Advisory Committees

Curriculum Vitae - Joan Menke-Schaenzer

ConAgra Foods                                                                               
Six ConAgra Drive                                                                          
Omaha, NE 68102
Office: 402-240-7244 


Senior Executive with global experience in both food retail and food manufacturing industry with expertise in quality and food safety programs including HAACP and ISO 9000 across a variety of food products.  Success in developing close working relationships with trade associations, NGO’s and the FDA, CPSC, CDC, USDA, and EPA in both Washington, D.C. and at the field level.


ConAgra Foods, Inc. – Research, Quality & Innovation (Omaha, NE) 2007 - Present
Global Chief Quality Officer
Lead programs to create a world-class foundation for quality and food safety through the standardization of best practices throughout ConAgra.  Successfully managed Banquet Pot Pie recall, lessons learned and resolution. 

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Bentonville, AR) 2002 - 2007
Vice President of Food Safety and Defense
Global responsibilities include quality, regulatory, microbiological and food safety leadership across four business units encompassing 6,601 totals unites within 13 countries worldwide.  Staff responsibilities include six direct reports and 35 corporate staff. 

  • Led the creation of worldwide quality, food safety and food defense programs and standards, all designed to protect the public while mitigating risks to Wal-Mart and its brands.  Responsible for food safety in 3000 stores and 200 clubs worldwide.
  • Co-leader of Wal-Mart’s Chemical Intensive Product (CIP) Environmental sustainable Value Network, one of 14 networks within Wal-Mart’s key strategic environmental sustainability initiative.
  • Development of global Risk Assessment and Enterprise Risk Management for food safety and food defense programs designed to mitigate risk to Wal-Mart and their brands

Kraft Foods, Inc. (Northfield, IL) 1982 – 2001
Vice President North America Quality and Food Safety 1996 - 2001
Leadership of Quality, Regulatory compliance, microbiological and food safety across eight business units encompassing 65 Kraft plants and over 115 contract/co-pack plants within the United States and Canada.

  • Led development of worldwide quality and food safety programs and policies through the Phillip Morris Worldwide Quality Council
  • Led Newberry plant shut down resolution with USDA, returning the plant back into operations within 24 hours of having been shut down by local inspectors.  Avoided business disruption costs of $500,000 per day.
  • Spearheaded recall resolution regarding unapproved GMO Starlink corn ingredient in Kraft’s Taco Bell ® taco shell product with Aventis, Taco Bell Frito Lay, USDA and FDA. 

Vice President Operations Quality 1991 – 1996
Quality and environmental leadership for Operations as Kraft integrated Oscar Mayer and General Foods into a “one company” U.S. based operation.

  • Developed unified quality and environmental policy for all business units; Kraft, Oscar Meyer and General Foods, creating a harmonized one company approach to quality and environmental issues.
  • Implemented consumer complaint actions teams; cross-functional teams (operations, R&D and marketing) created to respond to key consumer complaints 

Operations Business Manager / Snacks & Parmesan Cheese 1989 – 1991
Coordinating Marketing, R&D and Operations activities for successful development, productions and promotion of snacks and parmesan cheese.

  • Led the resurgence of the Handi-Snack® franchise through new product launch of cheese and breadstick product.  Product concept to store shelf was accomplished in a record six months, beating the competitors to market resulting in record volume growth.  Resulting in moving Handi-Snack® franchise to number one market share position within its category. 

Product Business Unit Manager / Cream Cheese & Snacks 1988 – 1989
Coordinated Operations activities with Marketing and R&D for cream cheese and snack products.

  • Increased volume and revenue through launch of two Spreadary® cheese products, and three New Philadelphia cream cheese products.

Corporate Quality Manager / Natural Cheese and Grocery Products 1987 – 1988
Oversaw quality programs across eighteen natural cheese plants and six grocery product plants
Lab Technologist plant quality experience at four different plants to Corporate Quality 1982 - 1988


Bachelor of Science, Food Science - University of Wisconsin - Madison

Business Professional Course – Hecht & Associates, Santa Clara, CA

Professional Affiliations

  • IAFP Program Committee Member  Jul 07 – Jul 09
  • Member American Frozen Foods Institute (AFFI) Board of Directors  Apr 09 – Present
  • Member SQF Technical Committee  Aug 07 – Present
  • Member GFSI Technical Committee  Feb 08 – Present
  • Founding Member AFFI Microwave Cooking Food Safety Industry Working Group Mar 08 - Present
  • Member of Info Recall Link Advisory Board Aug 09 – Present

Activities, Honors & Awards

October 2009
Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting panel member with 
Robert Brackett, Bill Marler and Scott Rickman re: Ensuring Safety & Quality of
Products Manufactured in China

August 2009
CDC EISO (Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer) seminar speaker. 
Topic:  Peter Pan Peanut Butter lessons learned.  First ever industry speaker

March 2009
IAFP Rapid Response Symposium organizer and moderator.  Salmonella in Peanut Products – Understanding the risk and controlling the process. 

2005 / 2006
CIES, International Food Safety Conference key note speaker “Food Safety & Wal-Mart a Global  Retailer” Barcelona, Spain & Rome, Italy

Kraft President’s Award – Recognized for leadership role in developing and leading comprehensive food  safety initiatives across all meat and pizza plants in North America

Black Pearl Award (Accepted on behalf of Kraft Foods) for corporate excellence in Food Safety from the  International Association of Milk, Food & Environment (IAMFES)

1992 Kraft President’s Award – Recognized for Kraft’s most successful product launch of Handi-Snacks Cheese-N-Breadsticks®

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