Will Madden has worked in the food industry for the past 20 years. He specializes in big-picture operations and supply chain management and contract negotiation between food companies and contract manufacturers.
Madden has helped everything from start-ups to multimillion-dollar businesses find perfect-match contract manufacturers, setting them up for long term success. He is also the author of “Separating the Con Man From the Co Man – A Guide to Contract Manufacturing" (Train of Thought Press, available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon).
Brandon Hernandez is a high-risk quality and food safety consultant with over 10 years of experience in every aspect of food safety, R&D and sanitation applications. With a B.S. in biology from Colorado State University and experience with Whitewave Foods corporate headquarters (formerly Zateca Foods), Rodelle/Custom Blending and Claremont Foods, Hernandez brings a wealth of knowledge to the table.
His depth of knowledge in the food industry includes: USDA and FDA processing applications, flavor and spice blending, snack and bakery manufacturing, vegetable dehydration processing, fresh-cut produce processing, bottling, harvesting practices, GAPs and frozen recipe meal manufacturing.
Along with the food safety aspect of manufacturing, Hernandez has worked on numerous R&D projects. His work includes “from scratch” recipe formulation to cost optimization and process improvement and extensive work in sanitation protocols and practices that include working with chemical representation in optimizing and understanding the necessary sanitation processes and practices.
Monica Smith graduated from Colorado State University in 2014 with a BS in Food Science and Human Nutrition. Since graduating college, Monica has been employed in the food industry with positions in both the R&D and QA departments. A considerable portion of her time has been spent with Co-packers and smaller start-ups; Monica also has many years of experience with corporate retailers and multi-million dollar companies.
Most of the past decade, Smith has focused on conducting GAP audits, educating and advancing companies to become GFSI certified and improving quality programs. Additionally, Monica is an SQF Practitioner and HACCP certified. Her experience spans a broad range: from RTE, snacks, bars and bakery to produce, frozen meals, USDA and butter.
Larry has over 25 years of business management, marketing and entrepreneurial experience including co-founding Sneaky Chef Foods, a national food line distributed in mainstream grocery and natural channels. Chase specializes in minimizing COGs via lean sourcing of ingredients and componentry, tight management of inventory levels and streamlining of logistics. He has maximized profitability at every business he has been involved in through accurate forecasting, competitive placement and pricing, market vision and trend analysis.
Steven comes to us with a wide range of skills but specializes in: forecasting and production planning, strategic sourcing, operations management, customer/vendor relations, logistics, lean manufacturing and streamlining supply chains to maximize profits.
Steven provides operational guidance so that companies can focus on growth and has been instrumental in helping to successfully bring several CPG products to market. With over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries, Steven has led small to large firms towards their successful growth.
Melissa Ortega has over 16 years of experience in food manufacturing specializing in Candy and Natural Foods. Holding positions at Claremont Foods, Hammonds Candies and Enstroms Toffee, Ortega has experience in supply chain, inventory management, forecasting, operations management, scheduling, accounting and logistics.
Ortega is able to look at business as a whole and move companies in the direction of a successful lean manufacturing facility. Ortega prides herself in customer and vendor relationships making every interaction pleasant and productive.
Ortega has also sat on Food Safety committees, participated in audits such as Siliker, SQF and Kosher. She is well versed in certifications such as Kosher, Non-GMO Project, and Organic Certified and is HACCP certified.
Elizabeth Uriyo, Ph.D. is a tenacious technical and business leader with a strong record for leading the timely delivery of relevant solutions to customer and consumer needs. Elizabeth currently serves as Senior Director in Global Program at Compassion International where she provides day-to-day leadership and management of Global Program (serving 25 countries in the Global South with over 1.8 million children) in the areas of program strategy, resource allocation, monitoring (people, financial and child availability), administration, and information technology.
Prior to joining Compassion International, Elizabeth worked in the food industry for twenty years where she held positions of increasing responsibility in Research and Development leading basic and applied research to inform product and process innovation, renovation and cost optimization. Driven by the scripture from Luke 12:48, Elizabeth continues to devote her life to identify opportunities to build human capacity in Tanzania; based on potential not history, by investing in the development of people and of Small and Medium Enterprises.
Elizabeth completed her Ph.D. in Grain Science and Industry (Food Science) in 1996 from Kansas State University and a MBA in 2010 from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. A native of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; Elizabeth Uriyo resides in the Denver Metro Area in Colorado with her husband and three teenagers.
