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WASHINGTON - The United Fresh Produce Association announced the opening of registration for United Fresh 2011, its annual convention and expo.

Members from all points in the fresh produce supply chain will converge on New Orleans this spring for the event, which will which will feature a keynote address from Hall of Fame quarterback Archie Manning, as well as an intimate, one-on-one discussion between CNN political analyst James Carville and United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel.

Playing host for United Fresh 2011 is New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the Hilton Riverside Hotel in the city’s Central Business District.

"The produce industry is primed and ready to make a big difference in the Big Easy," Mr. Stenzel said in a Nov. 10 press release. “Archie Manning and James Carville are two of the biggest personalities in sports and politics, and both are New Orleans fixtures, so they’ll fit perfectly into the Big Easy theme of this year’s show. The annual United Fresh show has always been a venue for big solutions, big networking and big education, and we are very excited to welcome James and Archie in 2011.”

In the “Winning in a Family Business” opening keynote address on Tuesday, May 3, Mr. Manning will share personal stories of success, as well as insights into leadership and the importance of building teamwork on the field and within a family business. He will also discuss strategies for managing rivalries among competitive family members.

Counted with his son, Peyton, as one of the 100 All-Time Greatest College Football Players, Mr. Manning was an All-American quarterback at the University of Mississippi, as well a Hall of Famer for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

Show attendees will peer into one of the top political minds Wednesday, May 4, as Messrs. Carville and Stenzel sit down for a candid exchange on the current political landscape in Washington and nationwide. During that day’s Breakfast General Session, Mr. Carville will share his no-holds-barred commentary and wit on politics and current affairs, spiced with his own unique brand of optimism and humor.

A Louisiana native known as the “Ragin’ Cajun,” Mr. Carville emerged onto the national political scene after helping to spearhead the campaign of President Bill Clinton in 1992. He is now a frequent contributor on CNN’s “The Situation Room” and other programs.

The theme for United Fresh 2011, Big Easy, reflects a continued dedication to all the elements that make the United Fresh show such a unique and effective business opportunity, Mr. Stenzel added in the press release. “Year in and year out, the United Fresh show continues to be the easiest place to find all the tools to help drive a successful business in the produce industry. With the highest concentration of decision makers in a compact and efficient show, United Fresh 2011 offers both big value and big solutions, enabling attendees and exhibitors to be more competitive with a focus on new products, innovations in technology, food safety solutions and more, all helping to make a big difference for produce businesses at all points in the supply chain.”

United Fresh 2011 brings back many of the more popular features of past United shows, such as the highly attended demo centers focused on traceability, logistics and food safety.

Like its predecessor last year in Las Vegas, United Fresh 2011 educational programming will be tailored to the association’s four market segment boards: grower-shipper, wholesaler-distributor, fresh-cut processor and retail-foodservice.

“With learning centers on the show floor that bring together grower-shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesaler-distributors and retail and foodservice operators to share ideas and develop better practices, United Fresh 2011 is focused on delivering education,” Mr. Stenzel added. “And as is the case with every United Fresh show, the experience isn’t complete without first-class networking opportunities, building new business connections with friends, colleagues and industry leaders, all while celebrating the revival of this great city.”

With the opening of registration for the 2011 show comes the launch of UnitedFresh2011.com, featuring customized information for each market segment, an interactive map of the trade show floor, schedule of events and exhibitor list.

In addition to the multiple programming options and as part of the United Fresh Foundation’s A Salad Bar in Every School campaign, school salad bars purchased with funds raised during United’s Washington Public Policy Conference in September will be donated to New Orleans-area elementary schools.

The dates for United Fresh 2011 coincide with the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, one of the world’s more renowned live music and cultural events.

“New Orleans is among the most colorful and vibrant cities in the world,” Mr. Stenzel. “With an unparalleled musical and culinary landscape, the Big Easy will assuredly offer attendees a United Fresh 2011 experience they’ll never forget.”

Registration can be done on-line and multiple convention packages are available. An early registration discount is available for attendees who register prior to March 25. More information can be found at UnitedFresh2011.com.