Janice Cooper is the Managing Director of the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Oregon, a position she has held since November, 2015. Prior to joining the Wheat Marketing Center, she served for six years as the Executive Director of the California Wheat Commission and earlier managed the California Association of Wheat Growers. In addition to her experience in the wheat industry, Janice has a broad background in business development and trade policy in the banking, high tech and renewable energy sectors. Janice started her career in Washington, D.C. as a staff member in the U.S. Senate. She returned to D.C. later as the Trade Representative for the State of California.
Janice is a member of the Grain Industry Advisory Committee, the private sector group appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to advise the Federal Grain Inspection Service on its programs and priorities. She has served on the GIAC since 2012 and is the current chair. She has also served as the chair of the Northern California District Export Council, an advisory group for the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Janice completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science / International Relations at the University of California, Los Angeles. She speaks Danish and continues working on her Spanish.
Gary G. Hou, Ph.D.
Technical Director & Wheat Foods Specialist
Dr. Gary Hou, Technical Director & Wheat Foods Specialist, has worked at the Wheat Marketing Center since 1995. Gary leads WMC’s technical training and research programs. Each year, he conducts courses focused on improving end product quality for Asian noodles, crackers and cookies, tortillas and flatbread, and a range of whole wheat and artisan products. New topics and custom courses are developed each year. More than 1000 professional participants from over 30 countries have attended WMC courses.
Gary also conducts numerous research projects, results of which have been presented at the AACC International annual meeting, Institute of Food Technologist annual meeting and many other international conferences. He has authored or co-authored, and published more than 30 refereed research papers and book chapters. His research topics cover a wide range of wheat-based foods with an emphasis on whole wheat flour milling and whole grain products development. He is the editor of Asian Noodles: Science, Technology, and Processing, the only comprehensive English language book on Asian noodles.
Dr. Hou has served as an expert consultant to U.S. Wheat Associates since 1996, providing technical support and training to flour milling and food processing companies in over 30 countries.
- Affiliate faculty of Oregon State University, USA
- Affiliate faculty of University of Minnesota, USA
- Guest Professor of Anhui Agricultural University, China
- Expert Consultant to U.S. Wheat Associates,
- Bakery Consultant to U.S. Dairy Export Council, USA
- Professional member of AACC International
- Professional member of Institute of Food Technologists
Bongil (Bon) Lee
Bon Lee, Laboratory Supervisor, supervises a staff of wheat and flour technologists at the Wheat Marketing Center. Bon and his team conduct the annual crop quality survey for soft white and hard white wheat, producing the Pacific Northwest Soft White Wheat Quality Report and providing data for the U.S. Wheat Associates Crop Quality Report. Bon also oversees all milling and quality testing in support of WMC’s technical training courses and research projects and WMC Lab Services proprietary business.
Bon built his career in quality control, working previously with Pendleton Flour Mills and USDA Meat & Poultry inspected frozen-food company. A native of Chiba, Japan, Bon received a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Technology from Oregon State University and has attended additional courses through the American Institute of Baking and the American Association of Cereal Chemists. He is also active in the International Association of Operative Millers.
Kathleen Gehring joined Wheat Marketing Center in 2008 as Laboratory Technologist. She conducts the full range of analytical tests on wheat, flour, and end products in support of WMC’s crop quality testing, TCK analysis, and WMC Lab Services. She also promotes WMC through social media and helps document our many courses and workshops.
Kathleen has a Bachelor’s of Science with an emphasis in Forensic Science from the University of Montana and an MBA from Northwest Christian University. She enjoys her work, especially when WMC is hosting visitors from around the world. Whether farmer or FFA officer, fifth grader or foreign milling executive, all gain an appreciation for the importance of wheat quality and the challenge of analyzing end product performance. Kathleen helps growers, millers, bakers, and buyers understand the how, what, and why of analytical tests that significantly impact the industry.
Executive Assistant to Janice Cooper
Margaret Sprinkle joined the Wheat Marketing Center staff in November of 2017. She is an Oregon native, from a pioneer family, and is excited about working with farmers from across the country. She sees farmers as being vital to the continued growth of their local communities and to the sustainable future of our country.
Margaret brings 20+ years of office administration and marketing experience to her new position. She has worked in both the private sector and for government agencies.