2013 GMA Litigation Webinar: Current Issues in the Food, Beverage, and CPG Industry

Speaker Biographies

**For full speaker bios, please click on the individual's name

Shannon Cooksey, MS, PMP Grocery Manufacturers Association
Shannon (Shana) Cooksey is the Senior Director of Science Program Management at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Washington, D.C., representing the world’s leading food, beverage, and consumer products companies.  Shana is a globally recognized project manager, matching cutting edge science to food policy issues, and delivering expert scientific and technical assistance to the food and consumer product goods industry.  At GMA, Mrs. Cooksey oversees all scientific program management activities, including managing all aspects of implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  In addition, she has also served as an active project leader for the APEC-PTIN work, staff lead for two Codex Committees, and staff liaison for the Allergen Committee, Economic Adulterations Working Group, Food Industry Analytical Chemists Committee and Beverages Committee.   Prior to her role as Senior Director, she supervised all laboratory operations and co-managed over 20 scientists and professional technical staff in the disciplines of chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, processing technologies, and packaging and product forensics. 

Jason E. Halper, Esq. Lowenstein Sandler, LLP
Jason Halper is a litigator who has dedicated his practice to working with clients in the technology, food and beverage, consumer products, and pharmaceutical industries. His primary focus is defending clients in class action lawsuits, having successfully defended numerous consumer fraud and securities fraud class actions in federal court. Throughout his career, Jason has also handled various other types of business litigation in the courts of New Jersey, New York, California, and other jurisdictions, including disputes over commercial contracts, business acquisitions and asset purchase transactions, commercial real estate, intellectual property licenses, and disputes under the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act and the Uniform Commercial Code, among other types of business litigation.

Steven Leslie, Esq. Grocery Manufacturers Association
Steven Leslie, a 1999 graduate of Johns Hopkins University, joined the GMA Claims Program in November of 2002 shortly after moving to Washington, D.C. Steven became the Manager of the Claims Program in 2007, and became the Senior Manager in January of 2011. While working at GMA, Steven also obtained his law degree from the George Washington School of Law, graduating with honors in May of 2011.

As Senior Manager and Counsel, Steven oversees all Claims Program operations. These operations include litigation management, non-litigated claims handling, laboratory testing, and claims system reporting. Steven also has primary oversight of all Claims Program conferences and webinars, including the annual Food Claims and Litigation Conference, Consumer Complaint Management Conference, Food, Beverage and CPG Litigation Webinar, and Consumer Complaint Management Webinar.

Christopher Loeber, Esq. Lowenstein Sandler, LLP
Chris Loeber is a partner in the Insurance Coverage Practice Group. He represents Fortune 500 and other large corporate policyholders in a broad range of complex insurance disputes, including matters involving comprehensive general liability, errors and omissions, first-party property, directors and officers, fiduciary liability, marine cargo and broad-based leveraged corporate-owned life insurance policies.

Chris’s client base spans many industries and includes life sciences companies, financial services providers, food manufacturers and distributors, oil and gas enterprises, retailers, chemical producers, franchisors and other sophisticated entities.

Marty Provin Jordan Lawrence
Marty Provin is Executive Vice President of Jordan Lawrence, a leading solution provider for records retention, data privacy and information governance. He has over 20 years of experience in information technology and governance.

Marty joined Jordan Lawrence in 2003 and advises in-house counsel, compliance and privacy professionals in the areas of records management, data privacy and e-discovery and the confluence of technology in these areas. He plays a key role in helping companies develop effective, defensible and cost effective information governance programs that address information across all platforms and media. He is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) and frequent contributor and speaker in the legal and privacy communities. Most recently he was a featured speaker at the 2011Twin Cities Privacy Retreat, 2011 Secure World Expos, and the 2011 IAPP Privacy Academy.

Prior to joining Jordan Lawrence in 2003, Marty spent 13 years in the technology industry where he worked with Fortune 500 Companies in developing solutions to manage workflow and increase efficiency.

Robert D. Towey, Esq. Lowenstein Sandler, LLP
Robert D. Towey describes himself as a problem solver for his clients. His goal is to create peace of mind and build enduring personal and business relationships with his clients, who know that he is readily accessible and always responsive. Moreover, Bob brings a keen intellect, wit, practicality and confidence to the table. What you see is what you get with Bob – straightforward and personal, working shoulder to shoulder with his clients to solve their business problems. As a result, he has maintained many loyal client relationships for nearly 30 years. Bob delves into cases and is able to distill complicated matters into practical legal and business strategies that often lead to successful business solutions. When such solutions are not possible then Bob’s singular goal is victory. He is experienced in all phases of litigation, at both the trial and the appellate levels, and has tried numerous jury and non-jury cases.

Bob has represented a broad spectrum of manufacturers and service providers in many industries in consumer fraud class actions, contract disputes, trade name disputes, public contract bidding protests, creditors’ rights disputes, toxic tort actions, product liability cases and franchisee/distributor disputes.  He loves the diversity of his practice and the issues he has dealt with and tried.