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President’s Message – October 2019

Only 7 days before the opening of PROCESS EXPO and we are in for an exciting show that will please attendees and exhibitors alike. Following are a dozen great activities that will provide added “buzz” on the show floor:

Full Production Lines: One of the most exciting and popular activities that attendees enjoyed at our last show were our three live production lines. Once again, show attendees will be able to witness actual live full production line demonstrations with real product. However, at this year’s show, attendees will be able to see demonstrations of five lines which will run three times a day from our dairy, bakery, meat, and pet food segments. In fact, the interest in these lines is so high that we will run a demonstration of each of them on Day 4 of the show.

Augmented Reality Showcase: Another great demonstration area on the show floor this year and popular stop on the PROCESS EXPO Orientation Tour, the AR Showcase will be an opportunity for attendees to test the AR versions of our participant's technologies. Attendees will not only be able to experience equipment up close but also be able to climb “inside” and have a fuller understanding of the unique capabilities of equipment from a variety of different equipment manufacturers.

Innovations Showcase: This is not just another poster board session, rather attendees will see presentations from suppliers with the latest cutting-edge technology and equipment as well as be able to cast their vote for the “People's Choice Award”. If you like “Shark Tank” you will find the showcase is something you won’t want to miss.

Live Butchering at PROCESS EXPO: New for this year’s show will be demonstrations provided by Team USA and the Butcher’s Guild and emceed by Colby Donaldson, who is the host of the History Channel’s “The Butcher”. These will be “not to miss events” that match Mr. Donaldson expertise who has worked with hundreds of artisan butchers in a wide range of products and settings, with Team USA as they prepare for the World Butchers Challenge taking place in September of 2020.

Orientation Tours: Expanding upon our guided tours last show, we will once again be providing tours for attendees in order to get them better acquainted with all of the activities to see at PROCESS EXPO, including the exhibitors and their solutions.

Women's Alliance Network Breakfast & Honors: The Women's Alliance Networking Breakfast well be held on Thursday and is open to all individuals in the food and beverage industry and will feature Suzanne Strassburger of Strassburger Steaks as the keynote speaker. Strassburger is well-known for her passion for promoting American beef products within the industry. Another great component of the breakfast will be the inclusion of the Network’s Red Circle Honors which recognizes the achievements of three women in the food and beverage industry and an FPSA member company who has demonstrated the gender balance in the workplace.

Show Education Program: This year’s PROCESS EXPO University program once again being held on the show floor, promises to be very popular and more importantly, a major reason for your customers to come to the show. Alternative proteins, trends in the pet food industry, IIOT, rebranding for small/mid-size meat processors, food safety and packaging are just some of the areas that will be covered in this program, providing attendees with the latest information on a number of critical topics. Added to our 2019 show will be five special sessions dedicated to legal cannabis development and production.

Food for Thought Sessions: New to the show will be extremely beneficial, thought provoking sessions led by a very distinguished group of leaders in our industry. During these inspirational talks the featured speakers will share how and why they entered the industry, why they remain in it, and provide career insights and perspectives.

Network Meet-Ups: With the creation of our new Networks, we will be holding a series of 30-minute meet-ups in a relaxed, informal venue on the show floor. These Meet-Ups will provide an opportunity to discuss key and integrated topics (technology, food safety, packaging, and workforce) that are critical for all six segments (Bakery, Beverage, Dairy, Meat, Prepared Foods, and Pet Foods) and which will allow for important cross industry collaboration.

Job Board/Career Development Roundtables: Also unique to our show will be the listing of available employment opportunities, as well as special career development roundtables that are being conducted by our Young Professionals Group. Since the launch of the FPSA Job Board, 100 member companies have posted over 130 career opportunities which will be displayed at the show. The Job Board has also been incorporated into the show Mobile App and will be featured in booth 3452 (near the FPSA member booth) so potential job candidates will be able to view and respond to postings during their visit on the show floor. Further, Friday morning special career development roundtables have been incorporated to provide valuable occupational advice for students and professionals.

Networking/Receptions: Regarding our networking opportunities, Wednesday night will feature a special Oktoberfest reception in our authentic German Beer Garden with our international show partners. The garden will also feature a daily “Chicago Sampler” of Chicago hotdogs, deep dish pizza, popcorn, and different German beers.

DEFEAT HUNGER Campaign/Presentation: Our continuing “Giving Back” initiatives will also be a highlight for everyone coming to the show. FPSA's partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository will be displayed at the show entrance and our press conference will take place on Thursday at 1pm in the main concourse where we will present our combined donations for our 2019 DEFEAT HUNGER drive. Thanks to your efforts, our total food donations will surpass the “1 million meal contributions” mark.

In closing, we are extremely grateful to the over 500 exhibitors who will help make PROCESS EXPO 2019 a reality. We appreciate all the efforts that you have made to set the stage for what will be a great experience for show attendees. In particular, I want to recognize the hard work and support of our Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Show Committee, the Show Floor Activities Task Force, and our industry Councils and Networks.

I look forward to seeing you soon in Chicago.


David Seckman