Wisconsin Association for Food Protection
PO Box 620705
Middleton, WI 53562
Contact Robert Wills at

Linda Haywood-Olson

Linda Olson


Linda Olson attended the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and graduated with a BS in Food Science. She also attended the University of MN and Cook College/Rutgers while working on a Food Engineering degree. She has spent more than 30 years in the dairy food sector starting as a laboratory technician and moving on to Lab Supervisor for Maple Island, Inc. in Minnesota, and later becoming a plant superintendent and then corporate food safety auditor with Dairy Farmers of America in Missouri. While in Missouri, Linda served on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Milk, Food and Environmental Health Association. She was a delegate to the IAFP on several occasions, working with several Professional Development Groups. She is currently Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs for Century Foods International, Inc – a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corporation, located in Sparta WI. Linda is knowledgeable about food production and processing, and has developed food safety, environmental monitoring and quality assurance programs.


Linda Haywood-Olson


President Elect

Adam Borger is the Outreach Program Manager for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Food Research Institute. In this role he serves as a liaison between members of the food industry and the university in order to improve food safety initiatives, coordinates research needs and educates current and future food safety professionals. His areas of expertise include the microbiological safety and quality of various foods including ready-to-eat meats and cheeses, frozen desserts, baked goods, non-ready-to-eat appetizers and seafood. Prior to joining the Food Research Institute, Adam was a member of the Kraft Foods department of Microbiology and Food Safety from 1998 to 2009. From 2009 to 2013 he was the Senior Microbiologist for Rich Products Corporation in Buffalo, NY. Adam earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Food Science from The Ohio State University and a Master’s of Science in Food Science, specializing in food microbiology and toxicology, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Jay Myrick

Jay Myrick

First Vice-President

Jay has 20 plus years in the food industry. He was a double major at University of Wisconsin-Madison BS Bacteriology/Food Science. Jay received a MS Food Science from University of Illinois-Champaign. He started his career at Silliker Laboratories, working in the microbiology lab in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He was the Quality Manager at the Dean Foods plant (Suiza/ Morningstar/ Bancroft Dairy) in Madison, Wisconsin. He joined Kerry 11 years ago, as the Quality Manager at the Jackson, Wisconsin plant. His current role is Director of Quality Assurance for the foods group, which includes plants in the following technologies- Dairy, Culinary, Cereal, and Meat Systems.


Jean Finger

Jean Finger

Second Vice-President

Jean Finger is a Food Scientist – Advanced with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) as a Manufactured Food Specialist. Duties include training state and local inspectors on food safety in food manufacturing facilities, review of HACCP plans for compliance to seafood HACCP requirements, juice HACCP requirements and for extended run processing variances, and evaluation of facility plans for compliance to State of Wisconsin regulations.

Prior to working for WDATCP, Jean had 25+ years of experience in food safety/quality assurance roles within the food industry, with the majority of her experience in low acid canned food (LACF) manufacturing. Organizations Jean worked for include: Aunt Nellie’s Farm Kitchens, Stokely USA, Beatrice Cheese, Seneca Foods and Bush Brothers & Company. While with these manufacturers, Jean directed creation of, organization of, implementation of, monitoring of, verification of and training programs for food safety systems and HACCP programs, with employees from throughout the organizations. Jean conducted training with employees one-on-one, in large groups and in small groups to convey the importance of food safety.


Gina Mode

Gina Mode


Gina Mode is an Assistant Coordinator for the Cheese Industry and Applications Program at the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research.  She was raised on a fifth generation family dairy farm, has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science, a Master of Business Administration Degree, and Wisconsin Buttermaker and Cheesemaker Licenses.  Gina has been working with cheese since an internship with the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research in 1990.  She worked for the Swiss Colony in Monroe, Wisconsin and the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant at the University of Wisconsin – Madison before returning to the CDR in 2005.  As a member of the Cheese Industry and Applications Group, Gina works closely with cheese brokers, ingredient suppliers, and manufacturers – from farmstead to commercial.  Gina is involved with everything from cheese trials and troubleshooting to short courses and outreach efforts.


Bob Wills

Robert Wills


Bob Wills is the owner of Cedar Grove Cheese [Plain, WI] since 1989 and opened Clock Shadow Creamery [Milwaukee, WI] in 2012. He holds advanced degrees in International Relations, Economics and Law, and previously worked for the University of Wisconsin and the US Department of Agriculture. He has volunteered on numerous boards including the Center for Integrated Agriculture Studies, the North Central Regional Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education program and the US Secretary of Agriculture’s Dairy Industry Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the board of the American Cheese Society and the American Cheese Education Foundation. He is a member of ACS’s Academic and Regulatory Committee that helps cheese makers understand the scientific and political background for food safety initiatives. He meets regularly with FDA, industry, and university personnel and food safety experts to communicate and share new findings with the dairy community.


Beth Button

Beth Button

Administrative Officer

Beth Button is a Faculty Assistant at the University of Wis. Madison’s Food Science Department. She provides support to undergraduate education including coteaching the senior capstone project class and supports food industry outreach by teaching the Food and Dairy Products Processing class for the Farm and Industry Food Science Short Course, coteaching the Poultry Science Course, teaching the Dairy Chemistry Short Course butter lab, and is now assisting with the introductory HACCP class for students. She also has provided Food Science department support including instruction related purchasing and being an interim building manager. Beth is currently a member of the Institute of Food Technologists and has obtained Lead Instructor certification for FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food, and HACCP certification for Dairy Products. Prior to working at the UW in 2004, Beth was a group leader with Kraft Foods managing sensory, analytical, and information research for Kraft businesses including meat, meat alternates, pizza, and foodservice businesses. She started in the food industry as a research scientist in 1987 and then moved on to project manager and group manager. Her education includes a Masters Degree from Iowa State University and a Bachelors Degree from UW Madison.



Gina Mode
WI Center for Dairy Research

Scholarship & Communication

Jay Myrick, Beth Button,
and Marlo Darken


Hondo Dammann