Bell Flavors & Fragrances is excited to announce several promotions at their headquarters in Northbrook, IL, including Khalid Akel to vice president of manufacturing; Noreen Lally to vice president of global regulatory; Christopher Warsow to directory culinary applications & corporate executive chef; Robert Barrera to flavors–sr. principal technical scientist and Robert Schmehil to project manager.

Khalid Akel has over 20 years of experience in the food flavors operations management. Most recently, he held the position, director of operations, and was responsible for the Northbrook facility. Khal has held several senior management and engineering positions in the flavors industry as a plant manager, director of operations and vice president of supply chain and operations. In his new role as vice president of manufacturing, Khal will be responsible for Production, Engineering and Maintenance, Purchasing, Food Safety and Quality. He has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Noreen Lally joined Bell Flavors & Fragrances in 2010 as director of regulatory affairs and has been instrumental in establishing new policies, developing many new programs and has made many high-level decisions on behalf of Bell. Noreen has over 25 years’ experience in the flavor and fragrance industry at Bush Boake Allen and IFF. She also worked at Wrigley Gum after graduating from college. She holds a Bachelors in Physics; Bachelors in Chemistry and Masters in Chemistry as well as a certification from Michigan State University in International Regulatory Affairs. 

At Bell, Noreen has been keen on executing various implementations on both the flavors and fragrance sides. For fragrances: EPA Fragrances, IFRA standards and customer restrictions, for flavors: she has been working on flavor labeling criteria, GMO, Organic and AAFCO and for botanicals: INCI. Noreen is also involved in trade organizations including FEMA, IFRA and FCA.

Chris Warsow joined Bell Flavors & Fragrances in 2007 and has served as Bell’s Research Chef. Chris has driven the culinary platform at Bell by working closely with his team and many customers to develop new technologies and push the growth in this category.

Chris has been a chef for the industry’s ingredient side for the last 15 years, after spending almost a decade in the restaurant industry. Chris holds an AAS in Culinary Arts from Schoolcraft College as well as a BS and MS in Food Science from Michigan State University. His graduate studies concentrated on muscle food microbiology and meat processing.

Currently, Chris operates & leads a state-of-the-art Culinary Center which is an incubator for culinary driven product development. He has designed and built Bell’s Culinary Center by helping to improve its presence as a leading flavor supplier. He has also help to facilitate Bell’s culinary immersion programs and improved savory offerings through a culinary approach.

Chris speaks at various trade group meetings, including the Institute of Food Technologists, Research Chefs Association and the Association for Dressings and Sauces, amongst others. Additionally, he speaks to customer’s R&D teams about emerging culinary trends and how flavors can be used to achieve successful products. He is a contributing editor of Food Product Design magazine and has contributed to articles on flavor technology and trends for Culinology Magazine, Food Business News and Supply Side.

Robert Barrera joined Bell Flavors & Fragrances in 1986 and has served in many roles from compounder to scientist to mentor using his experience and expertise with Flavorology—an interactive course used to educate consumers on flavor education, how to build a flavor and what technology is used in the process; and most recently serving in the position of sr. director technical services. He will continue to work closely with Bell’s global teams, procurement and raw materials, troubleshooting with operations and regulatory to keep Bell’s business growing.

Robert Schmehil joined Bell Flavors & Fragrances in 2015 and has served in the role of regulatory specialist, most recently serving in the position of flavor lab manager. He has grown as a leader and a great team player, working with the sales teams and product developers to provide winning flavors to many of Bell’s customers. Robert graduated in 2011 from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences.

He began his career at Givaudan working in Quality Control and then moved to a Quality Assurance Role. Robert is Certified in HACCP.