2018 Speakers

Jeff Allen

Director of National Sales and Retail Strategy, US Foods

Jeff Allen is a Director of National Sales and Retail Strategy at US Foods where he runs a national team of new business developers focused on foodservice customers in the Restaurant, Hospitality and Retail segments. Jeff has been with US Foods for seven years where he has developed an National Emerging Accounts team and more recently responsible for developing out a Retail strategy to take care of the needs of the quickly changing markets including Groceraunts. Prior to US Foods, Jeff ran national sales teams for technology companies including almost 15 years with Infor.

Amy Conway-Hatcher

Litigation Partner, Baker Botts LLP

Amy Conway-Hatcher is a litigation partner at Baker Botts and a former federal prosecutor.  Her practice focuses on corporate investigations, crisis management, and compliance and white collar matters, including defending corporate and individual clients in criminal and civil enforcement matters before the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal and state enforcement authorities.  Amy’s representations cross numerous industries, and range from addressing discrete compliance problems to organizational compliance failures that require crisis management experience.  She is consistently recognized by Chambers, Global Investigations Review Who's Who Legal: Investigations and Best Lawyers in America for her experience in white collar and corporate investigations.

Julie Cook

Attorney and Compliance Manager, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

Julie Cook is the Attorney and Compliance Manager at Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. in Rochester, New York. Her practice focuses on regulatory compliance, including liquor licensing and operations for the company’s stores and restaurants.

Markham Cho Erickson

Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Markham Erickson is chair of Steptoe’s Internet, Telecom, and Technology practice group, where he counsels clients in some of the most highly visible, complex legal matters in these sectors. He successfully applies novel and creative theories, earning precedent-setting outcomes on cases of first impression. Markham has represented Internet companies since the beginning of the commercial Internet, and has been the lead counsel for Internet firms in the so-called network neutrality debate since its inception. He regularly engages the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on investigations, complaints, rulemakings, and proposed mergers in the communications sector, and represents technology companies on questions relating to copyright and technology.

Elizabeth Fawell

Partner, Hogan Lovells

Elizabeth Fawell navigates the detailed and often complex regulatory issues confronting food companies and helps them understand both the rules and various risks involved so that they can make informed business decisions. Elizabeth works with every segment of the food industry, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, restaurants, and food service operators, as well as their trade associations.

Elizabeth’s work on behalf of food industry clients with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) since its inception and her understanding of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems provides her with the experience and perspective needed as she counsels clients on how to comply with new requirements under the law. Elizabeth is a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) and has completed the FSPCA PCQI training.

Stefanie Fogel

Partner, Co-Chair, Food and Beverage Sector, DLA Piper LLP (US)

Stefanie J. Fogel is Co-Chair of DLA Piper's Food and Beverage sector, focusing her practice on multi-national food and consumer product regulation and compliance, food and consumer product recall response, corporate compliance, and commercial, class action and multi-plaintiff litigation. She represents national and international manufacturers of foods and dietary supplements, retail clothing, manufacturing equipment, chemical products, bio-technology detection devices and a variety of consumer products. Stefanie serves as a national and international advisor to these clients in the area of product safety, cross-border distribution and enforcement, crisis management response, and industry trends.

Melissa Foti

Partner, Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP

Ms. Foti is a Partner at Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP, where she is responsible for insurance defense litigation including personal injury, motor vehicle negligence, premises liability and labor law issues.

Ms. Foti attended law school at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. While at John Marshall, she studied abroad in Parma and Rome, Italy. She subsequently transferred back to the Western New York area and obtained her Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo in May 2003.

Ms. Foti is admitted to practice in the states of New York and Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Erie County Bar Association and Women's Bar Association of WNY. She is a Past President of the WNY Chapter of WBASNY. Ms. Foti is also a member of ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates).  She is a graduate of Leadership Niagara, Class of 2013.  Ms. Foti is currently the president of the WNY Trial Lawyers Association; as well as vice president of the UB Law Alumni Association. 

Todd Harrison

Partner, Venable, LLP

Todd Harrison focuses his practice on Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)/Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as well as other federal, state, and international consumer protection agencies governing rules and regulations related to drugs, foods, dietary supplements, homeopathic remedies, medical devices, medical foods and cosmetics. Todd works extensively in the areas of food and dietary supplement safety, labeling and advertising claims.

