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.

Michael Bell
Vice President

Michael has over thirty-four years’ experience in the food industry and has been the Executive Director of Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) for over 22 years. He previously worked in Northern Ireland and Malta for twelve years working closely with major retailers and was a member of the Board of Ormeau Bakery. 

Michael has an honours Degree in Food Science and is a Fellow of Institute of Food Science and Technology (FIFST) and a Chartered (Food) Scientist (CSci). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD) and is a Chartered Director (C Dir) He also has a Leaders in Industry Programme Food and Drink Manufacturing sector award from Queen’s University, Belfast. Michael is Chairman of the Northern Ireland Agricultural Research and Development Council (Agrisearch) and a member of Safefood Expert Advisory Committee. 

In addition, Michael is a member of the Northern Ireland Food and Feed Advisory panel for the Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland and a board member of Agri-Quest - the Food Innovation Competence Centre.

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

Following careers in the food, pharmaceutical and communications industries, Ailbhe Fallon founded an independent consultancy specialising in strategic advice and advocacy applied to business development and innovation.  As a biochemist with a strong grounding in science and its communication, she regularly leads communications and advocacy programmes for international businesses and brand owners, and plays an active role in many science-led organisations. She served as chairman of the Institute of Food Technologists British Section and has been part the IFST's Communications Committee for several years, becoming its chairman in 2017. An expert in the science of taste and its application, Ailbhe holds Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET-) certified professional qualifications and is a member of the Wine Guild of the United Kingdom.

Jane-Marie Hawronskyj
Jane-Marie Hawronskyj
Chair of Professional Development Forum

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.  

Richard Frazier
Chair of Education and Careers Forum

Richard is Professor of Food Science at the University of Reading and the Head of its Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences. He has an honours degree in Chemistry from the University of Bristol, which he followed with his PhD from the University of Nottingham. After postdoctoral research positions at Nottingham, Reading and Imperial College, he was appointed as a Lecturer at Reading in 2000, and was awarded his Personal Chair in 2013. Richard is an experienced and passionate university educator who strives to enable students to become independent and inspiring professionals through his teaching and through encouraging participation in extracurricular opportunities, including professional placement years, LaunchPad, Ecotrophelia and POST Fellowships. He has a long track record of innovation in teaching and science communication, including leading the initial development of the BBSRC-funded AgriFood Training Partnership, development of online learning courses (MOOCs) and involvement in several EIT Food Knowledge and Innovation Community Education projects that seek to develop new food industry innovators and to build consumer trust in food through education and communication. Richard is a Fellow of IFST.

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.