Mary Fallin, John Patrick Lopez, vice president of operations for Lopez Foods in Oklahoma City, joins the 16-member Industry Advisory Committee to help oversee the center's mission and vision.
is extremely important to me and to Lopez Foods
"My goal is to help the team by being open, honest and direct."
To learn more about FAPC, Lopez visited the center and met with FAPC Director Roy Escoubas, administrators from OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and center faculty and staff.
has a special relationship with OSU
Employed with Lopez Foods
for 19 years, Lopez
career with the company through an accelerated training program allowing for focused participation and management within every department of Lopez Foods
During Lopez's visit to FAPC
, a topic of discussion with faculty and staff was current issues and trends in the food industry.
said the millennials are going to define what we do in the food industry, which ties into the trend of social media.
"If you don't tell your story, it will be told for you, which will probably be the wrong one," he
"If you are defending yourself, you have already lost."
also said it is important to be forward thinking.
"Be proactive instead of reactive in the food industry," he
"Be ahead of the issues that can affect your operation."
An issue that is always on the forefront for food manufacturers is food safety.
"It is becoming more of a challenge for smaller food manufacturing companies to keep up with the food regulations," Lopez
"The regulations are good because they promote food safety, but it affects the smaller companies, which many times cause them to sell out to larger companies."
With a growing demand for safe, quality food products, food-industry companies are engaging in food-safety programs.
With the support of its Industry Advisory Committee
recognized the need and established a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) program to provide services to meet the food safety and security needs of Oklahoma's food industry.
"I commend FAPC
for recognizing GFSI as a need," Lopez
"Change is constant and you better be ready for it."
will join the other advisory board members during their next biannual meeting in November.
"We enjoyed hosting Mr. Lopez
and look forward to having him on the committee with his extensive knowledge in the food-processing industry," Escoubas said.