Shawn Woodruff and Rhonda Dewey are our very first BRC Global Standards Professionals to complete for Agents and Brokers. Based in Canada, Shawn and Rhonda both work for Chase Global Foods. We had an opportunity to find out more about their roles and what the Professional qualification means to them.
What is your current role?
Rhonda: At Chase Global Foods Inc, an Agent and Broker of mainly protein products, I am both the financial Controller and the Internal Auditor for the BRC Agents and Brokers Standard, Issue 2.
I was appointed Internal Auditor so that our new Quality Assurance department could be impartially audited on a continual basis. One of the first resources our president assigned to the program were human resources.
Shawn: I am currently the QA manager at Chase Global Foods.
Why did you join the BRC Global Standards Professional Programme?
Rhonda: We seek to further our understanding of the requirements and how to marry them with our business model. This is perhaps the biggest challenge in the application of the Agents and Brokers standard. Our PSQMS was originally written as a step-by-step to ensure both compliance with the Standard and ease of use. Furthering our knowledge enables us to refine our programme to better reflect our business flow. Continuously improving your system is a core component of the BRC Global standards.
Shawn: I joined the program to expand my understanding of quality issues in our industry, to learn about as many factors in QA as possible and to help expand my companies resources regarding the food safety world.
What value do you personally feel the BRC Global Standards Professional certification brings to you?
Rhonda: I take great pride in my accomplishment and the recognition it affords me. I may not be an official part of our Quality Assurance department but I’m absolutely doing my part to assure quality!
Shawn: Having the BRC Global Stands Professional certification allows me the ability to bring a more professional look to Chase Global Foods, as well as letting our customers know that we are committed to continuous learning.
How has/will the recognition programme impacted your work?
Rhonda: Agents and brokers are part of the food supply chain and, therefore, have an obligation to uphold food safety, quality and legality. Ours is a young standard and not widely understood nor acknowledged. On occasion, our colleagues have been confused regarding our role in the QA chain as we don’t directly handle product. Attaining BRC Professional certification absolutely lends legitimacy to both our standard and our team. I believe that the courses I took strengthened my competence as an internal auditor which, in turn, strengthens our programme.
Shawn: Through all the training involved in obtaining the Professional qualifications, I have greatly expanded my knowledge base on many aspects of food safety and risk assessment.
Would you have completed the component courses anyway?
Rhonda: Definitely. Our first few courses focused more on the impact/relevance to the manufacturing process. As often as possible when providing course feedback, I would point out that it would be appreciated if the courses, and exams, could include examples relevant to our particular standard. Fortunately, the last two classes included just such examples. The various courses are complementary so the more you complete, the better your understanding. Think of a patchwork quilt where each piece may stand on its own but when placed side by side, the total pattern highlights the importance and positioning of each individual piece.
Shawn: Absolutely, the programs offered are great learning tools for anybody in the food industry.
How did you get to your current role?
Rhonda: My mentor, Terri Clarke, recommended me to the president of Chase Global Foods almost 9 years ago. Management promoted work/life balance even before it was trendy. This was important to me as my children were quite young at the time.
Shawn: I started at Chase Global Foods as a Customer Service employee, and later moved my way to the manager position. In that position I managed all aspects of customer relations, including specific customer requirements and managed our complaint program. When our president decided to create a full QA department, I was excited to bring my knowledge to that area and expand our company’s knowledge in all things quality.
What is your educational background?
Rhonda: College, light years ago, and a variety of business courses throughout my career to upgrade and remain relevant. I’m also an avid researcher so I expand my knowledge base daily.
Shawn: I studied Multimedia Design in college, however many of my jobs have been in the food industry, ranging from back house restaurant work, warehousing and distribution, to order processing and customer service. Through my life I have tried to gain as much knowledge in how the global supply chain operates as well as how companies operate at the ground level.
What are your career ambitions/aims?
Rhonda: Our company is poised to expand in several exciting directions and I’m excited to be a part of the team.
Shawn: My goal is to help Chase Global Foods expand into more of the global market, and to bring safe, quality foods into Canada and beyond.