A brief background:
I have an undergraduate degree in home economics – Honours Bachelor of Science (1978) – from the University of Ottawa, with a specialization in food science and nutrition. I started my career in institutional foodservice management, and realizing I enjoyed the business sector, pursued an Masters in Business Administration (1985) also from the University of Ottawa. I moved to Toronto that same year, and entered the multinational food manufacturing sector, working as a Senior Product Manager for Nabisco Brands. When Nabisco undertook a major downsizing in 1993, I went into private practice, starting a regulatory compliance firm entitled International Food Focus Ltd. (IFFL).
In 1996, I completed the course requirements for a Certificate in International Food Law from Michigan State University. IFFL became 25 years young in 2018. I consider myself extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work in the field of both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, to proudly convey, display and uphold my P.H.Ec. designation, and together with formal training and many years of experience, assist both large and small food manufacturers in jurisdictions around the world, to bring their products into regulatory compliance and contribute to safe and wholesome food supply.
How long have you been involved with OHEA and what roles did you hold?
I became a member of OHEA in 1994. I was President from 1997-1999. Since then, I have chaired various committees such as:
Canada’s new Nutrition Facts Label (2014 [pre-consultation]) and 2015 & 2016 [Canada Gazette I consultation])
Canada’s new Canada Food Guide (we received only two communiques from Health Canada on this file; we learned more about Health Canada’s plans regarding the CFG through the media than through direct communication from Health Canada).
I wrote the following for OHEA:
Why did you keep your OHEA membership?:
I always wanted to be a “________”. I wanted to pursue a field of study which would allow me to differentiate myself among other professionals. The P.H.Ec. designation fulfills this desire.
What led you to join OHEA?:
The ability to carry a professional designation.
How has the profession changed over the years?:
Fewer universities are offering a degree in home economics, a field of study which requires completion of the mandatory course in the philosophy of home economics. In my view, P.H.E.cs are natural linear and lateral thinkers. It is our ability to apply both linear and lateral thinking as required, and our comfort pursuing this line of analysis, which differentiates us from other similar-minded professionals.
Once a home economist has pursued a problem/challenge/situation with lateral thinking, we discard the non-relevant aspects, and pursue a linear course of action. The course in the philosophy of home economics demands mastery of lateral thinking and linear thinking. It is the loss of this training, and moreover, the overlooked identification of this natural talent, which is, in my view, one of the greatest threats to the profession of home economists.
If you could change something about your career, would you and what would it be?
I would pursue a career in medicine.
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