The trade association for suppliers to the food processing and packaging industry.
Last month 180 of the food and beverage industry's top equipment suppliers, distributors and processors gathered in Carlsbad, California to expand their industry knowledge through roundtables, educational business sessions, and networking events with hundreds of C-level colleagues. Conference attendance grew by over 20% as long-time members and nearly 40 first timers participated in the various breakout sessions hosted by our five councils who delivered exciting and informative speakers that offered an inside look at the operations of very successful processors in our industry.
Both keynote session speakers inspired and informed the attendees. Shane Battier shared his story of how to overcome adversity and achieve success through perseverance, leadership and teamwork. Brian Beaulieu the renowned economist and author shared his insights on the potential impact of the Presidential election, leading indicator trends, and the stock market and presented attendees with a signed copy of his latest book, Prosperity in the Age of Decline.
A record number of 24 companies sponsored the conference this year and we thank them for their support of the organization and role in making the Annual Conference a success. With the recent survey results indicating that this was “the very best annual conference ever“, we will continue to build on this success and deliver another top notch event for our members. Our 2018 conference is scheduled for March 21-23, at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson Arizona.
During the conference our 2017 DEFEAT HUNGER initiative was announced and officially launched. FPSA and the FPSA Foundation, along with the Greater Chicago Food Depository are sponsoring our third DEFEAT HUNGERSM initiative during PROCESS EXPO at McCormick this fall. One out of every 6 people in Chicago is unsure of when or where their next meal will be. So far we have been able to contribute over half a million meals to those in need. You can participate in this very important “Giving Back” campaign through a variety of ways by going to our website, click here. To learn more about the history of DEFEAT HUNGER, here is a video from Kate Maehr, Executive Director/CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Additionally, I am proud to say that over $150,000 was raised at an auction hosted by the Meat Industry Suppliers Alliance Foundation at our Annual Conference. These funds will be used to support the Foundation's Scholarship Program for deserving students studying meat sciences at universities throughout North America. Click here to read more about the very successful MISA Auction.
So what is next on the horizon for the association?
On June 8th-9th our Free Show Operations Conference will be held and is designed to help exhibitors make the most out of their PROCESS EXPO experience. The conference will provide very essential information for all experience levels will benefit from top-quality presenters covering areas such as marketing, booth logistics, ROI and more. Take a look at the full agenda and topics we'll be covering. Registration is now open and discounted hotel rooms are available. I am looking forward to seeing you there.
Clearly this is a busy year for FPSA and for your business too. We appreciate your support of the Association and our efforts and look forward to continuing to work together in achieving our mutual goals.