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2019 Speakers

We are pleased to announce the 2019 speaker lineup:
  • Shoaib Arif

    Research Chemist Pilot Chemical Co.

    SHOAIB ARIF is a Research Chemist at Pilot Chemical Co., Cincinnati, OH. Previously, he was manager of technology at Degussa Corp. He has also worked for Lubrizol, Witco and Olin Chemicals. Arif has more than 30 years’ experience in surfactant applications, technical service, product development and formulations involving personal care and H I & I products. He holds 10 patents and have authored many technical articles in industry journals and magazines regarding personal care and H I & I product formulations. He can be reached at 513-939-6150 or via e-mail at

  • Heather Barker

    Global VP Regulatory, Hygiene/Home Reckitt Benckiser

    Heather serves as the Global VP of Regulatory for Hygiene and Home at RB, covering brands like Lysol, Harpic, Finish, Vanish and Airwick.  Prior to this, Heather was the Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs where she developed the regulatory strategy for projects across all phases and directed the activities of a team of regulatory professionals.  In that role, Heather represented company interests with local government agencies, industry associations and other organizations to influence legislation, regulations and/or guidelines that impact the Canadian business, and managed the protection and promotion of RB business, brands and initiatives.

    Prior to this, Heather served as the Government Relations Manager for S.C. Johnson & Son, ltd. Where she was the key external ambassador and representative for the company.

    Heather currently serves on the Board of Directors for A.I.S.E. (International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance) and had previous roles as Vice Chair for the Consumer Health Products of Canada Strategies Committee; Vice Chair of the Consumer Health Products of Canada Drug Scheduling Task Force and a Member of both the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Working Group on Waste Reform and the Network of Executive Women Mentoring Committee.

    Heather holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry with a Minor in Nutritional Science and a Masters degree in Toxicology.

  • Antonio Calcagnotto

    Head of Corporate Affairs at UNILEVER Brazil & President of ALIADA (LATAM) ABIPLA and ALIADA

    Antonio Candido Prataviera Calcagnotto is a graduated in Business Administration and Law. He holds a Masters in Strategic Planning (FGV / SP) with exchange at York University, Canada.

    In his career, Calcagnotto has held highlights positions in important companies, including: Marcopolo SA, Navistar International Trucks, Supermarkets Calcagnotto SA, Renault-Nissan Alliance and Unilever.

    Since January 2014, Head of the Corporate Affairs at Unilever Brazil, he is responsible for sustainability strategy for Unilever Brazil and External Affairs for Latin America.

    Besides being an executive of Unilever, Calcagnotto accumulates the positions President of ABIPLA (Brazilian manufacturing of Cleaning Products Industry), President of ALIADA (Cleaning Products LATAM Association), vice-president of ABIA (Brazilian Association of Food Industries), titular member of CNI - MEI (National Confederation of Industry/Business Mobilization for Innovation) and CNI-National Forum of Manufacturers. Member counselor of: CEBDS (Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development), of ABIHPEC (Brazil manufacturing HPPC Association - Personal Hygiene, Perfumery and Cosmetics), of Britcham (The British Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Brazil) and of  Dutcham (Dutch Brazilian Chamber of Commerce). Also, holds presidency of Britcham South Brazil.

    He is MBA professor in strategic business management, Communication & marketing and ethics since 1989 in couple universities, among them, mainly at ESPM.

    Additionally, Calcagnotto, in the public activities, holds the title of Commander (ComC), appointed and honored by the State of Parana/Brazil, thereby becoming member of the Order of Pinheiro, due to the work he carried out in favor of the social, industrial and economic development of Paraná/Brazil, as well as the negotiations and the support in attracting other companies to the state.

  • Jacob Cassady

    Director, Government Affairs American Cleaning Institute

    Jacob Cassady is Director, Government Affairs at The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI). ACI is the trade association for the U.S. cleaning product supply chain. Mr. Cassady advocates on chemical management, product safety, environmental and energy policy issues important to the cleaning products industry.

    Mr. Cassady joined ACI (then The Soap and Detergent Association) in 2010 as Manager of Government Affairs.  The Saint Paul, Minnesota native worked on Capitol Hill as an aide to former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) and the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.  Prior to moving to the Washington, D.C. area, Jake was active in a number of Minnesota congressional and state-level campaigns.

