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Joe Theisman to keynote at FPFC South

An expected crowd of more than 1,200 will hear Joe Theismann, former star quarterback for the Washington Redskins pro football team, deliver the keynote address for the Southern California Expo of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council on July 17 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

A capacity crowd of more than 250 exhibitors is also expected; they would occupy all 195 exhibitor booth spaces on the show floor, said Carissa Mace, head of the council, in an interview. The Southern California show is the biggest event of the year for the FPFC.

Keynote speaker Mr. Theismann has worked as a sportscaster covering National Football League games for the past few decades, and now is seen on the NFL “Playbook” TV show. A University of Notre Dame star who led the Fighting Irish to two Cotton Bowls, Mr. Theismann played for the Redskins from 1974-85, led them to victory in Super Bowl XVII, and holds team records for passing yardage, completions and attempts. He was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1983.

Mr. Theismann’s football career ended abruptly in 1985 when he sustained a badly broken leg on a Monday Night Football game that was nationally televised. He is a motivational speaker today, as well as a sports broadcaster and owner of a restaurant in Washington, DC. His website lists his favorite saying: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” He was NFL Man of the Year in 1982 for his community work on behalf of children.

Also at the keynote breakfast, the winner of the 2012 FPFC Floral Achievement Award will be presented by Chris Robinson of The Pinery, the 2012 recipient. The winner is chosen by a panel of past recipients to recognize an individual who has provided outstanding service and dedication to the floral industry.

Another feature of the day will be the floral design contest, pitting 35 designers, five from each of seven supermarket chains, in a race against the clock with a set of mystery products. Last year’s winners were Reza Shafiei of Ralph’s and Debi Kordones of Bristol Farms. Best booth awards also will be announced.