Shari Plimpton, Ph.D.

Getting to Know Shari Plimpton, Ph.D., Vice President, Director of Food Industry Programs

We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.

We’re continuing our Getting to Know CIFT blog series with our Vice President, Director of Food Industry Programs, Shari Plimpton, Ph.D. Shari has been with CIFT for 20 years and has been at the forefront of innovation in the food industry. We asked her some questions to get a glimpse into her role and what makes her excited to work for CIFT.

What do you do at CIFT?

I guide a team of food scientists and technical specialists to assist food processors with technical issues, including technology acceleration, supply chain issues, food safety, product development, automation and facility development.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

Being of service to the industry that feeds the people of this country and the world.

What has been your favorite project so far? 

Oh, that is a tough one. I have been privileged to work on so many great projects solving important problems. I will confess to having a soft spot for product development, particularly ice cream.

What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT? 

We are focused on doing whatever we can to support your business and advance the food industry.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I’ve been face to face with a black bear and got away unscathed.

Get to know more of the CIFT team.

Kareem Hammuda

Getting to Know Kareem Hammuda, Small Business Development Specialist

We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.

In this edition of Getting to Know CIFT blog series, we are learning a little more about our newest team member, Small Business Development Specialist, Kareem Hammuda. Kareem started with CIFT in September 2021 and will play a huge role with the small businesses we work with at our Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen. We asked him some questions to get a glimpse into his role and what makes him excited for this new opportunity.

What do you do at CIFT?

I help assist small businesses and new entrepreneurs grow or start their business.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work? 

I have always been the type of person who likes to help and make a difference to people. What I like most about my position is I can do just that. I am amazed at the product and ideas people have and what they have accomplished. I love that I get to be part of their success story. That’s why I love my job. 

What do you like the most about working at CIFT?

I love how CIFT creates opportunities for people. CIFT gives them the tools and resources to succeed with their amazing programs and the NOCK. I’m really looking forward to the Food Entrepreneur Boot Camp course because it will help answer some of the questions local entrepreneurs may have when starting their business. 

What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT?

I am here to help you grow. My main job is to help your small business. If you need help with any new product, service, or just want to say hello, feel free to contact me. 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I am the owner of Finjan Coffee Co. which produces Turkish Style Cold Brew. Being an entrepreneur myself, I understand the challenges faced when starting on your own. It’s hard, but if we work together, it will become easier. My personal motto is “Together, we can make a difference.” I use that in everything I do. 

Get to know more of the CIFT team. 

Holly Clapp

Getting to Know Holly Clapp, Accounting Clerk and Human Resources

We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.

Next up in our Getting to Know CIFT blog series is our Accounting Clerk and Human Resources, Holly Clapp. Holly has been with CIFT for a little over 11 years and she is vital in the day-to-day success of the company and employees. We asked her some questions to get a glimpse into her role and what makes her excited to work for CIFT.

What do you do at CIFT?

I perform general accounting and human resource functions along with various related duties, reports and keep CIFT in compliance with labor laws and postings.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

I enjoy the people I work with and knowing I can be the person they can turn to for assistance. Whether it’s by helping them with paperwork, getting them something they need, or being someone that can listen to their problems or concerns.

What do you like the most about CIFT and/or your job?

I really enjoy planning company celebrations and events for staff team building and accomplishments. I like that I can be the face of the company during the hiring process when connecting with applicants and have had many compliments from them.

What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT?

My job has evolved in many ways since I started here and I am happy that I have become more comfortable along with management in my role and responsibilities. I love to keep busy and have many things going at the same time while helping others as much as possible.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I love to cook and plan parties. I love trying new recipes my daughter finds on Pinterest. Our whole family enjoys cooking together from a small family meal or a large gathering. Basically they are my sous chefs and I boss them around, but it’s very satisfying when it all comes together perfectly.

Get to know more of the CIFT team.