Suresh De Costa received his M.S. in Food Science from Chapman in 2000. Prior to joining Lipman Family Farms in 2016, Suresh was employed at Surebeam Corp, Fresh Express and McDonald’s.
Suresh has served as the chairman and as a board member of United Fresh Produce Association Food Safety and Technology Council and is a member of Center for Produce Safety Technical Committee. He has received multiple industry awards, including the UFPA technical award for his leadership in helping standardize agricultural food safety practices.
During his time at Chapman, Suresh was the founding president of the Food Science and Nutrition Student Association (FSNSA) and thanks to Suresh’s hard-work the chapter received accreditation from the Institute of Food Technologist (IFT).
Read more below as Suresh shares his professional insights and Chapman memories.
Q: Tell us about your career and what you do on a day-to-day basis?
“As the director of food safety, my main objective is to ensure that we have the resources and personnel to execute our food safety plans on a daily basis.”
Q: What insight do you have to offer current students and alumni who are searching for employment?
“For students, think about areas of study that you enjoy and do some homework on entry level jobs that will provide you that opportunity. Attend local professional networking meetings such as Southern California IFT, or other such organization in your field of study.
For alumni, I think the best way is to get involved in a professional organization in your field of work. I believe it’s important to keep up with developments outside your company. LinkedIn is another great way to stay connected.”
Q: What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their time at Chapman?
“Take an active role in student organizations in your field of study such as FSNSA, Mission Environment, Pre-Dental Society etc. and volunteer at professional chapter events.”
Q: What is your favorite Chapman memory?
“Pinning the Chapman flag next to other universities at IFT annual meeting in Dallas, TX (2000), forming and captioning Chapman’s first college bowl team. We did not win, but it was a great moment.”