AFIA Pet Food Conference

Jan. 26, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET
Virtual Event
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Erin Bubb 


Erin Bubb received a B.S. in Agricultural Science from the Pennsylvania State University. She started her career with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in 2000 as an Inspector of feed, fertilizer, seed, and pesticide products. Erin later became the Program Specialist and then the Agronomic and Regional Services Chief in 2011. She also volunteers on the Board of Directors for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) as the 2021 President and as an AAFCO feed ingredient investigator. Erin lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs and a cat in south central Pennsylvania.  

Rob Cooper


Rob Cooper is the Institute for Feed Education and Research’s executive director. He provides leadership in crafting and implementing IFEEDER’s overall strategic direction. He develops and manages fundraising and donor stewardship programs and maintains relationships with current and future donors. He works closely with IFEEDER’s Board of Trustees and other committees to carry out key research and education projects and with the American Feed Industry Association’s communications team to share the institute’s mission and message in various communications to both donors and the public. Prior to joining IFEEDER in July 2018, Cooper served as the assistant to the dean for external relations at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He has also worked with the National FFA Foundation and the Maryland 4-H Foundation. Cooper holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Delaware. 

Gregg Doud


Gregg Doud has served as the former Chief Agricultural Negotiator, with the Rank of Ambassador, in the Office of the United States Trade Representative since March 2018.  In his role as former Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Ambassador Doud had been responsible for conducting and overseeing international negotiations related to trade in agricultural products. Prior to Ambassador Doud’s nomination, he was the President of the Commodity Markets Council, where he had served since 2013.  He also served as a Professional Staff member of the Senate Agriculture Committee for Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Thad Cochran, and held various roles in the agriculture industry for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the U.S. Wheat Associates and the agricultural commodity consulting firm World Perspectives. 

Dave Edwards


Dr. Dave Edwards is the Director of the Division of Animal Feeds at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). The Division regulates animal food, including premarket ingredient approvals, medicated feed and post-market feed safety monitoring. He joined the office as the Deputy Director in 2014.  Prior to joining the CVM, Dr. Edwards served as the Director of animal biotechnology at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) in Washington, D.C.  BIO is the world’s largest biotechnology trade association. He has also worked on the majority professional staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and as a congressional science fellow with the Federation of Animal Science Societies on the same committee. Dr. Edwards grew up in Iowa and raised pigs, sheep and specialty crops. He received his bachelor’s in genetics and agricultural biochemistry from Iowa State University and his master’s and Ph.D. in animal science breeding and genetics at Michigan State University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Federal Executive Institute. 

Jennifer Essler


Dr. Essler received her B.A. in Psychology from Georgia State University and her M.Sc. in Animal Behavior from Bucknell University. Her earlier work was on cognition and social behavior in non-human primates, focusing on capuchin monkeys. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria, where she studied the effects of domestication on cooperation and inequity aversion in pack-living dogs and wolves.  Her interests center around how we can quantify the training of working dogs, and how we can use this to improve the selection and training process. At the Working Dog Center, she is currently working on a collaborative project investigating the genotype and phenotype of working dogs, as well as the COVID-19 and ovarian cancer detection dog studies. 

Juan Gomez



Dr. Juan Gomez received his B.Sc. and B. Eng. from Universidad Federico Villareal in Lima, Peru; a M.Sc. in Food Science, from Leeds University, Leeds, England; and a Ph.D. in Food Science from Cornell University. Dr. Gomez held a Post-Doctoral position at Cornell University before joining Ralston Purina International (known now as Purina Cargill Agribrands) as Director for Research and Technology with additional responsibilities in formulation, nutrition, quality assurance, technical support, product development and supply chain management. Dr. Gomez works for Alltech where he has been responsible for several business units and technical roles for key Alltech brands and technologies and working directly with the President and Founder of Alltech. He is currently the global director for Alltech’s Companion Animal Business. Dr. Gomez was recipient of a British Council Scholarship, a Fulbright Scholarship, among many other awards. He has published significantly in trade journals and peer-reviewed publications and is a sought-after speaker for conferences and trade shows. He is the past chair of the AFIA Nutrition Committee, a member of the American Dairy Science Association, the Institute of Food Technology, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  

Jonathon Karelse

Keynote Speaker 

Jonathon Karelse is the CEO of NorthFind Management, and is a global leader in demand planning, operations, predictive analytics and IBP. He combines extensive experience with the latest best practices to improve supply chain operations, optimally leveraging people, processes and tools.  Jonathon is leading the conversation that Behavioral Economics represents the next big idea for planning in most companies. He believes that by understanding the causes of biases and heuristics in planning, organizations can make rapid improvements in real-world performance. As a frequent contributor to the Supply Chain Council of Canada, APICS, the Association for Supply Chain Management, and the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF), Jonathon tracks trends and directly influences best practices in Demand Planning and Integrated Business Planning (IBP). His work with NorthFind was recognized in 2020 by Supply Chain Brain – Top 100 Great Supply Chain Partners – and by Supply and Demand Chain Executive: Top 100 Supply Chain Projects. 

Jared Koerten


Jared Koerten is the head of pet care at Euromonitor International. Jared oversees research across 100 markets and provides strategic insight and analysis on developments shaping the global food and pet care landscape. His work helps companies around the world make informed business decisions about emerging trends and growth opportunities within packaged food and pet care. Jared is a recognized expert in market trends and has spent nearly a decade researching the industry. He is frequently a featured speaker at major industry conferences and is regularly cited in the press like The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, NPR, Reuters, Bloomberg and The Economist. Jared holds a master’s degree in international relations from The University of Chicago.

Ansen Pond


Ansen Pond oversees the food safety, quality assurance and regulatory affairs for the rendering and pet food ingredient divisions at Pilgrim’s and JBS.  Ansen received his B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M University and a Masters and PhD from Texas Tech University in the area of Food Safety and Microbiology. He is actively involved in the National Renderers Association, American Feed Industry Association, Poultry Protein and Fat Council and the Fat and Protein Research Foundation. He is chairman of the APPI committee which organizes the rendering industry’s code of practice and biological testing programs. He also serves as the industry representative on the FSPCA Alliance that developed the official FSMA training for the animal food industry in conjunction with FDA. He has experience in most aspects of rendering including pork, beef and poultry.

Gina Tumbarello 


Gina Tumbarello is the American Feed Industry Association’s director of international policy and trade. Tumbarello is responsible for leading the development of priority import and export issues for the feed industry globally. She serves as the industry advocate, addressing trade constraints and communicating the interests of the feed, feed ingredient and pet food industries to various government agencies. Tumbarello is the staff contact for the AFIA International Trade Committee. In 2014, former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed Tumbarello to the Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee for Grains, Feed, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds, where she represents AFIA and advises the secretary of agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative on international issues relevant to the industry. Tumbarello holds a master’s degree in international policy studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in Monterey, Calif., and a bachelor’s degree in diplomacy and foreign affairs and German from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. 










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Contact Us


Contact Louise, AFIA’s director of regulatory affairs, any questions regarding conference agenda, committee questions and event expectations. 

SARAH NOVAK     (703) 558-3574       SNOVAK@AFIA.ORG

Contact Sarah, AFIA’s vice president of membership and public relations, for any questions regarding AFIA membership opportunities. 


Contact Lynette, AFIA’s specialist of meetings and events, for any questions regarding sponsorships and registration.