IAFP Executive Director David Tharp to Retire
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Des Moines, Iowa– The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) announces that Executive Director David Tharp will retire on April 26, 2023, after 30 years with the Association. David joined IAFP in 1993 as Director of Finance and Administration and served as Interim Director in 1995. He was appointed to his current role in 1997 and has since led the Association to a sound financial status. David successfully directed and represented IAFP at dozens of key food safety meetings worldwide, helping grow our international status. His years as Executive Director also saw a significant increase in IAFP Membership, Annual Meeting attendance, exhibitors, and sponsors.
David’s leadership played an important role during the challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic when the European Symposium was forced to cancel and IAFP 2020 moved to a virtual event for the first time in its history – all without turnover of staff. During this time, he also managed to oversee the relocation of the IAFP office in Des Moines, Iowa.
“Over his 30-year tenure at IAFP – 26 years as the Executive Director – David has played a transformational role in the Association, including a name change, expansion of international meetings and workshops, increased focus on student scholarships, and establishing a robust financial standing,” said Michelle Danyluk, Professor, Food Science & Extension Specialist, University of Florida, and IAFP President. “He leaves the Association in a strong position, including an extremely capable staff, that will serve IAFP well into the future.”
“From the beginning, David understood the potential of IAFP,” said Gary Acuff, President, Acuff Consulting LLC and former IAFP President. “His leadership grew the organization into a global force for food protection. His role extended beyond planning meetings and orchestrating background logistics; his work facilitated the connections that sparked the groundbreaking research, novel ideas, and enhanced visibility crucial to delivering meaningful food protection efforts to consumers. Individuals around the world may never know the full extent of David Tharp’s impact on food safety, but we do. Members of IAFP witnessed his impact firsthand, and his legacy will benefit generations of professionals and consumers alike.”
Lisa Hovey, IAFP Assistant Director, will assume the Executive Director role.
About International Association for Food Protection
The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) represents more than 4,500 food safety professionals committed to Advancing Food Safety Worldwide®. The association includes educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives and quality control professionals who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing all types of foods. Working together, IAFP members, representing more than 70 countries, help the association achieve its mission through networking, educational programs, journals, career opportunities and numerous other resources.