Mr. Michael Finamore is the CEO of Gemini Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a contract manufacturer of both dietary supplements and OTC pharmaceuticals. With his strategic stewardship, Gemini enjoys robust growth, standing as one of only a handful of manufacturers with global accreditation including dual US FDA registration (drugs and dietary supplements), NSF International GMP certification, TGA (Australia) registration and certification, Health Canada registration, among others. Emphasizing solid dose R&D and product development, Gemini produces more than 12-billion unit doses of dietary supplements and OTC drugs annually for more than eighty countries worldwide.
Additionally, Mr. Finamore has been selected as the inaugural Chairman of the Governance Board of the GRMA (Global Retailer & Manufacturer Alliance). The GRMA is a member-based organization chartered to strengthen quality and safety throughout the supply chain, comprised of more than 30 major retailers, quality certification bodies and manufacturers. GRMA has since published an ANSI-accredited public standard and audit scheme (NSF/ANSI 455), which is recognized as the premier GMP audit for inspecting providers of OTC Drugs, Dietary Supplements and Cosmetics.
Mr. Finamore also has been named to the Board of Directors of the Council of Responsible Nutrition (CRN), recognized as the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry.
Previously, Mr. Finamore was an Assistant District Attorney for the State of New York (Suffolk County), handling both high-profile cases and numerous jury trials, and he continues to be admitted to the NYS Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court. Moreover, Mr. Finamore is a standing member of the American Bar Association as well as the NYS Bar Association, Food and Drug Law Committee.
Mr. Finamore also is the executive editor of key industry white papers and frequent expert contributor to important industry publications, such as Natural Products INSIDER.
Betsy has over 40 years of retail experience and is currently the Non-Foods Quality Assurance Manager at Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. Her responsibilities include managing all aspects of Quality, Safety and Legal Compliance relating to Non-Foods Products sold in Health & Beauty and General Merchandise at Wegmans.
Prior to joining Wegmans, Betsy spent 30 years at Meijer, Inc. During that time Betsy worked in non-food quality assurance for 11 years, was a merchant in various general merchandise departments for 15 years as well as time in HR and Store Management. Before Meijer Betsy worked at Dream House Furniture.
Betsy is a graduate of Davenport University with a degree in Business Management.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in 6 states in the northeast. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator.
Team Leader Product Safety and Quality Global Quality Assurance
Whole Foods Market
Ella has over 20 years of retail experience and is the Team Leader, Product Safety and Quality Global Quality Assurance at Whole Foods Market. Her current responsibilities include managing the testing and compliance of select Exclusive Brand (private label) categories including body care, household essentials, and high-risk foods.
Prior to joining Whole Foods Market, Ella spent 13 years with HEB Grocery Company’s Quality Assurance department and 2 years as an SQF Auditor for NSF International. Ella holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M and a Master of Business Administration from Webster University.
Whole Foods Market Inc. specializes in selling organic and natural products. It has 494 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. Its Global headquarters is located in Austin, Texas.
Norma Jean DeSpain is a product quality and safety professional with more than 20 years retail experience and 8 years focused experience in the field of consumer products. She is currently the Manager of Quality Assurance at H-E-B, a San Antonio-based regional retailer in Texas and Mexico. Among her responsibilities are developing and working with suppliers to meet with H-E-B standards.
Her main area of focus includes the cultivation of a team of product quality and safety professionals that work collaboratively with their business areas in providing technical support, regulatory expertise and meet with operational excellence.
Norma Jean holds a Bachelor of Science from UTSA and Master of Business Administration from St. Mary’s University
Neshat Soofi is the President and founder of JIT Experts Hive – a consulting business on a mission to help CPG companies thrive through just-in-time expertise. JIT Experts Hive bridges the gap between purpose driven, fast growing companies and independent, hands-on experts to unlock innovation and growth through knowledge and expertise, a proven formula.
Neshat comes with over 25 years of experience in the consumer products industry(CPG) and has a diverse and successful career working with a variety of companies from startups to Fortune 500 companies such as Target, Cargill, Brandless, International Multifoods, Pillsbury and Smuckers.
Neshat holds a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and a bachelor’s degree in food science. She has a proven history of results across a broad range of categories, including food, beverage, supplements, CBD, pet, cosmetics, beauty, personal care, and household products. She’s a dedicated thought leader who drives best practices in the industry.
Adora Parker Johnson
VP of Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance
Dollar Tree / Family Dollar Stores
Adora presently manages FDA regulatory compliance programs for the Fortune 200 Company, including over 15,000 retail locations and also facilitates the organization’s corporate sustainability activities.
Adora has over a decade of experience in several scientific disciplines, regulatory affairs, product safety, quality assurance, clinical research ethics, research compliance, audit review, dynamic risk management, and product safety program management, among others. She holds a B.S. in Biotechnology (with a concentration in Regulatory Affairs from James Madison University) and M.S. in Regulatory Science from Johns Hopkins University, along with certifications in the areas of Project Management, ESG/Sustainability, and Ethical Clinical Trial Conduct.
Prior to joining Dollar Tree, Adora worked in laboratory settings and in the university space where she led research compliance efforts for human subjects research, specializing in facilitating IND/IDE efforts, research misconduct management, and biosafety risk management.
Chief Innovation & Legal Officer
Garden of Life, LLC
Garden of Life, LLC (GoL), is a leading supplement and nutrition brand, based in the USA and is a division of Nestle Health Sciences. GoL is the first supplement brand to be Certified Carbon Neutral for its operations and all of its products (through The Carbon Fund). GoL is primarily distributed in the Healthy Foods Channel (VMS), online retail, and Food Drug & Mass (FDM). Jeff has served as GC & VP R&D, specializing in building GoL’s unique Certified Organic and Non GMO Verified supply chain and formulating leading products in various sectors, including probiotics, protein supplements, whole food vitamins, CBD and Green Foods. Jeff joined the company in 2007, and has led these functions through three acquisitions culminating with Nestle’s acquisition of the company in 2019. Jeff advises both Garden of Life’s President and its parent company, Nestlé Health Science (NHSc), on various matters, including leadership in Sustainability.
Prior to joining GoL, Jeff served as Assistant General Counsel to Arby’s, LLC, for over seven years and was General Counsel for the United Franchise Group, one of the country’s leading business-format franchisors.
Jeff has been active over his career in charitable work and is currently a board member for Vitamin Angels, The Organic Center and Overland Missions. Jeff and his wife Judy have three boys and one girl, ages 16 to 12.
As the Executive Director of the GRMA Allyn is charged with providing leadership and management over the GRMA’s Certification Program. He also serves as an ex-officio member of all GRMA committees.
Previously, Allyn was the GRMA Board Treasurer and Technical Committee Co-Chair and was a featured representative among industry stakeholders which successfully helped launch the development process of the NSF/ANSI 455 Standards which worked to harmonized quality system requirements and best practices across various categories.
Allyn has decades of experience within OTC, Cosmetics, Medical Devices, and Consumer Product categories and has previously held a number of Quality, Operations, and Technical roles with Global responsibilities for First Quality, Covidien, and Tyco Healthcare.