Meet IACP’s New Staff Member and Board Nominations

As we continue to grow and revitalize IACP, we welcome Merri Lee Kingsly as VP of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development. She is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and has worked at Saveur, Food & Wine, and Bon Appétit, among many other places. She replaces Doug Duda, who is taking on a new role for the organization, helping to create IACP food tours.

And, as part of IACP’s plans for the upcoming year, the Board is also pleased to announce the following slate of Directors. Our new Directors bring a wealth of experience spanning the culinary, innovation, and business worlds that will complement the organization’s current strategic planning. Members may refer to Article VI in the IACP Bylaws to review the nomination process.

Rachel Givens | Vice President, Production + Social Integration | Feedfeed

With more than a decade of experience in digital marketing for culinary and beverage brands, Rachel led social media strategy, brand planning and strategic partnerships at some of the world’s leading advertising agencies. At Feedfeed Rachel oversees the production of branded content, as well as social media strategy both for Feedfeed and for their clients, most recently for Bravo’s Top Chef. Prior roles include Vice President at Digitas and her own  consulting practice where she spearheaded the social marketing for top NYC restaurants.

Nancy Wall Hopkins | Founder | Eat with Nancy Productions

Nancy has over 25 years of expertise in the Food & Entertaining arena. Most recently, she has opened her own Production Firm—Eat With Nancy Productions—working on major food features and branding projects for food and lifestyle companies as well as food celebs, including print, video, and digital campaigns. Prior to that, she was in charge of food content for Better Homes & Gardens magazine for over 20 years. And, she has produced numerous major features for the publication, including Michelle Obama’s White House Garden, Ayesha Curry, Carla Hall, Jamie Oliver, Scott Peacock, Padma Lakshmi, Guy Fieri, Gesine Bullock-Prado, and Joy the Baker. Nancy is also a frequent speaker on the topics of food trends, food photography and styling, and cooking. Prior roles include Senior Executive at Edelman Worldwide and her own Food and Tabletop consulting firm where she served as a Creative Director on cookbooks, marketing campaigns, and other programs.

Larry Portaro | Executive Director | FirstBuild

Larry Portaro leads FirstBuild, an innovation accelerator that combines a global co-creation community with a state-of-the-art micro-factory to invent next-generation appliance products. Larry holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisville. He has 25 years of GE Appliances experience in design engineering, new product introduction and Lean Six Sigma. Larry’s previous role was Engineering Manager of Cooking Products. Under his leadership, the cooking team launched innovative products including ovens that can be controlled through smartphones, next-gen induction cooktops, and French door wall ovens. Larry and his wife reside in Louisville, Kentucky and have three children.

The incoming slate will be joining me, as well as Laura McCorvie and Rick Smilow, both of whom are entering their second year on the Board. We’ll also be wishing farewell to a number of Directors who have served on the Board for many years. Specifically, I’d like to express my thanks and gratitude to Laurie Buckle, Faith Durand, Judith Dern, and Glenn Mack for their service to IACP.

I want to acknowledge that these Board nominations are delayed from the traditional member-approved timeline for new Director selections. However, this delay has been necessary to ensure we recruit Board members with the most relevant skills, enthusiasm, and experience to promote IACP’s long-term future.

Additionally, in light of the executive leadership change with Martha Holmberg’s departure, I’ll be retaining the position of Chair of the Board for the upcoming year. While we acknowledge this is not the norm, the Board strongly believes this will provide continuity for achieving the organization’s strategic objectives. By staying on as Chair for one additional year, I can ensure we focus on initiatives to ensure IACP’s continued success.

I welcome any feedback, thoughts, or input from any of you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out. You’ll also have the chance to meet our new staff and board members at the annual IACP Community Meeting taking place on November 15th. Register here.
Adam Salomone
Chair of the Board



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