Meet the Board

David Gregory

David Gregory


David has a portfolio of Non-Executive roles in food and science related businesses and organisations. These include Non-Executive Director of Boparan Holdings (2 Sisters Food Group), a multinational chilled food business, Non-Executive Chairman of Acoura Ltd and a Member of Council and Chair of Audit Committee of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

David is also Vice Chairman of the National Land Based College (UK), a visiting professor at the University of Reading Centre for Food Security, and a member of the industrial advisory board of the Roslin Institute. David was elected as President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology in March 2017 and is a Fellow of the IFST and a Chartered Scientist. 

Previous non-exec roles include Chairman of Red Tractor Farm Assurance, Chairman of the British Nutrition Foundation and non–exec director of the British Retail Consortium Trading Ltd.

Before developing this portfolio, David spent 26 years working for Marks & Spencer from where he retired as Technical Director in 2009. During his time at M&S he was instrumental in a number of nutrition, innovation and sustainability initiatives and was one of the co-authors of Plan A – the widely recognised industry leading eco plan.

Maureen Edmondson

Maureen Edmondson

Immediate Past President

Maureen Edmondson is a food scientist by training and experience. She studied at Queen’s University of Belfast gaining her doctorate in food bacteriology. She is a Fellow of IFST, a Chartered Scientist and Visiting Professor at Ulster University. Maureen worked 20 years for Mars Incorporated where she was responsible for International Scientific Affairs. Maureen served six years as a Board Member for the Food Standards Agency and Chair of the Northern Ireland Food Advisory Committee. She is a Trustee of FareShare, Chair of the Patient and Client Council and of the Northern Ireland Advisory Committee of Ofcom - the UK communications regulator. Passionate about character in leadership, she led Trinity Forum in Europe and now chairs The Renaissance Forum. She is married to Doug, a barrister, and lives in Northern Ireland.

Sterling Crew

Vice President

Sterling is the Head of Technical at Kolak Snack Foods. He has over 30 years' experience and has been a member of IFST throughout his working life. He has worked in retailing with Marks and Spencer and Tesco, as well as in the branded environment with Coca-Cola and Disney. He has been a trustee of a scientific charity and a non-executive Director of two technical social enterprises associated with a charity. Sterling has also sat on the board of a manufacturing PLC.

Sterling is the Chair of the Food Safety Group.

Ian Blakemore

Ian Blakemore

Honorary Treasurer

Ian has a degree in Microbiology from the University of Dundee, with over 25 years experience in food manufacturing, technical support and commercial roles in the public and private sectors, in large and small organisations. A keen advocate of technology transfer, he has been running Protem Projects for over a year, a consultancy focussed on providing solutions in and around the food supply chain, especially at the University / Industry interface. He is a Fellow of the IFST.

Tom Hollands

Honorary Secretary

Tom Hollands Innovation and Technical Director Designate at Raynor Foods Ltd, he has worked in both private and public sectors including the Food Standards Agency and GU puddings.  He has over 19 years’ experience in the Food Industry ranging from food service, food manufacturing and government.  Tom has won a number of national and international accolades and sits as Honorary Secretary on the Trustee Board of the Institute. 

Ailbhe Fallon

Chair of Communications Committee

Erica Sheward

Chair of Membership Committee

Erica is a Food Safety Specialist at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at University of Greenwich delivering MSc programmes in Food Safety and Quality Management. Erica is currently seconded part time from NRI to the ‘Better Regulation Delivery Office,’ part of BIS the UK government department for ‘Business Innovation and Skills’ where Erica is Policy Manager involved in a number food safety related projects including international work in Nepal, Ukraine, Belarus and the USA.

Erica Sheward was previously Technical Director of ‘Castle Kitchens Limited,’ a food manufacturer involved primarily in the development and manufacture of an extensive range of special dietary requirement meals for the retail, healthcare and aviation sectors.

Erica has written extensively on the subject of food safety in travel and tourism and her first book ‘Aviation Food Safety’, was published October 2005 by ‘Wiley/Blackwell.’ Her previous publications include ‘Your Passport to Food Safety,’ a food safety training manual for cabin crew and ‘In-flight Food Safety Passenger Health & You,’ a cabin crew food safety training programme.

Erica has acted as a technical advisor to IATA (The International Air Transport Association) ICAO (The International Civil Aviation Authority) and NBAA (The National Business Aviation Association).  Erica was responsible for re-writing the food section of the ‘Guide to Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation’ for the World Health Organisation alongside other eminent WHO colleagues in the area of water and food safety.

Erica’s research interests include the application of food safety-based risk management techniques to other high risk sectors and the impact of food law enforcement practice on small food businesses. Erica is supporting BRDO’s research into the impact of Better Regulation on regulatory outcomes such as prosperity and protection.

Erica is a Fellow of IFST and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public health.

Jane-Marie Hawronskyj

Jane-Marie Hawronskyj

Chair of Professional Development Committee

Jane-Marie has a BSc in Microbiology & a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham.  She started her career at Campden BRI, before moving on to work in the food manufacturing sector.  She has been an independent consultant since 2005, providing a variety of technical & food safety solutions to a wide range of food manufacturing, catering & retail operations.  For the last three years, she has been working closely with the aviation sector, improving food safety standards.  She travels extensively, having worked in Africa, Asia, North America, South America & Europe.  Jane-Marie contributed to the creation of the Food Safety Professional Register, launched in 2014.  She has been an active member of the IFST Professional Development Committee since 2011, previously holding the posts of Hon. Secretary and Vice Chair.  

Carol A. Phillips

Chair of Education and Careers Committee

After graduating with a BSc and PhD in Microbiology from Cardiff University, Professor Phillips carried out post doctorial research at Sussex University. She worked for several years in a NHS pathology laboratory before becoming a lecturer in 1990. Since then she has developed a research profile and a research team studying survival mechanisms in food pathogens such as Campylobacter jejuni and also natural antimicrobials specifically plant essential oils and their use in food systems. Her research team consists of postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and other members of academic staff. 

Professor Phillips has published extensively in scientific journals and presented at conferences across the world as well as being Associate Editor for International Journal of Food Science and Technology and reviewing for several other journals.  She was made a Professor of Microbiology in 2004 and is now Deputy Dean in the School of Health at the University of Northampton with responsibility for Research and Enterprise. She is a Fellow of the Society of Biology and was the first female President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (2009-11).

Julian Cooper

Julian M Cooper

Chair of Scientific Committee

Professor Cooper is an internationally renowned carbohydrate expert. During his 35 year career in the sugar industry he developed extensive experience in process and product development including reformulation and research and development in the food sector.