Leah Lambrakis

Leah Lambrakis


Vice president, R&D, nutrition and scientific affairs


Simmons Pet Food

Petfood Essentials presentation description:

Managing expectations, timelines and competing priorities – Leah Lambrakis, vice president, R&D, nutrition and scientific affairs for Simmons Pet Food, describes how the rapid growth of the pet food category continues to bring exciting opportunities for new products and innovative ideas to be accelerated toward the finish line. With product development lifecycles becoming shorter to keep up with our customers’ innovation needs, it is critical to manage expectations surrounding launch timelines, project requirements, product claims and competing priorities. Staying focused and true to a robust new product development process, with a high degree of cross-functional collaboration, is key to the success of a new product launch. Lambrakis discusses the challenges companies face and the opportunities they offer when managing several customer and corporate projects, and best practices on how to stay on scope, on time and innovative when bringing a new product to market.


Lambrakis is vice president of research and development, nutrition and scientific affairs for Simmons Pet Food. She leads a team of 25 scientists that drives nutrition, pet food formulation, process engineering and innovation. Lambrakis has a lifelong passion for nutrition, health and wellness, innovation and consumer insights for pets and pet parents. In her 22+ year career, she has developed deep knowledge in pet food science and enjoys immersing herself in continuing this work with her team, in addition to supporting industry and educational initiatives. Lambrakis received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in animal science and animal nutrition from the University of Guelph, Canada.