Cassaundra Edwards BS ’94, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, was awarded the 2014 College of Engineering BAE Distinguished Alumni Award.
Cassaundra F. Edwards is a research and development manager at ConAgra Foods in a strategic customer development role, driving product innovation for warehouse club markets such as Costco, Sam’s, and BJ’s.
For nearly 20 years she has held various roles within the food industry, starting as a junior engineer developing innovative frozen meals for Nestlé and researching novel non-thermal preservation technologies such as high pressure pasteurization and irradiation for Kraft Foods, and leading a product technical team with the integration of two food industry giants—Kraft Foods and Nabisco. Throughout her career she has touched a multitude of consumer brands such as Stouffers, A.1. Steak Sauce, Grey Poupon Mustard, Lunchables, Oscar Mayer, Banquet, and Hunt’s.
Cassaundra holds a bachelor of science in biosystems and agricultural engineering from Michigan State University and a master of engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
She has a great passion for her work in the food industry and for developing the careers of young scientists and engineers. She has been a member of MSU’s Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Industry Advisory Board for the past four years and now serves as its chair.
Cassaundra attributes her professional accomplishments and development to her family and a network of mentors who have shared their leadership philosophies and ideals and ultimately helped shape her as a leader. Her personal philosophy on leadership is that “great leadership is achieved partly through other great leaders and people helping you along the way.”
In addition to driving business growth for ConAgra Foods, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Jay Edwards, eight-year-old son, Miles, and a mischievous Welsh terrier, Coltrane. They currently reside in Omaha, Nebraska.