Ep. 087 – On Quality Leadership with Bryan Armentrout, Quality and Regulatory Consultant at Food Leadership Group

I think this might actually be our first quality manager on our podcast and I am very excited that it’s Bryan Armentrout. He’s had over 25 years working as a Quality expert in the dairy industry.

Bryan is also offering his new book: The New Manager Mindset to our viewers and all you have to do is go to fsmaexpert.com and just pay for shipping. I read this book, as I’m thinking of management, and it really gave me some great tips and resources to not only understand people, but to build systems.

We go pretty in depth on food safety, quality, leadership and management so if you are interested in this pathway, pay close attention to this interview. My favorite part of this interview is about 20 minutes in where Bryan explains how to have everyone agree on how to deal with warm milk.

Sponsor – FoodGrads

If you are even just a little bit interested in a career in food & beverage, you should join FoodGrads.  It’s an interactive platform where you can hear about different careers, hear from your peers, have a voice and share your story as well as ask specific questions and get feedback from industry experts across the sector.

You can create a profile, add your resume and search for co-op, internships and full time opportunities just for Food Grads. Employers can find you too, they can recruit you for jobs and projects they need help with to give you the relevant industry experience you need.

Join FoodGrads today! Just go to Foodgrads.com

Sponsor – ICON Foods

Big announcement from our friends at Stevivia. They now go by ICON Foods and you’re seeing a rebranding in action which I find really exciting. Their vision is brighter, their strategy is stronger and their all-natural, clean-label product portfolio is ever growing. So why are they doing this? Even though stevia is an amazing product, there are just so many sweeteners coming up and it’s becoming a bit overwhelming.

Monkfruit, Allulose, Agave, you name it. This is what ICON Foods is here for: to help you find sweetener solutions so you can focus on other challenges in the product development process.

For more information, visit ICON foods at ICONfoods.com


If you like what you heard, like us on facebook or write a review on itunes. It helps wonders.

I am also inviting you to sign up on our email list at myfoodjobrocks.com. I am doing this new thing called the 5 course meal where I send you 5 pieces of hand picked content and deliver it every Friday morning. Like a meal kit…

If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve the podcast, don’t be afraid to email me at podcast@myfoodjobrocks.com

Knowledge Bombs

  • How mentorship brought Bryan to success
  • Why hiring a consultant is a good idea (especially in growth phase), and when to focus on it
  • A really good example of how quality and production can work together (20:00)
  • How to use personality subsets to work together
  • How the FDA works and how to take advantage of it

Question Summary

How do you introduce yourself: I make sure your food is up to standard (Quality) and make it safe (Food Safety)
Quality is making things consistent, Food Safety needs to be in place
What do you do?: I’m a quality consultant
What’s the best thing about your job?: I love working with different companies
Steps it took to get to where you are today: Planned to go to medical school, ended up working in cheese, had to decide between contributor to manager
If you want to make a bigger impact, you might need to be a manager
A quality manager’s job: to find out why stuff is happening, not fix things right away

How to create a great quality system
– Examine a process
– Talk to the worker
– Determine the key attributes
– Develop a buffer (red light, yellow light, green light) that production can understand
– Make smart decisison on a yellow light situation

Best skill you can have in quality: Technical competency and the ability to talk to people
How do you do better at talking to people?: See if you can find a person’s philosophy and how they view things. Then communicate in a way they relate to it.
Managing versus Leadership: You need both, but leadership is a focus on creating new leaders and trusting people to do their job
Exciting Food Technology: Blockchain as a tracking mechanism for food
Biggest Issue: FDA will eventually target corporate headquarters. Most corporate HQs don’t have systems in place
What’s one thing you’d like to know about?: To keep updated on food safety
How do you keep up to date?: GMA through Smart Brief, Bill Marler Food Safety News Report, take the info and cut and paste
Favorite Kitchen Item: My mom’s ice cream scoop
Best thing you’ve ever eaten: a 7 course meal in Copenhagen, Denmark. Michelien Restaurant
Advice for people in the quality realm?: Gather up your technical skillset and find things that really exciting
If you were to teach something to a class in college, what would you teach?: How to understand the consumer. (found in his book). You shouldn’t base your opinion on CEO feedback, but fanatic customer feedback.
Food Leadership Group.com
Bryan’s Book is available for free. FSMAexpert.com. Book a 30 minute convo

Other Links

Marajuana business in Colorado
Boulder Colorado
Naturally Boulder
Leprino Foods
Class 1 FDA sample
Darin Detwiler
Frank Yannis at Walmart -Walmart is partnering with IBM to blockchain
Whole Genome Technology
Gary Danko

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