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NICRA’s 86th Annual Meeting 
November 5-7, 2019 
Charleston Convention Center, Charleston SC

  Dr Bob Roberts of Penn State University

We are very pleased to announce that Dr Bob Roberts, Professor and Head of Food Science at Penn State University, will be attending and addressing our members on the “Science of Freezing Frozen Desserts” and everything that entails.

Dr Roberts’ work as a thought leader in the field of frozen desserts and cultured products is greatly respected, as is his current leadership of the Penn State Ice Cream Short Course and the Penn State Ice Cream 101 Courses

We greatly value Dr Roberts’ expertise and are very pleased to have him as one of featured speakers at this year’s event.



Dr Tonya Schoenfuss of the University of Minnesota

Dr. Schoenfuss studied Dairy Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and decided to study in a country famous for dairy product research for her Junior year at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

She then headed east for her Master’s in Food Science at Virginia Tech, then south to Louisiana State University for her Ph.D. in Dairy Science. After 11 years at General Mills working as a product developer in various divisions, she decided to get back to work on cheese and joined the faculty at the U of M in 2008.

In addition to her research, Dr. Schoenfuss is the faculty advisor for the Joseph J. Warthesen Food Processing Center, the Associate Director of the Midwest Dairy Food Research Center, judges local and national dairy product contests, and coaches the collegiate dairy product evaluation contest team.


 Tyler Malek  - Co-Founder of Salt and Straw

We are extremely excited to announce that our Keynote Speaker for the 2019 Convention in Charleston SC is Tyler Malek, co-founder of Salt and Straw.

 Tyler Malek is the Co-Founder and Head Ice Cream Maker for Salt & Straw Ice Cream based in Portland, Oregon. About to enroll in culinary school in Seattle in early 2011, Tyler heard that his cousin Kim Malek was opening an ice cream shop.

He convinced her to take him on, dropped everything he was doing, loaded up his car, drove to Portland and set up his workspace in Kim’s kitchen. Using an ice cream maker he found at the Goodwill, Tyler began his new role as head ice cream maker testing his endless ideas for ice cream recipes.

In May 2011, Kim and Tyler started Salt & Straw serving eight flavors from a push cart and have since built their family run business around making unbelievably delicious ice creams designed to tell the narrative of artisans, meaningful food movements, and important social causes. Salt & Straw presently has scoop shops in Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, and the Downtown Disney® District in Anaheim, California. The company creates a unique menu in each city that changes every four weeks, makes ice cream by hand in small batches and designs a generous store experience that’s personalized and welcoming.

In 2019 Malek has led his team in dedicating 20 percent of Salt & Straw’s menu to be vegan, focused on bringing the same level of thoughtful indulgence to non-dairy flavors as he does with others. Salt & Straw ice creams are also available in New York City at select partners such as Daily Provisions and is served on first-class flights on Alaska Airlines.

Since opening, Tyler has created more than 600 flavors and spends most of his time working with his R&D department, which designs future flavors and hunts for new stories.The team constantly partners with more than 100 industry leaders each year, collaborating with James Beard Award-winning chefs, renowned national microbreweries, best in class local and organic farmers and a variety of other food experts. Due in large part to his continuing pursuit for taste provoking creations and changing the way people experience ice cream, Tyler was selected as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for “Changing the Way America Eats”, named Zagat 30 Under 30 for 2017, one of the Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and one of the Eater Young Guns Semi-Finalists.

Tyler currently lives in SW Portland with his wife, three dogs and a blind cat. On April 30, 2019 Tyler will reveal the stories and inspirations behind the beloved company in the highly anticipated debut cookbook, The Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook. Through sharing more than 100 recipes, he sets out to prove at home cooks can create their own original flavors inspired by seasonal ingredients and local flavors, makers and dishes. Follow Tyler on Instagram @TylerJamesMalek.