Riester Davis Brody Award

The Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT’s) Riester-Davis-Brody Award recognizes lifetime achievement for top innovators in food packaging technology. 


The Riester-Davis-Brody Award was established in 1986 to memorialize Don Riester (of American Can) and Rees Davis (of Continental Can). It was amended in 2015 to recognize the many contributions of Aaron Brody (of Packaging/Brody Inc). Riester, Davis, and Brody were pioneers in the field of food packaging and helped found the IFT Food Packaging Division.

When is the Riester-Davis-Brody Award given?

The award is presented at IFT's annual meeting after the Food Packaging Division business meeting. 

  • The awardee will be a member of IFT Food Packaging Division or will have been a member during a majority of his/her tenure of accomplishment.
  • The awardee will be selected by a jury consisting of members appointed by the executive committee of IFT Food Packaging Division.
  • The award will be based solely on achievement in food packaging technology in which the awardee was the key person.
  • The award will be for continuing achievement and not for a single event.
  • The achievement may be in research, development, teaching, communication, commercialization, etc. It will not be for service in IFT Food Packaging Division. This criteria does not preclude long time volunteers in IFT Food Packaging Division, many of whom can be regarded as good candidates.
  • Achievement is innovation in action: concepts that function; developments that advance food packaging; research that leads beyond current frontiers; ideas that spark students; etc. A flood of impractical ideas is not achievement. The application of science to food protection through packaging is imperative.
  • Each candidate's achievements must be judged on their own merits by the Selection Committee. 

A call for nominees will be made by the Chair of the Selection Committee to IFT Food Packaging Division members in Q3 of each year and the Awardee will be identified by November 1st.

  • If there are no qualified nominees, there will be no award in the year.
  • All nominees not selected for the award will be carried over to the following year for reconsideration.   

The awardee will have the privilege of delivering a brief lecture at an IFT Food Packaging Divisions event, such as the annual meeting. The lecture can cover topics including advances in packaging technology, future opportunities in for packaging research, or the awardee’s career experiences. A copy of the lecture will be printed and distributed to the IFT Food Packaging Division and to food packaging students.

The recipient will be presented with a plaque featuring the citation as a token of the award.

While there is no cash component to the award, IFT will reimburse the awardee for approved travel expenses up to $1,000 UDS to attend the Annual Meeting and receive the award.

2018 Jung H. Han, Pulmuone Foods USA
2017 E Jeffery Rhodehamel, Clemson University
2016 Brian Wagner, HAVI
2015 Gordon Robertson, University of Queensland, Australia
2014 Tom Dunn, Flexpacknology LLC
2013 No Awardee Selected
2012 No Awardee Selected
2011 No Awardee Selected
2010 Kay Cooksey, Clemson University
2009 Joe Marcy, Virginia Tech
2008 John Krochta, University of California, Davis
2007 Marcus Karel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
           Theodore LaBuza, University of Minnesota
2006 Tom Powers, Multisorb Technologies, Inc.
2005 Stan Kopecky, William Wrigley Jr. Co.
2004 Anne Bieler, Food Technology Concepts
2003 Charles Barmore, Sealed Air Corporation
2002 Michael Rooney, CSIRO
2001 Bruce Harte, Michigan State Univerity
2000 Barbara Blakistone, NFPA
1999 Marvin Tung, University of Guelph
1998 Larry Bell, Fresh Express Farms
1997 Ray Bourque, Ocean Spray
1996 No Awardee Selected
1995 Rauno Lampi Natick Labs
1994 Lyle Ernst, American Can
1993 Burt Lundquist, Swift
1992 Dick Perdue, Cryovac
1991 Tee Downes Michigan State University
1990 Mike Gigliotti, MGA
1989 Seymour Gilbert, Rutgers University
1988 Aaron Brody, Rubbright Brody, Inc.
1987 Arnold Kopetz, American Can
1986 Don Riester, American Can Rees Davis, Continental Can
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