The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) has announced that Lisa Hovey assumed the executive director position as of March 1. Hovey replaces David Tharp, who will officially retire on April 26, after 30 years with the Association. 

Hovey joined IAFP in 1997 as director of finance and administration and was promoted to assistant director in 1999. During the past 26 years, she has collaborated with the executive director to sustain, promote, and grow the Association’s programs and Member Services. She has played a critical role in shaping and implementing the organization’s strategy, including oversight of member services and programs, operations, financial management, and staff. Lisa was instrumental in the recent transition of IAFP’s Journal of Food Protection to an open-access publication and currently acts as the Association’s liaison for its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.

“Having had the privilege of knowing and working with Lisa for more than 20 years, I have seen first-hand the passion, knowledge, and expertise she brings to IAFP,” said Jeff Farber, director, Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety; adjunct professor, the University of Guelph; and former IAFP president. “Lisa’s great professionalism, attention to detail, financial acumen, infectious personality, and commitment to the mission and vision of IAFP will help to ensure a smooth transition, and I am confident she will excel in her new role as the executive director.”

“I have been in countless meetings with Lisa over the past 20 years, during which ideas were generated, procedures and processes developed, and decisions made, all with the purpose of growing the organization and making it what it is today,” said Vickie Lewandowski, senior food safety manager, Barry Callebaut, and former IAFP president.

“At each meeting, Lisa was an active and critical participant as Assistant Director and as David Tharp’s right-hand person! She has walked practically every step of David’s IAFP journey alongside him. JFK said, ‘Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.’ Through her years of active learning from David and serving the organization, Lisa is the ideal person to take over the leadership of IAFP. Our board and our members can be assured of secure continuity and continued growth and success of the Association.”

Hovey earned a bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of Northern Iowa. She holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential through the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).