Cherney Microbiological Services, Ltd.
Amanda has been a member of WLA since 2010 during which time she worked for her family’s business, Cherney Microbiological Services, Ltd. In late 2018, she left the organization to begin the development of a non-profit organization named “The Cherney Family Foundation” which has a mission of supporting both Veterans and Homelessness in Wisconsin. She has held positions of Secretary, 2nd Vice-President and Vice-President with WLA over her tenure. Amanda’s favorite aspect of WLA is being able to network with other industry professionals who share her passion for food safety. Her family has also been a large part of WLA, making her passionate about giving back through her time to the organization. Amanda has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) Entrepreneurial Management and Biology Minor from Creighton University. She has two children who find the food safety world fascinating! She enjoys tending to her large garden with her family and spending time outdoors during much of the year.
Sargento Foods, Inc.
WLA 1st Vice President
Megan has been with WLA since 2016, where she was elected as Secretary. She is a Microbiology Laboratory Supervisor at Sargento Foods Inc and has a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and over ten years of lab experience. She joined WLA for networking and leadership development opportunities. Serving on the board has allowed the creation of valuable connections within the industry. Megan lives in Elkhart Lake, WI with her husband, two children, and two labrador retrievers. She enjoys gardening, golf, and weekends at the lake with family.
Cherney Microbiological Services, Ltd.
WLA 2nd Vice President
Matt joined WLA in the fall of 2018, where he was elected as 2nd Vice President. He is the Training Manager for Cherney Microbiological Services and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, with more than six years of experience in laboratory and food manufacturing. He was drawn to WLA for the incredible networking experiences and the opportunity to grow his career through education and the experience of colleagues. His favorite aspect of WLA is that the organization allows industry professionals to leave competition at the door and collaborate for the sole purpose of improvement through education and networking to develop more effective laboratorians. Matt lives in Denmark, WI with his wife, daughter, and two golden retrievers. He enjoys time with family, hunting, fishing, and taking in the great outdoors.
Crystal has been with WLA since September of 2017, where she was elected as Co-Secretary. She is a Project Coordinator at Northland Laboratories and has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Biochemistry, and a Master of Science in Bacteriology. She joined WLA to network with other laboratories and companies in the food science field, and to promote information and education in the Midwest. Crystal’s favorite aspect about WLA is that the conferences and workshops appeal to all levels of a company, reaching technicians to upper management. She enjoys running, hiking (anything being outdoors), and reading!
Covance Food Solutions
Vanessa has been with WLA since 2017, where she was elected as Co-Secretary. She is a Business Development Manager at Covance Food Solutions and has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. She joined WLA to become more active and involved with the industry and to help promote the importance of collaboration, communication and connection between laboratories and members. Vanessa’s favorite aspect about WLA is that the association provides an ideal platform for continued learning and education for employees and employers in industry to emphasize the important of quality and safety in the food and beverage space. She loves traveling to new places with her husband and enjoys running marathons, having completed 16 full marathons with a goal of running one marathon in every state. On the weekends she can be found visiting craft breweries all over the state of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection – Division of Food and Recreational Safety
Lisa has been with WLA since 1995. She is a Laboratory Evaluation Officer at Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection – Division of Food and Recreational Safety and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Music. She joined WLA because it aids laboratorians in becoming relevant and innovative, it also aids in providing helpful information that can be used to improve results and techniques used in their workplace. WLA is the “go-to” place for all this laboratory! Lisa’s favorite aspects are the conferences and workshops and how they are always interesting and informative. She also values the friendships made with fellow colleagues that would not have been possible without WLA. Lisa enjoys scrapbooking and card-making. She also enjoys singing with newVoices Choir in Appleton, which is an award-winning chorus that tours around the world.
