Virtual Pet Care Flavor 201

We are so sad that we can’t be with you in-person for our Pet Care Flavor 201 course, but we are excited to share our virtual sessions below!

Meet Our Presenters:

Melissa Hartley, Sr. Market Manager, Pet Care

Melissa joined FONA in September of 2014 and has over 16 years of experience in the food and flavor industries. Melissa currently leads the Pet Care business at FONA including a team of talented Flavorists and Food Technologists who are focused on developing unique flavor solutions for pet food, treats, supplements and healthcare applications. Melissa holds a Bachelors degree in Food Science & Technology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Email:

Bob Sobel, Ph.D., VP Research & Innovation

Bob began his career in the flavor industry at FONA in 1999. He directs technology and innovation efforts in the area of new and novel flavor encapsulation delivery systems. Dr. Sobel has taught general chemistry, quantitative chemical analysis and instrumental analysis. He has published manuscripts in Analytical Chemica Actica, The Journal of Chemical Education and Perfumer & Flavorist. Dr. Sobel has given a variety of technical symposia on topics such as analysis of flavor encapsulates and challenges of microencapsulation of flavors. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Northern Illinois University, his M.A. in educational leadership from Aurora University and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Northern Illinois University. Email:


Jennifer Howell, Director of Regulatory Innovation

A FONA leader for 18 years, Jennifer is a passionate advocate for helping customers find solutions to their regulatory challenges. A key part has been implementing the regulatory processes and infrastructure needed in a rapidly growing organization to provide compliant documentation and flavor development tools for programs such as kosher, hazard communication, nutrition, allergen, labeling and GMO. With these tools as a foundation, the regulatory team at FONA is able to process over 60,000 documents a year from an average of 900 customer requests a month at industry leading service times. Adept at communicating complex ideas in effective ways, Jennifer embodies the spirit of FONA’s “dare to be different” approach. Jennifer is a strong voice within the food and beverage industry and frequently speaks at Flavor University and events such as IFT and FlavorCon. Jennifer has a B.A. from the State University of New York. Email:

Kristin Fox, Junior Flavorist

Kristin’s work as junior analytical chemist at FONA focuses on flavor analysis and method development. She was published in the Journal of Dairy Science regarding the role of sodium in the salty taste of permeate. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and master’s degree from North Carolina State University, both in food science. Email:

Lindsey Szymczak, Ph.D., Senior Scientist – Research and Innovation

Lindsey joined the Research and Innovation team at FONA in the fall of 2019. She leads FONA’s taste modification and electronic sensing platforms to advance FONA’s Optify technology and develop new customized solutions. Lindsey completed her undergraduate education at Cornell University where she received a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry. From there, she attended Northwestern University where she earned her Ph.D. in chemistry. Email:

Need more information? Visit our Pet Care page for more!