JPA 2018 Fall Business Meeting

Michael Choi
Zhonglu America Corporation
Michael Choi is the President of Zhonglu America Corporation, a 100% owned subsidiary of SDIC Zhonglu Fruit Juice Company – the oldest and one of the largest producers of apple juice concentrates in China, with its fruit crushing capacity of 600 MT/hour.

Until he joined Zhonglu in 1998, Choi worked as an independent trader for fruit juice concentrates. Choi was one of the pioneers in introducing Chinese apple juice concentrates to Europe and then led Zhonglu America Corporation to be the largest supplier of Chinese apple juice concentrates in the U.S. market.

Choi graduated from Korea University in Seoul, Korea, with Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He then joined a Korean-based multi-national company, Daewoo Corporation, where he worked for 15 years in its trading division.

Steve Cockram
Growers Co-op
Steve Cockram has had diversified roles for over 30 years in the fruit juice industry. Steve got his start at Seneca Foods checking the Alar content in apples. The NLEA, or Nutritional Laboratories Employment Act, allows him to write Nutrition Facts panels in his sleep. Inulin allowed his authenticity lab to expand dramatically.

Alicyclobacillus forced this chemical engineer to learn about microbiology. Steve also spent time as a corporate troubleshooter and trialed new equipment from all over the world. Steve then moved to Wisconsin to be a ‘cranberry guy’, doing many of the same things for Northland Cranberries. Steve moved back to New York and has been at Growers Co-op for 13 years. After being Technical Director (SQF on first try), he has been Growers' General Manager for three years. Although budgets and contracts are fun, being a ‘technical guy’ is much more interesting than dealing with HR issues in a low unemployment labor market.

Veronica Colas
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Veronica Colas, Hogan Lovells US LLP Senior Associate, counsels clients on the regulations and policy issues affecting food companies from farm to table. She represents all segments of the food industry, including manufacturers, retailers, restaurants and food service companies, as well as their trade associations.

Using her keen awareness of today's litigation environment, Veronica helps develop new products, label claims, advertising materials and promotional campaigns. She has a deep understanding of both current and forthcoming food labeling and production requirements ranging from nutrition and menu labeling, to the regulatory issues surrounding genetically engineered foods and organic food production.

Veronica provides clear advice and practical solutions for compliance with labeling, advertising and safety regulations from the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Product Safety Commission. She has significant experience in helping clients navigate regulatory enforcement challenges, such as warning letters, import detentions and investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, Congress and State Attorneys General. Veronica works closely with trade associations and food companies to craft comments and develop strategies in response to public policy issues such as agency rulemaking. She is a frequent speaker and contributor to industry publications.


Gary A. Hemphill,
Beverage Marketing Corp
Gary A. Hemphill is Managing Director of Research at Beverage Marketing Corporation. In that role, he directs the company’s extensive information products and services, consisting of comprehensive beverage databases, market reports, directories, tracking services and customized information consulting projects.
Mr. Hemphill directs the company’s pre-eminent beverage database DrinkTell. It is the only comprehensive total market U.S. beverage database tracking all beverage categories.

Mr. Hemphill has more than 25 years experience in the beverage industry. Previously, he served as Editor of the trade publication Beverage Industry, and he directed new product publicity for the Pepsi-Cola Company where he contributed to a range of assignments. Before those positions, Mr. Hemphill held various newspaper writing and editing positions. Mr. Hemphill holds a bachelors degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and resides in New York City.

Tom Hurson
Tree Top, Inc
Tom Hurson is President and CEO for Tree Top, Inc. and President of Northwest Naturals, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary. Tom has been with the company since 1984 and held progressively more responsible positions within Finance, CPG, Foodservice and the Ingredient Divisions and has been on the Cooperative’s Executive Team for more than two decades.

Tom received a BS degree in Accounting from Central Washington University and is currently the Vice Chairman and Past Chairman of the Juice Products Association Board of Directors.

Vincent Morel of ECOCERT is a native of France, has lived in Indonesia and the USA and is currently living in Argentina. After graduating in political sciences at La Sorbonne – Paris, Mr. Morel worked several years in the humanitarian sector before joining ECOCERT in 2008. ECOCERT is the worldwide leader in organic certification. ECOCERT Group has 30 subsidiaries in 26 countries, enabling it to operate and offer its services in more than 130 countries where it provides more than 150 certifications from food safety to fair trade and social responsibility.

Mr. Morel was first responsible for organizing and developing the African Region for ECOCERT. He later moved to the U.S. after the acquisition of a U.S. organic certifier. In 2015 he was appointed Regional Director of North and South America and moved to Buenos Aires to manage a new acquisition for ECOCERT Group.

Debby Newslow
D.L. Newslow & Associates
Debby Newslow is President of D. L. Newslow & Associates, Inc. and a member of several food safety and quality organizations and is currently an active member of the Food Safety Technical Advisory Board. She is a frequent author of published articles and has authored two textbooks related to food safety and quality management systems. Her latest book Food Safety Management Programs – Applications, Best Practices and Compliance has been identified as a best seller in the world of Food Safety and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) compliance guidance.

Debby has several years of combined industry, third party auditing, consulting and training experience focusing on management systems (e.g., International Organization for Standardization – ISO) and food safety programs (e.g., GFSI). Debby has won numerous awards throughout her career, including the 2013 NSF Food Safety Leadership Award for Training, and she is a Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) Lead Instructor (e.g., PCQI Human Food, PCQI Animal Food & Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)). Debby is also an International HACCP Alliance Instructor, an International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) Certified Quality & Food Safety Lead Assessor, an American Society for Quality (ASQ) Certified Quality Auditor, Certified HACCP Auditor and Certified Quality Manager.

D. L. Newslow & Associates, Inc. is one of three approved JPA tanker audit facilities and has been performing these audits since they were first offered to private companies.

Paul Rosenthal
Kelley Drye Warren
With more than 40 years of experience in international trade law and government relations, Paul C. Rosenthal is recognized as a leading trade attorney in the U.S. He has successfully represented U.S. producers in antidumping and countervailing duty cases in the U.S. and abroad regarding a wide range of products.

He counsels industries on foreign market access issues and represents manufacturers and food producers in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. He also represents industry interests during multilateral trade negotiations and in trade-related policymaking at the federal level. A former Senate committee counsel, he has participated in hundreds of proceedings.

Renzo Yaconi
Doehler Juice Solutions
Renzo Yaconi has worked for more than six years in the apple juice industry. He holds a degree in business and economy and has vast knowledge in the international trade of food products. Mr. Yaconi was named the leading salesperson at Patagoniafresh, Chile’s main apple juice concentrate (AJC) supplier before joining Doehler Juice Solutions and moving to the U.S. this past July.