Melinda Hayman, Ph.D.
Melinda Hayman is a food microbiologist specializing in Food Safety. Melinda received her Ph.D. in Food Science from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.S. Hons in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Sydney. Melinda joined GMA in 2012 as Director of Microbiology. In this role she oversees critical food safety research, supports membership through technical and laboratory services and interacts with many segments of the food industry, as well as the academic and food regulatory communities, in order to track and interpret food safety issues and deliver effective solutions.
Prior to joining GMA, Melinda was the Director of Technical Services at Food Safety Net Services, where she managed Laboratory Quality Systems, Training, Method Validation, and Special Projects. In addition, Melinda worked as a Food Microbiologist for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Sydney, Australia.
Senior Manager of Food Safety and Quality Assurance
Kristen Spotz is the Senior Manager of Food Safety and Quality Assurance at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Washington, D.C., representing the world’s leading food, beverage, and consumer products companies. Kristen has an extensive background in sanitation, continuous improvement and change control. At GMA, Ms. Spotz oversees the import certification working group for FSMA, Food Safety Modernization Act, and leads the different working groups that assess the economic impact of FSMA. In addition, she is a HACCP trainer and reviews HACCP plans for GMA and is also a member of GMA’s sanitation group. Prior to her role at GMA, Ms. Spotz was a Quality Engineer along with a Quality Supervisor in a wide range of fields including medical device, snack foods and dietary supplements. She has both designed and managed the environmental and finished product testing programs at many facilities.
Ms. Spotz holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Central Florida where she graduated Cum laude. She is trained in HACCP and has engineering coursework in Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA). Ms. Spotz is a member of the International Association for Food Protection and was previously active with the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
Manager, Food Safety and Quality Assurance
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Samantha Cooper is Manager of Food Safety and Quality Assurance within the Science and Regulatory Affairs division at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Washington, D.C., representing the world’s leading food, beverage, and consumer products companies. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech where she graduated Cum Laude. At GMA, Samantha serves as the staff liaison for the Regulatory Inspections Compliance Committee and the Inspections & Enforcement Working Group.In addition, she assists in HACCP plan reviews for GMA members and is also a member of GMA’s Supplier Share Group.Prior to her role with GMA, Samantha was a Food Safety Manager at a sous-vide manufacturer.