Member Spotlight: Holly Long
This year would not have been successful without the hard work and dedication of the Cactus Section IFT Chair, Holly Long. Holly has spent hours scheduling events and organizing meetings.
Here are some questions we asked her:
When did you join IFT?
I first joined IFT as a student at the University of Arizona in the late 1980s. I returned to Arizona 6 years ago and I have been actively involved in the Cactus Section IFT for 4 years. I came to an open board meeting just to see what was going on and left with the job of secretary. That pulled me right in and I have found it very rewarding to be involved.
Can you tell us about your role as the Cactus Section IFT Chair?
Being Chair has been a challenge for me and I still have much to learn! At the same time, I have truly benefited from the training offered by IFT and have been able to sharpen my leadership skills. One of the best things for me has been developing friendships. I have also enjoyed working with volunteers and feeling such a great sense of appreciation for their help in seeing things through. As Chair, I have enjoyed seeing events come together, getting to know more of the members, and working on building my own skill sets. I am grateful for the opportunity!
What do you do professionally?
I have been involved in the nutritional supplement industry for over 20 years. I started out as a new graduate with a Master’s in Food Science from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. At that time, the nutritional supplement industry was not seen as a valid industry by the scientific community in general. Being involved in IFT helped me stay in touch with the science community. Over time more and more scientists became involved in the nutritional supplement industry and now there are many at any given event. It has been a wonderful change for our industry. Six years ago, I shifted focus in my career and am now involved in the business side of the industry managing a web fulfillment group. Being involved with IFT helps me keep in touch with the science that I love and meet other great professionals.
Why do you stay involved in IFT?
Among other reasons mentioned, one of my main reasons for staying involved is a love of science and learning. My favorite events are those where we learn together from great presenters and/or industry tours.
If you had to choose, what has been your favorite IFT event? Why?
One of my favorite IFT events in the last few years was a presentation on food safety and recall processes. It was unrelated to my current position, but the speaker knew the material well and taught and entertained us at the same time. A good teacher can always engage an audience!
Do you enjoy any hobbies? If so, what?
My husband and I enjoy working together on self sufficiency activities that could be loosely grouped under the idea of an urban farm. I enjoy having fruit trees, gardening, and cooking with my sun oven. The empowerment I felt when I cooked my first meal in the sun oven is hard to describe.
What would you eat for your last meal?
I love many kinds of food and my favorites change often. I have a recipe called “Tomoatoey Chickpeas” that comes to mind at this moment. It’s garbanzo beans flavored with Indian spices over rice. Pot stickers sounds good today too. And then a rich decadent dessert, perhaps.