PMA Foundation Announces Two Speakers for the Leadership Symposium

Business leaders in the produce industry who attend the 2012 Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Foundation for Industry Talent Leadership Symposium will gain expert counsel from Todd Buchholz, a business, economics and geopolitics authority, and Clyde Fessler, a marketing strategist formerly with Harley-Davidson. They will address the complexities and demands that globalization adds to the produce sector and how companies and their brand reputations are left open to greater risks as a result. The educational leadership event will be held January 18 to 20 in Dallas, Texas.

Past attendees consistently identify the exceptional speaker line-up and retreat-like setting of this annual Foundation event, conducted in partnership with Cornell University, as contributing factors that enhance relevance and interaction to drive success for the organizations they represent, say officials at PMA.

“I would highly suggest attending the Leadership Symposium to any produce executive,” says Kristen Reid, senior recruiter at MIXTEC Group and 2011 symposium attendee. “The Symposium gives you a chance to challenge the way you think in an environment that energizes you to utilize new ideas once you get back to the office.”

Buchholz’s career runs from the White House to Wall Street, and the Associated Press has said he “lights up economics with a wickedly sparkling wit.” He’ll be working with symposium attendees to help them understand the importance of global interaction and how it can be used to position their companies for success. Buchholz will also explore the flip side of the coin, demonstrating how companies who fail to consider globalization take excessive risks and sometimes fail. Attending executives will better understand where their businesses fit in, how to cope with an increasingly complex regulatory environment and how to minimize risk, say officials at PMA

Fessler opens Thursday afternoon’s discussion by encouraging attendees to view their products as more than just commodities and to make branding a component of their companies’ strategic direction—a tactic Fessler successfully orchestrated firsthand. From 1977 to 2002, he served as director of marketing services, general sales manager, vice president of general merchandising and vice president of business development for Harley-Davidson Motor Company and played a key role in developing its strategic direction. He’ll help symposium attendees understand how their brands should embody the needs of the consumer, their corporate culture and their people in order to achieve longevity and sustainability. He’ll also walk through the early warning signs of failed innovation and address how to mitigate risks associated with failed business models.

“The PMA Foundation Leadership Symposium was two of the most professionally enriching days of my life,” says Jeff Correa, Pear Bureau Northwest’s international marketing director, after attending the 2011 symposium. “Between the speakers’ ideas that were generated and the connections that were made, I now have the tools to adapt these key learnings to practical business application.”

In addition to Buchholz, Fessler and other high-level speakers, the symposium includes networking and relationship-building opportunities through small-group discussions led by practical and effective facilitators, dinners and receptions.

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