2008 Conference Presenters

Claudia Knowlton-Chike, PMP

Director, Integrated Supply Chain

Rochester, Minnesota

Global Transportation and Risk Assessment

With the increase of overseas components sourcing, overseas production, and lengthy supply chains serving international markets across the world, mitigating supply chain disruptions is paramount. Companies have long dealt with disruptions such as natural disasters, strikes, accidents and so on. However, tremendous damage can be done to a company’s image, brand and margins due to vulnerabilities in the global supply chain. The goal is to design security into the supply chain rather than mitigate consequences after the fact. This presentation will address global transportation and proactive strategies, including route risk assessments, vulnerability assessments and other countermeasures.



Knowlton-Chike is an energetic executive and change agent whose career spans the end-to-end supply chain with IBM and Motorola. She brings a background in package engineering combined with senior level experience in logistics, manufacturing, order fulfillment, supply/demand planning, new product introduction and business unit management.


Most recently, she worked at Motorola as a Director within the Integrated Supply Chain where she held global leadership roles in Manufacturing, Transportation and New Product Introduction. She led strategy and operational excellence activities focused on continuous improvements and an excellent customer experience resulting in significant cost savings, reduced lead times and process efficiencies.


Knowlton-Chike earned her BS in Industrial Technology/Package Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Stout. She received her Project Management Professional certification from George Washington University, a Masters Certificate in Supply Chain Management from Penn State and an MBA from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota.


She has served as a Campus Relationship Manager at Michigan State University and as the Chair of the Greater Rochester Advocates for Universities and Colleges Board, which advocates for higher education in Minnesota. She also served as the Minnesota Chapter Lead for Women in Technology, working with technical women to develop and present energizing workshops that motivate young girls in the world of science, math and technology.

Mel Vanden Berg

Vice President of Quality Assurance

Proliant, Inc. / APC, Inc.

Ankeny, Iowa


The Challenges of Exporting Animal-Derived Products

Animal-derived products continue to provide unique difficulties in establishing and maintaining exports. Protective agricultural tariffs, human and animal health concerns – real or not, the inspections and health certificates required by regulatory agencies provide a complex maze through which companies wishing to export must successfully navigate in order to participate in this market. In many cases, companies must work closely with government agencies such as USDA-APHIS, USDA-FSIS, USDA-FAS and FDA to fulfill their known, published requirements and then those which only many of which become known only when initiating the export process. This presentation will reveal some of the means Proliant Inc. and APC, Inc. have found to overcome the many challenges when dealing with animal-derived product exports.



Vanden Berg is the Vice President of Quality Assurance for Proliant Inc. and APC Inc., which produce animal-derived products for the food, animal, dietary and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to this position, he was Vice President of Technical Services with FreshMark Foods in Kent, Washington and Director of Quality Assurance and Productivity for Curtis-Burns’ facilities (now owned by Birds Eye), located in Tacoma, Washington. Vanden Berg started his industry career as the Plant Chemist for Bar-S Foods Company in Seattle, Washington.


Vanden Berg was Chair-Elect and Chair of the Puget Sound Section of Institute of Food Technology. He served as Chairman of the Quality Control Committee of the N.W. Food Processors Association. He spent more than four years as a lecturer for the University of Washington Better Processing School.


Vanden Berg received his BS degree in Food Science from the University of Washington in 1971 and has been employed in the food and feed industries since that time.