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SQFI Names Recipients Of Excellence Awards At Conference


The Safe Quality Food Institute, a division of FMI – The Food Industry Association, has announced Joe Wieland and Karen Vanegas as recipients of the 2022 SQF Excellence Awards at SQF Unites in Orlando, Florida.

Wieland was recognized with the Excellence in SQF Auditing Award while Vanegas received the Excellence in SQF Practitioner Leadership Award.

Excellence in SQF Auditing award

The award is given to a credentialed auditor who demonstrates exceptional performance and dedication to the SQF Program through audits, professional development activities, leadership and mentorship skills and promotion of food safety culture.

As lead auditor for the EAGLE Certification Group, Wieland provides a strong understanding and passion for food safety. He takes an approach to training and developing new EAGLE auditors, offering lessons learned from his personal experience, listening to concerns and sharing the intent of the audit deliverables.

“Joe is humble in his approach and takes every opportunity to learn and expand his knowledge, sharing it at each and every interaction with other auditors and site representatives,” said Nancy Berger-Turner, senior business development manager of EAGLE Certification Group. “We meet people along our career path that have a positive impact on many, and Joe Wieland is definitely one of those select individuals.”

Excellence in SQF Practitioner Leadership award

The award is presented to a practitioner within an SQF Certified Site who demonstrates extraordinary leadership and promotion of food safety at their workplace.

Vanegas is a coordinator of quality systems for The Hershey Co. and demonstrates dedication to the SQF Program by leading Hershey’s Monterrey plant team annually in audit certification. Vanegas’ leadership is displayed across all levels of her organization as she fosters a food safety culture to positively impact a facility with almost 2,000 employees.

“Karen has worked closely with her assigned plant cross-functional teams to drive food safety awareness and build quality advocates,” said Mike Lapioli, global regulatory and food safety at The Hershey Co. “She is passionate about her personal and professional development…and has been instrumental in her plant’s overall food safety performance.”

The awards are presented by Exemplar Global. For more information, visit SQFI.com/Sqf-Excellence-Awards-2022.

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