Every year, we are excited to recognize members for their exemplary efforts and contributions to advance quality and safety within the health and wellness industry.  These award winners are both a recognition of the member organization’s dedication and the award winner’s commitment to continuously lead by example and embodiment of the GRMA’s vision.

Award Descriptions:

GRMA Ambassador – This member is a strong advocate of the GRMA who is continually promoting advancing the GRMA’s Vision – Advancing Global Quality & Safety Standards Together.  The member is looking at future challenges and, issues, and is coming up with collaborative solutions for the betterment of the industry and the safety of the global community.

GRMA Champion – The member who is awarded this extraordinary achievement has sustained an exceptional level of performance. They regularly provide outstanding contributions, demonstrate superior skill, and offer technical expertise in quality and safety within a GRMA Committee, Taskforce, or Workgroup.

GRMA Leadership – This award is dedicated to a Committee, Taskforce, or Working Group Chair who embodies collaboration by the inclusion of ideas from others. They continually inspire the broader group to have rigorous technical discussions.  Displays a remarkable level of competence, credibility, and administrative management. They function as a significant resource to their team within the quality and safety field.

2023 Award Winners

Angela Diesch is a partner and head of the cosmetics industry practice with Amin Talati Wasserman, LLP, a boutique law firm specializing in FDA regulated products. Angela advises regarding all stages of product development and marketing, from R&D to claim substantiation, from labeling to defense of consumer and competitor actions, to contract negotiation and drafting. As a seasoned litigator, she helps clients efficiently respond to public or private legal and regulatory challenges. Angela is the founding Chair of NSF International’s Joint Committee for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for Cosmetics, and in that roll helped bring the first cosmetic GMP auditing standard to fruition (NSF/ANSI 455-3). She is also the chair of NSF’s Joint Committee for Organic Certification for Personal Care Products (NSF/ANSI 305) and the Joint Committee for GMPs for OTC Drugs (NSF/ANSI 455-1). She enjoys sharing her knowledge of the legal issues facing the cosmetics industry through her blog, CosmeticsAndTheLaw.com, as well as through speaking at industry conferences and seminars, and by providing educational training to cosmetic brands’ customer service reps and marketing teams.

Mr. Mohamed Koroma, Director of Research and Development at Pharmavite LLC has more than 15 years of analytical method experience. In his current role at Pharmavite, the makers of Nature Made Vitamins & Supplements, Mohamed parlays his 15 years of analytical experience into his work on the validation and verification of analytical methods for dietary supplements. He also lends his knowledge and expertise to several industry organizations including AOAC, the Global Organization of EPA-DHA (GOED)’s Technical Committee, and USP roundtables on dietary supplementation.

Solange leads the regulatory and compliance pillar at Lallemand Health Solutions which covers global regulatory, scientific affairs and quality assurance interface with business. She has been with the company for more than 16 years, witnessing and contributing to the expansion of Lallemand’s probiotics business to more than 60 countries under different regulatory categories such as natural health products with specific claims, supplements, foods, drugs and derivatives. Solange is also very active in trade associations representing the company in boards, working groups and task forces. She leads the regulatory committee at the International Probiotics Association and has been involved in several successful initiatives advocating probiotics to Health authorities across the globe.

2022 Award Winners

George is the executive director of the International Probiotics Association (IPA). George has been involved with the probiotic industry since 2007 where he served in various roles from business development to account management with a globally recognized probiotic producer. During this time, he also served on the IPA Board of Directors and had two (2) mandates as President before taking on the association’s leadership role as Executive Director in 2015. His passion for the probiotic industry is unequivocal and his persistence to have IPA continue being ‘The Global Voice of Probiotics®’ has taken the association from 40 members when he took on the role to now over 110 international companies under his tutelage. George represents the International Probiotics Association in the media, to all probiotic industry stakeholders including government agencies and Codex, and in appearances at conventions, conferences, and other symposiums.

Hope Hanley is the Vice President of QA/RA for Deerland Probiotics and Enzymes, her responsibilities include the department management and leadership over specification development, label compliance, claims substantiation, certification programs and quality.  During Hope’s 15+ year tenure at Deerland, she has successfully implemented and maintained ISO 17025 certification for their internal labs and TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) certification for their manufacturing facilities.  Hope also holds a number of leadership roles within trade organizations like International Probiotics Association and the Council for Responsible Nutrition where she seeks to address unique challenges related to probiotics and enzymes in supplements and was the former chair of the Dietary Supplement Committee for the Enzyme Technical Association.