WLA Co-Board Member at Large
Melissa joined WLA in the fall of 2018, where she was elected as a Co-Board Member at Large. She is a Technical Sales Manager – Laboratory for Nelson-Jameson and holds a Master of Science degree in Dairy Nutrition, with extensive experience in cheese making/grading and quality assurance. She joined WLA because Nelson-Jameson is a proud supporter, it is a great networking organization, and most importantly the organization is a trusted group offering relevant education to the members of the laboratory world. Melissa’s favorite aspect of WLA is the opportunity to meet members of the community that she has been working with over the years. She also enjoys the camaraderie of the members working together to bring relevant topics to the laboratory community. In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband, two college-age children, traveling, motorcycling, the outdoors, gardening, lake life, and any kind of skiing. Last but certainly not least, she is an avid Badger fan. On Wisconsin!
WLA Board Member at Large
Jessica has been with WLA for 4 years and has been an active Board Member. She graduated from UW – La Crosse with a degree in biology then worked as an Analytical Chemist at Covance in the Nutritional Chemistry and Food Safety department. Jessica joined WLA because many of her co-workers were directly involved and have served on the WLA board. When she began working at Nelson-Jameson, she observed second hand the benefit her colleagues were getting from the Wisconsin Laboratory Association and wanted to be involved. There are many years of experience and industry expertise that serve as a constant resource to her and her day-to-day responsibilities. Jessica’s favorite aspects about WLA are learning new things, meeting new people and having a great group of industry experts to go to when she needs questions answered or bounce ideas off of. She enjoys running, biking, traveling, exploring and crafting.
WLA Board Member at Large
Tami has been a member of WLA since 2013 since she was selected as a presenter for the Fall and Spring Conferences. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and is the Quality and Regulatory Manager at Bel Brands. Her favorite aspects of WLA are the educational conferences, regulatory and technology updates, and networking with other industry professionals. She enjoys collaborating with previous colleagues and values the friendships that have formed over the years. Tami enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, family, and friends and plays clarinet in a Symphonic band.
Sargento Foods, Inc
WLA Board Member at Large
Elise joined WLA in the fall of 2018, where she was elected as a Co-Board Member at Large. She is a Microbiology Specialist at Sargento and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology, with a minor in Chemistry. Elise joined WLA to get more involved in the community and assist the laboratory field. Her favorite aspect of WLA is the passion everyone brings and the collaborative approach used in discussions. In her free time, Elise enjoys outdoor activities, baking, and reading historical non-fiction.
Fox Valley Technical College
WLA Administrative Director
Julie has been a member of WLA since 2010 and was the recipient of the prestigious Laboratorian of the Year award in 2015. She has a Master of Science degree in Bacteriology and 20 years of experience as a Research Scientist. Julie is the Laboratory Science Technician Program Chair at Fox Valley Technical College and has graciously hosted WLA’s Spring Workshop at FVTC for the past eight years to educate lab technicians on new techniques and regulations, while fostering networking opportunities amongst industry peers. Outside of the office, she enjoys outdoor activities, especially biking and hiking. Julie and her husband are recent empty nesters who enjoy visiting their son in Madison and attending Badger football games.
Cherney Microbiological Services
WLA Executive Director
Deb, CEO/Founder of Cherney Microbiological Services has been a member of WLA for 35 years. She has held several positions including Board Member at Large, Secretary, 2nd VP, 1st VP President, Past President. She joined WLA many years ago for the networking opportunities. When working in a laboratory, you can feel very isolated and often times you have questions about procedures or processes and you don’t have a clue of where to look or who to ask for answers. WLA gave her a venue to learn that she was not alone or the only one with questions and many of the questions she had, others had too. It also gave her an opportunity to build her network for personal and professional development to help evolve in her career within the food industry. In her free time Deb enjoys nature, outdoor activities such as hunting small game, upland birds, turkey and deer. She also enjoys fishing on inland lakes for panfish and on the Bay for perch and walleye and enjoys spending time with her family and teaching her grandchildren about the passions in her life.
Membership Committee MaryAnn Baumgart
Crystal Moss, Vanessa Snyder