Produce for Better Health Foundation’s 2014 annual conference, The Consumer Connection in Scottsdale, Ariz. saw a record number of participants, Foundation officials say. The conference, held March 17-19, delivered notable speakers, business exchange appointments between supermarket and foodservice dietitians and industry members, various networking opportunities and more.
A field tour to Rousseau Farms and a donation of 11 fruit and vegetable nutrition education bundles to the Maricopa County Head Start program opened the conference. The nutrition education bundles were purchased by the following companies as a way to help young children living in the Scottsdale area learn about the importance of eating fruit and vegetables during meals and snacks.
- Borton & Sons
- Chelan Fresh Marketing
- Duda Farm Fresh Foods
- Midwest Food Processors Association
- Monterey Mushrooms
- Pear Bureau Northwest
With the help of conference sponsors, PBH was able to bring 40 dietitians to the conference, many of whom were first-time attendees. Day one consisted of various board-level committee meetings, capped off by a reception for PBH’s Board of Trustees, sponsors and retailers. Days two and three were filled with informative presentations and educational sessions, the business exchange appointments, the Walkabout Market Dinner and a closing reception.
The keynote speaker, Jonah Berger, engaged the conference attendees during his session focused on Crafting Contagious Ideas; a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread and ideas catch on, show officials say. PBH also recognized over 60 Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Role Models and Champions within the fruit and vegetable industry, public health community and school foodservice sector, five Supermarket Dietitians of the Year and 30 PBH Ambassadors during a special recognition luncheon.
“The 2014 PBH annual conference exceeded my expectations,” says Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of PBH. “I and other members of the PBH staff in attendance received numerous positive comments about the agenda, the line-up of speakers, the venue and location, and the networking sessions. We are excited to extend the positive energy generated during the conference to our Celebration event, September 6 in Monterey, and when we bring supermarket dietitians to PMA’s Fresh Summit in October. Look for more information on both events over the next few weeks.”
During PBH’s Board of Trustees meeting, held during the conference, Terry Murphy, of Wakefern Food Corporation, was elected chairman of Produce for Better Health Foundation’s board of trustees. The other elected officers include:
- Immediate past chair – Marty Ordman, marketing consultant, formerly Dole Food Company
- Vice chairman of the board – Howard Nager, Domex Superfresh Growers
- Secretary/treasurer – Mark Campion, Taylor Farms
The board of trustees also approved Howard Nager, of Domex Superfresh Growers, as the chair of the Consumer Marketing & Communications committee, and Brett Libke, of The Oppenheimer Group, as the chair of the Donor committee. Libke was also approved as a member of PBH’s Executive Committee. The following at-large members were approved for PBH’s executive committee:
- Shirley Axe, Ahold USA
- Gaines Chamberlain, Blanc Industries
- Nasser Dean, Bayer CropScience
- Cynthia Goody, McDonald’s Corporation
- Sarah Moberg, Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition, representing Green Giant Frozen/Canned
- Scott Owens, Paramount Citrus
- Xander Shapiro, Del Monte Foods
- Nichole Towell, Duda Farm Fresh Foods