As I write this, my body is getting used to its native time zone after three days in the Arizona desert for the International Association for Food Protection’s IAFP 2021 event in July.

The Phoenix event was my first (of many, hopefully) food safety conference. While I attended interesting sessions, such as one on food crime and another on the importance of good storytelling (see my column last issue), one of the things that struck me most was everyone’s excitement to be at a show again.

The other broad takeaway was the shared responsibility from everyone I met to help keep food safe.

In fact, more than a few vendors on the exhibitor show floor shared with me a genuine desire to further some aspect of food safety, whether or not it was profitable for their particular company.

The show was also a chance for me to finally meet a number of folks outside of Zoom or LinkedIn, including a couple Quality Assurance & Food Safety magazine advisory board members (thanks for the fun conversation about ’80s toys and submarines, Darin). There are a lot of really terrific people in this industry.

Speaking of which, we hear from a couple of those fine people in this issue, including Bruce Perkin, principal consultant at Robust Food Solutions, who shared some knowledge for our cover story “Divide & Conquer” and Francine L. Shaw, founder and CEO of Savvy Food Safety, who is featured in this issue’s “Life Lessons.”

Finally, I’d like to introduce a new advisory board member: Chelle Hartzer, consulting entomologist at 360 Pest and Food Safety Consulting.

With an extensive background in pest control, Hartzer also keenly understands the food safety implications and importance of managing these invaders.

She served as a research assistant in the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and worked as a product manager for Industrial Fumigant Co.

I look forward to her impact on the magazine’s editorial as we carry the discussion of pest management in food facilities forward, and I know she is too.

“I’m excited to help get knowledge to your readership and have them look to QA as the authority for pest control in food facilities,” Hartzer said.