Speakers 2018

David W. K. Acheson, M.D., F.R.C.P. President and CEO - The Acheson Group

Dr. Acheson is the President and CEO of the Acheson Group; he graduated from the University of London Medical School in 1980, and following training in internal medicine and infectious diseases in the United Kingdom, moved to the New England Medical Center and Tufts University in Boston in 1987.  As an Associate Professor at Tufts University, he undertook basic molecular pathogenesis research on foodborne pathogens, especially Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

In September 2002, Dr. Acheson became the Chief Medical Officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.  Following several other positions at FDA he was appointed as Associate Commissioner for Foods, which gave him an agency-wide leadership role for all food and feed issues, including health promotion and nutrition.

Dr. Acheson was a partner at Leavitt Partners and managed Leavitt Partners Global Food Safety Solutions from 2009 to 2013.  In 2013 Dr. Acheson founded The Acheson Group, a consulting firm which provides strategic advice as well as recall and crisis management support to food companies and ancillary technology companies on a global basis on all matters relating to food safety and food defense.

Renita Anderson Ph.D., Fresh Produce Market Development - Printpack

Renita Jones Anderson is a marketing and strategy leader with 20 years’ experience managing business-to-business marketing and strategy initiatives, product commercialization, and new market development for global industrial manufacturing organizations. She has leveraged this experience for the produce industry as leader of strategy and market development at Printpack, a privately-held manufacturer of flexible and specialty rigid packaging headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.  In this role, she is responsible for profitable growth in the fresh produce and snacking segments, including management of the R&D pipeline and development of business cases for investments. Renita previously served as Director of Marketing for Imerys Carbonates, a division of a French industrial minerals company. Prior to joining Imerys, Renita worked as Chief of Staff at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and held positions of increasing responsibility in BP/Amoco’s Fabrics and Fibers Business Unit (later Propex). In addition to a Goizueta MBA, Renita earned a PhD in Textile Chemistry/Textile Physics from the University of Georgia and a BS in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of work, Renita is passionate about education and mentoring. She has held leadership roles in her alma maters’ alumni associations and currently mentors early-career professional women in the Atlanta-area Pathbuilders Percepta® program. Renita also shared her enthusiasm for the packaging industry recently at her daughter’s third grade career day.


Matthew Aronson, Director of Engineering - Apeel Sciences

Matthew is the Director of Engineering at Apeel, where he leads a multidisciplinary team with responsibility to plan, manage and execute all engineering design, scale-up and implementation activities to ensure that resources are aligned with strategic business objectives.

Matthew graduated with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia with a BS In Chemical Engineering and a Minor in Business, where his research accomplishments were recognized with a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Matthew went on to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, supported by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Matthew brings research and engineering experience from both industrial (ExxonMobil and Chevron) and international (Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, Germany and CNRS in Orléans, France) settings to his role at Apeel.


Kyle Dunno, Director of Transport Packaging - Atlantic Packaging’s Solution Center

Kyle Dunno has over 12 years of experience working in the packaging industry in a number of different roles. With a degree in Packaging Science from Clemson in 2006, Kyle managed Clemson's Transport Packaging Lab where he was active in developing and validating packaging solutions for customer packages being transported through a variety of distribution channels. He also taught courses at Clemson on distribution packaging, earned an M.S. degree in Packaging Science, and got his Ph.D. in Food Technology where his research focused on evaluating the effects of transportation hazards on package performance and food product shelf life.

Kyle most recently worked for Sealed Air Corporation in the R&D Product Care and Food Care Applications teams. He currently chairs the Certification Council within the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) and achieved the Certified Packaging Laboratory Professional (CPLP) – Professional Level which is the highest level offered through ISTA.

Kyle is currently the Director of Transport Packaging for Atlantic Packaging’s Solution Center. Here he oversees all activities and functions related to developing solutions to prevent transport damage and loss of unit loads traveling throughout the supply chain. His team uses a variety of industry-leading technologies, most notably the Lansmont TruMotion Simulation Equipment, to develop and implement packaging solutions across an array of packaging products.



Clare Dyble , Redpack Packaging Machinery

Clare is s proven strategist and has a wealth of experience across a diverse cross section of businesses. Clare’s passion for agriculture and fresh produce was fostered when she copied Easton and Otley College, a leading agricultural and horticultural college based in the UK, as Director of Marketing and Enterprise.
Keen to maintain a strong business focus, Clare gained an MBA in 2014 and graduated as top student. This enabled her to develop strong business consultancy skills and she has worked for companies such as IBM and Marsh McLennan in a consultancy capacity.
Having joined Redpack Packaging Machinery, Clare is now focused on ensuring that Redpack’s flow wrapping machines are not only of top quality, but are closely aligned to the needs of producers and where possible, solve their packaging problems.
Clare also has a passion for ensuring young people have the best chances in life as possible and is Chair of the board of the East Coast Health Care Foundation, a charity focused on providing employability and life skills to young people from deprived backgrounds.



Danielle Gilmartin, Senior Special Operations Manager

Danielle joined Hello Fresh in 2017 to take a Senior Manager role in Special Operations. Danielle is responsible for leading and executing numerous projects in the supply chain. She has focused most recently on innovating and launching new packaging to improve fresh ingredient quality.