Jennifer Hatcher

Chief Public Policy Officer & Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Food Marketing Institute

Jennifer Hatcher serves as Chief Public Policy Officer and Senior Vice President, Government Affairs for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) overseeing federal, state and regulatory efforts on public policy, legislative and political issues impacting the supermarket industry.  She has held this position since April 2009 and has been at FMI in the government relations area since March 1998. 

Prior to coming to FMI, Jennifer served as Chief of Staff to United States Congressman Spencer Bachus (AL).  Jennifer also served as Special Assistant and White House Liaison at the Department of the Treasury during President George H.W. Bush’s Administration.  Jennifer has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Communication from Vanderbilt University and a Masters in Government from Johns Hopkins University.

Jennifer has participated in a variety of congressional briefings and panels and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Committee on Ways and Means and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Maile Hermida

Partner, Hogan Lovells

Maile Mermida is a Partner with Hogan Lovells in Washington, DC.  As a lawyer for the food industry, she has a deep understanding of the regulatory issues affecting food companies, from product development through production, distribution, and retail sale.  Maile also has considerable experience with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), including advising companies and trade associations on what FSMA requires, helping to develop compliance strategies, and providing strategic advice on public policy issues.  Her practice also focuses on enforcement and compliance matters, particularly involving recalls or following receipt of FDA Warning Letters. 

Kelly Johnston

Vice President-Government Affairs, Campbell Soup Company

Kelly Johnston joined Campbell in July 2002 as Vice President-Government Affairs. He coordinates activities and relationships with local, state, federal, and international government legislative and regulatory agencies, as well as the company’s participation in trade associations. He reports to Adam Ciongoli, Senior Vice President, General Counsel.

Sara Kalis

Shareholder, Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Sara Kalis represents management in all aspects of labor law, with a particular focus on matters involving union organizing campaigns, organized labor and labor relations counseling. She has handled collective bargaining negotiations, labor arbitrations and grievance proceedings, mediation and matters involving the National Labor Relations Act before the National Labor Relations Board. She has successfully represented companies throughout the country in union organizing campaigns. Littler clients have benefited from Sara’s expertise in assisting clients in preventive strategic planning, vulnerability audits, supervisory training, and aggressive representation. Fortune 500 companies nationally as well as local employers across various industries (including manufacturing, healthcare, services, and others), seek Sara’s expertise in remaining union-free and in managing their union-represented workplaces.

Brian Klippenstein

Senior Advisor to the Secretary, USDA

Ron Leibman

Partner, Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP

Ron Leibman is Co-Chair of the Transportation and Logistics Group at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP, based in Morristown, New Jersey, with additional offices in Trenton, New Jersey and New York.  He focuses his practice on the business and supply chain needs of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, motor carriers and third party logistics providers. Ron serves on the H.H. Franklin Supply Chain Advisory Board of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.  In addition, he is on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Logistical Management.  The Chambers USA Guide: America's Leading Lawyers for Business named Ron a “Leading Individual Nationwide” for his expertise in transportation and logistics, calling him a “client favorite” whose clients compliment his “superb understanding of our business.” In addition to his law degree, Ron holds an M.B.A. in Transportation/Distribution Management from Syracuse University.  Ron has published articles and has been quoted in various publications including Law360, the Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Law Journal, Inbound Logistics, and New Jersey Business.

Robin McKinnon

Senior Advisor for Nutrition Policy, Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA

Robin McKinnon, PhD, MPA, is a Senior Advisor for Nutrition Policy at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Dr. McKinnon works to advance nutrition-related activities across CFSAN. Prior to joining FDA, Dr. McKinnon was a Health Policy Specialist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health. From 2013-2015, Dr. McKinnon was on detail from NCI to the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, where she served as an Obesity Policy Advisor. At NCI, Dr. McKinnon’s primary responsibilities were to lead initiatives to advance policy-relevant research on diet, obesity and physical activity. Dr. McKinnon has a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from the George Washington University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Erik Mettler

Assistant Commissioner for Partnerships and Policy, Office of Partnerships and Operational Policy, FDA

Erik P. Mettler is Assistant Commissioner for Partnerships and Policy within the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this role, he serves as advisor to the Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs on the full range of ORA's activities including partnerships, implementation of new laws and regulations, and overall strategic planning and prioritization. He is responsible for providing long range strategic direction for ORA policies and programs including the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Michael Perry

Partner, Baker Botts LLP

Michael Perry is a Partner in the Antitrust and Competition practice at Baker Botts in Washington, DC.  He focuses on advising clients in merger and non-merger antitrust investigations before the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice and in complex private and government antitrust litigation. 

