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."