"I choose to attend RIT because of their “real” world approach to education, its emphasis on team collaboration and its encouragement to use critical thinking skills."
In what ways has Saunders/RIT prepared you for the job market?
I choose to attend RIT because of their “real” world approach to education, its emphasis on team collaboration and its encouragement to use critical thinking skills. The tools we were taught for our lives in business applied to our co-op programs. The co-op approach helped to build a solid work ethic in the students and for their future. RIT is a launching pad for success for those who engage and are open to creating innovation. I am grateful for my excellent education at RIT that propelled my career and created the environment for the lifelong friendships I enjoy with my classmates, other students, and my professors.
What is your favorite RIT memory?
I had so many wonderful memories at RIT. In general, it was the classes and events that the students managed, such as the Restaurant Operations where they oversaw the then on site restaurant, Henry’s, product development class to being involved with every RITz Fundraiser Dinner while attending RIT that “sparks the most joy.” The experiences that I love most were the ones that built camaraderie and relied on problem-solving with cross-functional teams. Those situations develop valuable skills I have repeatedly used in my career in the food manufacturing industry.
What is your career highlight?
I have been fortunate to have worked for several companies that encouraged me to innovate and create customer solutions over the years. During my time at MARS Foodservices, I championed and developed the health and nutrition platform for their foodservice portfolio in 2008/2009. In 2010, MARS was recognized by the U.S. Congress as a leader in health and nutrition amongst food manufacturers. Several projects identified were projects that I had led, from reducing sodium levels in our flavor rice portfolio to our increase of whole grains offerings.
At the American Egg Board (AEB), I’m incredibly proud of launching this year in partnership with one of the world’s leading online culinary schools, Rouxbe. It is the most comprehensive egg curriculum for culinary professionals and food product developers globally called EggPro™. The American Egg Board is the national commodity marketing organization for America’s egg farmers—also known as a “check-off” program and is 100% funded by U.S. egg farmers, with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Our mission is to increase the demand and consumption of eggs via education, research, and promotion. EggPro™ is a perfect example of how the AEB supports the foodservice and food manufacturing industry with our mission by supplying the proper egg training in cooking techniques, product development application, and egg safety for the food industry. EggPro™ online video courses, once completed by the learner, will offer 30 continuing education credits from the American Culinary Federation. The two courses focus on egg foundations and egg functionality at rouxbe.com/eggpro. It will soon be translated into Spanish. EggPro™ was initially set up as a fee-based course, but due to the pandemic and job losses within the foodservice industry, AEB offered the course for free from April through December 2020. Rouxbe had 30,000 professional chefs (learners) enrolled in their curriculum at launch in April. Since then, the AEB has signed on an additional 2,200+ learners.
From a marketing support perspective, I was the Made with REAL Eggs® certification seal architect. The Made with REAL Eggs® certification seal helps restaurants and food manufacturers give consumers confidence in their products by efficiently communicating that their menu or food products are made of genuine eggs. This matters to the food industry because, according to proprietary research conducted by Datassential, among consumers who buy egg products, more than 8 in 10 said seeing the Made with REAL Eggs® seal would positively influence their purchase decisions. Since the February 2020 launch, several chains, such as 7Eleven and Wendy’s, have leveraged the Made with REAL Eggs® certification seal. To learn more, go to www.incredibleegg.org/professionals/made-with-real-eggs-seal.
What does being an RIT alumnus/a mean to you?
It means elevating the next generation, so they are equipped with the right foundation to be successful and help others. There are some extraordinary careers that many RIT alumnae have established. Sharing their stories can help inspire and be guideposts to the next innovative idea and generation.