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President’s Message – February 2017

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership”
Harvey Samuel Firestone

“Where Leaders Meet” is the theme for FPSA's upcoming Annual Conference, March 15th – 17th in Carlsbad CA. When you attend Conference you will be happily pleased with the number of “leaders” you are able to meet, learn from, and network with.

Our opening keynote speaker, Shane Battier, inspires audiences by sharing his story of how to overcome odds and achieve success-through perseverance, leadership, goal setting, and confidence – no matter what challenges faced. Over his heralded collegiate career at Duke University and his distinguished 13 year NBA career, Shane Battier has established himself as a scholar athlete, All-American, valued team member, champion, philanthropist and a “true leader”. I am sure that you will be inspired by his presentation and his successful vision on the critical role of teamwork in achieving success.

Friday morning brings noted economist Brian Beaulieu, President and CEO of ITR Economics back to the Annual Conference. Always a favorite of Conference attendees, Beaulieu brings a unique and extensive understanding of the business cycle, an exceptional ability to explain the implications of expected change, and a trademark delivery that keeps the audience interested and engaged. Brian will explain how change can be signaled well in advance and how attendees can read those signals for both professional and personal gain. And, Brian will be providing us with his insights on the new Trump administration and how Brexit will most likely impact us.

As for the Council Breakout sessions, each of the Councils has secured unique and outstanding speakers for the many education/networking sessions between processors and suppliers. There will be representatives from businesses like Hampton Creek, Dairy Farmers of America, Rack & Riddle Winery, BAKERpedia, Indiana Whiskey, Kroger, Monogram Foods, Palermo's Pizza, Kraft, EAS Consulting Group and more. This is an excellent opportunity for you to make new connections with those companies you currently know and/or would like to do business with.

I am equally pleased to announce our two “Lunch-N-Learn” sessions. During our first lunch and learn, Ed Wood, CEO of CSB-System and Hermann Schalk, Global Director, CSB-System will be addressing The Smart Food Factory and Industry 4.0. And during our second session Patricia Johnson, Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel will cover the hottest Global Food & Drink Trends emerging in 2017.

Couple all of the above with our outstanding networking events (click here for a full schedule of events, registration form, and to make hotel reservations) and you will see how valuable attending the FPSA Conference is to you and your company. I encourage you to register and secure your hotel reservation as soon as possible as space is very limited.

Lastly, I am happy to announce that we will soon be hosting our first series of webinars on everything you need to know about the importing and exporting. The subject matter will include the Denied Boarding List from U.S. Customs, the importance of proper documentation such as the Certificate of Origin, Packing List, Commercial Invoice and much more.  Look for registration information in the next few weeks.

I look forward to seeing you soon in warm and sunny southern California. As always, please feel free to call me at 703-663-1200, or email me at dseckman@fpsa.org with your ideas on how we can better serve you.

David Seckman
President/CEO