Board MembersWisconsin Lab Association
Jessica has been with WLA for 8 years and has been an active Board Member. She graduated from UW – La Crosse with a degree in biology and then worked as an Analytical Chemist at Covance in the Nutritional Chemistry and Food Safety department. Jessica joined WLA because many of her co-workers were directly involved and have served on the WLA board. When she began working at Nelson-Jameson, she observed secondhand the benefit her colleagues were getting from the Wisconsin Laboratory Association and wanted to be involved. There are many years of experience and industry expertise that serve as a constant resource to her and her day-to-day responsibilities. Jessica’s favorite aspects about WLA are learning new things, meeting new people, and having a great group of industry experts to go to when she needs questions answered or ideas to bounce. She enjoys running, biking, traveling, exploring and spending time with her family.
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
WLA 1st Vice President
Adam is the Director of Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory Compliance for the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. He has a B.S. degree in Chemistry, B.S degree in Food Science and M.S. degree in Food Safety and over 20 years of industrial experience in Laboratory, Quality, Research & Development and Food Safety roles.
Adam has resumed his membership in WLA in 2019 after returning to Wisconsin so that he can give back to an organization that provided him with learning opportunities early in his career. He originally was a member from 2008 to 2011 and looks forward to the educational and growth opportunities through WLA events. He feels that WLA is a very unique organization and that every laboratory employee should look to join.
Adam is active as Treasurer for WAFP and held roles as the ASQ Food, Drug & Cosmetic Division Newsletter Editor and Past Chair, Chair, Vice Chair and Board Member at Large for Bluegrass IFT. He is also a member of the Regulatory & Academic Committee – American Chemical Society and a member of the Dairy Rules Advisory Committee.
He has four children and coaches youth sports in his spare time. He used to raise ducks and turkeys back in Indiana and is looking to get back into this again in the near future. He is a member of a number of industry organizations and is always looking for ways to collaborate and help others.
Food Safety Net Services
WLA 2nd Vice President
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!
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.
Muscoda Protein Products
Danya has recently joined WLA and is the Food Safety Coordinator and SQF Practioner at Muscoda Protein Products. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology combined with nine years on the dairy industry- specifically in the laboratory, quality control and food safety aspect. She joined WLA for the valuable opportunities to network with others in industry and the laboratory field. Danya lives in Richland Center with her son and miniature dachshund. She enjoys gardening, traveling, playing sports and family time.
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!
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.
Board Member at Large
Matt joined WLA in the fall of 2018, where he was elected as 2nd Vice President. He is the Training Manager for Cherney Microbiological Services and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, with more than six years of experience in laboratory and food manufacturing. He was drawn to WLA for the incredible networking experiences and the opportunity to grow his career through education and the experience of colleagues. His favorite aspect of WLA is that the organization allows industry professionals to leave competition at the door and collaborate for the sole purpose of improvement through education and networking to develop more effective laboratorians. Matt lives in Denmark, WI with his wife, daughter, and two golden retrievers. He enjoys time with family, hunting, fishing, and taking in the great outdoors.
WLA Board Member at Large
Janine Brecht 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!
Charm Sciences, Inc.
WLA Board Member at Large
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.