Louisville, Kentucky – November 7, 2013 – SQF Institute awarded the inaugural Distinguished Service Award to Gary Smith, recognizing his lifetime of commitment to promoting and strengthening food safety and certification programs worldwide.

Mr. Gary Smith, former SQF Technical Director, oversaw SQF programs that are respected and relied upon worldwide to provide safe, quality food. Smith was essential in benchmarking the SQF 1000 and 2000 codes, introducing the SQF and GFSI to North America and furthering its recognition around the globe.

“During his 25 year career in food safety, Gary Smith has played the role of every SQF stakeholder and truly understands the importance of safe quality food programs across the food retail industry, “ said Robert Garfield, senior vice president of SQF Institute. “It is our honor to present this Distinguished Service Award to Gary, recognizing his instrumental role in the promotion and strengthening of Safe Quality Food programs.”

Smith is the Director of Training and Improvement Solutions at SAI Global and serves as the chair of the Food Safety Service Providers. Smith received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Illinois and had a career in environmental sanitation before moving into the food manufacturing sector.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented on behalf of Safe Quality Food Institute and Food Marketing Institute.