    Mr. Cassady holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) and a Master of Arts in Issues/Campaign Management & Media Relations from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

  • Melanie Ciriaco

    Group Scent Design Manager, Global Fabric Care IFF

    Melanie Ciriaco is the Fabric Care Group Scent Design Manager at IFF’s Bell Works, Holmdel NJ location.  She leads the Scent Design product development for a Global account focusing on cross-fabric care formats, leading a team of 5 Scent Design managers located in Brazil, Singapore, and the Netherlands. Melanie also manages a team of 6 regional Scent Design Managers covering North America. 

    Melanie has enjoyed 18 years of experience in the Fragrance industry, all of which have been at IFF.  Her career at IFF started with an entry position as a cosmetic bench chemist and after 3 years joined a pilot program to become an evaluator trainee in the IFF NY Perfumery School, training alongside trainee Perfumers.  Melanie graduated from the Olfactive Excellence Program in 2007, and began working on cross-category scent development projects. 

    In the last 10 years, Melanie has had experience partnering with Creative Perfumers to deliver superior scent solutions for brands such as Axe, Palmolive, Glade, Purex, Persil, Snuggle, Suavitel, Lenor, Downy, Ariel, and Tide as well as a direct role in commercializing IFF’s delivery scent technology to market across several regions.

  • Richard E. Engler, PH.D.

    Director of Chemistry Bergeson & Campbell, P.C

    Richard E. Engler, Ph.D. is Director of Chemistry with Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®).  Dr. Engler is a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is one of the most widely recognized experts in the field of green chemistry, having served as senior staff scientist in EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and leader of EPA's Green Chemistry Program.  He has participated in thousands of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) substance reviews at EPA, as well as pre-notice and post-review meetings with submitters to resolve complex or difficult cases, and he draws upon this invaluable experience to assist B&C clients as they develop and commercialize novel chemistries.

    Dr. Engler's expansive understanding of the specific challenges and opportunities TSCA presents for green and sustainable chemistry is a powerful asset for clients during regulatory review.  He assists clients in performing toxicological reviews, performing environmental fate modeling using Sustainable Futures tools, and preparing scientific and test data for regulatory submission.  He is particularly skilled in preparing Pollution Prevention (P2) statements to highlight the concrete environmental benefits of biobased or renewable chemicals, as well as other sustainable chemistry products and processes.

  • Melissa Grande

    Director, Sustainability American Cleaning Institute

    Melissa Grande is Director, Sustainability at the American Cleaning Institute (ACI). Since 2012, Melissa has served as a leader developing and supporting industry level sustainability initiatives and reporting for the cleaning product supply chain.  Melissa earned a BS in Chemistry from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a MS in Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering from Arizona State University. Prior to joining ACI, she worked at The Sustainability Consortium as a research associate in the Home and Personal Care Sector.

  • Scott Harrington

    Director of Product Avidbots

    Scott Harrington is Director of Product at Avidbots, where he leads the team that designs the hardware and software for the Neo autonomous floor-scrubbing robot. Neo is widely deployed in airports, warehouses, manufacturing sites, malls, universities, and other commercial spaces worldwide. Prior to Avidbots, Scott held leadership roles in multiple startups and businesses in the US and Canada in a wide range of industries including augmented reality, ed-tech, consumer electronics, and medical devices.

  • Clemens C. Heikaus, Ph.D

    Head of Microbial Cleaning Novozymes

    Clemens Heikaus is Novozymes’ Head Of Microbial Cleaning based in North Carolina. Together with his team, Clemens is developing and commercializing Microbial Cleaning solutions aiming to revolutionize the way consumers clean their homes. 

    Previously, he was Head of Marketing, Household Care North America at Novozymes. He also worked at Clariant as the Business Development Manager for Cellulosic Biofuels and was a Senior Associate at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on Corporate Strategy and M&A projects in the Chemicals industry.

    Clemens holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle.

  • Brent M. Heist

    Section Head, Packaging Sustainability Procter & Gamble

    Brent M. Heist leads the Global Packaging Sustainability team at Procter & Gamble.  He is located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Brent holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston and an MBA from Xavier University.  In his twenty-four years at Procter & Gamble Brent has worked in Process Development, Products Research and most recently Packaging Development spanning several of P&G’s business units.

