We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.
That’s why we are launching this new blog series all about our frontline team members. It will give you insight into their expertise, favorite projects and what motivates them every day. Up first, Stacy Vernon, Food Safety and Operational Specialist.
Stacy Vernon is our Food Safety expert here at CIFT. She has worked at CIFT for almost five years and has helped many companies stay up-to-date on their food safety standards and trainings. We asked Stacy some questions to get a glimpse into her role and what motivates her.
What do you do at CIFT?
I provide food safety training, support and assistance to food manufactures of all sizes. I also work with our membership companies to provide support and resources based on their needs. Another important aspect of my job is to build relationships with companies all over the state of Ohio to help them see CIFT as a resource to call for when they are looking to explore new ideas, just have a regulatory question or need support in any area of their business. I am also a lead PCQI instructor.
What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
The opportunity to meet new people and knowing I play a very small role in ensuring the food we all buy is safe. Food is a part of our everyday life and seeing new and creative products come to market is exciting. However, knowing for some of the products on retail shelves, I played a role in ensure the process was validated properly or the company has the right training in place to monitor product safety is rewarding.
What has been your favorite project so far?
There are too many to choose from. Often I receive calls from companies that are panicked because they need a 3rd party audit completed. It is either needed to keep a current account or to gain an account that could lead to great growth potential. The organization has usually researched what the audit requirements are but feel overwhelmed by the entire process. Working with them to understand the process and then build and implement their programs can take some time, so I build a great relationship with the organization’s staff.
Once they have complete the audit successfully, it is awesome to receive the phone call and hear the excitement in their voice as they inform me on how well their audit went. I love hearing that excitement and I can feel the sense of pride they have as they know they put a lot of hard work into achieving that certificate. The same can be said for clients I work with to meet regulatory compliance and hearing the sense of relief after a satisfactory inspection is always awesome to hear.
What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT?
Food Safety is ultimately what keeps companies in business and growing. It can be challenging and many times I hear “wow that’s a lot of paperwork”, it is, but it can ultimately be your company’s lifeline. If employees at all levels understand the reasoning behind the food safety program, they understand why it needs to be done. They can then pride in knowing how their job affects food safety and that usually leads to less resistance in following procedures and completing documentation as needed.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Once upon a time I use to be a runner and completed 2 half marathons, a Tough Mudder and Savage Race.