Glen Rock, NJ – The WFFC is pleased to announce the 2022 Annual Recognition
Award recipients. They are Gillian Bleimann Boucard, Berje, Inc. (Nancy Poulos
Leadership Award), Elsa Howerth, Kerry (Flavorist Recognition Award), Christina
Christie, IFF (Perfumer Recognition Award) and Sarah Willet, Kerry (Innovative
The award recipients will be honored at the WFFC Annual Recognition Dinner on
Thursday, June 16, 2022, at the Liberty House Restaurant in Jersey City, New
Gillian -Bleimann Boucard
An active member of the flavor and fragrance community for over 22 years, Gillian
Bleimann-Boucard is the recipient of the Nancy Poulos Leadership Award. Gillian
began her career as a student, spending her summers in Berje’s fragrance
laboratory. These summers in the lab along with the guidance of her father, Kim
Bleimann, sparked her interest in the industry throughout her college years.
Beginning in 2006, Gillian started her career at Berje as part of a rotational
training program, working in areas of quality control, regulatory and product
management. Helping Berje expand its global partnerships throughout Europe,
Asia, Australia and South America, Gillian led the company’s global purchasing
As of 2021, Gillian has ascended to the role of CEO at Berje, carrying the
company into its third generation of family ownership. Throughout her entire career, Gillian has remained hyper-focused on providing stability and sustainability for the next generation of her industry. When Gillian is not working at Berje, her time is spent enjoying time with her family between New Jersey and Texas.
Elsa Howerth, RD&A Director/Senior Flavorist III at Kerry, is the recipient of the
Flavorist Recognition Award. Elsa has been in the flavor industry for over thirty
years, although she came to the United States as a foreign student to study
physical therapy. She received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and food
administration, while training to be a flavorist in a career path she didn’t know
existed. With her passion and skill set, Elsa advanced in her career moving into a
technical director role overseeing both quality control and regulatory.
Elsa now excels in her current role at Kerry in Beloit, Wisconsin, as she continues to work on flavors across product categories and as a technical manager in complex reduction initiatives while mentoring/training juniors. Elsa is an active volunteer for the Society of Flavor Chemists and a participating member of FEMA committees.
Christina Christie, Senior Perfumer at IFF, is recipient of the Perfumer Recognition
Award. Christina Christie did not know she would become a perfumer. However,
with olfaction as her main sense, this paved the way for an amazing career in
fragrances. Christina recalls the sensitivity she had to scents and kept sensation
records while growing up in New York City. Still unaware of the industry after
graduating college, a headhunter helped her find her first job in the industry.
This introduction to perfumery while working in a marketing position, changed her fate
and her career path. Christina eventually trained as a perfumer at Takasago while
working there for 14 years; eventually going back to her roots in New York City to
become a Senior Perfumer at IFF.
With its induction in 2016, the Innovation Excellence Award is offered to
individuals that act as role models in guiding change and innovation. This year’s
recipient is Sarah Willet, Ph.D., Senior RD&A Scientist – Innovation at Kerry.
In Sarah’s role, she focuses on areas for lipid systems, enzyme processes, and
encapsulation of flavors and bioactives. Completing her PhD at the University of
Georgia in 2019, Sarah’s research focus was on production of structured lipids
containing menhaden fish oil, oleogels, and potential healthy beneficial lipids in
food products. An active member of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS),
Sarah has won multiple awards, including Biotechnology Student Awards and the
Hans Kauntiz Award.
Her active membership also includes serving as the vice chair of the biotechnology division, chair of Young Professionals Common Interest Group, and newsletter editor. Her hobbies include eating desserts and running with her chocolate lab Godiva and fiancé Jose.
About the WFFC
The WFFC, Inc. was founded in 1982 by women employed in various capacities in the U.S. flavor and fragrance industry. This organization was borne out of a recognized need for a networking, education and support system for women in our industry. Our mission has been and remains to this day to provide a center of education, camaraderie, support and networking opportunities for women in our industry. Our membership encompasses women involved in sales, purchasing, customer service as well as technical careers.