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BIA Webinar - Power of Partnerships: Strengthening Agency and Industry Relationships

On November 7, 2019 NEHA's Business Industry Affiliate held a webinar entitled Power of Partnerships: Strengthening Agency and Industry Relationships featuring three environmental health experts who shared their experience in building relationships with public and private sector partners.

About the Presenters

Becky Elias, Director, Global Food Safety Quality & Regulatory, Starbucks Coffee Company

Becky Elias is the Director of Global Retail Food Safety for Starbucks. Becky has over 15 years of experience working in food systems, and is deeply passionate about the intersection of food, health and community. Prior to joining Starbucks, Becky led food safety for Seattle & King County Public Health where she launched a new food safety rating program and a method to disclose outbreaks in real time. She also worked for the Washington State Department of Agriculture helping to develop farm-to-school supply chains.

Becky presented on the partnership Starbucks Coffee Company has fostered with Feeding America and the Food Donation Connection to develop a Starbucks food donation program throughout the US. She will also share how learnings from this partnership are informing an initiative on food waste reduction and food donation efforts with state agencies.

Brian Keller, Business Development Manager & Food Safety Specialist, ABC Home & Commercial Services

Brian recently accepted a position with ABC Home and Commercial Services in Lewisville, TX. Prior to this new role, Brian worked as an Environmental Public Health Specialist for Cass County Health Department located immediately south in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. During his career, Brian worked to: 1) develop an objective In Compliance/ Out of Compliance criteria for food establishments, and 2) develop local ordinances and inspection programs to address public aquatic venue and lodging establishment sanitation and safety. Brian is a past president of the Missouri Environmental Health Association, a member of the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and is currently serving as the Vice President of NEHA's Business and Industry Affiliate.

Brian shared the collaboration of 6 local public health authorities in MO as they came to an agreement on reciprocity for food handler cards. Food employees were required to have separate food handler cards for each jurisdiction they worked. Now, their food handler cards are valid across county lines.

Courtney Halbrook, Senior Manager of Food Safety, TopGolf

Courtney Halbrook is Senior Manager of Food Safety for Topgolf. Topgolf is a global sports and entertainment venue with nearly 60 locations in 27 states, and internationally. Each venue is approximately 30K square feet of entertainment space including event and banquet spaces serviced by a large commercial kitchen where foods are made primarily from scratch. Courtney has a Master's Degree in Environmental Science and is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist with 25 years of experience in manufacturing and restaurant food safety. At Topgolf, Courtney has responsibility for all things food safety and quality assurance such as regulatory compliance, development of corporate food safety practices and procedures, food safety training, supplier food safety and quality assurance, construction plan review and food safety crisis management.

Courtney presented on the proactive approach Topgolf takes to partner with local public health authorities during development and construction of new venues. She described the ongoing regulatory relationship building efforts which aids in time of crisis.