  • Dr. Miyako Hisamoto

    Applied Technology Manager Product Line Cleaning Solutions Nutrition & Care – Care Solutions Evonik Corporation

    Dr. Miyako Hisamoto has worked in the consumer products industry for over ten years, most recently at Evonik Corporation as an Applied Technology Manager in the Cleaning Solutions Product Line within the Care Solutions Business Line, where she manages technical and innovation projects for the Fabric and Home Care segments. Miyako received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida.

  • Stuart Holt

    Global Technical Marketing Manager – Cleaning Nouryon

    Stuart has been working at Nouryon for over 15 years, and currently leads the global technical marketing efforts for the cleaning segment, which includes specialty surfactants and water soluble polymer products. Stuart has a Chemistry background from Imperial College, London, and has developed a varied career in technical, innovation, sales and marketing roles across a variety of indsutries, with a keen focus throughout in the development of sustainable and low toxicity chemistry. 

  • Matthew Vander Laan

    Head of Corporate and Public Affiars MonoSol, LLC, a Kuraray Division

    Matt Vander Laan is the head of corporate and public affairs for MonoSol, a global materials science company specializing in water-soluble, biodegradable polymers. MonoSol is a division of Tokyo-based Kuraray Group, a $5.4 billion specialty chemical company.

    Matt leads all internal and external communications activity for MonoSol, including corporate brand reputation, employee engagement, marketing communications, public affairs and social responsibility. He partners with MonoSol’s customers to protect and promote sustainable chemistries and innovative new delivery systems.

    Prior to MonoSol, Matt spent 21 years at Edelman, where he served as General Manager of the firm’s Chicago-based corporate advisory practice where he led a team specializing in reputation and issues management. His clients included Monsanto, Nissan, Scotts Miracle-Gro, United Airlines, 3M and Mars, among many others.

    Matt has served in various leadership capacities for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and as a trustee for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Today he serves on the board of directors of Trinity Christian College and on consumer education/outreach and reputation management committees for the American Cleaning Institute.

    Matt graduated from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL with degrees in English, Communication Arts and Science. Together with Christine, his wife, he is the proud parent of a teenage girl. Outside of work, Matt enjoys rigorous exercise and holds a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

  • Darrell Martin , PhD

    Product Consultant Lisam Systems

    Darrell Martin received his PhD in Chemistry at Texas A&M University and serves as a product consultant at Lisam Systems, a global provider of regulatory software solutions.  He is responsible for GHS and other compliance training, services and programs.  Dr. Martin leads Lisam’s implementation of the California and New York cleaning product disclosure regulations. When not working, he is usually playing soccer with (chasing, really) his two-year old.

  • Deborah Martin

    Global Product Stewardship and Sustainability DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences

    Deborah Martin is a Global Product Stewardship Manager for Dupont Nutrition and Biosciences.  She is responsible for implementation and maintenance of product stewardship, regulatory, and sustainability programs and processes associated with launching new products. Deborah works closely with the Home and Personal Care business to provide customer support in areas such as ingredient transparency, eco-labels, product sustainability, enzyme safe handling, and hazard communication.  She is also actively involved in trade associations and serves on the American Cleaning Institute(ACI) Sustainability Committee and the Enzyme Technical Association (ETA) Product Safety and Stewardship Committee.  Ms. Martin has over eighteen years of professional Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) experience in various industries including biotech/pharma, electronics, and semi-conductor manufacturing.  Deborah graduated from the University of Calgary in 1993 where she earned a B.S. in Microbiology, Oregon State in 1996 where she earned a M.S. in Public Health, and the Presidio Graduate School where she earned an Executive Certificate in 2010.  She is also a Certified Industrial Hygienist and earned her credential in 2005.

  • Michael Mattingly

    Executive Director – Product Management, Clothes Care GE Appliances, A Haier Company

    Michael Mattingly leads the Top Load Laundry product line for GE Appliances, a Haier company and is responsible for developing and executing the long term product strategy.  Over the last three years, GE Appliances has gone through a transformation with the sale of its business.  It’s focus is introducing leading products to the market with the goal of bringing happiness and wellbeing to every home.  Michael joined GE Appliances in 1994 and has spent the last decade leading product lines with a focus on bringing unique, consumer-focused innovations to the market. 

