Steve Wald, Executive Director, Beef Innovation
Steve leads the Beef Innovations Group and the Culinary Innovations Team. Previous positions include Director of Product Development, Director of Retail Marketing, and Director of Veal Marketing. Prior to his work in the beef industry, Wald worked for Management Resources of America, Inc., in business development for their foods division; Lotte USA, Inc., as the East Central Region Sales Manager for their confections and cookie group; and with Cub Foods (Illinois Division). Wald received a B.S. degree in Marketing from Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois. He has lived in Colorado since 1999. Wald is a member of the IACP, IDDBA, and PDMA.
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Bridget Wasser, Senior Director, Meat Science & Technology
Bridget’s responsibilities include beef quality research project management, research dissemination, managing new cut and carcass fabrication technical activities for the Beef Innovations Group, and staffing the industry's Joint Product Enhanement Research Committee. Bridget received a B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science with a focus on Meat Science from Texas A&M University.
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Jessica Igo, Director, Meat Science
Jessica's responsibilities include assisting in meat science research and technical activities for the Beef Checkoff's product enhancement, beef safety and new product development programs that are intended to increase consumer demand for beef and beef products. Jessica received a B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M Univerity, a M.S. in Animal Science with an emphasis in Meat Science from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. in Animal Science with an emphasis in Meat Science from Colorado State University.
Chris R. Calkins, Ph.D.
Dr. Chris R. Calkins, meat scientist, is a Professor of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska. He is involved in both teaching and research. The primary focus of his research program is beef quality. Dr. Calkins was involved in the muscle profiling research that led to new beef cuts. Other research initiatives have included instrument grading for tenderness, innovative carcass fabrication, and consumer marketing research. He is recognized around the world for his expertise in meat quality and value adding strategies for beef and has received numerous national and international awards. He was a key part of the research team which was awarded the International Meat Secretariate World Prize in Meat Science and Technology – the only time the prize has ever been awarded in the United States. He earned B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Texas A&M University and a M.S. degree from the University of Tennessee.
Kari is the Principal of Range®, Inc., a fresh meat marketing firm in Chicago that helps clients develop innovative merchandising and marketing programs to enhance operational efficiency and profitability. Range worked closely with The Beef Checkoff to develop the Beef Alternative Merchandising (BAM) program and the current retail and food service cut chart posters. Kari’s favorite role is that of an educator. She travels the country conducting meat training seminars and demonstrations. Her passion and expertise is expressed in her recently released book, The Art of Beef Cutting - A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising. Kari is a journeyman meat cutter, member of the International Association for Culinary Professionals, and the National Agri-Marketing Association. Kari holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. www.rangepartners.com.
Bob Hendrickson, C.E.C, Executive Chef, The Turover Straus Group, Inc.
Bob, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, oversees concepting, development and presentation of strategic culinary solutions to chains including Starbucks, KFC, Long John Silver’s and Checkers, as well as food marketers such as Frito-Lay, NORPAC and French’s and organizations like the US Potato Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Prior to joining The Turover Straus Group, Bob has spent 25 years working in a variety of foodservice segments, from top-tier clubs, hotels, large hospitals and B&I, to a variety of independent restaurants across the country. Bob is an active member of the Research Chefs Association and the American Culinary Federation.
Tim Straus, Principal & Co-Founder/Chief Marketing Officer, The Turover Straus Group, Inc.
Tim is an innovative marketing specialist experienced in the development of new products, new distribution channels and the set-up of new ventures within food organizations. For 30 years, he has applied his unique combination of marketing talents to help a full range of companies grow existing lines and successfully enter new categories. Tim has assisted several Food Industry Clients in mapping out Strategic Paths for new product initiative and growth. These efforts have been successfully implemented by a wide range of companies including the The National Dairy Board, The US Potato Board, Hostess, Sara Lee Foods, Ziploc, NORPAC, KFC, Subway and many others. Tim is also co-editor of the book “An Integrated Approach to New Food Product Development." For The Beef Checkoff, Tim and The Turover Straus Group Team are currently assisting in the development of the “Convenient Fresh Beef” initiative.
Alan Turover, Principal & Co-Founder/Chief Technology Officer, The Turover Straus Group, Inc.
Alan is a creative senior executive with an outstanding record of over 35 years of accomplishments in the Food & Beverage Industries, including positions as Vice President – Product Development for the Venture Group at Kraft; for the Frozen Foods and Dairy Divisions at Kraft General Foods; and as Vice President – Research and Development with Castle & Cooke, Inc. Skilled in all phases of domestic and international strategic technology management, Alan has placed special emphasis on product development, productivity improvement, technology integration and management, venture development and quality management.