2023 Annual Recognition Award Recipients

Nancy Poulos Leadership Award Recipient

Ana Paula Mendonça
Senior Vice President, Commercial Excellence

Ana Mendonça is a results-driven leader with 28+ years in the fragrance & flavor Industry and 19 years of international experience. She is an accomplished executive at IFF with a solid, proven track record in managing broader cross-functional teams and operating successfully in culturally diverse environments. 

Ana has made significant contributions to the company’s success and held roles of increasing complexity, seniority, and P&L responsibility. Ana keenly understands the industry and has been instrumental in driving growth for IFF. The business she led grew 39.5%, outperforming main competitors, and she unlocked new multi-million-dollar commercial opportunities by winning strategic core listings that led North America to become one of the growth engines for the Scent Division.  

She has had diverse leadership roles in Sales, Business Development, Marketing, Category Management, Creation, Design & Innovation, and General Management. Ana was the first female leader appointed Vice President, Regional General Manager of Consumer Fragrance at IFF. In 2022 she became President of Fragrance Ingredients and joined the Scent Executive Committee. Most recently, she was appointed Senior Vice President of Commercial Excellence, joining IFF’s Executive Leadership Team.

She is fully engaged in the D&EI agenda and has been part of the IFF Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee since its creation. She has moved around the IFF world with her family several times and worked in her home country of Brazil, the United States, and the Netherlands. 

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, appreciates all art forms, and is a proud mother of 2, son Bruno, and daughter, Gabi. Ana is a professional with a strong passion for people, products, and the planet.

Flavorist Recognition Award Recipient

Alison Freedman
Senior Flavorist

Alison is a Senior Flavorist with Firmenich, creating flavors for sweet, savory and beverage applications.  She currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for Perfumer & Flavorist+ and as the Chairperson for The Society of Flavor Chemists Media Communications Committee.   

Alison is passionate about her client-facing experience creating winning tastes, developing innovative products and advancing health-focused impacts for global food and beverage clients.  She is committed to combining strategy, innovation, product development and technologies to sustainably benefit the greater good. 

Much of Alison’s inspiration in life comes from pure love and appreciation of sports.  A piece of her heart will always be in Blacksburg as a Virginia Tech graduate and forever Hokie.  In her free time, she loves to appreciate and study wine; she is also a Level III certified Sommelier pursuing Level IV certification.  

Perfumer Recognition Award Recipient

Adriana Medina
Vice President Perfumery, Fragrance & Beauty

A childhood spent in Bogota gave Adriana a fantastical world of natural surprises and delights. The contrasts of Colombia are magical: Emerald cities, Amazon rainforests, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Inspiration comes from those around her and her curiosity is triggered by the intersection of art and science. Her sense of aesthetics, artistic touch and talent for creating sophisticated, memorable compositions make Adriana’s perfumery exciting.

With a true belief that we are all empowered to make a difference, Adriana’s perfumery style reflects her vibrant personality – bold, full of energy, and colorful. She is inspired by the great Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who discovered that “between reality and nostalgia is the raw material of my work.” This pretty much sums up Adriana’s philosophy and her approach to creation.

Innovative Excellence Award Recipient

Eimear Robertson
Chief Technical Officer, Kerry Taste & Nutrition, North America

Eimear joined Kerry in Ireland as a graduate in 2004 and relocated to North America in Beloit, Wisconsin, later that year. In her more than 19-year career at Kerry, Eimear has held progressive positions in RDA, Sales, Business Development, and Business Unit leadership. Within these roles, Eimear built solid, trustworthy relationships with our customers, working together with them to solve for the many opportunities the North America marketplace presents, launching new and renovating existing products.

As CTO, Eimear currently leads the Research, Development & Applications and Regulatory and Scientific affairs teams in North America. Eimear’s passion and drive is fueled by the exceptional talents and capabilities of the Kerry team: over 200 scientists that establish Kerry as the first choice for technical talent and the industry’s leader for sustainable nutrition.  

Eimear holds a degree in Food Science from the University College Dublin, Ireland and is active in several community, industry and leadership groups including Chief.

Eimear lives in Chicago area, enjoys walking, traveling, cooking & now watching soccer with her husband & their 2 boys.