  • Dr. Yelloji-Rao Mirajkar, Ph.D.

    Senior Technical Associate Colgate-Palmolive Company, USA in R&D - Flavors and Fragrances Technology

    Yelloji-Rao joined Colgate in 1995 in Advanced Technology - Oral Care evaluating performances of different types of polymers that could potentially enhance delivery of natural and synthetic actives in oral cavity providing therapeutic benefits. He has worked in different categories (Oral Care - Cleaning and Whitening and Personal Care Products - Hair Care) with focus on innovation, margin improvement and developing new methods for laboratory testing, consumer validation and proof-of-principle.  

    After working in Home Care for few years developing innovative technologies for the delivery of fragrances providing consumers enhanced and pleasant experience, he is now working in Personal Care developing innovative technologies for the delivery of skin care actives and fragrance, and validating them through home use tests and clinical studies.

    Yelloji-Rao Mirajkar obtained his Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Columbia University, New York.

  • Duane Neidert

    Vice President, Americas - Information Division Smithers

    Mr. Duane Neidert is a former PwC Principal and a seasoned industry professional, having served as VP of Product Management and Development, Director of Strategy and Corporate Development and Chief Operating Officer in the home goods and building materials industries. Over the course of his career, he has focused on a multitude of strategic growth initiatives (organic and inorganic) as well as channel optimization, technology and service opportunities.

    An action and results oriented strategy professional with deep experience in developing growth strategies and driving execution with Fortune 500 companies and top tier consulting firms. Comfortable in communicating and influencing at all levels of the organization, from board of directors to front line personnel. Experienced across a broad set of industries such as internet-enabled products and services, software, semiconductors, building products, automotive, aerospace and industrial.

    • 20+ years experience in industries ranging from technology and software to industrial manufacturing
    • Ten years experience in studying industries and markets to develop growth strategies and execute on growth plans
    • Deep experience in leading cross-functional and cross-organization project teams

    Relevant Industries

    • Rubber and plastic products
    • Retail
    • Manufacturing
    • Industrial distribution
    • Consumer branded products


    • Growth and Expansion Strategies    
    • Technology and Product Roadmapping and Planning
    • Acquisition Strategy and Target Identification
    • Product, Channel, and End-user Strategies   
    • Market Trend Forecasting   
    • Acquisition Integration
    • Market and Industry Assessments   


    • MBA, University of Michigan – Ross School of Business, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • Bachelor’s Mechanical Engineering, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio
  • Bryan Parrish

    Research Fellow – Cleaning Innovation and Product Development The Clorox Company

    Bryan Parrish is  a Research Fellow in Cleaning Innovation at Clorox with a focus on product development and liquid formulation.  Bryan has over 12 years’ experience in the CPG industry leading technically complex initiatives and cross-functional, front end innovation teams to connect emerging technology, consumer insights, and business drivers in a wide range of product categories from sanitizing carpet cleaners, to concentrated film delivery systems,  to ranch dressing. 

    Bryan holds a PhD in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.  Bryan is currently a member of the Household and Commercial Products Association - Cleaning Division Executive Board where he leads the Education Committee.  In his free time Bryan enjoys non-technical mountain climbing and his most notable summits include Half Dome, El Capitan, Mt. Whitney and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

  • Dr. Yash Parulekar

    Global Product Strategy and Stewardship MonoSol, LLC, a Kuraray Division

    Dr. Yash Parulekar is the global lead on product strategy and stewardship at MonoSol. Yash in his role as product steward for MonoSol’s entire product portfolio of water-soluble, biodegradable films oversees product strategy, product line management, technical reputation management, sustainability, and social responsibility.

    Yash has been with MonoSol since 2011 in various roles in technical marketing and business strategy development. His expertise areas include bio-based materials, water-soluble polymers, unit-dose detergents, and

    packaging and has to his name multiple patents and peer-reviewed publications. Prior to MonoSol, Yash worked in technical roles at Encapsys and Appleton Performance Packaging both in Wisconsin.

    Yash serves on technical, regulatory, and sustainability committees and task-forces at the American Cleaning Institute in the US and at the European detergent Industry association (AISE). Yash is also on the advisory board for packaging at Cal Poly University’s Orfalea College of Business.

