AFIA Pet Food Conference

January 24, 2023
7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET
Georgia World Congress Center
Atlanta, Ga.
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Scott Hawks


Scott Hawks is a protein chemist and food microbiologist by training with more than 30 years of food safety and regulatory affairs experience in the food and pet food industries. He has extensive experience in hazard analysis and good manufacturing practices, creating and implementing environmental monitoring programs, implementing robust vendor approval programs, food and pet food import/export regulations and thermal processing of acid and low acid canned foods.

Hawks is a lead instructor for the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance’s Preventive Controls Qualified Individual and Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) courses. Hawks has expertise in developing risk-based ingredient, manufacturing and finished product specifications and has created many FSVP plans. Hawks also has a solid understanding of applying Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point management for the U.S. Food Code for Retailers.

Lara Moody


Lara Moody is the Institute for Feed Education and Research’s executive director. She provides visionary leadership to the public charity’s activities including program development, strategic partnerships and collaborative resourcing. Working closely with IFEEDER’s Board of Trustees and committee members, she develops and supports resources and efforts to advance the public charity’s research and education mission. Collaborating with the American Feed Industry Association to pursue and communicate the institute’s work, she creates opportunities to engage donors and further the dialogue on important issues impacting the feed industry.  

Prior to joining IFEEDER in April 2021, Moody served as the vice president of stewardship and sustainability at The Fertilizer Institute. She also worked in research and extension programs at Iowa State University and the University of Tennessee. 

Moody holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering and master’s degree in biosystems engineering from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson


Debbie Phillips-Donaldson is the editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry, directing all content for, e-newsletters, Petfood Forum conferences and related media, and overseeing the magazine. She has been in the industry and with Watt Global Media, parent company of Petfood Industry, since 2006.

Previously, she worked for 13 years at pet publisher BowTie Inc., as editor of Cat Fancy magazine, new product manager and editorial vice president. She also served for five-and-a-half years as editor of Quality Progress magazine with the American Society for Quality. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is currently ruled by a 15-year-old gray cat named Deacon.

Nancy Rawson


Nancy Rawson, Ph.D., is acting director and president of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit research institute whose mission is to advance public health through the understanding of taste, smell and related senses.

Her career spans academia and industry, including a faculty position at the Monell Center studying the biology of taste and smell in humans and companion animals, and leadership roles in the pet and human food and ingredient industries, where she built research teams from the ground up and received awards for new product innovation. Since 2016, she has served in leadership roles at the Monell Center, catalyzing in the center’s relationships with academic and industry partners around the world and leading strategic and operational planning activities to support its growth and success.

She serves on the Board of the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences and is a founding advisory board member for the Smell and Taste Association of North America. Rawson has authored over 100 publications, holds multiple patents and is active in the Association for Women in Science and the Association for Chemoreception Sciences. 

She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Massachusetts and a doctorate in biology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Worth Turner


Worth Turner is the chief executive officer of Custom Veterinary Services, LLC (CVS), a contract manufacturer of pet wellness solutions including, but not limited to, nutritional supplement soft chews, liquid nutritional toppers, nutritional powders, Food and Drug Administration-registered topical dermatological solutions and liquid grooming products.

Prior to joining CVS as an investor and CEO, Turner served for six years as the president and CEO of Colorado Quality Products, LLC (CQP), a contract manufacturer of skin and beauty products to the human consumer packaged goods market. Turner led a team that acquired CQP and transformed it from a small, family-run operation into a market leader in natural and organic beauty manufacturing. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Turner started his career in Leveraged Finance at Wachovia Securities in Charlotte, N.C.

During his two years at Wachovia, he participated in more than $2 billion of leveraged financings, largely focused on private equity backed acquisitions. Following his time in investment banking, he spent the following nine years at a lower middle market private equity fund with offices in Washington, D.C., and Dallas. While in private equity, Turner invested in seven platform company acquisitions, 10 add-on acquisitions, and had the unique opportunity to serve as a board member for five growing businesses.

Turner resides in Dallas, Texas, with his wife and two young boys.

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Contact Us


Contact Louise, AFIA’s director of regulatory affairs, for 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. 

REBECCA KANE, CMP   (703) 558-3563    RKANE@AFIA.ORG

Contact Rebecca, AFIA’s director of meetings and events, for any questions regarding registrations, travel, hotel accomodations and event expectations.


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