, he was made a Hershey Fellow in recognition of his long service to the cocoa industry. His experience in cocoa production and chocolate making spans five continents. His last responsibility was managing Hershey’s global cocoa sustainability program.

Today, he runs a consulting business focused on tropical agriculture, cocoa production, processing, chocolate making and sustainability. He supports the cocoa sector from farm to finished product, bridging the gap between cocoa producer and chocolate maker.

Carly Meck

Carly Meck, Blommer Chocolate Company

Carly Meck graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in food science and a minor in food management. She also earned an MBA in food and agribusiness at DVU in 2015. She began working at Blommer Chocolate Company in East Greenville, PA in 2010 as a summer intern in R&D. She was hired as an R&D technologist in 2011, where her role eventually grew into an R&D scientist. In this role, she develops new chocolate and cocoa formulas, creates process improvements, provides internal and external education training and executes various technical studies.

Carly has been volunteering with PMCA since 2012, when she began as a student mentor after attending the conference under the SOP. Since starting with PMCA, she has served on several committees including Student Outreach Program, Social Media Sub-Committee, and Production Conference – Connect the Future. In addition, she participated as an assistant presenter at the Wednesday Hands-On Chocolate Workshop at the 2016 conference. In 2017, she began the role of Committee Chair of the Student Outreach Program. Carly lives with her husband, a fellow Blommer employee, in Mertztown PA.

Committee Updates

Carly Meck

Carly Meck, Blommer Chocolate Company

Carly Meck graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in food science and a minor in food management. She also earned an MBA in food and agribusiness at DVU in 2015. She began working at Blommer Chocolate Company in East Greenville, PA in 2010 as a summer intern in R&D. She was hired as an R&D technologist in 2011, where her role eventually grew into an R&D scientist. In this role, she develops new chocolate and cocoa formulas, creates process improvements, provides internal and external education training and executes various technical studies.

Carly has been volunteering with PMCA since 2012, when she began as a student mentor after attending the conference under the SOP. Since starting with PMCA, she has served on several committees including Student Outreach Program, Social Media Sub-Committee, and Production Conference – Connect the Future. In addition, she participated as an assistant presenter at the Wednesday Hands-On Chocolate Workshop at the 2016 conference. In 2017, she began the role of Committee Chair of the Student Outreach Program. Carly lives with her husband, a fellow Blommer employee, in Mertztown PA.

Mark Freeman

Mark Freeman, Shank’s Extracts

Now in his first year as chair of the Membership and Marketing Committee, Mark is learning the ins and outs of this new role. For the past five years, he enjoyed chairing the Student Outreach Committee and meeting the many participating students. Mark has an undergraduate degree in economics from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MBA from the University of Iowa. He started his career in commodity merchandising with Cargill in 1987 and spent his first five years with the company working with the sugar industry in Asia and lived in Manila, Philippines. He joined the Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate group in 1992 and continued in this division until 2007 in various sales roles. In April 2007, he joined Barry Callebaut as vice president of sales. In December 2013, he joined Shank’s Extracts in Lancaster, PA, as vice president of sales where he continues to work today. Mark, his wife Chris and their four children live in Lititz, PA, where he is active in refugee resettlement and integration.

Eric Schmoyer

Eric Schmoyer, Barry Callebaut

Eric Schmoyer is an R&D project manager at Barry Callebaut since 2007, where he works on new product development for regional customers as well as sales and marketing, periodically dabbling in technical services. Eric has R&D responsibilities for the Mona Lisa decorations facility in Hendersonville, NC and the BC chocolate factory in Robinson, IL. He was also involved in setting up, equipping, staffing and starting up the pilot facility in Pennsauken, NJ.

Prior to joining Barry Callebaut, Eric was with the R.M. Palmer Company for almost 20 years. Starting in the molding department and moving to tech services, he worked with raw materials, formulation and processing as well as standard QA duties. In 1998 he was named R&D Lab Manager, where his duties included ideation and new item prototype development, plant scale-ups, on-line troubleshooting, production of sales samples and managing the QA libraries.

He has attended several PMCA courses as well as the NCA Confectionery Residency course in Madison, WI. A member of PMCA for a long, long time, Eric is chairman of the PMCA Research Committee and is active on the Long Range Planning and Student Outreach committees. He is also past president of the American Association of Candy Technologists as well as past Philadelphia Chairperson.

Peter Jamieson

Peter Jamieson, Atlas Point Technical Services

Peter Jamieson is a lead food scientist for Atlas Point Technical Services. Over the years in the food industry, Pete has acquired extensive working knowledge and expertise in value-added ingredient formulation and processes covering a wide variety of confectionery applications. Although his food science education – from the University of Delaware – was mostly theoretical and chemistry-based, he has developed a great appreciation for the “art” within the industry. Subsequently he has become very involved with PMCA at all levels – as a student, instructor, author and committee member – to not only learn, but also help the organization’s continuing effort to bring the “science” and “hands-on” understanding together.