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Food Marketing Institute announces promotions of managerial staff members

ARLINGTON, VA, 2017-Jun-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today (Jun 14, 2017) announces the recent promotions of four managerial staff members who embody the organization’s strategic emphasis on the food safety and regulatory environment. The following executives received recognition:

Stephanie Barnes – Barnes serves as FMI’s chief regulatory officer and legal counsel, expanding her regulatory role to include legal oversight of FMI’s bylaws and antitrust guidelines. After over three years as the industry’s regulatory point person, Barnes took on new responsibilities, assuming the role of FMI’s legal counsel. Barnes has helped member companies craft compliance strategies on a broad range of regulations, including the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act. She has also compiled dozens of regulatory comments, represented the industry on a number of food law panels and hosted informational webinars during her tenure at FMI. When she is not offering guidance to members, Barnes spends significant time working internally with FMI staff to ensure that the various regulatory changes are correctly interpreted for our members to apply for application in their stores.

LeAnn Chuboff – Since 2009, Chuboff has dedicated her career to the division of FMI responsible for developing, maintaining and promoting the Safe Quality Food Institute’s (SQFI) code. Earning recognition in 2017 as vice president, SQFI technical affairs, Chuboff has effectively directed all technical aspects of the SQFI program, including the food safety standards, guidelines, training materials and audit and certification protocols. The recent upgrade of the SQFI code to Edition 8 brings a greater focus to Chuboff’s technical expertise, as she addresses the latest emerging food safety and quality issues, industry challenges and provides solutions for a safer supply chain. In her role as a content expert, she tours the country teaching the Global Food Safety Initiative-benchmarked code and ensures SQFI is recognized as a resource to government officials and other food safety stakeholders.

Sarah Malenich – Malenich was recently promoted to director, Safe Quality Food Institute sales and marketing, a role focused on promoting and elevating all SQFI programs, which include the SQF globally accepted food safety and quality certification program as well as the SQFI Ethical Sourcing Certification- which is an environmental, health and safety (EHS) management system and social accountability program for the food industry.  Malenich is responsible for leading and directing the development and implementation of strategic sales, marketing and business development plans and initiatives to uphold SQFI’s mission to be the single most trusted source for global food safety and quality certification. Her duties also include managing communications, websites and marketing materials to stakeholders including Suppliers, Certifying Bodies and Training Centers, to help implement increased SQF recognition and site and training registrations. She remains passionate about food safety and responsible sourcing.

Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS – Dr. Thesmar was promoted to chief food & product safety officer & senior vice president, food safety programs. Her six-year tenure at FMI began at a time when the regulatory landscape was changing rapidly and the Food Safety Modernization Act first registered as a game-changer for the food retail industry. Thesmar is responsible for supervising food safety programs, initiatives, activities and resources for FMI and its members. She represents FMI to a wide audience of stakeholders and professionals, including various governmental, Congressional, scientific, consumer and industry audiences on issues related to food safety and government regulatory compliance. In 2016, FMI updated its SafeMark® Food Handler training program, which has received recognition as an American National Standards Institute-accredited certificate program. This was a celebrated and important milestone in the continued growth and success of the SafeMark® program. Under Thesmar’s direction, the FMI food safety team also recently updated and created several critical resources, including a Food Allergen Resource Document, a Listeria Action Plan for Retailers, and a sample FSMA Distribution Center Food Safety Plan to assist with Food Safety Modernization Act compliance.

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit


Heather Garlich
Senior Director, Media and Public Relations

Source: FMI

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