- Food Logistics
- Manufacturing Support Services
Dave Cotto is the Food Safety Specialist at Columbian. He manages the entire quality program at CLN, including all Food Safety, Food Defense, and HACCP Programs. He manages their inter-dependencies, their structure, their administration, and most importantly, the accountability related to those programs. Dave works hard to make sure that our customers are happy and their product is safe.
In fact, Dave was recently nominated by a customer for the Legendary Customer Service (LCS) Award and won it. You can read more about the nomination in our second quarter newsletter. His work defines LCS because of his diligence. There are so many people in the organization who have no idea of the depth of knowledge that Dave holds because they might only see him out in the warehouse pulling samples for a customer quality audit. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. He almost single-handedly keeps Columbian “in the game” with customers who require quality programs and auditing structures, and most people never even hear about him.
We decided that his hard work should be recognized, and his behind-the-scenes work should be spotlighted.
“Previously, I would have been super nervous. Today, I think our facilities are ‘food safety audit ready’. I am real comfortable. I think everyone is comfortable with the way our facilities look. Cosmetically, it’s excellent.”
” Science of Food Manufacturing (AIB), Principles of Sanitation in Manufacturing (AIB), Principles of Warehouse Sanitation (AIB), Quality Assurance & HACCP (AIB), HACCP (AIB), FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Foods (IFPI), SQF Food Safety Practitioner (NFS), PCQI training (IFPI).”
“My previous employer had a mentoring program in place. During that process, I was exposed to sanitation and food safety. I was able to attend third party audits. That peaked my interest at that time, and I thought that this was something that I would like to do.”
“BIG difference. Manufacturing companies deal with exposed foods and all the risks that come with exposed foods. At a third-party warehouse, we are dealing with concealed foods. It’s very limited in the supply chain, but very important.
“I have been working in food safety for 29 years. I have been in the food business for 35 years. I started at Columbian in 2006.”
“Most of our facilities fall into the FDA jurisdiction. But, one or two facilities have the USDA come in because we have milk or egg byproducts in those warehouses.”
“It varies quite a bit. It depends on what is going on with the customer. There’s a lot of communication with the customer and myself.”
“I work with the Product Integrity Team mostly. I also work a lot with facility management. Depending on the issue, I could work with everyone and anyone.”
“My favorite part of the job and I’m not kidding you… I like answering questions and I really like dealing with food safety procedures. I find it interesting. What triggered a standard? Why do we have to implement that standard? I find that intriguing. My favorite part is problem-solving the root cause of an issue.”
“Born and raised in Ohio.”
Dave’s diligence in tying our programs and actual practices together really keeps us in good standing with our customers. On a recent audit from our customer’s customer, they were asking many detailed questions and Dave was able to point to the policy, procedure, and written verification quickly and accurately. Our customer’s customer auditor was trying hard to find a chink in our armor, and Dave wouldn’t let it happen. We all were extremely impressed but even the auditor made the comment that ‘he could learn a thing or two from Dave’. -Jim Gadziemski, Vice President of Warehouse Operations
General Manager of Warehousing at Columbian Logistics Network, Jim Gadziemski, has been re-certified as a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) through the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). Maintenance of the certification requires that designees complete 75 professional development points every 5 years. Those
points can be earned through a combination of professional membership involvement, continuing education, presentations, publications and service to the operations management profession. APICS is a professional association that provides “provider of research, education and certification programs that elevate supply chain excellence, innovation and resilience.” The CSCP designation is widely recognized for it’s rigorous education standards and master of best practices.
“We very much support continuing education and professional development which help employees carry out our mission to provide best in class logistics solutions for our customers,” States COO Bob Christian.
If you would like to learn more about the APIC CSCP designation, visit their website here:
Columbian Logistics Network is pleased to announce that all of it’s facilities have been re-certified as a USDA Organic distribution facilities. “Customers who produce organic products operate under very stringent requirements in order to retain the ‘organic’ designation. Our certification gives those companies the assurance that the ‘final mile’ between production and products landing on consumer tables will preserve their product’s organic integrity” States Jim Gadziemski, General Manager of Warehousing.
The audit is conducted by the Oregon Tilth, a nonprofit research and education organization and USDA National Organic Program (NOP) accredited certifier. The OTCO system insures strict production standards to protect producers and buyers of organic products.After submitting an application that also doubles as an Organic Handling Plan, a trained organic inspector from Oregon Tilth will review all aspects of the plan and stage an onsite inspection of the physical facilities. Basic requirements of OTCO include record keeping, pest management, contamination, co-mingling avoidance.
If you have questions about Columbian Logistics Network’s organic certification, please contact Mandy VanHaitsma at 616-460-5489 or firstname.lastname@example.org