United Fresh Produce Association has announced the line-up of headline speakers for United Fresh 2012 to be held in Dallas, May 1-3. Former First Lady Laura Bush will deliver remarks on her life experiences, sharing perspectives learned from eight years in the White House and beyond. Convention attendees will also hear from Chairman of the Food Marketing Institute Fred Morganthall, President of Harris Teeter, who will lend insight into the retail industry and ways to strengthen the relationship between producers and retailers to better serve consumers.
On May 2, United Fresh will proudly welcome Laura Bush to the stage for the Wednesday Opening Breakfast General Session. As one of the most respected and popular First Ladies, Mrs. Bush continues to be active in issues of national and global concern. Mrs. Bush brought a comforting grace to the White House through some of the most challenging and tumultuous times in United States history including the September 11th terrorist attacks, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the country’s most trying economic times. During her remarks, she will share personal perspectives from her life and thoughts on how to stay focused, keep a positive outlook and provide leadership in difficult times.
“To host the former First Lady at United Fresh 2012 in her home state of Texas is an honor,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “Laura Bush is one of the nation’s most admired and respected women and we are pleased to have her join us in Dallas.”
Mrs. Bush currently serves as the Honorary Ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade and as Honorary Chair of the National Park Foundation and is an ardent supporter of breast cancer and heart disease awareness campaigns. As First Lady from 2001-2009, Mrs. Bush was active in education, health care and human rights issues and continues to draw attention to these causes here in the United States and abroad. Mrs. Bush was born in Midland, Texas and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Texas. She taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston and Austin and worked as a public school librarian.
FMI Chairman Fred Morganthall, president of North Carolina-based Harris Teeter, Inc. will present his vision for the future of food retailing to kick off the Tuesday, May 1 Opening Breakfast General Session. In his role as Chairman of FMI, he will share critical perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing the retail industry and what the future has in store. Attendees will hear valuable insights on how the produce and retail industries can work together to serve the ultimate buyer: the consumer.
In addition to his current role as Chairman of the FMI, Morganthall is past president of North Carolina Food Dealers Association and Carolinas Food Industry Council. He is a member of the Spartan Stores Board of Directors and the YMCA of Greater Charlotte Board of Directors. He began his career with Harris Teeter in 1986 and, prior to being named president in 1997, served as executive vice president, senior vice president of operations, vice president of sales and distribution, and vice president of merchandising. He previously worked as manager of grocery, frozen and dairy purchasing for Spartan Stores in Grand Rapids, Michigan; buyer for Viking Foods in Muskegon, Michigan; and sales representative for Procter & Gamble in western Michigan.
“Fred Morganthall brings a valuable perspective to the fresh produce audience. He has been at the forefront of interpreting consumer trends for decades, and that information is vital to helping our industry better understand retail and customer needs,” said Stenzel.