MCLEAN, VA. — The Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) announced the recipients of this year’s Women’s Alliance Network Red Circle Honors, which recognize people and companies that have made a positive impact on women’s careers and gender balance in the food and beverage industry.
The Rising Star award was given to Alidea Boerhave of Rome Grinding Solutions, Sheldon, Iowa. The Innovation and Inspiration accolade went to Nicole Cammarata of Commercial Food Sanitation (CFS), New Orleans. The Career Excellence distinction was awarded to Kohl Schrader, Ph.D., of Poly-clip System, Mundelein, Ill. The Achievement in Developing and Promoting Women award was granted to Bollin Label, Toledo, Ohio. And the Male Ally accolade was assigned to Daniel Voit of Blentech Corporation, Santa Rosa, Calif.
FPSA will present the Red Circle Honors to recipients at the Women’s Alliance Network Breakfast, Oct. 24 during Process Expo, in Chicago.
The association awards the Rising Star title to a woman with fewer than five years of industry experience who has “made a noticeable impact via professional achievements and personal influence.” Boerhave, who joined Rome Grinding Solutions in 2019, is now the food and beverage manufacturing supplier’s director of operations, overseeing sourcing, scheduling and operations departments, while also guiding the company’s management team. Nicole Chestnut, vice president of operations, said Boerhave displays “exceptional talent and dedication” in her work.
The Innovation and Inspiration honor goes to a woman who in the past 18 months delivered “game-changing innovation or an inspiring idea.” Global training manager at CFS since 2016, Cammarata is credited with taking the initiative to “explore avenues for elevating food safety and mitigating risk.” She recently launched an updated in-person hygienic design training with 16 digital modules to create the CFS hygienic design certification program.
The Career Excellence recognition is granted to “a woman dedicated to the food and beverage industry who has taken a proactive approach to personal and professional development.” The director of applications for Poly-clip System, Schrader oversees technical application support, equipment demonstrations, automation projects, and regulatory compliance for the company in both the United States and Canada. The company described her as pivotal to enhancing thermal processing and manufacturing efficiencies at its business partners’ facilities, and added that Schrader’s day-to-day work contributes “significantly” to profitability and business growth. She also uses lectures, presentations and equipment demonstrations at events and academic institutions to share her industry knowledge.
The award designed to honor an FPSA member company, Achievement in Developing and Promoting Women, went to Bollin Label for its “longstanding commitment to gender equality and inclusivity.” A majority woman-owned business, two-thirds of Bollin Label’s executive team are women. Per FPSA, the company maintains fair compensation practices and fosters “a supportive work environment with flexible options, accommodations for nursing mothers,” and offered educational support for employees’ children during the pandemic. Also of note, Bollin Label shared that its commitment to inclusivity can be seen in its fair compensation practices, as women at the company earn, on average, $1.10 for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.
FPSA’s Male Ally distinction was created to honor a male colleague “who actively supports, promotes and develops the careers of other genders in the workforce.” The chief executive officer at Blentech, Voit was described as a dedicated mentor and advocate, who takes a proactive approach to advancing women’s careers at the company. The association shared that Voit’s leadership “has nurtured a culture of empowerment and open communication, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued.” He also has been credited with developing future female leaders not only at Blentech, but also throughout the industry.
Brian Perkins, FPSA’s chairman, said the Red Circle Honors “represent a powerful testament to the remarkable individuals and companies driving positive change” in the food and beverage industry.
“We celebrate their dedication to advancing diversity, innovation and excellence,” Perkins said. “In a field as dynamic as the food and beverage industry, their contributions inspire us all to reach higher and create a more inclusive future.”
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