Having driven the direction of QA since its near beginning, I’ve seen many of my food industry peers change direction — switching companies for upward movement; moving to a different segment within the food industry; and, more and more frequently, taking an early retirement of sorts to move into more of a consulting position.

Even when self-initiated, these changes likely left the person with conflicting emotions — from somberness at leaving behind coworkers and friends to the anticipation that comes with starting anything new.

But with all that oscillation, change is good. It can be revitalizing for the person, the company to which one is headed, and that which is being left behind. And that was exactly my intent in drawing down my position with QA magazine and accepting a role with The Acheson Group (as seen by the changed author description at the end of this column, and all the articles I wrote in this issue).

It is an invigorating time for both QA and me, but you can be sure that I have been having my own conflicting emotions. QA has been good to and for me. The team has always been supportive; I have met incredible people and made lasting relationships at QA and industry wide. I have enjoyed driving the direction of the magazine and helping it grow and develop — just as it has helped my own experience and expertise grow and develop. But I truly feel that, after 16 years, it is time for a change. It is time for QA to be carried further into the 2020s in a new, contemporary direction.

But I am thrilled to say I will still be a small part of that new direction. As I shift to Senior Advisor, I will continue have a strong presence through year-end as we bring on a new editor. Then as we move through 2021, I will be a member of the QA Advisory Board; you will continue to see “by Lisa Lupo” on some features; and you may hear from me with a Cover Story request, for citation in an article, or to write your supplement or advertorial.

I suppose it is significant that this change is occurring in the year of so much other change. But I see 2021 as bringing positivity in so many areas, and I look forward to continuing to work with industry communications, and potentially many of you, in my new positions.

Lisa Lupo, Senior Advisor and Former QA Editor