MANHATTAN, KAN. — Jeff Wilson has been promoted to global vice president of operations at AIB International. He will succeed Stephanie Lopez, who will depart the company next month to venture outside the food safety industry and take steps toward what she is calling a “second career.”
Well-experienced in technical, quality, production and health and safety management, Wilson has been with AIB International since 2002, most recently as vice president of operations for Europe, Asia, and Africa (EAA). He began his career with AIB International as a food safety auditor and trainer in the EMEA region. He moved into management roles as that region’s operations manager for food safety services, managing food safety auditors, auditing, and training. He later was named EMEA general manager before being named vice president of food safety services for the EAA in January 2016.
In his new role, Wilson will help focus the development of key operational initiatives, supporting both AIB International’s team and its customers.
During her nearly two decades with AIB International, Lopez’ work has been recognized by customers, colleagues and peers, including having authored “The AIB GMP and Prerequisites Guide Book.” She also led the establishment of the wholly owned subsidiary and certification body AIBI-CS and was its first president. During her tenure at AIB Lopez also developed numerous seminars and webinars, while teaching several hundred of them.
“While deciding to pursue a second career has been a difficult decision, I know that now is the right time to challenge myself in pursuing this life goal,” Lopez said. “I’m departing with confidence that the global AIB International team is up to any future challenges and our customers are in good hands.
“I have such gratitude for the many mentors, colleagues and customers who have afforded me the opportunity to grow, learn, travel and build success these past two decades. Together, we’ve been able to equip our customers with knowledge and support the delivery of safe, high-quality food around the world.”
Wilson described Lopez as “an incredible resource and mentor” at AIB International.
“She and I collaborated on so many different operations initiatives that we were given the nickname ‘Jeff-anie’ by the team, so I’ll carry fond memories of work together,” Wilson said. “In this new global role, I’ll be working to take our learnings from 2020 and put them into practice, while also focusing on the continuous improvement of our team and their service to customers. Given the composition of the team we have in the Americas, EMEA, APAC, LATAM and China, I know we are up to the task.”
Reflecting on the tenure of Lopez and the road ahead for Wilson, Andre Biane, president and chief executive officer of AIB International, said, “For decades, Stephanie’s work has been highly regarded by our customers and team, highlighted by her many positive contributions to the industry. While we know that her leadership will be missed, we’re also proud to support her in pursuing a life goal and trying something completely new.
“With Jeff now taking on this global role, we will maintain continuity with the operations team and customers, while also broadly implementing our strategy for future growth. I look forward to the beneficial impact his efforts will have with our operations team and how that will translate to even better service quality for our customers around the world.”