Monday, March 7, 2011

Feeding America executive to speak at Food Marketing Conference

March 7, 2011

Food industry leaders will gather on Monday and Tuesday March 28 and 29, to discuss the consumer and the changing economy during Western Michigan University’s 46th annual Food Marketing Conference.

Vicki Escarra, president and CEO Feeding America, will share her thoughts on fighting hunger as part of the conference, which annually draws more than 400 food industry executives to Kalamazoo. The event will be held at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and is themed “Leading in a Time of Consumer and Economic Change.”

Monday, March 28
Kicking off the event at 4 p.m. is James Russo, vice president, Global Consumer Insights, The Nielsen Company. His presentation and the follow-up executive forum at 4:30 p.m. will examine the consumer and the changing economy and other food industry issues. Moderated by Peter Larkin, president and CEO, National Grocers Association, the panel will include Chris Brown, president, Wholesale Division, Nash Finch; Frank Eckstein, executive vice president, Winn-Dixie Stores; Brian Haaraoja, sr. vice president, Spartan Stores/VG’s; Keith Olscamp, vice president industry relations, Campbell Soup and Stephanie Skyler, president and CEO, Chiefs Supermarkets.

Monday evening will feature Escarra. With Americans struggling in today’s economy, there is an increased need for emergency food assistance. Through the work of Feeding America and more than 200 food banks, the network is helping millions of families not only survive through tough economic times, but thrive. Escarra will talk about the strategic partnerships and skillful planning put forth to make this happen.

Tuesday, March 29
On Thursday morning, John Pepper, chairman of the board, The Walt Disney Company, will share his views on “Leading in a Time of Major Change.” Pepper has been in his current position since 2007, and is the former president, CEO and chairman of Procter & Gamble, where he had a 40-year career. Dubbed by Business Week as one of the top 25 managers of the year in a cover story, Pepper is said to be “a manager willing to listen to underlings.” He is the author of “What Really Matters.” In his book he suggests that a preparedness to alter perspective, rethink assumptions and change course is central to understanding customer needs and keeping costs under control while developing talent, organizing one’s business and supporting the communities served.

Breakout presentations
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

· “Driving Sales at the Store Shelf with a Successful Mobile Strategy” – Rich Tarrant, president and CEO, MyWebGrocer

· “The $7 Trillion Woman: The Female Shopper” – Michelle Adams, vice president, consumer insights, Pepsico

· “Creating Your Future While Focusing on Today’s Business” – Paul Madura, consultant-endeavor management, retired H-E-B executive

· Four Generations: One Workplace” – Cam Marsten, author, generational insights speaker

Breakout sessions
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

· “Shopper Insights in the Digital World” – Adam Murphy, vice president, consumer research, The Nielsen Company

· “Strategic Change: Putting it all Together in Practice,” – Dianna Old, president and founder, Rae Group

· “Social Media: How Pop-Tarts Became Relevant to 2.6 Million Facebook Fans” – Dean Suarez-Starfeldt, sr. vice president, director of strategic planning, Biggs│Gilmore

· “Consumer Trends to Track in 2011” – Dr. David Hughes, emeritus professor of food marketing, Imperial College of London

At 2 p.m. Jack Sinclair, executive vice president, Grocery Division, Walmart Stores, will close the conference by looking ahead in his talk, “The Consumer Environment 2011.”

The Annual Food Marketing Conference is presented WMU's Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing Program in the Haworth College of Business. Proceeds from the conference support food and CPG marketing scholarships and related program operations.

For more conference information, including cost and registration details, call the event hotline at (269) 387-2132 or visit the 2010 Food Marketing Conference online.