Board MembersWisconsin Lab Association
Food Safety Net Services
Jake Parr is a Business Development manager at Food Safety Net Services (FSNS). As a Business Development Manager, Jake’s primary responsibility is to support the introduction of safe foods into commerce. He brings 15 plus years of experience in the food industry, focusing on food safety and quality assurance fundamentals in the production and manufacturing operations, in retail operations, as
well as in food testing labs.
Jake has been a member of WLA for 4 years and looks forward to participating in the WLA Fall conference. Being involved with WLA has been a great benefit professionally from the resources WLA provides. He believes Wisconsin Labs play a crucial role to help bring safe and quality foods to market and would like to be more actively involved by joining the WLA board.
Jake is the current President of the Wisconsin Section – Institute for Food Technologists (IFT). His education includes a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from University of Wisconsin-La Cross and a Master’s of Science Degree from Michigan State. He and his wife enjoy the benefits of all seasons Green Bay has to offer, running, hiking, skiing, traveling, boating, and of course, Packer Season!
Charm Sciences, Inc.
WLA 1st Vice President
Tami joined WLA in 2011 after speaking at the Fall Conference and being elected as a Board Member. She is an Account Manager for Charm Sciences Inc. Tami holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. She has 23 years’ experience in compliance, regulatory adherence, audit, laboratory, progressive quality pillar and project management, lean manufacturing, production operations, KPI and objectives planning and tracking. Past positions include Corporate Senior Manager of Microbiology for a large Cooperative Dairy, Quality & Regulatory Manager for a Global Cheese Producer and Laboratory Evaluation Officer (LEO) for the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Her favorite aspects of WLA are friendships with colleagues, educational conferences, and sharing expertise with laboratorians and other industry professionals. Tami is happily married for 20 years this year and enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has also played clarinet in a Symphonic band for 20 years.
WLA 2nd Vice President
Janine Mercer is a Lab Product Manager at Nelson-Jameson, Inc., and has been with the company for two years. Janine specializes in temperature monitoring solutions, chemicals and reagents for laboratory testing applications, agricultural testing products, Pathogen and Allergen test kits, and laboratory equipment such as ovens, incubators and water baths. Previously, she was a Laboratory Operations Manager for over 25 years with AgSource Laboratories, in Marshfield, Wisconsin where she managed over 20 staff members, conducted lab testing, and oversaw the operations of the facility on a day to day basis. Janine established and headed the Safety Committee for all AgSource locations and helped implement safety standards and procedures for the organization.
Janine is new to WLA, and is excited to serve as a WLA Board Member at Large. She is looking forward to building relationships with industry professionals, obtaining additional leadership skills, and sharing her many years of laboratory experience with the members of the association. She enjoys running, kayaking, traveling, and spending time with her kids, and spoiling her dogs!
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection – Division of Food and Recreational Safety
Lisa has been with WLA since 1995. She is a Laboratory Evaluation Officer at Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection – Division of Food and Recreational Safety, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Music. She joined WLA because it aids laboratorians in becoming relevant and innovative. It also aids in providing helpful information that can be used to improve results and techniques used in their workplace. Her favorite aspects are the interesting and informative conferences and workshops, as well as the networking opportunities they give. She also values the friendships made with fellow colleagues that would not have been possible without WLA. Lisa enjoys scrapbooking and card-making. She also enjoys singing with newVoices Choir in Appleton, which is an award-winning chorus that has toured in Europe.
Nelson Jameson, Inc.
Melissa Hoffman is the Department Manager for the Laboratory Department at Nelson-Jameson, Inc. She works along with the lab department to procure products helping customers in food manufacturing facilities and laboratories with solutions for quality testing food so that it is safe for consumption.
Melissa’s position truly mirrors the Nelson-Jameson tag line “Your Safe, Quality Food is Our Business”! Melissa graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a double major in Animal Science and Dairy Science and then followed with a Master’s in Dairy Nutrition. She has participated in several UW-Madison Short Courses at the Center for Dairy Research, obtained PCQI (Preventive Control Qualified Individual) for FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act), is an SQF (Safe Quality Foods) Practitioner, and previously held State of Wisconsin Cheesemaker and Cheese Grading Licenses. She recently was elected as a Co-Secretary to the Board for Wisconsin Laboratory Association (WLA).