    Yash graduated from the University of Pune in India with a degree in Polymer Engineering followed by graduate work at Clemson (M.S. Materials Science and Engineering) and Michigan State University (Ph. D. Packaging Science). Yash and his wife Aishwarya have 2 young pre-teen children and they all enjoy traveling and martial arts together as a family.

  • Jamie Rosenberg

    Senior Global Household and Personal Care Analyst Mintel

    Jamie has close to 20 years’ experience as a competitive intelligence analyst and consultant, with a focus on new business opportunity, trend analysis and futures tools. Prior to Joining Mintel, Jamie spent 11 years with Kimberly-Clark Corporation, where he led intelligence projects supporting new product launches, corporate strategy and emerging market growth. Jamie also worked for ORC International where his role as a market opportunity consultant honed his ability to spot shifts in market trends, while exposing him to numerous businesses across the healthcare and consumer packaged goods industries.

  • Khaled Samirah

    Research Analyst Euromonitor International

    Khaled Samirah is a research analyst at Euromonitor International based in Chicago. In his role, Khaled conducts research in the Home & Technology research group, with principal focus on the US market. Khaled also provides client support, including strategic insight, to help inform the industry about the latest trends and projections for the industry growth ahead. Khaled comes with high praises for his dedication to learning and achievement, strong critical thinking, his ability to analyze complex information and translate it into useful insights.   

    Khaled is currently based out of Euromonitor International’s Chicago office, and he holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Research, with a Minor in Business Analytics, from University of Illinois at Chicago.

  • Brian Sansoni

    Senior Vice President, Communications, Outreach & Membership American Cleaning Institute

    Brian T. Sansoni is Vice President of Communication and Membership and Vice President of Sustainability Initiatives at the American Cleaning Institute.  ACI is the trade association for the cleaning products industry in the United States, based in Washington D.C.

    Since 2000, Mr. Sansoni has served as a spokesman for ACI and is responsible for the association’s external and internal communication activities, including media relations and promotion of the ACI’s technical, government affairs, sustainability and consumer education activities. 


    In 2012, he was named Vice President, Sustainability Initiatives, reflecting the work already done to build ACI’s sustainability programs that showcase how ACI members are leading the way in demonstrating sustainability every single day. This includes the 2011 release of the first-ever Sustainability Report for the U.S. cleaning products industry.

    Mr. Sansoni also directs ACI’s membership development and member retention efforts.

    Prior to joining ACI, Mr. Sansoni worked at the Grocery Manufacturers of America (now Grocery Manufacturers Association), the world’s largest association of food, beverage, and consumer product companies. While there, he served as Senior Manager for Public Policy Communications, working as a spokesman for association positions on issues like food biotechnology, food and product safety, obesity, and irradiation.

    Mr. Sansoni’s role as a trade association communicator has led to appearances on such venues as NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Fox News, CNN Talkback Live, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and numerous local TV news programs.  As a spokesman and media relations expert, he has successfully placed his trade associations in such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Time magazine, and numerous wire stories and local and regional newspapers.

    For more than eight years, Sansoni was a press secretary in the United States House of Representatives, serving as a spokesman for four Members of Congress.  Prior to that, he worked a radio news reporter in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

    Sansoni is a graduate of Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, PA, where he received a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism.  

  • Kathleen Stanton, M.S.

    Senior Director, Technical and Regulatory Affairs American Cleaning Institute

    With more than 15 years of experience with ACI, Kathy’s duties include research and analysis to support ACI’s scientific, regulatory and international programs. She manages the industry’s environmental fate and effects research efforts; she works closely with the oleochemical industry to promote innovation in new uses of oleochemicals; she technically reviews government and third party regulations/criteria on, among other things, chemical management and green chemistry/cleaning.

    She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Religious Studies from Manhattan College (NY) and graduated with a Master of Science degree in Applied Ecology/Conservation, with honors from Frostburg State University (MD). Prior to joining ACI, she worked at the United States Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences for the Department of Surgery where she was a Research Associate.

