Dede Beaver: Ready To Roll Up Her Sleeves
January 26, 2022
Dede Beaver is a mother to four grown children and enjoys the chaos of the everyday. This passion for life, especially for food, cooking, and baking, plus her enthusiastic, team-player attitude, makes her well-suited for her role as Strategic Operations Specialist at the NC Food Innovation Lab (NCFIL).
Flexibility is Key
Beaver describes her responsibilities as all-encompassing. “[I have to be] innovative in what areas I need to assist with at the time,” she says. “I do whatever is needed.”
And she’s done it all from labeling and weighing product in the Pilot Plant to conducting market analysis to assisting in the kitchen during a recent 30-person dinner. “It was a great event. Working along with a 5-star chef was exhilarating,” she comments.
Her ability to shift gears and share in a multitude of tasks makes her a great fit for this position. The flexibility this role offers is one of the things she likes most about the job.
The Road to NCFIL
A Colorado native, Beaver moved to North Carolina in 2008 and joined the team at the David H Murdock Research Institute, located on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, as a receptionist. Ten years later, she was an HR Generalist. “[I’ve learned] you must have a willingness to roll up your sleeves, put in the time and hard work, and use some elbow grease where needed.”
In 2018, she joined Standard Process Nutrition Innovation Center, also located on the Research Campus, serving in an administrative role and “jack-of-all-trades.” Beaver has honed valuable skills throughout her professional experience and considers all of her previous jobs as preparation for her position at “the FIL.”
“Dede’s passion for her position is a perfect fit for NCFIL,” says Executive Director Bill Aimutis. “Her job is valuable to all of our staff as she ensures we follow established protocols and file appropriate paperwork associated with a facility operating under current Good Manufacturing Practices and the Food Safety Modernization Act. Our customers enjoy Dede’s warmth and compassion from the first time they enter our facility.”
NCFIL is the Future
Word-of-mouth is largely responsible for NCFIL’s growth, and potential clients are excited to get into the lab. As of January 2022, NCFIL is connected with 255 contacts and averages three online submissions and five calls per week. “NCFIL is a place of creation; we create with people. One call turns into a project. It just takes that one step,” says Beaver.
“We’ve got clients; we need more staff,” she adds. A newly-passed budget should help with additional resources to keep up with creators’ enthusiasm to get started with NCFIL’s state-of-the-art equipment and staff expertise. NC State will be posting six positions on their website for NCFIL in the coming two months. If you are interested in working with the NCFIL team, check the job website frequently.
NCFIL’s growing presence in the plant-based food industry is positively impacting its users and the community at large. “We’re helping people fulfill their vision,” Beaver comments. “We have clients that are looking for what NCFIL can offer, and we have it all, a one-stop shop to get things done for the future in terms of sustainability and productivity.”
We’re always looking to add to our growing list of innovators. Use our online submission form to get in touch with us!