Member Spotlight: Meet Mehmet Tulbek
Member Spotlight is a regular INFORM magazine column that features members who play critical roles in AOCS.
|PhD in cereal science in 2010 from North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, USA
|Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Member: Executive Committee, Sustainable Protein Forum; Protein and Co-Products Division; Processing Division; Health and Nutrition Division; Canadian Section
What’s a typical day like for you?
My typical day involves spending time with our managers going through the overall activities of our organization. Plus fielding phone calls along with conference calls with clients and stakeholders.
My favorite part of my job is…
I’m in a new job with lots of learning ahead and quite a bit of growth is expected in the industry and organization. I expect things may change over time, but so far, the favorite part of my job has been working with a great team that is dynamic and dedicated.
Flash back to when you were 10 years old. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a firefighter. You could say I got my wish, because management is nothing more nor less than firefighting in many ways.
Is there an achievement or contribution you are most proud of? Why?
I take pride and find joy in building programs and teams of staff and then watching them grow and achieve. First, at the Northern Crops Institute at North Dakota State University, where I initiated the specialty crops technical program. Next, by developing the AGT Foods R&D lab in Saskatoon. By the time I left AGT in early 2022, that team had grown to 10 employees.
What event, person, or life experience has had the most influence on the direction of your life?
Without a doubt, it was moving to the United States from Turkey to pursue my PhD.
How do you relax after a hard day of work?
I relax by spending time with my family—enjoying dinner or a walk or ice cream. Or doing homework.
What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
I think it is my ability to be persuasive and to empower people through mentoring and team building.
What skill would you like to master?
At one point, I wanted to learn Chinese. But in actuality, I would most like to master fencing. The individual nature of the sport and its ancient history, rooted in culture, appeal to me.
What are some small things that make your day better?
Listening to and making music (vocals, flute, keyboards).
What are you looking forward to in the coming months or years?
More trips and vacations with my family.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to your peers?
I look forward to the next chapter of my career and to preparing my kids for college. Beyond that, we hope to travel to France as a family and conduct our own European tour.