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College of Public Health

Dr. W. Payton Pruett is Vice President of Corporate Food Technology and Regulatory Compliance for The Kroger Co.  Payton joined Kroger in 2005 from ConAgra Foods in Omaha where he served as Senior Director of Food Safety and Laboratory Services.  During his career, Dr. Ward also managed food safety, quality, and laboratory services at ConAgra Refrigerated Foods and Silliker Laboratories.

Dr. Ward earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech.  He received his B.S. in Microbiology and minor in Chemistry from East Tennessee State University.  He was recognized as an outstanding alumnus of the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2011.  He received the Outstanding Microbiology Student Award in 1985 and the Outstanding Health Science Major Award in 1986 from ETSU.

Dr. Ward has written and presented extensively on the microbiological safety and quality of foods.  He has served on a number of scientific committees and has been a member of several professional organizations including the International Association for Food Protection, the Institute of Food Technologies, and the American Society of Microbiology.  From 1997-2002, Dr. Ward was certified as a Specialist Microbiologist through the National Registry of Microbiology and was an editor for the Journal of Food Protection from 2004-2009.  Dr. Ward is currently a food science adjunct professor at Purdue University, a member of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Foundation board of directors, and serves on advisory boards for the food science departments at Virginia Tech and The Ohio State University.  He is a Certified-Professional-Food Safety (CP-FS) through the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).

Angela Ward Pruett graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health.  She obtained a Master of Science degree in Community Health Education from Virginia Tech in 1993.  While at ETSU, she was awarded Outstanding Environmental Health Student her senior year and was secretary of the Student National Environmental Health Association.

Over the last 14 years, she was worked in Human Resources for various hospitals.  She is currently working as a Human Resources Generalist at the Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason, Ohio.  Ms. Pruett is President of the Greater Cincinnati Area Healthcare Recruiter’s Association.

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