MANHATTAN, KANSAS, US — William E. Pursley, a longtime educator at AIB International and highly regarded food safety expert, died June 12. He was 75 years old.
Pursley joined AIB International (then known as the American Institute of Baking), in 1975, shortly after receiving his master’s degree in grain science from Kansas State University. He initially worked as an inspector in the northeast United States and Canada for AIB, later moving to the Institute’s headquarters in Manhattan, Kansas, US, where he was a program coordinator and then director of audit services. He eventually started the Food Safety and Defense Educational Department.
During his 35 years at AIB he helped establish offices or co-associations in many countries, including Europe, Japan, Latin America and China. He retired in 2012 as vice president of food safety.
In 2011, he was awarded the George B. Wagner Award at the International Association of Operative Millers’ 115th annual conference. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to mill sanitation and food safety. Presenting the award, Tony Petersen, then chairman of the IAOM Food Protection Committee, recognized Pursley as “someone who has been a tremendous resource for the milling industry — someone who is always willing to take a call or respond to an email regarding food/feed safety.”