Attendees at the Western Association of Food Chains’ annual convention were entertained by guest speakers that took the general session stage May 9 at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert, California.
Motivational speaker, comedian and bestselling author Josh Sundquist has shared his story with audiences across the world.
At age 9, Sundquist was diagnosed with bone cancer and given a 50 percent chance to live. He spent a year on chemotherapy treatments and his left leg was amputated. He was cancer-free at age 13, then took up ski racing three years later. Today, he represents the U.S. in international competition.
Online, Sundquist is known for his viral photos, particularly of his Halloween costumes. His videos have been viewed 500 million times and he has more than three million followers.
“Josh Sundquist’s story of resiliency was moving – having a positive mindset and perseverance, regardless of what life brought him, was felt through an emotional rollercoaster of sadness, laughing, excitement and motivation,” said Jackie LaPointe, director of retail (grocery) at Upside.
“‘One more thing. One more time,’ is a strong key takeaway for us all. While sometimes the challenges set forth in our industry seem overwhelming and daunting to overcome, if we approach those challenges with the attitude of trying to take each approach as “one more thing, one more time,” we can move mountains.”
During his speech, Sundquist invited Pat Posey, WAFC chief operating officer, on stage to help him express a key moment in his show.
“Well, I spent about an hour and a half the day before with Josh, just walking him around the conference, explaining what the WAFC is all about,” Posey said.
“I’m just guessing that he grabbed me [because he remembered me]. But it was actually a lot of fun…he was wonderful. He had me on the edge of tears several times. I was laughing two seconds later. He’s just amazing.
“It was great to hear [Sundquist] say that he goes to all these conventions all the time and he’s never seen any show that has the relationship building that we have.”
In addition to Sundquist, the WAFC welcomed an additional speaker – Emmitt Smith, former professional football player, analyst, author, businessman and entrepreneur. His resume includes three Super Bowl championship rings, his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, and, most recently in 2019, his selection to the NFL 100 All-Time Team.
After his playing days, Smith served as a football analyst and then took his television career a step further when he won the third season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
For more information about the speakers, visit joshsundquist.com or profootballhof.com/players/emmitt-smith.
To view the full photo gallery of the speakers by The Shelby Report, click here.