MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — AIB International announced on April 4 that Stephanie Lopez has been named vice-president of food safety education. The position was previously held by Bill Pursley, who recently retired.

“Stephanie comes to this new role with a strong and balanced understanding of regulatory and technical issues, and is a proven field auditor and food safety training presenter,” AIB President and Chief Executive Officer James Munyon said. “As an AIB staff member, she has a solid understanding of our mission and goals and she also brings industry insight from experience working with Mission Foods, Kerry Food & Beverage, and Elite Spice, Inc.”

Lopez earned a degree in cell and molecular biology from California State University, Northridge. She has extensive professional experience in food safety management, education, and training, is a qualified auditor for HACCP, FSSC 22000, BRQ, SQF, AQS Lead Auditor, and is a trainer for SFQ, BRC, and HACCP. In addition to holding numerous auditing certifications, Lopez has authored multiple food safety publications. She initially came to AIB in 2000 as a food safety auditor and later became the HACCP coordinator.

"Following in the footsteps of food safety legend Bill Pursley is a great honor. Fortunately, AIB, with its wealth of knowledgeable and talented people, will provide me excellent support in my new role. With recent changes to regulations and technologies, this is an exciting time to be in the food industry, and I am looking forward to playing an integral role in food protection through AIB's renowned educational offerings," said Lopez.

Lopez will report to the senior vice-president, Maureen Olewnik, who served previously as the vice-president. She will focus on exploring new and innovative ways to share information with the industry; the use of technology to enhance both distance and face-to-face education; and on providing timely information on FSMA updates, and on GFSI, GMPs, prerequisites, and food defense training.