It seems like the rest of the year builds to this — the annual Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit show, back in New Orleans this year Oct. 19-21 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Here’s a pocket agenda for the show — keep your phone handy. You can also download the Fresh Summit app for free on Android here and iPhone here.

Follow the links to find out more about any particular event. Next week we’ll introduce you to the speakers and give you an overview of the show in an early edition of SPW out Oct. 19.

And if you’re planning a party or event, let us know about it at and we’ll drop by with our video team to catch all the action.

Wednesday, October 18

Time Event
12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Retail Produce Tour*
Meet Curbside, Hall B-1 Entrance
Offers an insider’s look at what’s new in merchandising, packaging, technology and fruit and vegetables. Expect to walk away with plenty of innovative ideas and strategies that can be applied to your own business.
*Separate registration required and limited space available. Register today.

Thursday, October 19

Time Event
7:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast*
La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom C
Center for Growing Talent by PMA is hosting this leadership breakfast providing industry members with an opportunity to build meaningful relationships and gain career insights from our inspirational guest speakers.
Moderator:  Kevin Coupe, Author
Shannon Huffman Polson
, Author, Speaker, Adventurer, Veteran
Amy Robach, News Anchor, Good Morning America*Separate registration required and seating is limited. Register using the Fresh Summit registration form or by calling +1 (302) 738-7100 to purchase tickets.
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Innovation@work
Hall D Lobby
Get a glimpse of what tomorrow holds in the Innovation@work area — the destination for the freshest ideas, the newest products and services and the boldest flavors. Featured in this area:Fresh Ideas Showcase
Bold new products and services on display before, during and after exposition hours. The showcase will have the following sections highlighting popular industry trends:

  • Just 4 Kids Showcase: innovative products and services geared toward children
  • On-The-Go Showcase: products/services that make it easier for consumers to eat healthy while on the go or in the kitchen
  • Certified Organic Showcase: innovative, certified organic products
  • Floral Showcase: innovative floral products/services

Sensory Experience Contest Finalists and Winners
Bold, fresh and innovative produce-centric recipes are put to the test by key buyers and local children.

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Workshop Series I

Global Connections Community

The Innovation Conversation: Resonance & Relevance in an Uncertain Retail World
Room 208-210
Twenty-first century change often has the effect of giving business leaders – even the most forward-looking ones – a kind of intellectual whiplash. Just when you think you’ve figured out where things are going – what works and what doesn’t – something happens to challenge your thinking and turn preconceptions into misconceptions. With Amazon’s unprecedented acquisition of Whole Foods, and Chinese e-commerce giants like Alibaba and, the blurring between e-commerce and bricks and mortar is transforming the entire global supply chain. This up-to-the-minute, ripped-from-the-headlines analysis of how the most progressive companies are innovating will offer unique insights into ways technology can be used so that it is both relevant and resonant to customers.
Kevin Coupe, Author
Tom Furphy, CEO, Consumer Equity Partners

Science & Technology Community

Avoiding a Produce Transport Meltdown
Room 211-213
The global fresh produce and perishables industry supply chain depends on efficient and effective transport of all types. Learn ways to avoid a produce transport meltdown from experts whose years of experience have taught them where supply failures are likely to occur. Also featured are the new requirement of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Sanitary Transport Rule requirements and what is required of shippers, loaders, carriers and receivers. Gain a better understanding of new and emerging technologies that can help you and your business avoid or reduce the risk of costly produce losses in the supply chain.
Dr. Jim Gorny
, VP Food Safety & Technology, Produce Marketing Association
Dr. Patrick Brecht, President, PEB Commodities, Inc.
Drew McDonald, Vice President Quality & Food Safety, Taylor Fresh Foods
Dr. Stephen Neel, Senior Technical Director for the Global Cold Chain Alliance

Industry Talent Community – Supported by Center for Growing Talent by PMA

Top Talent:  Attracting Diverse Candidates
Room 220-221
It’s no surprise that organizations with a diverse global workforce are better positioned to drive innovation and foster creativity. But how do you recruit top talent in the digital age? Attend this session to discover the latest tools and techniques that will help you attract a talented and diverse pool of candidates while differentiating yourself from the competition.
Michael Jackson
, Change Agent/Professional Speaker
Kate Dowling, Corporate Strategy Manager, Robinson Fresh
Laura Gleason, Global Talent Acquisition Leader, CSC
Logan McCollum, Senior Recruiter & Candidate Development Lead, Driscoll’s
Colette Shannon, Communications Manager, Spinneys

