On May 10, the 2011 Bronson Lane Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Debra Williams during the Florida Association for Food Protection (FAFP) Annual Education Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fl. Many FR&L readers may recognize Debra for the many contributions that she has made to the Industry over the years while at both the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants and the Florida Division of Food Safety.
The Bronson Lane Award is the highest honor given to an FAFP member. The winner must exhibit the highest level of knowledge, skill, commitment and dedication to the ideas of food safety during their service to Industry, Government or Academia. Debi’s 24+ years of service to protecting the food supply in Florida and your 10+ years as an active FAFP member made her an excellent choice for this award.
Debra Williams has dedicated her career to food safety in Florida for 24 years. She worked her way up from health inspector to become a nationally-recognized professional and administrator. She is a recipient of six Florida Tax Watch, Prudential Davis Productivity Awards. In addition, she has received recognition and awards from the US Food and Drug Administration, Conference for Food Protection, National Center for Food Safety and Technology, Harvard University and Massachusetts Pioneer Institute.
In recent years, Ms. Williams took charge of organizing a centralized unit in Tallahassee to conduct food service plan reviews for the Division of Hotels and Restaurants. Previously, plan reviews were performed in the division’s seven district offices and the intent to centralize was met with skepticism by both employees and industry alike. However, Ms. Williams overcame concerns to phase in a centralized approach that has become a national standard. Improvements include a reduction in processing time of an average four to five days, standardized plan fast-tracking for chains, electronic document management and the introduction of electronic plan submittal to facilitate processing. She and her staff consistently receive unsolicited praise from the public and industry for their professionalism, dedication and commitment to excellent customer service.