2020 President’s Award

President's Award Committee

2020 President's Award Pamphlet

Announcing the 2020 President's Award Recipient - Dr. Mary K. Schmidl

Dr. Mary K. Schmidl received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California-Davis and a MS and PhD degree in Food Science and minors in biochemistry and human nutrition from Cornell University. She is the former Vice President of Science and Technology for the Humanetics Corporation where she was responsible for new drug discovery and scientific and regulatory affairs. She was the Director of Research, Clinical Division of Novartis (Nestle, Inc.), responsible for medical foods, weight management products and medical devices. Prior to her work with Nestle, Dr. Schmidl directed the Nutrition Research Department for AG Bayer and was involved with intravenous feeding systems and medical foods. She has commercialized more than 75 new products, authored or co-authored over 100 refereed research papers, magazine articles, patents, book chapters, books. She is the co-author of the book: Essentials of Functional Foods and her published works have been cited > 900 times.

Mary joined IFT as a student in 1973 and was one of six finalists recognized for exceptional research in the global graduate student paper competition. Mary has been extremely active in the local MNIFT section since moving to Minnesota in 1982. Foremost, she is the only individual to serve the section twice as its President (1987, 2016). She has served as its Secretary (3 years), Councilor and Chaired the following committees: Board, Long-Range Planning, Program, Macy Award, President’s Award, Midwest Food Processors Conference. She has served the following committees: Silent Auction, Scholarship, Arrangements, Bylaws, Tellers, President’s Award, Strategic Planning and Financial Accountability. She is an active member of the IFT Nutrition Division serving as Chair, Secretary, Executive Committee Member and Newsletter Editor.

Dr. Schmidl has demonstrated extraordinary leadership by serving as IFT President (2000) and President of The Honor Society of Food Science and Technology (Phi Tau Sigma) (2013) and in 2018 the first woman President of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), an organization representing 300,000 food scientists across the world. She served IFT as its Assistant Treasurer (5 years), Board of Directors (11 years), Foundation Board (8 years), Distinguished Lecturer (9 years) and Chaired the Awards Committee and numerous other committees. Dr. Schmidl received the Babcock-Hart Award, the Carl R. Fellers Award, the Award of Distinction-University of California-Davis, the Friendship Award, Science Spirit Award from the Chinese IFT, the Woodroof Lectureship Award-University of Georgia, the Patrick Award-Louisiana State University, the Stiebling Lectureship-Florida State University and the Phi Tau Sigma Special Recognition Award. She is an elected Fellow of IFT, IFST & IUFoST. Dr. Schmidl served on Board of Directors of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP), representing 1.5 million scientists, served on the European Union’s Advisory Board for Food RisC Communication and a visiting professor at Jiangnan University-China.

History of the President’s Award

The President’s Award was established by the Minnesota Section of the Institute of Food Technologists in 1987. In the words of the Bylaw adopted to formally establish the Award, its purpose is “to recognize a member in the section who has served the Section and the profession in an outstanding manner”.

The Award consists of an engraved plaque with the citation and an honorarium. The presentation is featured at the first dinner meeting of the year for the Minnesota IFT Section.

All members of the Minnesota Section are eligible for this award. The selection of the award is made by a committee of the Section, which is comprised of current and former Presidents of the Minnesota Section with the committee begin chaired by the immediate past President of the Minnesota Section.

Nomination for the award may be made by the any member of the Minnesota Section. The Award recognizes the dedication that many IFT members have for their professional scientific society and says “thank you” to all who have given their time to improve the future of the food sector.

Prior Award Recipients

1987 - Emily Anderson
1988 - Elwood Caldwell
1989 - John Ringstrom
1990 - Karen Dragon
1991 - Rusty Nelson
1992 - William Davidson
1993 - Lorraine Smith
1994 - Edmund Zottola
1995 - Gary Richter, John Hall, Alden Drew
1996 - Elizabeth Knight
1997 - Katherine Swanson
1998 - Larry Pearson
1999 - Purnendu Vasavada
2000 - Gary Geist
2001 - Anand Rao
2002 - Frank Busta
2003 - Joseph Warthesen
2004 - Robert Freemore
2005 - Michael Mensing
2006 - Daniel Kennedy
2007 - Cheryl Dienken
2008 - Award Not Given
2009 - Award Not Given
2010 - Award Not Given
2011 - Award Not Given
2012 - Award Not Given
2013 - Award Not Given
2014 - Cheryl Dienken
2015 - Tina Hacker
2016 - Brenda Knapp-Polzin
2017 - Lisa Pannell
2018 - Sharon Herzog
2019 - Dana Dronen