WFFC Announces 2018 Annual Recognition Award Recipients

WFFC has announced the 2018 Annual Recognition Award recipients. They are Celine Roche, Givaudan (Nancy Poulos Leadership Award), Kathi Sparks, ADM Nutrition (Flavorist Recognition Award), Susan Arslaner, Symrise Inc. (Perfumer Recognition Award) and Linda Lakind, Firmenich (Innovative Excellence Award).

The award recipients will be honored at the WFFC Annual Recognition Dinner on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at the Liberty House Restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Celine Roche, senior marketing account manager, Givaudan, will be receiving the Nancy Poulos Leadership Award. Celine is an executive and client advocate with 19 years of experience in the flavor and fragrance industry. She began in Southern France working for Calchauvet (now Firmenich), where she specialized in natural ingredients and collaborated on fine fragrance development with renown perfumers. Her lifelong affinity for the US then led her to the West Coast and on to NYC, where she settled for 17 years. She worked for Mane as vice president specialty ingredients and fine fragrance account executive and now as senior marketing account manager for Givaudan. To further her commitment to the fragrance community, she joined the WFFC in 2002, and presided over the organization from 2012 to 2014, creating innovative educational events and gatherings to empower women. Celine studied international trade at the Institut Superieur Marseille Cadenelle in France and contemporary business methods at San Diego State University.

Kathi Sparks, Chief Flavorist, ADM Nutrition, will receive the Flavorist Recognition Award. Sparks has 24 years of flavor industry experience. In her current role of chief flavorist, at ADM Nutrition, she enjoys mentoring her team through professional development, flavor creation collaboration and project management while continuing to develop across categories in sweet, beverage and savory. She began her career at Wild Flavors, encompassing various roles including quality assurance and food applications, before obtaining a position in savory flavor creation. She began her flavor training in the savory lab focusing on vegetarian reaction flavors and flavor top-notes.  Kathi achieved membership in the Society of Flavor Chemists in 2004.  To expand her knowledge, she began creating for beverage applications in 2007, focusing on indulgent sweet and fruit flavor creation. Kathi is an active member of the Women in Flavor and Fragrance Commerce (WFFC), as well as the Society of Flavor Chemist (SFC) membership committee.

Susan Arslaner, senior technical perfumer, Symrise Inc. will receive the Perfumer Recognition Award. Susan’s quiet entry into the fragrance industry began in 1983, as a perfumery lab technician in the Ramsey, NJ offices of PPF, Ltd. a British fragrance house. Prior to that Susan had graduated from Montclair State University with a B.S. degree in biology. Susan spent the next 13 years as a lab technician in the perfumery and application departments of both Bush, Boake, Allen and Dragoco. In 1996 she was promoted to perfumery specialist and began training as a technical perfumer. Over the next 22 years, Susan progressed to her current position as Symrise North America’s senior technical perfumer.

In 2016, the WFFC Board created the “Innovative Excellence Award,” honoring an individual who offers novel contributions to the industry, and acts as a role model for guiding change and innovations. This year’s Innovative Excellence Award recipient will be Linda Lakind. Linda is the flavors marketing director for North America at Firmenich.  For more than 25 years Linda has been monitoring and forecasting consumer, market and flavor trends, sharing these observations with innovative new product concepts to a wide range of food and beverage customers. She is passionate about providing companies with insights to create great tasting products for their consumers around the globe. She has an M.S. in public relations, and a B.A. in psychology, both from Boston University.

Registration is now open for the June Recognition awards.

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Christine Schott Ledes
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