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President’s Message – February 2018

“All of life is a constant education.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

2018 has started out with record cold and snowy weather and there will not be a better place to be than at FPSA's Annual Conference at the beautiful, warm and sunny Loews Ventana Canyon resort in Tucson, AZ on March 21-23. Once again the leaders of our industry will be gathering to learn from a variety of outstanding speakers and further connect and learn about driving business trends. Besides enjoying the great weather and accommodations, attendees will be able to expand their industry knowledge and interactions with hundreds of C-level colleagues.

In a desire to provide added educational components to our program, this year's schedule begins with a “Food Safety & Sanitary Design Panel Discussion” with subject matter experts from across all major industry segments and the retail sector. Also new this year will be a “speaker/member” roundtable session where attendees will be able to choose which topics they would like to engage in more critical follow-up and discussion.

Additionally, we are more than pleased to have Captain Scott O'Grady, an American hero and New York Times best-selling author as our opening keynote speaker. Captain O'Grady will share with attendees his story of overcoming tremendous adversity. As an F-16 fighter pilot helping to enforce a United Nations no-fly zone policy in the skies over Bosnia, O'Grady was shot down by a Soviet-made anti-aircraft missile. Captain O'Grady will recount how he survived in hostile territory for six days before being rescued by the U.S. Marines, a heroic tale which O'Grady captured in his book, Return with Honor.

Our Friday morning keynote speaker will be Larry Winget. To say that that he is the “pitbull of personal development” is an understatement. Larry has starred in his own television series on A&E, two PBS specials and two CNBC specials. Additionally, he has appeared on Dr.

Phil, The Today Show, Tool Academy, The Big Idea, Larry King, and in three national television commercials. Larry is a regular contributor on many national television news shows on the topics of success, business, personal finance, and parenting. Larry will discuss highlights from his latest book What's Wrong With Damn Near Everything: How The Collapse of Core Values is Destroying Us And How To Fix It.

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 Campbell Soup Company, Kraft, Agri Beef, Califia Farms, Palermo Villa, 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 that our Young Professionals Groups and the newly created Women's Council will be holding meetings for the upcoming year and sponsoring activities at our conference. For more information on these events please visit the Annual Conference webpage. Both groups have discounted rates to attend the conference so I encourage you to send members of your team who qualify to participate in the conference.

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 also want to take this opportunity to urge you to promote our Foundation's Career Development Scholarship Awards Program. Once again, fifteen $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to full time employees of our membership as well as their immediate family members. High school seniors, college students and graduate students are encouraged to apply. For more information on the program visit the Giving Back page on our website.

I look forward to seeing you soon in Arizona. 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.

Sincerely,

David Seckman
President/CEO