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A Standing Ovation for WFFC Annual Recognition Dinner

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The Women in Flavor and Fragrance Commerce (WFFC)’s Annual Recognition Awards took place at the Liberty House restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey on June 22, 2016. The WFFC honored four women for their unique and outstanding achievements in the industry. The recipients were as follows:

  • Alpa Roman, Flavor and Fragrance Specialties (FFS)- Flavorist Award
  • Cécile Hua, Mane - Perfumer Award
  • Nancy Vorbach, Wild Flavors & Specialty Ingredients - Innovative Excellence Award
  • Paige Crist, Allured Business Media - Nancy Poulos Leadership Award

“We are gathered here tonight to honor and recognize our F&F colleagues for their outstanding achievements in the industry. This year we are honoring four exceptional women,” said Amy Marks-McGee, president, WFFC, who hosted the award ceremony.

The Perfumer and Flavorist Awards honor those whose artistic, creative and inspirational contributions positively affect the industry. The Innovative Excellence Award recognizes the contribution of inventive ideas to enhance and grow the industry. In memory of industry veteran and past WFFC president, Nancy Poulos, the leadership award that bears her name recognizes unique leadership abilities.

A Perfumer and a Flavorist

Introducing Alpa to the podium, Mike Bloom, FFS, president, said “Alpa is one of our senior flavor chemists. Alpa is one of those ‘go-to’ people. When you need something done, this is the person to go to. So most of you know how strongly she supports [the industry]. Alpa always gives her best not only to the organization but to customers and to each other. Alpa is the absolute epitome of excellence and integrity.”

In her acceptance speech, Alpa said, “It’s a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful organization with a lot of amazing women and friends. A special thank you to Mike Bloom for helping me to become a great chemist. And my friends and colleagues at FFS for supporting my professional endeavors throughout my career.”

Westly Morris, senior vice president, fine fragrance, MANE, began by sharing Cécile’s first introduction to fragrance at age seven when she was creating "fragrant potions." He traced her career, sharing her many accomplishments as a perfumer with Givaudan and now with MANE. Her career wins include Marks & Spencer, Bath & Body Works, French Connection, Khiels and Laura Mercier among many others.

Morris said, “With Cécile nothing is impossible. She finds a way to balance life with [family] and finds a way to work and win projects for us. She has lights of creativity and passion that burn endlessly. I am inspired by Cécile’s work and her work ethic and how she tackles projects. On behalf of myself and Michel Mane and the entire MANE family, we would like to congratulate her and thank the WFFC for this award.”

In her acceptance speech, Cécile said, “Yes I was seven when I had my first fragrant dream and it was something that really moved me and showed me how fragrance can be a part of my life. I’m really happy today and for the past 20 years, I’ve been able to create scents for many of you."

An Innovator and a Leader

Introducing Nancy, Scott Olstad, vice president global sales, ADM Wild, said, “[When meeting Nancy], you get the energy, the passion she has for her family, for WILD flavors, for the customers and this industry.”

Nancy joined WILD 20 years ago when the company was experiencing declining sales and profits. Olstad attributed Nancy’s work to the company’s success, which also include praises sung from basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, for her work towards his beverage launch.

In her acceptance speech, Nancy said, “I am so honored to be here. I think of my work as my family. Some people say that there has to be balance. I don’t think there has to be balance. I think if you love your work, it’s like loving your family. It feels very natural. It’s what you do and its’ what you embrace and it allows you to enjoy your life fully. I owe all my success, truly, to WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients because they have always entrusted me with their business. They’ve supported me and they’ve given me the confidence to soar and be successful for the company and myself. What more could any woman want?”

Introducing Paige, Jeb Gleason-Allured, editor-in-chief, Perfumer & Flavorist magazine and GCI magazine recounted Paige's growth and achievements with Allured Business Media.

He said, “Paige grew from a junior sales person to an integral business development leader who has contributed to our magazines, new digital products as well as the growth and success of Flavorcon and World Perfumery Congress. I will say no one in our company works harder or [is] more willing to take charge or own responsibility [and] is more mindful and open hearted [than Paige]."

Gleason-Allured express his gratitude towards the industry and Nancy Poulous, saying, "I knew Nancy and she could not have been kinder to me as a junior editor from the Midwest, she gave so much of her effort and enthusiasm to all of her colleagues and to the WFFC. Nancy really was a leader, and I am very proud that Paige is able to accept this award that bears her name tonight."

In her acceptance speech, Paige thanked Nancy Poulos and the WFFC board. She reflected on how organizations like the WFFC have pushed women’s rights beyond the industry and into society.

“I think it’s fair to say that we are slightly ahead of some countries in the women’s rights category, and organizations like the WFFC help to get us there. I myself am fortunate to work for a woman-owned business. This year, we have women at the head of both IFRA North America and IFRA global. And for the first time ever, India’s F&F organization, FAFAI, has a female president. This is huge. This is progress,” she said.

“I am so thankful to be in an industry and part of an organization surrounded by intelligent, driven, beautiful inside-and-out, strong women,” she said. “And I’m equally grateful for all of the generous, supportive egalitarian men in my life and in the flavor and fragrance industry. I enjoy learning from you and working with you…Thanks for welcoming me into your beautiful, fragrant, flavorful world and allowing me to be a part of this!”

Please visit Perfumer & Flavorist's Facebook page for more photos. Special thanks to Laure Moutet-Manheimer, WFFC, and Dan D'Errico for photography.