Consumer Issues Conference 2009

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Sandra EskinSandra Eskin Sandra Eskin is the Deputy Director of Policy and Research at the Produce Safety Project (PSP) at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. She has spent nearly 20 years as a  legal and public-policy consultant to numerous consumer and public-interest organizations, providing strategic and policy advice on a broad range of consumer-protection issues, in particular food and drug safety, labeling, and advertising. She served as a member of the USDA National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection from 2000-2006, and participated on the Congressionally-mandated Steering Committee for the Development of Useful Prescription Medicine Information. Ms. Eskin previously worked as a staff attorney at a government agency and as a legislative representative for the Consumer Federation of America. She has written numerous reports and articles on food-safety topics. Ms. Eskin received her JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and her B.A. from Brown University. She is a senior scholar with the O’Neil Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.

Donna ByrneDonna Byrne has been a law professor since 1993. Professor Byrne started her Food Law Prof Blog in 2006. Since then, her blog has had over 63,000 hits coming from all over the world.  She blogs on a wide range of food law issues -- from agricultural topics such as regulation of genetically engineered alfalfa, to labeling requirements for farm-raised salmon, from nutritional policy issues such as school lunch requirements, to foodborne pathogen outbreaks.  Byrne has written and spoken on several food law and tax law topics. She is organizing a session on Food, Law, and Values for the next Association of American Law Schools meeting.  Professor Byrne received her JD summa cum laude from Temple University, (graduated first in class, Managing Editor of the law review). She has an MS in Forest economics from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. Political Science and a BS in Forest management from Oregon State University.  Before joining the faculty at William Mitchell College of Law in 1997, she was an associate professor of law at Widener University.  Prior to that, she was in private practice with the firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Philadelphia. She is a member of the Food and Drug Law Institute, Institute of Food Technologists, American Public Health Association, as well as the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools.

Stephanie AndersonStephanie B. Anderson is associate professor of political science at the University of Wyoming. Her book, Crafting the EU Security Policy:  In the Pursuit of European Identity (Boulder, CO:  Lynne Rienner, 2008) is based on research undertaken as a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).  She has also published in several journals and edited volumes including Armed Forces and Society, and European Foreign Affairs Review. She was also elected as the European Union Studies Association’s (EUSA) Co-Chair of the European Union as a Global Actor interest section (2007-2011).

Garry AuldGarry Auld - Dr. Auld received his BS in Chemistry from Drexel University and his masters and PhD in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University, where he also became a Registered Dietitian. He has been on the faculty at Colorado State since 1989 and has over 50 publications. His primary research activities relate to the design and evaluation of community and school nutrition interventions.  He has directed the evaluation of the Integrated Nutrition Project in Denver Public Schools since its inception (1994); almost 20,000 children now participate in the 26 week intervention.  Dr. Auld co-directed a project promoting direct links between Colorado producers and food service institutions, developed a local Colorado food guide, and directed research looking at factors influencing producers to sell locally. He participates in the Northern Colorado Agriculture and Food Policy Council and teaches several sustainable food system courses.  He is often an invited speaker at food related conferences, e.g., Western Regional Slow Food, The Human Side of Farming, Michigan State’s Animals in the Food System, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Nichole BallengerNicole Ballenger  Nicole Ballenger, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, joined University of Wyoming in 2004 as the head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and began serving as associate vice president for Academic Affairs in 2005. She came to UW from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, where she began her career as an agricultural economist in 1984. From 1993 to 1996 Nicole directed the National Research Council’s study of the future of the land grant colleges of agriculture. During 1990 to 1991 she was senior staff economist for agriculture and trade for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Nicole received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from University of California at Davis and her B.A. degree in economics from University of California at Santa Cruz. Her areas of economic research and analysis have included agricultural policy and trade, Mexican agriculture, linkages between agricultural trade and the environment, agricultural research policy, and the economics of diet and health.

