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IDDBA 19 To Feature Three Inspirational Star Speakers

IDDBA 19 Fox, Ali, Lowe
Michael J. Fox, Laila Ali, Rob Lowe

Actor Michael J. Fox, boxer and chef Laila Ali and actor Rob Lowe are slated to appear at IDDBA 19, coming up June 2-4 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.

Each star will share how they overcame life’s obstacles to achieve their dreams during the show’s General Session.

Fox’s presentation is called “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.” He began his career as a television actor and soon after went on to film. From being on the show “Family Ties” to the “Back to the Future” trilogy, Fox’s career continued to grow, where he appeared in dozens of features, both comedy and drama. In 1991 Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease. Fox has since committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson’s research.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s drug development in the world, was called “the most credible voice on Parkinson’s research in the world” by The New York Times. Fox has spoken and written extensively about his predisposition to look at challenges, including his Parkinson’s disease, with optimism and humor.

Ali will present “Going the Distance,” derived from her experience as a world-class athlete, fitness and wellness advocate, TV host, home chef and founder of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand. The daughter of late beloved global icon and humanitarian, Muhammad Ali, she is a four-time undefeated boxing world champion, whose record includes 24 wins (21 of which were “knockouts”) and zero losses.

A cooking enthusiast, Ali appeared twice on Food Network’s celebrity edition of “Chopped” and emerged victorious as the champion. She also was the host of “Late Night Chef Fight,” a food truck cooking competition on the FYI Network. Ali has also appeared in various cooking segments on “Rachael Ray” and “The Chew,” along with having cooked her famous “oven baked fried chicken” on Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show.

She has published a cookbook, “Food For Life,” which she will be signing at 4 p.m. near IDDBA’s Expert Neighborhood.

Lowe will present “Stories I Only Tell My Friends.” He began his acting career in local television and theatre at the age of 8. His most recent project, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends: LIVE,” based a memoir, gives a glimpse behind the curtain at Hollywood, fame, fatherhood and marriage. From the Brat Pack to “The West Wing” to “Parks and Recreation” and beyond, his one-person show features witty one-of-a-kind insights spanning his four-decade career.

Lowe published his memoir, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends,” in the spring of 2011. It spent consecutive weeks in the top four of The New York Times best-seller list, and made it onto GQ’s “Best of 2011” book list.

Previously announced speakers for IDDBA 19

IDDBA previously announced additional well-known speakers for the event:

Kevin Ryan will give a presentation on the “New Retail” Reality. Ryan is the founder and CEO of Malachite Strategy and Research, a CPG and foodservice-focused insights and innovation agency. He previously served as the senior brand strategist of, overseeing the corporate brand and advertising strategies for the Prime, Echo and several retail brands. Prior to Amazon, Ryan was a director of strategy and innovation at General Mills.

Milk Bar founder and CEO Christina Tosi will take attendees “Inside the Mind of a Sugar Genius” with her presentation. Tosi founded the dessert programs at Momofuku and went on to build a culinary empire of her own. Since opening Milk Bar’s doors in 2008, she has changed the face of baking with her innovative creations such as cereal milk ice cream, compost cookies and crack pie. Tosi is a judge on the cooking competition series MasterChef and MasterChef Junior.

Entrepreneur, author and former VP of Yahoo Seth Godin will share his expertise in marketing, leadership and changing everything to help your business. Godin is a member of both the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and the Marketing Hall of fame.

Barb Stuckey, president and chief innovation officer of Mattson, will discuss 10 macro trends driving innovation in the food and beverage industry. Stuckey is known as a taste, food trend, innovation, consumer insights and product development expert. She was instrumental in helping The San Francisco Cooking School integrate the science of taste into its curriculum, where she now teaches the Fundamentals of Taste to each entering class. She also holds a seat on the advisory board of the Plant Based Foods Association.

IDDBA 19 speaker
Kevin Ryan
IDDBA 19 speaker
Christina Tosi
IDDBA 19 speaker Seth Godin
Seth Godin
IDDBA 19 speaker Barb Stuckey
Barb Stuckey

IDDBA is a nonprofit membership organization serving the dairy, deli, bakery, cheese and supermarket foodservice industries. Member companies enjoy exclusive benefits and services, including the annual tradeshow, leading-edge research, training programs, management tools and an annual trends report.

About the author


Lorrie Griffith

An observer of the grocery industry since 1988. Away from her editor job, she's a wife and mother of two grown sons and thinks cooking is (usually) relaxing.

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