Melissa started her career as a Dairy Nutritionist, then worked at a leading company in the direct-mail food and gift business as a buyer, merchandiser and eventually managed the merchandising department. Her most recent experience was at a large American-Style Cheese plant with experience in
managing production and quality assurance.
In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband, two adult children (whenever we can get together), and her pets. She enjoys traveling, the outdoors, gardening, lake life and any kind of skiing. Last but certainly not least, she is an avid Badger fan! On Wisconsin!
Meredith joined WLA in 2021 and instantly saw the value it what the organization could provide to members. Meredith is a Territory Sales Rep for the state of Wisconsin for AgSource Laboratories. AgSource Labs is a full-service lab offering testing in milk, food/dairy, drinking water, wastewater, plant and soil and environmental testing. AgSource has been in the lab business for over 30 years serving customers throughout the United States. As a territory rep, Meredith is able to help customers meet regulatory and customer testing requirements through consultative selling to help meet their needs in the most economical way possible.
Meredith has a passion for science that grew from being raised on a dairy farm in eastern Wisconsin. Meredith received her Bachelors Degree in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked for 15 years in product development and quality for Johnsonville, Roundys Supermarkets and Schreiber. She joined AgSource in 2021 and loves meeting new people who are also passionate about food and water safety.
In her free time, Meredith enjoys camping at National and State Forests and Parks with her husband and children. She also serves as a 4-H leader for sheep, dog, foods and community service projects in Waupaca County.
Center for Dairy Research
WLA Executive Director
Kristen has been a member of WLA since 1998 and during that time has held every position except Treasurer. She has found that WLA provides pertinent and current information for lab professionals in a welcoming and open environment. It is this type of environment that encourages questions and conversations to move the industry forward. There are also numerous opportunities to network, which has led to not only a plethora of resources, but also has made for many friendships. Kristen is a microbiologist with the Center for Dairy Research with a degree in Biology and Chemistry from UW-Stevens Point. She is also a member of several other professional organizations, including WAFP and IAFP.
In her spare time, Kristen enjoys all the seasons of Wisconsin- snowshoeing in winter, fishing in warm weather, and hiking during any season. If you find her inside, she is probably testing new recipes, or deeply immersed in a book, most likely a mystery.
WLA Board Member at Large
Bringing her Food Safety and laboratory experience to Nelson-Jameson, Kelsey has the opportunity to help customers ensure that their lab has what is needed to be successful. As a Technical Sales Manager at Nelson-Jameson, she is able to offer technical product expertise, provide training on select products, and assist customers with their food safety and quality programs.
She graduated from UW- La Crosse with a Bachelor of Science in Biology- Aquatic Science and went on to be a Lab Manager at a food manufacturing facility before joining Nelson-Jameson. With this, she understands the importance of industry experience and the support it brings.
Kelsey joined WLA in 2020 when she discovered the organization via her coworkers at Nelson-Jameson. It became very obvious how beneficial WLA was for the food and beverage industry and Kelsey was eager to be part of that. In 2022, she decided it was time to become more involved by joining WLA as a Board Member at Large. She’s excited to play a role in the future of WLA.
When she’s not assisting customers, you’ll find Kelsey taking every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and traveling to new places.
WLA Board Member at Large
I’ve been in the dairy industry for over 40 years, products range from butter to yogurt. I’ve been primarily in the QA/Compliance role, with a touch of production and logistics. My main focus is customer interaction, along with audit work, document preparation, and lab management. I live in northwest Illinois, about 10 miles from the Wisconsin line (near Monroe). My wife and I are empty-nesters of seven sons and are recent grandparents of the worlds cutest grandson. I enjoy golf, fishing, and traveling.
WLA Board Member at Large
Mitch has recently joined WLA and is currently a Territory Business Manager with Neogen where he provides food safety testing solutions to the food and beverage industry. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and has been working in the food industry for his entire career of 8+ years. Previous experience includes working for Ecolab to provide cleaning and sanitation solutions to the F&B industry.
Mitch joined WLA because it is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who work in and around the labs in Wisconsin and beyond. The WLA conferences are an incredible opportunity to share best practices amongst your peers while sharing the common goal of producing safe quality products.
In his free time, Mitch enjoys spending time with his wife and dog whether that means cooking meals or going on walks. As a true Minnesotan, he also enjoys playing hockey in the winter and spending time on the lake in the summer.
WLA Board Member at Large
Bio coming soon.