International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC) Elects Officers and Board Members

November 30, 2017

IFEC announces the election of officers and new members of the board of directors for 2018. Tom O’Brien, principal O’Brien Culinary Communications was elected to serve as president. Michael Holleman, who is Director of Culinary Development for InHarvest, was elected vice president; Susan Gunther, Partner and VP of Client Services for Marriner Marketing Communications, will serve as secretary, and Doug Peckenpaugh, Group Editorial Director of BNP Media, was tapped for the treasurer post.

Tom O’Brien is principal of O’Brien Culinary Communications in Chicago, which has provided public relations, recipe development, copywriting and food styling services to food companies and advertising agencies since 2006. Tom is also a contributing editor to Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine and has written articles for a number of foodservice publications. He is a Core Contributing Faculty Member at Kendall College in Chicago, where he teaches various courses including Foodservice Public Relations and Food Writing. Tom has been a member of IFEC since 1997 and has served on a number of committees and on the group’s Board of Directors. In 2008, he received the Betty Bastion Outstanding Service Award, given annually by IFEC to one member for service to the group. Tom and his husband, Dr. Michael Kremer, are allowed to live in the same space as their three feline masters.

Vice President Michael Holleman is director of InHarvest’s Culinary Team, he is chiefly responsible for shaping the development of new products and working closely with his team to introduce new customers to the company’s core products. He’s the primary image-builder with all industries and segments InHarvest serves, working closely with growers, suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, foodservice operators and chefs to deliver meaningful food solutions. A member of the International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC) and Research Chefs Association (RCA), Chef Michael is the current chair of the culinary advisory committee of the Whole Grains Council, part of Boston-based Oldways. He is also the 2012 recipient of the RCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Michael lives with his wife Brenda and daughter Moraya in Bemidji MN, the first city on the Mississippi River. Favorite “local” food? Walleye prepared any way possible…with wild rice of course!

Secretary Susan Gunther is Partner, VP of Client Services at Marriner Marketing. Susan specializes in creating and managing integrated communications programs that drive brand engagement and business growth against a defined set of targets. With nearly 20 years of agency experience and beginning her career as a journalist, she’s worked with many food, hospitality/tourism, beverage and professional services companies. A member of the National Restaurant Association and a Board member of the International Foodservice Editorial Council, her marketing efforts have won multiple ADDY awards and a Graphis award. Susan is happily married for 15 years after meeting her Husband at a college bar and Mother to an adorable 18-year-old Calico cat.

Treasurer Douglas J. Peckenpaugh is Group Editorial Director, Snack, Bakery, Meat, Candy & Latin America, FBP Group, BNP Media. He has over two decades of publishing experience following the food industry from farm to fork, covering agriculture, ingredient processing, CPG and foodservice R&D, retail and restaurant menu trends, and retail grocery branding. Doug studied Professional and Creative Writing at Purdue University. He has been married to Jen, his childhood sweetheart, for over 20 years and has three children. When it’s time to eat out, they can all agree on one thing: pizza.

New members of the IFEC board of directors are Greg Avdoian, director, O’Malley Hansen Communications; Kelsey Casselbury, contributing editor, School Nutrition; Peggy Castaldi, director of marketing, SupHerb Farms and Rochelle Rizzi, director of marketing & communications, NACUFS/Campus Dining Today. They join directors Wendy Brannen, executive director, Lodi Winegrape Commission; Nicole Duncan, associate editor, QSR; Amber Hensley, pr director, Marlin Network; Kathleen Stoehr, director of community & content strategy, Catersource; and new Board Advisor Susan Hughes, foodservice marketing consultant, in making up IFEC’s governing body.

The elections took place during IFEC’s 2017 conference, held in Boulder, CO, in October. Next year’s conference, set for Raleigh, NC October 24th – 26th, 2018 will feature local chefs, restaurateurs, growers and producers conducting demonstrations, workshops and tours for attendees.

Founded in 1956, IFEC is a 250-member professional association that brings foodservice B2B editors, public relations and marketing communications professionals together to exchange ideas and resources and explore regional trends. Editor members write for foodservice B2B publications, while PR/marketing members represent foodservice suppliers, restaurants, non-commercial operations, trade groups and more. Through education and networking activities, tuition assistance for members’ continuing education and scholarships for students preparing for foodservice communications careers, the association strives to encourage high professional and aesthetic standards among those working in and with the foodservice media and the entry of high-caliber individuals into the field.

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