Edward BradleyEdward B. Bradley    Edward Bradley is associate professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture.  He has been the Associate Director of UW’s Office of International Programs, and has taught in both France and Taiwan.  Professor Bradley is a member of the European Studies Association and the American Agricultural Economics Association.  His current research includes the assessment of food product traceability programs and food safety regulation at various levels of government in both North America and Europe.  

Tim BurkinkTim Burkink – Tim Burkink is Dean and Professor of Marketing in the College of Business and Technology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He joined the UNK faculty in 2001 after serving three years on the faculty at Arizona State University. His research interests include interfirm knowledge transfer and a variety of consumer and supply chain management issues related to food consumption and marketing, as well as rural economic development. He has published articles in more than 10 national and international journals, presented his research at numerous national and international conferences and been associated with several federally-funded grants. His teaching interests are consumer behavior, professional selling and marketing management. Tim received his PhD in Marketing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has eight years of industry experience in wholesale distribution and brand management.

Mary Lou chapmanMary Lou Chapman – Mrs. Chapman is the President and CEO for the Rocky Mountain Food Industry Association. The Denver-based association is the trade organization for the Colorado and Wyoming grocery industry, representing retail grocers, convenience stores, and their wholesale suppliers. The association serves as a voice for its members with state legislatures, US Congress and the various governmental agencies who regulate the food industry. Mrs. Chapman’s previous work included being  the food editor for Colorado Country Life Magazine for more than 20 years. For several years she wrote a weekly food column for the Rocky Mountain News and presented a weekly food segment on Denver television. She has also held positions with the Colorado Department of Agriculture as the state’s only Consumer Food Specialist, and also as Home Economist for the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee. She was active in the formation of a number of consumer/industry programs, including the Colorado Farmers' Market Program, Colorado Farm-City Week, Consumer Food Forum, Colorado Food Bank (now Food Bank of the Rockies), and Denver’s Fixed-Income Consumer Counseling Program. She also helped to form a number of agriculture groups in the state, including the CO FFA Foundation

Dean FinkenbinderDean Finkenbinder – Dean Finkenbinder is the Program Manager for the Consumer Health Services division of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.  Prior to becoming Program Manager, he served as a Program Supervisor for Consumer Health Services for five years and in total, has more than thirty one years experience in environmental health and food establishment inspections.  Dean is the secretary of the Governor’s Food Safety Council, which reviews and comments on food safety rules promulgated in the state.  He is also the chair of the Water/Wastewater Task Force which is made up of individuals from the Environmental Protection Agency, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming State Engineers Office, Wyoming Department of Health, Wyoming Department of Agriculture and local health departments. Dean has a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and a M.P.A from the University of Wyoming.

Betty HolmesBetty Holmes Betty Holmes currently serves as the Health Educator for the Wyoming Department of Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. Prior to that, she completed a 28-year career with the University of Wyoming’s Cooperative Extension Service including 10 years as a County Extension Educator, 12 years with the State 4-H youth development program, and 4 years with the WIN the Rockies project. She received both her bachelor and master degrees from the University of Wyoming’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. She has been a Registered Dietitian since 1990. Betty was recognized as Wyoming’s Outstanding Dietitian of the year in 2004 and received the University of Wyoming’s College of Agriculture award for outstanding educator in 1999. In 2009, she was recognized for lifetime achievement in 4-H youth work and was awarded a lifetime membership to the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. When not working, Betty enjoys Wyoming’s great outdoors with waterskiing, snowmobiling, hiking, and hunting.
Renee KingRenee King Renee King is currently the Meat and Food Science Instructor at Sheridan College, where she teaches courses in food science, meat processing, food safety, and nutrition.  Ms. King also manages the Sheridan College Meat Lab, a state-inspected meat processing facility. She has previously worked for the Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, and Maverick Ranch Natural Beef. Renee is very active in the local and sustainable foods movement. She is the manager of the Sheridan Farmers Market and also a vendor at the market in a joint venture with the University of Wyoming. She is President of the Wyoming Farmers Marketing Association and oversees the Buy Fresh Buy Local state campaign. She holds a Master's Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Wyoming.
Jill Klawonn graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1997 with a BS in agricultural business. Jill and her husband Glen own and operate High Point Bison in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming  They raise bison, beef cattle, wheat, and hay on their third-generation ranch in the tri-state corner of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming.  They have been raising bison for 16 years and market all of their natural, USDA- inspected, grass-fed buffalo meat in small grocery stores, farmers' markets, natural food co-ops, and directly to consumers.  They also sell registered breeding stock and buffalo fiber and yarn, and they give educational tours. They believe in providing their customers with the most delicious, healthy, and affordable buffalo meat anywhere.

