The Refrigerated Foods Association’s (RFA) Annual Conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Huntington Beach, California, from March 4-7.
Mike Abrashoff, former commander of USS Benfold and author of It’s Your Ship, kicked off the conference with lessons in leadership and words of wisdom about creating a culture of trust and empowerment. His inspirational message received top marks from the conference audience, which included approximately 250 attendees from across America and Canada, says RFA. Other presenters and topics included Mark Cornthwaite of DuPont Nutrition & Health and John Crawford of IRI Worldwide, who addressed the clean label phenomena; Manny Picciola of LEK Consulting with insights into long-term trends in the industry; Michael Eardley of IDDBA on superconsumer opportunities; Lee Johnson of West Liberty Foods, who spoke on foreign material; and a technical update from RFA Technical Director Martin Mitchell.
In addition to the presentations, the conference also included networking opportunities and social events, including a service project and food drive. The annual Golf Tournament allowed attendees a chance to play and network on one of Huntington Beach’s award-winning courses. Suppliers displayed their wares and presented money- and time-saving opportunities at the Tabletop Reception and during the One-on-One CEO Sessions.
New RFA board named
Keith McIntosh of Mrs. Grissom’s Salads and David Horowitz of DuPont Nutrition & Health were elected as new board members, and the following were re-elected to serve 3-year terms: Steve Loehndorf, Reser’s Fine Foods; Mark Brown, Fresh Creative Foods; and Wendie DiMatteo Holsinger, ASK Foods.
Two members rotated off the board: Ken Funger of Mrs. Grissom’s Salads and Jennifer Shrader of Atlantic Coast Marketing.
The RFA’s new executive committee consists of President Josh Knott of Knott’s Foods; VP Mike Swan of Keybrand Foods; Treasurer Karen Bishop Carbone of Boston Salads; and Secretary Lauren Edmonds of St. Clair Foods.