How to Effectively Work with Departments in Your Company

START DATE:4/13/2021

Start Time:2:00 PM EDT

Duration:60 minutes

Since we are all on the same team, why is it so hard to pull in the same direction? As the data-driven people at the table, we can’t understand why others won’t listen when we speak. Turn the tables and speak in terms that resonate: ROI to the finance team, EQ to the HR team, efficiency to operations and so on. What gets measured gets done; what are the KPIs that resonate across department boundaries and bring different teams together? Join the conversation with the cross-functional panel and let’s get the party started.

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Cindy Gillespie

Vice President, Human Resources

Amy’s Kitchen, Inc.

For the past 19 years, Cindy Gillespie has been a senior member of Human Resources team for Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. the top selling brand of natural and organic convenience foods in the United States. Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. is a family-owned business committed to producing great tasting food made from the finest quality of natural and organic ingredients. Amy’s Kitchen employs over 2600 employees in five main facilities. Amy’s also has a fast-growing restaurant business, the Amy’s Drive Thru, that currently operates in three locations. In addition to her work at Amy’s, Cindy is a member of the Career Technical Education Foundation board, and an active member of the Santa Rosa Sunrise Rotary.

Craig Bacon

Senior Vice-President of Technical Services

Simmons Foods

Craig Bacon is the Senior Vice-President of Technical Services for Simmons Foods. Simmons Prepared Foods is a farm to fork poultry producer based in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, primarily serving customer brands as a supplier of premium chicken products for the foodservice industry. In addition, Simmons has a large Private Label Pet Food Manufacturing business and a Feed Ingredients business group. Prior to Simmons, Craig was Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Tyson Foods. In this role Craig leads the development of all products for Tyson Foods located in the Discovery Center in Springdale, Arkansas and Downers Grove, Illinois. Tyson is the 2nd-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and Produces 1 out of every 5 pounds of meat consumed in the U.S.

David Norton


SYSCO Specialty Meat Companies

David Norton is President of Sysco’s Specialty Meat business across North America. Sysco the leading food service distribute in the world with over 60B in annual revenue owns 27 facilities that do further processing across multiple proteins including beef, pork, poultry, veal, lamb, and seafood. Norton joined Sysco 3 years ago. To lead Sysco’s specialty meat business which services some of the most iconic steakhouses and white tablecloth restaurants across North America. Prior to joining Sysco, Norton spent 19 years with US Foods, his last 10 years leading their meat and seafood business. He began his career in the food business in Buffalo New York where he opened a seafood market which later started wholesaling to retail and foodservice customers. Along the way acquiring a meat company, he sold that business to US Foods in 1999.

Katya Forsyth

Diversity and Leadership Consultant

Consulting by K

After being the only woman in the boardroom for most of her corporate career as a CFO, Katya is now a Diversity & Leadership consultant building better workplaces where EVERYONE has equal opportunities to get ahead. Katya shares her corporate experiences in a relatable way and teaches practical tools that leaders and teams can implement to make an impact. Katya shares her experience in leadership, diversity, and fitness daily on LinkedIn with her #KickglassKat videos.

Sharon Beals

SVP, Food Safety and Quality

CTI Foods

With 40 years’ experience in food safety/quality, Sharon Beals provides strategic, operational, and technical leadership and support in the critical area of food safety/quality for seven manufacturing facilities, as well as customers and suppliers. Ms. Beals has held roles at the director and vice president level with several food companies including Maple Leaf Foods, Smithfield Packing, Tyson Foods, Orval Kent Food, and Arby’s. She’s very engaged in the industry and is a past chair for the Beef Industry Food Safety Council, has served on the American Meat Science Association Board of Directors, and has been a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin’s Food Safety and Meat Microbiology school. Ms. Beals holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods from Cornell University. Free time is spent enjoying the empty nest with husband Don, hanging with Juno (the grand-dog), and gardening.

(Moderator) Barbara VanRenterghem, Ph.D.

Editorial Director

Food Safety Magazine

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