David McPherson is currently Director Food Safety and Regulatory Compliance at The Kroger Co. with a focus on Dietary Supplements, OTC Drugs, and Specialty Nutrition Products as well as subject matter expert for CBD/Hemp products. Has been in the consumer products industry serving in leadership roles (domestic and international) for over 25 years with a focus on quality and regulatory affairs. David holds a BA/BS in Philosophy and Zoology from BYU.

2021 Award Winners

We love celebrating our members contributions, and we had the opportunity to do that at this year’s GRMA Virtual Summit. We’re proud to share that the following four women were selected as the recipients for the 2021 GRMA Virtual Summit Awards.

Karil Kochenderfer advises clients in the fast-moving consumer goods sector  through LINKAGES, her global trade, industry and government affairs firm.  For 30 years, she’s had the privilege of representing the industry nationally before FDA, Wall Street and the media as well as internationally before the European Commission, WTO and over three dozen foreign governments on some of the most critical issues facing the industry ranging from biotechnology and blockchain, to CBD, sustainability, international trade and now e-commerce.  She openly welcomes questions, shared insights and feedback from CPG colleagues, and client inquiries too!  Previously, Kochenderfer worked at the Grocery Manufs. of America and PhRMA.  She is a graduate of The University of Michigan. Karil L. Kochenderfer, LINKAGES – Principal – LINKAGES | LinkedIn

Jen Knaack is the Vice President of Compliance and Science at Cheef Holdings, a leader in CBD topical and ingestible products. She obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California and is a certified Toxicological Chemist. After serving as a Senior Service Fellow at the CDC and a university professor, Dr. Jen entered the cannabis industry as a cannabis testing laboratory director and now manages regulatory compliance and the development of scientifically-driven hemp and CBD products. Her unique expertise in science and government regulations has made her invaluable in lobbying efforts to support cannabis and hemp from a scientific perspective. In addition to her lobbying and trade association advocacy, Dr. Jen also serves as an expert in human rights violations related to chemical terrorism and chemical exposures.

 

Adora Parker is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and has cultivated years of experience in life science, regulatory compliance, clinical research ethics, research compliance, conflicts of interest management, biosecurity, dynamic risk management, project management, and program development, among others. She began her career in a laboratory setting, where she quickly began developing a passion for safety, regulatory compliance, and process improvement. Adora transitioned into a career at an R1 university (Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)) where she led research compliance efforts for human subjects research, specializing in facilitating IND/IDE efforts, research misconduct management, and biosafety risk management. Adora followed her time at VCU with a new role in the private sector as Director of Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance at Dollar Tree/Family Dollar Stores. She presently manages FDA regulatory compliance programs for the Fortune 200 Company including over 15,000 retail locations, facilitates corporate sustainability activities, drives cross functional risk management projects. Adora holds a B.S. in Biotechnology and M.S. in Regulatory Science.

 

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. Neshat comes with over 25 years of experience in the CPG industry. 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. Neshat has a diverse and successful career working with a variety of companies from startups to Fortune 500 companies. She’s a dedicated thought leader who drives best practices in the industry. She served as co-lead on the GFSI North America Committee and is now the chair for the GRMA’s CBD Taskforce.

Awards Process

  • All nominees must be a GRMA member
  • Individuals and/or groups may be nominated
  • Members can be nominated for more than one award
  • All nominations must be submitted by a GRMA member via email to generalinquires@grmalliance.orgon or before October 1, 2021.
  • Each nomination must include:
    • Nominee’s Name (For group nominations, include all names.)
    • Nominee’s Email (For group nominations, include all emails.)
    • Award(s)
    • Why they are being nominated. The narrative of accomplishments must focus on the nominee’s/nominees’ distinct contributions, how they exceeded normal GRMA member expectations, and the specific impact of their contributions.
  • All nominations will be reviewed by the Summit and Recruitment Committee. Winners will be announced at this year’s summit.