Despite Emma’s impressive experience and qualifications, you will observe in this Q&A that she remains an incredibly humble professional that clearly has no regrets for taking her career by the reins. While Emma has already advanced her vocation in Quality Assurance, that does not stop her from constantly striving to learn and shift certifications goals toward a sustainable future for the F&B Industry. The Females in Food Community is honored to have such a tenacious woman as part of our growing collective.
Q. Let’s start from the beginning. Where did you grow up? What inspired you to start a career in the F&B industry?
A. I grew up in Elkhorn, WI and I moved north for college at UW-Stout where I achieved my Bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology. My choice to attend UW-Stout was what drove me towards a career in food and beverage. They were a specialized university and very far away from my hometown, and at 18 I couldn’t wait to get out and see the world (or at least the other end of Wisconsin).
Q. Can you share what your career journey has entailed? Where are you today?
A. After graduating college, I knew I had to find a job as quickly as possible to make ends meet. An opening in my field popped up at Best Maid Cookie Company as a third shift QA Technician, and I applied and got the job! I have found that the year I spent on third shift taught me as much, if not more, than what I have learned in my “office” roles. After the company started to grow, I was given opportunity after opportunity to elevate my position to grow along with the company, for which I am extremely thankful. I am now a Corporate Quality Assurance Systems Manager and oversee the auditing and food safety compliance of 15 baked goods manufacturing facilities.
Q. What career achievements have been the most impactful to you?
A. My nomination for the SQF Excellence award has been my most proud achievement. It came at a point in my career where I have felt that each move I make is a battle against the status quo, and the reinforcement that I am on the right path to continue making an impact in food safety is not lost on me.
Q. What are your areas of expertise for Females in Food members to connect with you on?
A. I am well versed in multiple food safety codes, HACCP, and PCQI as well as nearly all auditing standards. I have a strong technical writing skill and have much experience developing, implementing, and training individuals for programs related to food safety, quality assurance, and continuous improvement. I am currently working on my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification for lean manufacturing.
Q. What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
A. When I am not traveling for work, I enjoy traveling for fun! I love to explore new areas, stores, and restaurants around me that I haven’t seen yet. I also love hiking with my dog and visiting my friends and family whenever possible.
Q. What advice would you give your younger self? Or What advice do you have for those who are just coming into the food industry?
A. To my younger self, I would say….be patient. Not everything needs to be perfect right now nor do you need to achieve all your goals right this second. You have lots of time and progress can be slow, but it is ongoing and so very worth the wait. Plus, as corny as it sounds, the journey really is the fun part!
Q. What is your favorite “on the go” breakfast?
A. I am not much of a “breakfast” person, but you will rarely catch me without a cup of coffee in my hand if it is before noon on any given day.