Fresh Summit Education Highlights Include “communities of interest”

Attendees of the 2012 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition will see key changes to the convention’s educational programming when they gather in California at the end of October.

Reflecting the event’s shortened 3-day schedule, educational workshops have been concentrated in one day; workshop participants can select among four “communities of interest” to customize their education experience. Tying into the convention’s theme of “Say hello to the future,” general session speakers will teach attendees how to adapt, disrupt and change their businesses to meet today’s business challenges.

The general sessions are designed to coax attendees out of their comfort zone to enhance their creativity, innovation and diversity.

PMA President and CEO Bryan Silbermann will be joined by a panel of commentators for his popular annual “State of the Industry” address at Friday’s luncheon. During Saturday morning’s “Art of Vision” session, keynote speaker Eric Wahl will challenge attendees to be more creative and innovative, using art as a teaching vehicle. On Sunday morning, Frans Johannson will discuss “The Medici Effect,” where the best ideas and innovation come from collaboration among people with diverse backgrounds, skills and cultures.

This year’s workshops will be centralized into one day, dubbed “Future-Focused Friday”. For the first time, attendees can personalize their workshop experience based on four “communities of interest” based on business priorities. After Fresh Summit, members can continue to network and learn with like-minded colleagues within related communities on PMA Xchange, the association’s social networking site.

Some of the 18 workshop topics planned for each of the four communities of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Food safety, technology and supply chain: preventive controls and wash water safety; Food Safety Modernization Act-mandated traceability pilot project update.
  • Marketing and sales: Steps to social media success (introductory session); leveraging social media to drive sales (follow-on session); leveling the marketing playing field with mobile.
  • Global trade and trends: Understanding opportunities of the new global supermarket; global logistics of increasing world demand for fresh produce.
  • Business innovation and leadership: Retaining top talent; harnessing the iPad’s power.

Two workshops, on retaining and engaging employees and multigenerational marketing, are being presented in conjunction with PMA’s Foundation for Industry Talent. PMA Foundation’s mission is to attract, develop and retain industry talent.

Workshop speakers include “content guy” Kevin Coupe, Apple Product Professional Phil Goodman, Nielsen Perishables Group’s Steve Lutz, millennial guru Seth Mattison, FDA’s Sherri McGarry, Euromonitor’s Matt Tripodi, and PMA’s own Dr. Bob Whitaker and Ed Treacy. 2012 workshop sponsors are Dayka & Hackett, Naturipe Farms LLC and Wells Fargo Bank.

The 2012 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition will be held Oct. 26-28 in Anaheim, California, USA. Learn more about general session speakers, and view full workshop descriptions and speakers on the Fresh Summit website, www.freshsummit.com. Register by Sept. 21 for early-bird savings; pre-registration ends Oct. 12.

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