February 18/Geneva, Ill./Press Release -- FONA International Inc. announced two promotions and two new hires.

TJ Widuch, Executive Vice President
Widuch began his career with FONA as its fourth employee in 1987. Throughout his years of service, he has advanced within the company and gained a well-rounded knowledge of the flavor industry, holding positions in purchasing, customer service, operations, sales and management.

During his 25 years of service, Widuch's many contributions have helped build the successful organization FONA is today. He implemented the business unit structure that helped FONA grow and provide increased service opportunities to customers. He has led the Grain business unit to new levels of achievement through increased partnerships with our valued customers and led our regulatory team through a change in infrastructure which has resulted in a system that allows the company to better serve customers' regulatory compliance needs around the world.

Today, in addition to his roles leading Grain and Regulatory, he plays a key role in FONA's international growth and expansion. Speaking about the promotion, chairman & CEO Joe Slawek said, "He is a member of our next generation of leaders who will continue to grow the family business in alignment with FONA's values. TJ is family."

Robert Sobel, Vice President - Research, Quality & Innovation
Sobel began his career in the flavor industry at FONA in 1999. During his time with FONA, the company notes he has been a critical leader in technology and innovation, launching encapsulation and taste modification platforms, bringing to market various technologies that improve the duration and delivery of flavors while addressing industry needs for better tasting food. He has also been the chair of FONA's Flavor University program since 2006, helping develop course curriculum and shape the direction of courses. 

"We are so grateful as a family, a company and a leadership team to have Bob aboard," said Joe Slawek. "He's someone we all love being around." FONA president Luke Slawek added, "We are humbled to have his intellectual capital in our organization." Sobel has published manuscripts in Analytical Chemica Actica, The Journal of Chemical Education and Perfumer & Flavorist and has given a variety of technical symposia on topics such as analysis of flavor encapsulates, challenges of microencapsulation of flavors, and taste modifying for salt and sugar reduction.

Ibrahima Faye, Certified Flavorist - Beverage
Faye is a Certified Flavorist with 12 years of experience specializing in emulsions, citrus flavors, and development of RTD beverages. Faye works closely with customers to deliver complete flavor solutions and personal service. He has a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in pharmacy from the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal.

Josh Vernoski, Regulatory Affairs Manager
Prior to joining the FONA team, Vernoski spent five years in scientific and regulatory affairs at a large consumer goods company working closely with flavor as an ingredient and overall supply management. At FONA, he works on the continuous improvement of its raw material regulation programs, provides leadership for its regulatory infrastructure and internal processes, and provides service to customers' regulatory departments. He is an active member of FEMA with in-depth participation in the Regulatory Affairs Committee and Regional Task Force subcommittees. He graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in international studies.