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Innovative business leaders to keynote 2010 Fresh Summit

by | July 26, 2010
Rejuvenating business is the theme of Produce Marketing Association's 2010 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, and the opening session keynote speaker has proven that he knows how.

A.G. Lafley, former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble, turned the global company around after taking over in 2000, doubling its sales and more than doubling its portfolio of billion-dollar brands. Mr. Lafley will explain how he did it during the convention opening general session on Friday, Oct. 15.

The 2009 Fresh Summit in Anaheim set the all-time attendance record with 19,070 attendees from 58 countries. This year’s expo will feature more than 800 exhibitors from 25 countries and 592,000 square feet of expo space.

"One of the imperatives to business success in today’s new economy is taking advantage of the opportunity to listen to experts like A. G. Lafley, and to network with U.S. and global buyers and sellers," Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of PMA, said in a July 26 press release. “Fresh Summit can deliver all of that value under one roof, as demonstrated by last year’s record gathering in the midst of a down economy. With the brighter economic outlook, we expect even greater things this year.”

Mr. Silbermann will lead the second keynote session on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 16 with a micro and macro look at the produce industry. In his popular annual State of the Industry address, he will offer his observations and prognostications on innovation, consumer trends, labor, food safety, private labeling, ethical consumerism and organics.

Delving into personal renewal, growth and success, Sunday morning’s general session speaker, David Nour, will share the secrets of “Relationship Economics,” including how to invest in people for extraordinary return. As the CEO of The Nour Group, Mr. Nour is a consultant, speaker and author of the books Relationship Economics, ConnectAbility, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Capital and the Social Networking Technology Best Practices series.

Futurist, author and trends and innovation expert Jim Carroll will deliver Fresh Summit’s final keynote session on Monday, Oct. 18 with a challenge to attendees to reinvigorate their businesses by confronting the big trends and positioning their companies for success in his session “Taking the Fear Out of the Future: Seven Strategic Steps to Take Right Now.” Mr. Carroll wrote the books Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast and What I Learned From Frogs in Texas: Saving Your Skin with Forward Thinking Innovation.

Food safety remains one of the top areas for innovation, and this year Fresh Summit will feature a dedicated Food Safety Solutions Center on the expo floor. The center will showcase food safety information, education and business solutions related to technology, including packaging, traceability, processing equipment, product testing, and water purification.

The area also will provide opportunities to meet with experts and peers in facilitated question-and-answer sessions to explore business solutions on food safety trends and pressing issues. For exhibitors with food safety solutions, the center will provide an ideal opportunity for exposure.

As part of PMA Foundation for Industry Talent’s ongoing commitment to help the industry attract, develop and retain talent, Fresh Summit will feature a newly expanded PMA FIT Career Headquarters. The destination, located by the show floor entrance outside of Hall D, will be open Saturday through Monday for the benefit of employers, prospective employees and industry professionals seeking leadership development opportunities. Among the many benefits of the Career Headquarters, attendees can receive an expert resume review, have a free professional photo taken and access computers to tap into FIT’s career bank to review job posts and network. There will also be an opportunity for hiring companies to set up a booth in the PMA FIT Career Fair.

“We work hard all year to find ways to add value to Fresh Summit by being the leader in education and networking, and we’re pleased to offer these very specific opportunities that touch on key areas of importance to our industry,” Rick Smith, vice president of fresh departments for Save Mart Supermarkets in Modesto, CA, and chairman of the Fresh Summit committee, added in the press release. “The theme of innovation is very timely as we focus on harnessing the improving economy.”