Prior to joining HelloFresh, Danielle had significant experience in operational management roles, including integrating and divesting operations in large companies. Danielle led Strategic Initiatives for American Express treasury where she primarily focused on improving operational efficiency throughout the organization and carving out business operations during divestitures. Before working at American Express, Danielle was a consultant at Management Solutions and played a key role in integrating all back office operations for Santander and Sovereign bank. Danielle has her MBA from from NYU Stern and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University.


Jason Higbee, Director, Materials Management - Grimmway Enterprises

Jason Higbee has worked in operations in the produce industry for 20 years.  The last 15 have been dedicated to Supply Chain Management.  Jason is currently the Director, Materials Management for Grimmway Enterprises Inc. in Bakersfield, CA.  In his current role he is responsible for all material and parts supply and distribution throughout Grimmway’s facilities.  Grimmway Enterprises Inc. is a family owned and operated Organization and in addition to its Grimmway, Bunny Luv and private label carrot operations it consists of Cal Organic Farms and King Pak.  Grimmway has operations in California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington on the West coast.  East Coast operations are located in Georgia and Florida.  There is an operation in Colorado as well.


Erin Johnston, Senior Account Manager - H.B. Fuller, Adhesive Coated Solutions

Erin Johnston’s experience in the adhesives market place spans nearly 25 years.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Accounting.  His interests have been working with customers to fill gaps in innovation requiring specialty adhesives, improve supply line packaging performance and product assembly methods.  He accomplishes these goals by becoming integrated into customers, sales, design, and manufacturing teams.

Erin began his career with a small startup glue company as the Technical Director where he developed their initial adhesive formulas and assisted manufacturing in producing the products.  In addition, he worked in the field as a salesperson and provided on site customer technical support.  This company was acquired by another adhesive company where he took over the role of lab director for five adhesive labs across North America that serviced many different industries.  This company was acquired by HB Fuller where he became the Area Technical Manager and helped optimize customer manufacturing issues related to adhesive performance.  From there he moved up to Senior Account Manager for the Western United States and Canada with a focus on specialty products used to improve packaging performance, increase sustainability and optimize packaging costs.  He welcomes your packaging supply line discussions.


Ray Sikka, Founder and CEO - Sensitel Inc.

Ray Sikka is founder and CEO of Sensitel Inc., a silicon valley based company helping transform logistics, retail and manufacturing using real time sensor data from vehicles, facilities and farms.  By collecting data from small-embedded sensors (which are found in almost everything from smartphones to GPS devices), Sensitel is looking to improve the quality of human life by transforming the way people work, live and move. Sensitel has already provided solutions to companies like Starbucks, Anheuser-Busch, and Syngenta with sensor-based logistics and tracking.

Under Sikka’s leadership, Sensitel was selected as the top emerging vendor for IoT( Internet of Things) analytics by CRN magazine. Sensitel is also a member of Prospect Silicon Valley and SAP HANA Startup Focus Program. Prior to founding Sensitel, Ray held senior leadership positions with Naturipe Farms, largest supplier of blueberries in US, OpSec Security, a provider of anti-counterfeiting solutions and i2 Technologies, a supply chain software company acquired by JDA Software. Over his career, Ray has brought multiple innovations to market such as Automotive News PACE Award winning vehicle-sequencing solution, mill scheduling solution, RFID infrastructure software and supplier compliance software.

Ray graduated as a Master of Science in Engineering, with specialization in Process Control, from Boston University and received his Bachelors of Science from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Ray is a founding member of RFID Security Alliance and a member of Bio-Supply Risk Management Committee.



Matthew Wright, Co-Founder and President

Matthew Wright has been in the packaging business for over 24 years. He started working for a private packaging company based in New York City, selling boxes to the printing industry and meat packers in lower Manhattan. Over the next 22 years he worked his way up to hold various operational and management roles for International Paper and Temple Inland. His last position in a major paper and packaging company was Vice President for Temple Inland running a $500m business unit. Known for being the entrepreneurial manager within fortune 100 companies he was used to run unique business in packaging focused in point of purchase, automotive, agriculture, food and beverage. He worked in markets such as New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Mexico and Northern and Southern California. Upon executing his change of control from the buyout of Temple Inland by International Paper he invested in a private packaging company located in Orange County. Over the 2 years of managing his investment he has directed the company to double in revenue and increase in value. Matthew developed the concept of specright from years of seeing how poorly business does business together in a costly manner. Driven and focused to make this company the best he will leverage not just his years in packaging management but experience running business large and small in a variety of markets and segments.

Brian Zomorodi, Vice President Quality and Food Safety, Apio Inc.

Brian Zomorodi, a 34-year veteran of the Fresh-Cut Produce industry, joined Apio Inc., a leader in Fresh-cut Vegetables and salads in 2015 as their Vice President of Quality and Food Safety. Originally he started his career with Ready Pac in 1984. He developed and led their Research & Development, Quality Assurance and Food Safety Departments as Sr. Vice President for 31 years. Brian has been responsible for launching several successful Fresh-Cut product lines for the retail and food service industry and in developing many food safety & quality assurance systems. He has been actively involved in establishing standards and guidelines for Fresh-Cut produce and has many publications. Brian, who holds a MS degree in Food Science, is a recipient of many distinguished awards. He has actively served in a number of technical councils for trade organizations including PMA, UFPA and global food service companies such as McDonald’s and YUM! as a founding member.