It is hard to believe that nearly nine years have passed since I joined Stop Foodborne Illness to lead the organization. I will be retiring at the end of May 2019, and many memories will journey with me for the rest of my days on planet earth. I have learned so much through constituents, colleagues and new-found friends. It is so humbling and such a deep honor to serve our constituents. I hold deep gratitude for the individuals and families who give so much during their time of grief while working to improve food safety; they give so freely of their time to share their stories to make a difference for others. It is only for their stories and their sharing that the organization exists. Engaging with food safety professionals throughout the food industry in an effort to improve food safety has been gratifying, and working alongside food safety advocates and consumer groups has been humbling. The staff members at Stop Foodborne Illness are relentless in their commitment and hard work, and they will be remembered. I hope that we leave a mark, a legacy that moved the needle in some small way towards the improvement of food safety. And I hope that the momentum will continue, that there will be people who will not be sick because of the work that has been done under my leadership alongside others, and that the needle will continue to advance forward so that others don’t have to experience the intense and deep pain that comes from being ill or watching a loved one suffer.
I would like to thank Stop’s Board of Directors, who have spent countless hours devoting their time and efforts in their commitment public awareness.
Thank you to everyone who has served as a guide, mentor and friend over the years. You will be remembered. Thanks for all that you do to advance food safety!
Editor’s Note: We would like to that Deirdre for her contributions to Food Safety Tech over the years in the Food Safety Culture column and for her service to the industry. We wish her the best of luck! Deirdre’s cause will continue, as the publication will continue to welcome contributors to this special column.