Strengthens Core Business with Expanded Customer Base in New Markets
SAN DIEGO, CA & ANN ARBOR, MI. - Quality Assurance International (QAI, Inc.), the global leader in organic certification, today announced three new staff appointments that will help the organization meet the growing needs of the organic product certification industry. The new QAI appointments include Kristen L. Reimink as president, David Abney as director of certification services and John Foster as director of technical services.
These three new senior staff appointments in management, certification and technical review complement existing staff expertise while continuing the next steps of the QAI acquisition by NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization. NSF recently completed the acquisition of QAI in March to advance QAI's strategic plans and expand services as part of NSF's overall mission to certify products and write standards that help protect food, water, air and consumer goods.
While serving as president of QAI, Ms. Reimink will continue in her current post as senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) at NSF, which will aid in aligning each organization's business objectives to offer expanded certification and auditing services. Ms. Reimink gained extensive management experience in several positions at NSF, including key roles as vice president of administration, director of finance and controller. Ultimately, she became the lead financial officer in charge of leading and managing all financial matters and NSF's acquisition strategy. She holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Central Michigan University where she graduated summa cum laude.
David Abney moves over to QAI after playing a key role as NSF business unit manager for retail food safety. Abney recently relocated to QAI headquarters in San Diego to serve in his new role as director of certification services. As director, he will oversee the organic certification operation in addition to developing and implementing certification policies. Over the last five years with NSF, Abney assisted in development and implementation of NSF's Retail Food Safety Programs. During this time he served as manager of food safety auditors and operations manager of food safety, gaining extensive experience in operations management and program development. Before joining NSF, Abney spent more than 12 years working in the foodservice regulatory community. Most recently Abney served as an environmental health specialist for Plano Environmental Health Department in Plano, TX where he was in charge of conducting foodservice management classes, performing HACCP evaluations and auditing retail food establishments to ensure compliance to the FDA and local food code. Abney is a registered environmental health specialist with the National Environmental Health Association and a registered sanitarian.
John Foster, QAI director of technical services, will oversee QAI's technical operations. Foster will be in charge of streamlining QAI's technical review department to further QAI's mission of delivering unparalleled expertise to clients and the organic industry. He has over 15 years experience in the organic community and industry, focusing on the inspection and certification of organic farms, ranches, distributors, traders, processors, retailers, and personal care product manufacturers. He is also a former consulting specialist in organic certification systems and regulatory alignment under the National Organic Program (NOP), assisting businesses with organic certification, pre-inspecting consulting, product development, and specialty product marketing. He currently sits on the Boards of Directors for the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the Independent Organic Inspectors' Association (IOIA).
Kevan P. Lawlor, president and CEO of NSF International says, "This new team is a key step in aligning each organizations' business strategies and the many talents of the staff at both NSF and QAI. This positioning will have a substantial impact on the future expansion of certification, food safety, auditing and organic certification services across both organizations."
NSF International, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, is committed to certifying products and developing standards that help protect food, water, air, and consumer goods www.nsf.org. NSF provides product certification and safety audits for the food and water industries. Other services include management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd. and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and serves companies in 80 countries.
Quality Assurance International (QAI, Inc.), a global leader in certification services, has operations in the US, Canada, Japan, Latin America, and the European Union. QAI verifies organic and other claims for more than 2,700 client locations. Clients include agricultural producers, food processing facilities, integrated manufacturing operations and contract packing operations, traders, distributors retailers, and other unique food operations. QAI's Programs are designed to verify compliance at every link of the product handling chain, thus assuring consumers that product integrity is preserved in the marketplace. For further information about QAI, visit the Company's website at www.qai-inc.com.
# # #