Devin KoontzDevin Koontz– Devin Koontz is the Public Affairs Specialist for the Food and Drug Administration, is the Denver District's spokesperson to media, congressional staff, federal, state and local regulatory agencies, health professionals, consumers, academia, and regulated industry associations in CO, NM, UT, and WY. He provides information on all areas of FDA's broad regulatory authority. He leads the agency’s field communication program as chair of the ORA Public Affairs Executive Council and also occasionally mediates employment disputes for other federal agencies based in the Denver area. Devin is a Colorado native and has been with the agency since 1991. He is a proud graduate of the Metropolitan State College of Denver where he earned a BA in Technical Communications. The FDA website can be found at

Mike McCallum Mike McCallum is the Chief Strategy Officer for the National Restaurant Association. He is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the strategic direction for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundational. In this role he works with the two respective boards of the organizations, the state restaurant associations, and the senior staffs of both organizations. Additionally, he oversees the activities of the State Relations and the Strategy departments. He grew up in the restaurant industry, building fine dining and catering businesses in Eugene and Medford, Oregon. He was a volunteer leader of the industry trade association during that period. His family remains in business in Oregon today. Mike is a Certified Association Executive, a graduate of the Institute of Organizational Management, and holds a degree in Organizational Leadership from George Fox University. Mike has offices in Chicago and Washington D.C. and lives with his wife Gretchen in Canby, Oregon.

Karen McManus Karen McManus is co-owner of Wolf Moon Farms, a certified organic vegetable, herb and flower farm located in Wellington, Colorado. With over 20 years of organic farming experience, Karen grows for and sells to local restaurants, CSA members, farmers markets and farm to school programs.

Enette Larson-MeyerEnette Larson-Meyer Dr Larson-Meyer is an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming. She has a background in both nutrition and exercise physiology and has published numerous scientific and lay articles which focus on how nutrition and exercise influence the health and performance of active individuals. Her research centers around how nutrition influences the health and performance of active individuals at all stages of the lifecycle and at all levels of performance. Dr Larson-Meyer has been a vegetarian for over 20 years. She is past Chair of The Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice group (of the American Dietetics Association) and author of Vegetarian Sports Nutrition : Food Choices and Eating Plans for Fitness and Performance.  Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2007. Enette is an avid trail runner who also enjoys Irish Dance and running after her three vegetarian children.

Warrie MeansWarrie Means – Warrie Means is an associate professor of meat science and food technology in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Wyoming. His research program focuses on both basic and applied areas of animal food product development and investigating technologies that can increase the value of muscle food products.  Technologies which would allow production of low fat processed meats are being developed. – Also serves as Wyoming’s Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) coordinator, working with Wyoming’s Department of Agriculture to provide technical advice, assistance, resources and conduct activities to support HACCP implementation in small and very small meat plants. Coordinators are affiliated with Universities and provide additional one-on-one advice and assistance to small and very small plants. Coordinators also develop and provide training and HACCP seminars.

