Date: Wednesday, March 20th, 2024
Time: 2:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM CT / 11:00 AM PT / 7:00 PM GMT
Duration: 1 Hour
Sponsor: U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
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Join us for an engaging webinar, "Blueberries: Optimizing the Healthy Ingredient for Consumer Demand," where we will explore the remarkable potential of blueberries in the food industry. This session is designed to provide food manufacturers with valuable insights into the health benefits of blueberries, their versatility in formulation, and an inspiring culinary demonstration that will ignite creativity in product development.
Dr. Leslie Wada
Sr. Director of Nutrition & Health Research
Leslie Wada PhD, RD is the Senior Director of Nutrition and Health Research for the US Highbush Blueberry Council. She is a registered dietitian with a B.S. in nutrition and dietetics from the University of California at Davis and a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. She worked as a research scientist on nutrition studies and taught classes in dietetics at UC Berkeley before leaving academia to work with companies that developed functional foods and ingredients.
After 15 years of experience working as a consultant for the US Highbush Blueberry Council(USHBC), Dr. Wada joined USHBC as the Senior Director of Nutrition and Health Research and continues to manage the council’s multi-million-dollar pipeline of health research projects. She is also leading the health and nutrition affairs pillar of the USHBC strategic plan, integrating the research projects and results with the council’s overall strategy in marketing and promotions and nutrition policy.
Product Development Manager
Michelle Tittl, Product Development Manager at CuliNEX, brings more than 14 years of product development experience with private label retail, packaged goods, and ingredient companies. Her knowledge of food development across broad food categories, from beverage, baking, cookies, bars, foodservice operations, and more, allows Michelle to lead technical and culinary teams in ideating, concepting, product development and commercialization of new foods. Michelle exemplifies the practice of Culinology, blending her educational credentials in Food Science and Culinary Arts to elevate the consumer taste experience for a expansive list of CuliNEX clients.
Group Account Director and Partner at SterlingRice Group
Christie is a Group Account Director and Partner at Sterling Rice Group. She has nearly twenty years leading communications, experiential and innovation work across a variety of clients and sectors, with an emphasis on food and beverage, agribusiness, foodservice and the natural and organic space. She has authored thought leadership work at SRG with a focus on trends in food and the plant-based movement specifically. Christie has an expansive network of influential and high-volume chefs that she works with regularly, with the objective of growing sales for her clients through securing menu placements. Her recent clients include Kraft/Heinz, Meati, Kerry Foodservice, Avocados From Mexico, The US Highbush Blueberry Council, Olam Spices and NatureSweet Tomatoes, among others.
Christie has a degree in Business with a focus in Marketing, (and minors in Art History and Philosophy) having studied in both the US and Florence, Italy. She began her career at Arnold Worldwide in Boston and New York City, moving to Boulder in 2008 to join Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and then in 2010, SRG. Before SRG, she worked across numerous consumer-focused categories including pharmaceuticals, fashion, travel and automotive. She is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant and a Certified Sports Nutrition Consultant. She also has just enough formal culinary and sommelier training to be dangerous if left to her own devices in a kitchen or wine cellar.
Christie lives in Boulder with her husband, son and cat, and when not flying to various chef events all over the country or whipping up her next creation in the kitchen, she can be found logging lots of miles in Boulder’s great outdoors or coaching her son’s cross-country team.
Andy Hanacek, Senior Editor, Plant Operations| Food Processing