Western New York Food Industry Expo
March 29, 2016 • Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center • Rochester, NY
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Show Produced by Events With Attitude


Seminar Schedule...."Concept to Consumer"

10:00 - 10:45

:Our Consumer Intelligence...how to identify new product opportunities

Scott Sainsbury
Founder, Beacon Associates
Patricia Cox
Partner, Beacon Associates

Brief presentation description

Scott Sainsbury

After a highly successful start in Brand Management of existing brands and new product initiatives at Frito-Lay, Scott and Dr. Peter Wicklund founded Beacon Associates in 1981. The firm’s initial focus was on product -- employing the proprietary optimization and architecture definition methodologies developed by the team. Today, Beacon is a marketing research and consulting firm that aids companies, educational institutions and non-profits in gaining the insights needed to define and achieve their growth goals. Beacon innovations have added to the industry’s capabilities in: product optimization, concept and product architecture framing, integrated qual-quant approaches, brand equity and power comprehension and alignment, and retail impact design and implementation guidance. Beacon has designed, executed and interpreted over 1000 major growth initiative projects for many of the leading consumer products companies as well as mid-caps, educational institutions and non-profits. Scott and Beacon are extremely proud of their record of positive impact. Alongside his business pursuits, Scott has led a dual career in volunteer environmental leadership and service to his alma mater, Cornell University. Scott and Pat, live on an old farm in Vermont where they have worked to improve the health of the land, and of its forests. And, when there’s a little time left over -- you’ll find Scott sailing his beloved J-35c, “Ringle” on Lake Champlain.

Patricia Cox
Pat was Director of Marketing for all corn-based products at Frito-Lay before being lured-away to become the founding CMO for Embassy Suites hotels.  When the family decided to relocate to Vermont, Pat became the CMO of Bruegger’s Bagel Bakeries — driving units from 30 to 300.  When the concept was sold, Pat joined Beacon as a Partner.

10:45 - 11:30

         FSMA – Food Safety Modernization Act – how it will affect food and beverage processors

Speaker name and company, title

Brief presentation description



11:30 - 12:15
         High Pressure Pasteurization for Preservation
Olga Padilla-Zakour, Cornell University
Ken Cassara, Finger Lake Foods/Wegmans
Alan Davis, Li Destri
Brief Presentation description

Dr. Olga Padilla-Zakour
Dr. Olga Padilla-Zakour is Professor and Chair of the Department of Food Science and also serves as the Director of the New York State Food Venture Center and the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship at Cornell University. She joined Cornell in the fall of 1997. Prior to that, she worked as a research chemist for Canandaigua Wine Company in California, as an Associate Professor at the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, and as a Plant Manager of a fruit processing facility exporting aseptically processed tropical purees. She graduated from the University of Costa Rica (BS in Food Technology) and from Cornell University (MS, 1988 and PhD in Food Science and Technology, 1991). She devotes her time to mentoring students and colleagues; supporting the food industry with direct assistance and educational programs; and conducting applied research enhancing the safety and quality of plant-based food products, with an emphasis on small-scale food processing. Her academic foundation and industrial experience have been fully integrated into her professional work, which has positively impacted 2,700 processors and entrepreneurs for the commercialization of 10,300 food products. She is a recognized Process Authority for acid, acidified and water activity controlled foods.
  Ken Cassara is the Vice President of Merchandising for Finger Lakes Food at Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. headquartered in Rochester, NY. Wegmans is a family owned, 88 store Supermarket chain in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Founded in 1916, the company is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. 2016 will be his 49th year with Wegmans continuously learning & growing with the company, of that, 13 years were in Store Operations and 36 years in Merchandising. Ken started with Wegmans in 1967 as a part time employee working in the Front End (chasing carts in the parking lot, bagging groceries, etc.), Grocery, Dairy, Frozen Foods and Produce. In 1973, Ken was made a fulltime employee holding positions of Night Manager, Assistant Store Manager, several Grocery Category Merchant positions, Dairy Category Merchant, Wegmans Brand Manager, Dairy/Frozen Food Category Merchant, and Dairy/Frozen Group Manager. In 2001, Ken was named Vice President of Dairy/ Frozen. In 2015, he was named Vice President of Merchandising for Finger Lakes Food. Ken has been involved with many industry projects including a member of the Board of Directors for the National Frozen and Refrigerated Association. Ken graduated from RIT and he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from RIT. Ken lives in Rochester, NY with his wife Judy of 41 years. They met working part time together at Wegmans when Ken was 19 and Judy was 17, and have two sons, Mike & Mark, both who obtained MBA’s at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY & both work at Wegmans, one in Store Operations in Maryland and the other in Purchasing in Rochester.

Alan Davis


As vice president for Business Development and Contract Manufacturing at LiDestri Foods, Alan Davis works closely with some of the world’s largest food and beverage companies. With more than 23 years of experience at LiDestri, he’s grown professionally as he helped grow the company to where it is today: a $500-million-plus player in food, beverage and spirits, with five locations spanning the United States. LiDestri is well known in the industry for being innovative and risk-taking, which adds an exciting, “high-wire” element to what Alan does, including guiding entrepreneurs of various sizes and experience levels through the product development process. Leading the way in a category means understanding both the opportunities and the pitfalls of innovation, and he loves the challenge of making customers’ dreams into realities in smart, cost-effective ways. Alan serves on the board of the Associated New York State Food Processors and has played a key role in the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative, which aims to train and inspire the next generation of leaders in this critical U.S. manufacturing space. Alan was born and raised in northeastern Pennsylvania, where his grandfather instilled in him a life-long love of fishing and the outdoors. He spends his vacations on camping and fishing adventures throughout the Northeast with his family, including Becky, Alan’s high school sweetheart and wife of 22 years, son Joshua, daughter Elyse, his 100-pound golden retriever named Joey and his slightly smaller shelter rescue sidekick, Jenny

12:15 -1:00

Lunch Buffet
Return to the meeting room for lunch and networking with previous speakers


Micro Testing Panel

Duane Cook, Microbiologist
Neogen Corporation

Andrew Bantly, BD Biosciences
Andrea Murphy,
BioRad AbD Serotec

Latest techniques, the advantages, associated usage and equipment costs

Duane Cook

Andrew Bantly has been with BD Biosciences as a Technical Application Specialist for two years. Before joining BD, he was the Operations Manager of the Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Resource Facility at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA for ten years.

Andrew Bantly

                    Networking and final wrap up with speakers

1:00 -2:30






2:30- 3:00