Michael joined Baker Botts after serving as Counsel to the Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition from 2015 to 2016.  In that front-office role, he was directly involved in many of the agency's most important antitrust enforcement actions and investigations, including the FTC's challenge to the proposed Sysco/U.S. Foods merger and several other matters involving suppliers, distributors, and retailers of grocery and foodservice products.

Alyssa Rebensdorf

Counsel, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Alyssa Rebensdorf leverages more than a decade of experience to help food industry clients solve litigation and regulatory challenges. She provides client-centered counsel during litigation in state and federal courts nationwide and advises clients on risk management and compliance to avoid litigation. She also helps clients, including entrepreneurial natural and organic food companies, sort through the many business issues faced by small and emerging companies, ranging from how to comply with product labeling regulations to effective contracting with suppliers.

Carmen Rottenberg

Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Office of Food Safety, USDA

Carmen Rottenberg was appointed Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office for Food Safety in August 2017. In this position, Ms. Rottenberg oversees development, implementation and enforcement of all of FSIS’ regulations, policies and programs. This appointment follows nearly six years in leadership roles in the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS’) Office of the Administrator, including serving as the Chief of Staff, the Chief Operating Officer and, most recently, the Deputy Administrator.

Leslie G. Sarasin

President and CEO, Food Marketing Institute

Leslie G. Sarasin is the president and chief executive officer of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the association of food retailers and wholesalers, which represents more than 1,500 member companies in the United States and around the world. Under Sarasin's leadership, FMI has become a forward focused and member centered organization committed to help supermarkets excel in their role of feeding families and enriching lives. Her synergistic style and determined spirit of collaboration has infused FMI with a renewed commitment to help its members address the critical industry issues of the day - food safety and the emerging importance of health and wellness. Prior to coming to FMI, Sarasin was president and CEO of the American Frozen Food Institute.

Mark Schneider

Shareholder, Co-Chair, Traditional Labor Practice Group, Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Mark W. Schneider focuses his international practice on representing management in all phases of labor law and labor relations before the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor, as well as other State and Federal agencies. Mark regularly assists domestic and multi-national companies with strategic planning, negotiates labor contracts, litigates labor arbitration, matters before the National Labor Relations Board, and assists in development and implementation of positive employee relations programs. Mark speaks nationally and conducts training for employer groups and trade organizations, including the Society for Human Resource Management, the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, as well as other trade associations and private industry. In addition, he has been a lecturer on labor law for the Graduate School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has taught labor law for the State Bar of Wisconsin. Currently, Mark serves as co-chair of the firm's Traditional Labor Practice Group, and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Stephen Weisbrod

Partner, Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC

Stephen A. Weisbrod is a founding partner of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC in Washington, D.C.   The firm recently was one of only ten firms in the United States named by The National Law Journal to its Litigation Boutiques Hot List.  Mr. Weisbrod is an experienced trial lawyer who represents clients in financial and commercial disputes, corporate bankruptcy and insolvency matters, and criminal investigations and trials.  Most of his clients are businesses and individuals seeking payment from insurers, suppliers, service providers, banks, investment managers, professionals or other parties liable for breach of contract, fraud, or some other kind of misconduct or breach of duty.  In insurance matters he represents policyholders exclusively.  His clients have included publicly traded companies, start-up companies, private equity firms, fund managers, law firms, trustees, creditors committees, post-bankruptcy litigation trusts, corporate directors and officers, and individual consumers.  Before entering private practice, he served as law clerk to Chief Judge James B. Moran of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and as law clerk to Justice Alan B. Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Law School.