Mars, Inc. execs speak on innovation at Colorado State University Aug. 13

FORT COLLINS — Three representatives from Mars, Inc. will visit Colorado State University on Aug. 13 for the third lecture in the Leadership in Innovation Series hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

The event will feature Mars, Inc.’s Global Director of Plant Science and External Research Howard-Yana Shapiro, Chief Science Officer Harold Schmitz, and Joe Bielitzki, food industry consultant. It will take place in the Lory Student Center Ballroom D, beginning with a reception at 4:30 p.m., followed by a lecture by the three executives from 5:15-6:45 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. However, registration is required.

Alan Rudolph, CSU’s Vice President for Research, launched the Innovation Series in spring 2014 to introduce global innovations from the public and private sector to the University and Northern Colorado.

“Our Leadership in Innovation Series highlights individuals and organizations that exemplify novel translation of discovery into impact and engage our research community broadly,” Rudolph said.

Mars, Inc. is an example of how industry can partner with governments and academia to create novel teams that innovate in important areas that CSU already has demonstrated excellence, according to Rudolph. “Mars has demonstrated their commitment to higher education and workforce development. I am excited to welcome them to our discovery and innovation ecosystem as part of our Leadership in Innovation Series.”

Founded in 1911, Mars is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of snack foods, pet foods, rice and drink vending equipment. Among better-known Mars brand names are M&M’s, Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Pedigree, Skittles, Starburst, Whiskas, Sheba and Uncle Ben’s foods.

In 2007 Forbes ranked Mars, Inc. as the sixth largest private company in America with revenue exceeding $21 billion.

 For more information about this event, contact Lauren Klamm at lauren.klamm@colostate.edu

About Howard-Yana Shapiro

Howard-Yana Shapiro is Global Director of Plant Science and External Research at Mars, Inc. Shapiro is responsible for the plant science of Mars’ primary agricultural products, investigation of potential new plant-based solutions for use in the company’s brands, and review and oversight of existing and future plant-based research. He also fulfills the roles of co-chair of the Plant Science Pod of the Mars Sustainability Advisory Council, member of the Technical Committee, and leader of the sustainability and production models for agroecological, agroforestry and agroeconomics of multifunctional cacao systems globally.

About Harold Schmitz

Harold Schmitz is Chief Science Officer for Mars, Inc. Prior to joining Mars in 1993, he was a USDA National Needs Research Fellow at North Carolina State University’s Department of Food Science.

Schmitz’s research interests are focused on the agricultural, biomedical, clinical and engineering sciences related to food production and its influence on human and companion animal health. He has particular interests in the application of analytical sciences to these disciplines, with a special emphasis on understanding the metabolism and function of dietary carotenoids and flavonoids in the context of human health and nutrition.

About Joe Bielitzki

Joe Bielitzki has worked as a science technology consultant for the food industry for the past six years and acts as a contractor for Mars, Inc. He has spoken extensively on ethics and animal care and use.

Prior to becoming a science technology consultant, he also worked for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and served as a program manager. He has also worked as the chief veterinary officer for NASA, working with the flight program nationally and internationally to develop policy on animal care and use, including the “NASA Bioethical Principles.”

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