Tracy MurphyTracy D. Murphy, MD – Dr. Tracy D. Murphy, M.D.,  is the State Epidemiologist and Deputy State Health Officer for the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), In his current position Dr. Murphy works with WDH programs to coordinate and oversee the assessment and investigation of conditions that pose a threat to public health, and works to implement appropriate control measures.  Prior to serving in his current position Dr. Murphy was a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer.  Before his career in public health Dr. Murphy was a hospital-based anatomic and clinical pathologist where he functioned as the medical director of a microbiology laboratory and the physician advisor to a hospital infection control committee.

Deb PaulsonDeb Paulson is a co-founder of the Laramie Local Food group whose mission is “to foster increased production and consumption of sustainably grown food in the Laramie Basin and the surrounding region needed to supply Laramie's food needs.”  She is also on the Board of Directors for the Big Hollow Food Coop. Deb is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Wyoming.  Early in her academic career her research included subsistence food security in Samoa and perceptions of alternative agriculture among county extension agents in Minnesota. She currently co-teaches the Campus Sustainability course at UW.


Marla Petersen is the founding general manager of Big Hollow Food Co-op in Laramie. Big Hollow, a retail outlet for local, organic and natural foods, is the first natural food co-op in the state of Wyoming. It has been open for 2 years. Prior to starting Big Hollow, Marla worked as a manager and regulator in the aviation and pharmaceutical industries. She has also owned and managed several food related businesses. 

Melea Press – Melea Press is an assistant professor of marketing and sustainable business practices in the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Wyoming. Her research interests include values, communities and relationships. She investigates ways that individuals develop and transform through their involvement with communities. She researches sustainable agriculture communities – how they are marketed to consumers and differ from more mainstream shopping opportunities. She plans to work with local food groups in Wyoming. She is a board member of the Laramie Big Hollow Food Co-op.

Dee PridgenDee Pridgen – is Associate Dean and Professor of Law, at the University of Wyoming’s College of Law. Her subjects include Consumer Protection, Contracts, Antitrust, Communications Law, Constitutional Law, and Internet Law. She received her Juris Doctorate in 1974, from New York University, and a B.A. in 1971, from Cornell University. Pridgen's publications include two treatises aimed at practicing attorneys, Consumer Protection and the Law, and Consumer Credit and the Law, both published by Thomson/West, and updated yearly. She is also a coauthor of a law school casebook entitled Consumer Law: Cases and Materials (Thomson/West 3d edition). She has written articles and reports on consumer law, and has given presentations at international consumer law meetings in Helsinki Finland and Auckland, New Zealand. She has also presented at and been the co-chair of the Consumer Issues Conference held yearly at the University of Wyoming since 2001.

Mary Kay WardlawMary Kay Wardlaw – is the director of the Cent$ible Nutrition Program for Wyoming. Cent$ible Nutrition helps low-income families eat better for less. Mary Kay started as director in January 2006 after serving as education specialist. Mary Kay recently completed her PhD at the University of Wyoming in Adult Education. Prior to her work with Cent$ible Nutrition, Mary Kay served as the Project Education Specialist for WIN (Wellness IN) the Rockies, a community-based health improvement project in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Mary Kay developed and/or identified and adapted community-based health-centered interventions to promote healthful and pleasurable eating, physically active living, and respect for diverse body sizes. WIN the Rockies was a 4-year research, education and outreach project funded through USDA and based at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Mary Kay also spent 16 years as a county-based Extension educator in Albany and Big Horn Counties.  Mary Kay received an M.S. in Agricultural/Cooperative Extension from UW in 1985, and a B.S. in Agricultural Communications in 1983.

Ann whitmannAnn Wittmann has been the Executive Director of the Wyoming Beef Council since 2003.  Prior to that, she served as the Council’s marketing director for two years.  Ann was raised on a family owned and operated cattle ranch north of Cheyenne and has been involved in ranching and the agriculture industry since age 7.  Ann has an Associates degree in Agriculture from Laramie County Community College and a  bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Wyoming. Wittmann has also worked outside of the beef industry, marketing collectibles, supervising a call center, and she was the owner / operator of  her own business in Cheyenne.  


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