Our Purpose

 

To Protect – To Educate

How do we protect the health and lives of the food consuming public. With increasing frequency we are witnessing devastating food bacterial contamination events in the United States and throughout the world.

The bottom line is that with all the modern processing and monitoring equipment, it still boils down to the human factor.  If people are not properly trained to deal with this constant threat, then we will continue to see more and more tragic events take place in the future.

There are very good guidelines and programs to help with this problem. Unfortunately many small to medium sized processing, manufacturing, packaging and distribution companies do not have the formal internal structure to ensure that well intentioned safe food programs are actually being executed properly on a daily basis.

Often understaffed, companies will ask experienced staff members to assume many roles including that of “quality assurance” and/or “safety officer”.  These dedicated employees often find themselves overwhelmed with all that must be considered and monitored to ensure product quality and safety.  Despite several support groups, these companies simply never get around to reaching out for assistance when they are overmatched by the challenges of meeting state and federal food safety regulations.  

This is where SmithConnen can help.  We don't wait for companies to reach out in the eleventh hour for help.  We reach in.  We are able to bring the knowledge, experience and skills usually available only to large corporations with massive budgets, to these hard working small to medium sized business owners.

Through face to face meetings with ownership and product safety personnel, we are able to develop an effective strategy to ensure the maintenance of food safety practices mandated by regulatory agencies and the general public. 

Who we are.

SmithConnen is a dual purpose service company providing dairy, beverage, food processing and pharmaceutical companies with proprietary comprehensive GMP auditing and mandatory state and federal compliance solutions while also providing customers access to comprehensive insurance coverages designed specifically for their company operations. 

The Food Safety Division, led by the company Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, consists of a team of highly skilled auditing professionals who conduct on-site, comprehensive proprietary surveys addressing all aspects of production including equipment, processing design and critical control point monitoring. In addition to the survey (audit), SmithConnen offers on-site training for both production and management level staff as well as engineering services addressing mandatory corrective action, new construction, and/or remodeling. The company also functions as a liaison to state and federal agencies with food and pharmaceuticals safe processing compliance oversight (i.e. FDA, USDA, State & County Health Agencies). 

The Insurance Division, led by the company President, consists of licensed insurance professionals who work closely with clients to design comprehensive farm-to-fork insurance coverage strategies. The staff selects the best insurance program specifically designed for each company's needs and is readily available to handle all coverage, pricing, billing and claim inquiries. 

Our Management Team

Frank Smith, Cofounder, Vice President of SmithConnen.  Mr. Smith, brings over 35 years of safe food practices, technical, engineering and auditing expertise to SmithConnen .  Over several decades Smith has gained a reputation as being very knowledgeable and competent in HACCP certification strategy, sanitation management, process engineering, plant facility design and construction; whole-plant environment management as well as training client staffs in chemical product use.  His broad range of experience encompassing the dairy industry, processed foods industry, chemical product industry, knowledge of  governmental and targeted industry safe processing procedures and regulations, has provided him with the expertise to write and implement GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) procedures; HACCProgram; IIPPs (Illness, Injury Prevention Programs); SSOPs (Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures);  to design, build (from the ground up) and oversee initial operations of brand new facilities including the purchase and installation of all processing equipment.  He is an active partner in a vast safe food processing industry resource network of professionals who freely support one another with valuable information and insight.  

Rene A. Connen, CPCU , Cofounder, President of SmithConnen.  Mr. Connen provides over 35 years of technical and managerial expertise in the commercial insurance industry where he helped develop and oversee effective  underwriting, operations, marketing , customer relations and staff development programs. 

His reputation as a visionary leader with exceptional communication and people skills, has been earned through his successful leadership, managing teams which consistently produced results exceeding profit and growth goals; all the while developing professional, dynamic teams and future leaders to help sustain company profit and growth strategies. 

Mr. Connen holds a BA in Business Management (with emphases in work place behavior and matrix communication science) from California State University- Fullerton, Business School. He holds the CPCU designation (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter) and is a licensed California Property and Casualty Broker/Agent.

 

What Our Customers Are Saying

 

Vito Girardi, President - Gioia Cheese Company, Inc 

"I want to thank the people at SmithConnen for their assistance in strengthening Gioia's food safety program. They reviewed our previous HACCP plan and after finding serious omissions and inaccuracies, presented management with a new, comprehensive, up to date and easy to understand HACCP plan that helps ensure Gioia Cheese Company's compliance with local, state, and federal food safety regulations." 

"I welcome them as part of our team and look forward to an ongoing relationship as our company continues to grow, providing our customers with the highest quality products available." 

Ray Broguiere, President - Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy 

"We want you to know how pleased we are with the service you provided us. The upgrading of our HACCP program has been outstanding. We also appreciate you taking care of our Egg Nog formulation for us.  Your company's knowledge and expertise in both the food and commercial insurance industry has been valuable to us."

"We are pleased to maintain a working relationship with you. It has been a great benefit to our company." 

 

 

Maria de Lourdes "Lulu" Sobrino, Founder & CEO, Lulu's Dessert Corporation

"I want to thank SmithConnen for their invaluable assistance in helping our company improve its food safety program, production efficiency, and logistics planning. This unique multifaceted company, with its exceptional experience in food quality assurance, risk management and business insurance, has proven to be an important resource for Lulu's Dessert." 

"Frank Smith and Rene Connen worked closely with us in looking at options for future production and growth plans that utilize our resources more effectively and identifies new ways to grow our brand; all while helping us maintain our high food quality and safety standards. Beyond the role of advisors or coaches, they've become a part of our team, working tirelessly to ensure our success." 

"I highly recommend SmithConnen as a valued resource and partner. Their comprehensive approach to identifying and solving real or potential problems, plus their ability to educate and train our staff, has significantly improved Lulu's ability to raise the bar in virtually every aspect of its operations."