  • Brett Stevens

    Global VP of Material Sales & Procurement TerraCycle

    Brett Stevens is the Global VP of Material Sales & Procurement for TerraCycle, a waste collection and recycling company with a presence in 21 countries around the world. The company’s mission is to eliminate the idea of waste by developing collection and recycling solutions for traditionally non-recyclable waste streams, including everything from multi-layer flexible films and cigarette butts to beach and ocean plastic. Brett is heavily involved on the back-end of TerraCycle’s business, working to develop unique processing solutions for the materials that TerraCycle collects and finding downstream uses for these streams. Having been with the company for 9 years, Brett has been responsible for the development, growth, and ongoing management of many unique vendor relationships and supply chains. His projects have earned significant media coverage and have won awards from organizations like the United Nations, Business Intelligence Group, and One Planet.

  • Scott Tuchinsky

    Global Sales Director - Home Care & Water Treatment Croda

    Scott originally joined Croda in 1987 as a sales representative.  He left the company in 1990 to pursue his graduate degree full time.  Upon graduation, Scott joined Stepan Chemical as a National Account Manager with responsibility for multi-national accounts in the consumer markets.  He returned to Croda in 1997 and has since held a number of commercial positions covering markets such as Energy, Personal Care, Home Care, Polymer Additives, Coatings, Water Treatment, and Industrial Specialties.  In his current role, Scott is responsible for global sales into the Home Care and Water Treatment markets. In addition to his commercial role, Scott also sits on the global management team for Croda’s Performance Products business sector.

    Scott holds a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

  • Annemarieke Van Heeswijk

    Global Marketing Manager – Detergent Enzymes DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences

    Annemarieke van Heeswijk is Marketing Communications Manager at the DuPont Home & Personal Care division. She is responsible for giving strategic direction to the marketing and communication plans of the business and the global execution of these plans.

    Annemarieke is working in the enzyme business for 10 years now. Prior to joining DuPont she worked for DSM in diverse marketing and sales positions.

    A native from the Netherlands, Annemarieke holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Maastricht University with a specialization in Marketing & Innovation Management. She moved to the USA in 2013 and currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.

  • Katherine Velez

    Senior Scientist The Clorox Company

    Katherine is a Ph.D. trained chemist with more than 15 years of combined experience in chemistry, healthcare, and defense research.  She currently works at The Clorox Company as Senior Scientist, working on the electrospray technology.

  • Amanda Weeks

    Co-Founder and CEO Ambrosia

    Amanda Weeks grew up a few miles from Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill at the height of its operations in the 1980s. After a decade in different business roles, with a focus on data-driven approaches to launch and grow new initiatives, she became interested in sustainable food systems and naturally gravitated towards the waste problem. Over the past five years, she has grown her business from a lab experiment to an organic chemicals and materials company that provides critical infrastructure for cities and boasts a R&D roadmap of 20+ different products. Amanda led the company through the early stage startup world and has been successful in raising over $4M in venture capital funding.

  • Eric Yezdimer

    Research and Business Development Manager GELITA USA

    Eric Yezdimer is the Research and Business Development Manager for GELITA USA.  Eric has been with GELITA for 6 years and is responsible for guiding new product development, process improvement, process scale up and method development. He is also responsible for providing customer assistance on technical product applications and is the technical lead for GELITA’s NOVOTEC® products in North America. 

    Eric received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Delaware and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee. He has coauthored 19 peer viewed scientific publications in the fields of aqueous solubility, molecular simulation, enzyme dynamics and contrast agents for medical imaging.

  • Marianne Zappone

    Worldwide Director, Home Care R&D Colgate-Palmolive

    Marianne Zappone is the Worldwide Director, Home Care Research & Development for Colgate-Palmolive Company, responsible for development and implementation of Dish, Cleaner and Fabric Softener formulations globally.

    Marianne started her career at Colgate as a Research Scientist in Fabric Care R&D in 1993 working on Detergents. She proceeded through various roles of increasing responsibility, becoming Manager of Detergents R&D in 2005. In 2007 she then moved to Oral Care, responsible for implementation of Oral Care formulas in North America, including the launch of Optic White toothpaste. In 2012 she became Technical Director, Home Care in Global Supply Chain, responsible for capital budget and process development in the category. In 2015 Marianne became Director of Implementation & Support for the Mexico Global Technology Center in Mexico City, responsible for the daily operation of the GTC as well as for Implementation & Support for Home and Personal Care categories across various geographies. In 2018 she started in her current role leading Home Care R&D.

    Marianne has a B.S. in Chemistry from Villanova University and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Princeton University.