Dr. Hilary S. Thesmar Named FMI Vice President Of Food Safety Programs

FMI senior vice president of food safety, Jill Hollingsworth, retires.

Arlington, VA: The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has announced the appointment of Dr. Hilary S. Thesmar, Ph.D., RD, as vice president of food safety programs for the nation’s largest food retail trade association. Starting in mid June, Thesmar joins FMI from the National Turkey Federation (NTF), where she served as senior director of scientific and regulatory affairs.

“I am pleased to welcome Hilary to the FMI staff,” says Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer of FMI. “Her strong academic background in food technology and human nutrition creates a unique blend of perspectives, combining food safety expertise with the practical considerations of a registered dietitian. Her stellar scientific credentials and her food industry experience will help us take our exceptional FMI Food Safety Programs to the next level.”

While serving at NTF, Thesmar guided the scientific and regulatory affairs department’s development of programs in food safety, environmental, animal health and welfare, worker safety and health and human resources regulation. The cultivation of these practical programs, permitted the turkey industry to profitably produce safe and nutritious products. In her role as the primary liaison to the federal agencies regulating turkey production and processing, Thesmar often provided crisis management support to NTF member companies.

Prior to working at NTF, Thesmar was the director of the Egg Safety Center in Washington, D.C., in addition to working with the Egg Nutrition Center. In these roles, she directed the American Egg Board food safety research program, worked with government and private agencies involved in food safety, served as a spokesperson for the industry and provided technical expertise to the egg industry on food safety and nutrition issues.

Thesmar holds a Ph.D. in Food Technology from Clemson University, a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University, a bachelor’s degree in Food Science from Clemson, and she is a Registered Dietitian.

Thesmar is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the American Dietetic Association, the International Association for Food Protection, and the US Animal Health Association. She also held several leadership positions in the IFT Food Laws and Regulations Division and in the Washington section of IFT.

In related news, Jill Hollingsworth, D.V.M., FMI's senior vice president of food safety programs, has retired.

“Jill has been an extraordinary advocate on behalf of supermarkets. She has spent her entire career dedicated to ensuring food safety for consumers,” says Sarasin. “Under Jill’s 15 years of leadership, the Food Marketing Institute has developed a complete spectrum of food safety resources for retailers and wholesalers, including the Safe Quality Food Institute and SafeMark training programs. She will be greatly missed but we wish her a wonderful retirement.”

Hollingsworth is retiring to Hilton Head Island, SC where she will live with her husband and two children.