Meet the Northland Laboratories’ management team, committed to ensuring “your matters matter most”, everytime.
Our Management Team
With over 20 years of background in the food industry, D.J. graduated from DePaul University with a B.S. in Management, and from Illinois Institute of Technology with a M.B.A. He joined Northland Laboratories in 1995 starting out in Operations and quickly increasing responsibility in strategic development and executive management.
In previous capacities at Northland Laboratories, D.J. oversaw all aspects of operations in each department of expertise. Throughout Northland’s growth, D.J.’s responsibilities grew and changed. In 2005 he assumed the role of Vice President of Northland Laboratories, concentrating on shaping a corporate culture which allows individuals to flourish in their positions and empowers them to provide the highest level of service possible to Northland’s clients. As the company grew in size, services, revenue, and maturity, D.J. recruited and hired the talent needed to sustain the highest quality services for successful delivery in the rapidly changing marketplace.
D.J. is an executive manager who empowers others to succeed. He hires talented and capable people, then provides the environment and motivation to help them excel.
Kami Fusco, Vice President – Operations
Kami has worked in Food Safety and Quality roles for over twenty years, much of that time working in the food manufacturing plant. She is HACCP certified, and a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual trained under the FDA curriculum. Since joining Northland Laboratories in 2005, Kami has remained committed to providing outstanding service to clients, and has spent much of her time at Northland helping clients investigate and solve food safety and quality concerns, developing and enhancing environmental monitoring programs, and providing on-site training programs in areas ranging from Good Manufacturing and Laboratory Practices to sample collection to laboratory safety.
Gretchen Gutierrez, Technical Director
A graduate of DePaul University, Certified Food Scientist (CFS), and Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI), Gretchen has worked in the independent food testing laboratory industry since 1999 in a variety of roles including analytical chemistry, quality assurance, microbiology, and management. In her current role as Technical Director, she oversees a variety of project work including method validations and challenge studies, client consulting, regulatory support, and sensory services, as well as serving as principal investigator for federally funded contracts. She is an active professional member of IFT and has held several volunteer positions in food industry organizations. Gretchen currently serves as IFT AMSPAP (Annual Meeting Scientific Program Advisory Panel) Past Chair and FaBsafe Co-Chair. She is an active member of ISO Technical Committee 34/Sub-committee 9 for food microbiology and serves on working group 19 developing ISO standards for conducting challenge studies.
Iryna Sybirtseva, Ph.D. – Laboratory Director, Mount Prospect facility
Iryna is an innovative and versatile food industry professional with experience in quality, production, and research. Iryna received her Ph.D. in Food Science from North Carolina State University and worked in meat processing and ready-to-eat facilities as well as cheese production before joining Northland Laboratories in 2013. Iryna is a certified HACCP trainer, SQF practitioner, and active member of IFT and IAFP.
Guohong Zhao, Ph.D. – Senior Research Chemist
Guohong received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne in Switzerland. He worked as a research scientist at Environmental Analytical Research Laboratory, Texas A & M University at Galveston, and at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Before joining Northland Laboratories, he worked as a senior research scientist at Unilever Home and Personal Care Company. Guohong has a broad background in analytical/physical chemistry and biochemistry. He is an expert at problem solving and method validation, especially with modern analytical techniques, such as HPLC, GC, LC/MS and GC/MS. He is a member of American Chemical Society (ACS), American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) and Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).
Krysta Renier, Corporate QA Manager
Krysta has been an employee at Northland Laboratories since 2008. She started her career as a Laboratory Assistant going to school to be a Medical Laboratory Technician. After learning more about the food industry, she decided to switch her field of study. Since then, she has earned her Associates degree in Laboratory Science Program through Fox Valley Technical College and as an alumni member, is now serving as a board member on the Technical Advisory Committee. She is now the Corporate QA Manager for both Northland facilities. In her current role, she manages all procedures related to testing and the quality system and ensures continued adherence to the ISO 17025 and ISO 17043 standards and accreditation status. She ensures all regulatory requirements are exceeded in everything we do. Krysta has strong moral ethics and a desire to do things right—accuracy and precision are very important to her as she always aims for perfection, making her very good at leading the quality department and management systems at Northland Laboratories.
Kayla Simon, Laboratory Manager – Green Bay facility
Kayla graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology: Healthcare Sciences emphasis and a minor in Microbiology. She started working as a laboratory technician at Northland in 2012. Over the next five years, she moved through every position available in the lab, and became the Laboratory Manager in 2017, overseeing all functions of the Green Bay location. She maintains her Milk, Food & Water Analyst Certification through the State of Wisconsin, is a member of the ISO 17025 internal audit team at Northland, and is an active board member of the Wisconsin Lab Association. Kayla is dedicated to providing and producing the highest quality results to Northland clients.