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Justin Butner

Media Correspondent, Non-Profit Organization Management

Hi, I'm Justin Butner - insect cuisine proponent, project manager, process innovator, and problem solver with international experience.

Justin Butner's Bio:

Problem solving is my passion. Entomophagy (edible insects) is what interests me.


At Covance I simultaneously managed dozens of projects from start to finish. I spent my down time at work observing the processes around me, asking questions, and proposing improvements or developing training programs to fill in the gaps. Outside of work, my brain kept going to coordinate social events, weddings, and personal projects. My years at Covance taught me that my talent for leadership and organization aligns with my professional ability to figure out a problem and then bring together a team to fix it.


This is how my brain works. It's what I love. I flourish when I can work with other people and bring together unique perspectives to build better processes through information and intuition.


Six years ago, I left Covance, the US, and all my belongings to travel and work on the project of me. International solo travel helped me to think big, understand logistics, take risks, negotiate, and manage both budgets and first impressions. I learned the importance of a friendly smile, a firm handshake, and genuine intent. I also learned how delicious insects are.



I came back to the US a stronger person driven to do more for this world, eager to put my skills in process improvement, cost savings, and project coordination to work. I’m also eager to become a part of a company that will help me to refine my skills. If this is your company, or if you want to talk about travel or insect agriculture, please reach out to me, Justin Butner, at [email protected]

Justin Butner's Experience:

  • Media Correspondent at Little Herds

    Producing educational content on the growing insect agriculture industry, including interviews with figures across the field, conference and event write-ups, and more. Assisted with operations of the Brooklyn Bugs festival.

  • Media Correspondent at Brooklyn Bugs

    Writing articles on Brooklyn Bugs events and the edible insect industry as a whole. Maintaining systems and industry research. Assisted with operations at the Brooklyn Bugs 2017 event.

  • Office Manager at Forest Retreat Laos

    • Doubled market share to 66%. • Managed the daily operations of an eco-tourism company including in-person sales, emails, social media management (TripAdvisor, Facebook, etc.), customer relations, advertising, and improvement projects. • Recruited, coordinated, and directed 9 volunteers. • Created company website and served as marketing photographer. • Recruited, coordinated, and directed 9 volunteers.

  • Shift Supervisor at Starbucks

    Manage the store's front of house operations. Ensure that every guest leaves happy. Train new staff.

  • Executive Director at A Child's Promise International

    Coordinate the efforts of area Program Managers to realize the vision of the organization.

  • Sabbatical - International Travel for Professional / Personal Development at Self-Employed

    • Developed budgeting and planning skills by financing and organizing thirteen months of solo travel. • Refined problem-solving skills, adaptability, and negotiation skills by working through a wide variety of travel environments and situations and through multicultural engagement. • Cultivated language and communication skills through contact with people from around the world. Learned to use non-verbal and verbal communication to overcome language and cultural barriers. • Worked at a remote mining facility in South Australia and at Luna Park in Sydney where I received the highest customer-selected award for stellar customer service and satisfaction.

  • Associate Project Coordinator at Covance

    Managed up to 60 concurrent genetic toxicology studies from study proposal through report signature. Found inefficiencies, led teams to simplify workflow, reduce expenses, and minimize opportunities for error. Managed scope and timelines of projects by directly negotiating client desires, lab capabilities, and staff availability. Promoted from Assistant Project Coordinator. • Reduced inactive studies by 97%, greatly decreasing business risk by leading a multi-year team project. • Ensured 100% on-time delivery of audits for 2.5 years. • Oversaw an 80% decrease in data rejections within six months by leading a multi-team task force. • Reduced labor, opportunities for error, and reduced department costs by 2% by leading a team to redesign the Ames lab workbooks. • Redesigned and implemented a process for more efficient and cost-effective study starts. • Decreased protocol errors, audit citations, and setup time by creating harmonized protocol templates. • Oversaw the implementation of more than 30 improvements through a Six Sigma 8-Waste activity. • Created and enacted the inaugural training program for new toxicologists. Trained and mentored two new staff members. • Conducted a gap analysis of database management software and presented the findings to senior management.

  • Research Assistant 2 / Supervisor at Covance

    Designed laboratory procedures used to formulate pharmaceutical test compounds and scheduled all lab work. Negotiated lab capabilities with management and clients. Promoted from Research Assistant 1. • Coordinated a departmental merger to ensure the consolidation of best practices. • Saved a client relationship and $100,000 in repeat work by recreating data for two studies after records were lost. • Reduced stress, last-minute work, and tensions by creating and leading a weekly interdepartmental coordination meeting. • Created and presented talk on department operations to entire campus (400 people), increasing understanding and greatly decreasing complaints. • Decreased new staff on-boarding time by 50%.

  • Study Technician 3 at Covance

    Promoted from Study Technician 2, promoted from Study Technician 1. • Nearly eliminated last-minute shortages and costly study cancellations by designing and implementing a resource management program. • Wrote Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), designed and implemented training for new lab instrument.

Justin Butner's Education:

  • Duke University

    Concentration: Chemistry
    Activities: DSG Class of 2004 Secretary (2002-2003) President of Psi Upsilon Fraternity (2003-2004) Manager - Duke Film Theater Concessions
  • Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology

  • Duke University

    Concentration: Managerial Effectiveness and Leadership

Justin Butner's Interests & Activities:

Edible insects, photography, problem solving, writing, exercise, camping, hiking, live music

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