Food Industry Center of Excellence

The Food Industry Center of Excellence (FICoE) is a collaboration between food industry leaders and the marketing department of Niagara University to create, build, and inspire transformative programs and partnerships that position the food industry of Western New York at the pinnacle of global excellence, while enriching educational and service opportunities for students.

In addition to seminars, certifications, and networking events, the FICoE sponsors an annual Innovation Summit for food industry executives to share the latest insights and industry trends. 

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The FICoE is organized to provide executive support, college-level education programs, student-centered opportunities in industry, and community service consistent with the Vincentian mission.

The FICoE advisory board oversees curriculum design, learning goals, and outcomes of the B.S. food marketing degree offered by the marketing department, the Holzschuh College of Business Administration, Niagara University, and accredited by AACSB International. This oversight includes quality assurance, assessment, and measurement of key performance indicators. It is the most industry-focused and industry-informed degree of its kind in the world.

The FICoE provides case studies, presentations, industry applications, lectures, assessments, company tours, internships, and employment opportunities to students in Niagara University’s B.S. food marketing program. Each food marketing class requires significant participation by industry experts from the FMC.

The FICoE advisory board consists of distinguished food executives from Western New York and representatives from the Holzschuh College of Business Administration and includes:

  • Anthony Battaglia, Lactalis American Group
  • Lisa Bellacicco (Strock), The Martin Group
  • Robert Castellani
  • Phil Catanese, Niagara University
  • Drew Cerza, Just Wing it Productions
  • Bill Chiodo, Affinity Group
  • Jeff Culhane, Tops Markets
  • Shawn Daly, Ph.D., Niagara University
  • Mike DeCory, Wegmans Food Markets
  • Bob Denning, Perry's Ice Cream
  • Bob Ferretti
  • Mark Frascatore, Ph.D., Niagara University
  • Josh Halpern, Big Chicken
  • Stephen Klarich, The Clorox Company
  • Natalie Kreher, Kreher Farm Fresh Eggs
  • Marie-Claude Laprade, Rich Products
  • Bill Mauro, Advantage Solutions
  • Brian Mercer, Tropicana Brands Group
  • Eric Moglin, PepsiCo
  • Ann Rensel, Ph.D., Niagara University
  • Mark Serling, Upstate Niagara Cooperative
  • Ricky Tatar, LiDestri Food & Drink
  • Mike Urness, Seurat Group
  • John Zimmerman, Rosina Food Products, Inc.   

FICoE Committee Members

  • Jack Ampuja, Niagara University
  • Sarah Heximer, Niagara University
  • Mike Skowronski, Niagara University
For more information on the FICoE , please contact Phillip Catanese, director of centers and college outreach.