Beth Weber’s depth of knowledge in the food industry includes the following:
- 30+ years in the food industry
- Project Management from ideation to commercializations
- Process Optimization
- Specification Development
- Training and Teaching
Weber is HACCP Certified
- Post Foods LLC R&D and Principal Scientist
- Frito-Lay Manufacturing
Arlent Halili comes to us with a fresh outlook in co-packing. With a degree in finance, he has worked with many small business owners; his experience ranging from valuating businesses and conducting industry research to providing owners with prized insight toward the growth of their business. With 3 years of experience in food manufacturing operations, Arlent recently moved into project management. He supports and works closely with the rest of the team to move projects along quickly and successfully.
Nadeem Robert Srouji
Nadeem Srouji has over 15 years experience in the CPG food industry, seven of which involved contract manufacturing, sourcing, operations management, contract negotiation and innovation projects for fortune 500 companies and start-ups.
Having managed contract manufacturing operations at Nestlé and Unreal Brands, Srouji brings vast experience and knowledge of the confections and snacks industry, including development of best practices to drive innovation, flexibility, speed to market and cost savings.
Anthony Rocco has more than 40 years of experience in manufacturing operations with leading companies in the food, pharmaceutical and confectionery industries. He has performed significant work with product and plant start-ups, project management, management development, cost control, labor management relations and negotiations, and contract manufacturing, moving major brand and new products from internal manufacturing to successful contract partners.
Jadon Groves began working for Whole Brain Consulting at the beginning of the year 2017 and has proven to be an asset to the Whole Brain staff. Jadon’s roles include but are not limited to: Marketing, internal support, office and schedule maintenance and providing resources for the staff of Whole Brain. His primary goal for the future is to complete additional supply chain certifications and begin working externally with clients by providing optimal solutions.
Bobby Simmons has more than 35 years of food industry experience including deli provision, fast food fulfilment, food manufacturing, project management and operations management including oversight of 20+ co-manufacturing sites while VP of Kashi Operations. He has just completed a 33-year career with the Kellogg Company in his role as Senior Director of Operations for KNA.
Supply chain expert Charles (Chuck) O’Brien is career focused on operations, contract manufacturing, and procurement, leveraging the latest tools to drive world class performance into end to end supply chains. Driven to optimize supply chain solutions and innovation. Mr. O’Brien provides a wide range of skills for the team of Whole Brain Consulting.
Mr. O’Brien, also known as Chuck, brings 15 years of end to end supply chain experience, driving sourcing, managing ongoing performance/optimization, implementing innovation, leveraging the latest procurement tools to drive negotiations and develop performance-based contracts to deliver short as well as long term solutions while mitigating risk. This includes direct financial, budget and continuous improvement responsibility. He also works as a people manager with extensive experience managing internal and external stakeholders. He has decades of large CPG experience where part of his work included driving global platforms strategy development and aligning it to internal manufacturing strategy. This has resulted in experience working globally in various countries and markets across various cultures. During his tenure, he has been leveraged to evaluate the supply chain of target mergers and acquisitions and organization development of the global contract manufacturing organization. He has direct experience in a wide variety of platforms: cereal, cookies, crackers, bars, snacks (various types), frozen entrees, waffles/pancakes, ESL/aseptic dairy, meat analogs, hot fill and aseptic beverages, bagels, retort, assembly (sandwiches) etc.
He started his career in 4 food manufacturing plants over 10 years where he held various roles in quality, and operations line supervision gaining an extensive background and knowledge of not only managing operations but also process and packaging technologies. Supplementing his strengths in supply chain is 9 years of direct innovation experience, scaling up and implementing projects at both internal plants and contract manufacturers. He not only has a strong working knowledge of the innovation process, but also a strong understanding of food formulation and processing requirements to produce quality cost effective products.
Michelle Muse joined Whole Brain Consulting in June of 2018. She has over 15 years’ experience in the food industry and has a B.S degree in Food Science from UC Davis and a M.S. degree in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has held roles in Quality Assurance and Product Development departments and in GFSI certification in a major certification body.
Michelle spent most of her career working for QSR and Fast Casual Restaurant Chains, with up to 5,000 locations, managing food safety and quality at both the restaurants and the contract manufacturers. Michelle is a certified SQF Auditor in 15 categories, an IFS Logistics Auditor, and an IFS Consultant. She is also a FSPCA Lead Instructor and has taught classes in FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Food and FSMA Foreign Supplier Verification Programs. Her latest focus has been on conducting certification audits and assisting clients with SQF, IFS, and BRC implementation and audit preparation and FSMA plan development. She has extensive experience auditing, training, and consulting domestically and internationally.
Rachel Mork brings 10 years of digital marketing experience to the table, providing site traffic analysis, SEO strategies, and a wide range of public relations and copywriting services. Client experience ranges from start ups to universities.