Floral Community

Moving Floral Forward: A Glimpse into the Global Floral Market
Room 206-207
The global floral industry is in dramatic transition, as consumer trends, online purchasing, and demand for convenient products continue to change the floral marketing landscape. This session will examine the multi-billion-dollar floral industry—highlighting emerging trends, innovative approaches, and the challenges and opportunities that go along with them. Gain new insight into the floral market and discover actionable strategies to capture greater growth.
Lauren M. Scott
, Chief Marketing Officer, Produce Marketing Association
Traci Adams, President, Tru Bloom LLC
Kasey Cronquist, Administrator, Certified American Grown Flowers
Elaine Griffin, Interior Designer & Author, Elaine Griffin Design
Arnold Kloostra, Director, Intergreen

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Brunch General Session – State of the Industry
Great Hall
In the State of the Industry presentation, Cathy will explore a number of ideas from inside and outside the produce and floral industries that have the potential to influence how our industry connects with consumers and each other.
Cathy Burns
, CEO, Produce Marketing Association
12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Workshop Series II

Global Connections CommunityChanging Governments, Changing Trade
Room 217-218
The role of trade policy will continue to shape our industry in this era of globalization. This came into more focus the past year with voter decisions in the United Kingdom, the United States and elsewhere. With the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), will the remaining TPP countries forge ahead? The U.K. is pulling out of the EU. Will that offer opportunities to negotiate bilateral trade agreements with individual EU countries? The U.S., Mexico and Canada are renegotiating NAFTA. What shifts in trade flows can we expect? What do these implications mean for the global produce and floral industries?
Richard Owen
, VP, Global Business Development, Produce Marketing Association
Ambassador Darci Vetter, Former Chief Agricultural Negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative
José Antonio Gomez Bazan, President, CEO Camposol Trading
Adrielle Dankier, Commercial Director, Nature’s Pride
Doug Grant, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, The Oppenheimer GroupTransparency Trends
Room 208-210
It’s no secret that consumers are focused on transparency when purchasing products resulting in rapid growth for cleaner, simpler and more natural products like organic produce and plant-based household cleaners. With consumers’ focus on transparency reshaping how, where and ultimately why shoppers decide to buy, what does that mean for produce retailers, wholesalers/distributors, operators, suppliers and more? You’ll discover how to use the latest consumer trends and habits to guide your business decisions and create a more profitable future.
Jordan Rost, VP of Consumer Insights, Nielsen
Michael Jackson, Change Agent/Professional SpeakerScience & Technology CommunityEmerging Supply Chain Technologies: Game Changers or Toy of the Month?
Room 211-213
If you’ve read articles on Elon Musk and renewable energy, Blockchain, Uber Freight and GDSN but you aren’t exactly sure what they are and the ways they can potentially affect your business, this workshop should help clarify things. The industry leaders in this session will give you a better understanding on these four emerging supply chain technologies and how they may affect your business.
Ed Treacy
, Produce Marketing Association
Mikelea Kelley
, e-Business Manager, Tanimura & Antle
Ken Lund, Vice President of Support Operations, Allen Lund Company
Mark Palamountain, Senior Director of Agricultural Operations, Limoneira Company
Drew Zabrocki, CEO/CTO, Centricity Global

Industry Talent Community – Supported by Center for Growing Talent by PMA

Great Teams + Great Culture = Peak Performance
Room 220-221
The best companies know how to leverage the people, climate and energy of their organizations to achieve peak performance. They empower leaders to challenge and inspire. They create cultures to engage employees who feel valued. And, they fuel performance by focusing on a genuine sense of commitment, accountability and pride in work well done. This interactive session will highlight insights from leaders who have paved the way, including hearty dialogue about avoiding speed bumps and potholes along the way. Take home actionable strategies to refresh and reinvigorate the people part of your business.
Steve Campbell, Founder & CEO, pro-voke, LLC
Michael Burchell, Vice President / Org Solutions Expert, McKinsey & Company
Kristen Diver, Director of Human Resources, The Dinex Group
Evan Kelsay, Global Account Executive, LinkedIn
Julie Krivanek, President, Krivanek Consulting, Inc.

Floral Community

How Evolving Color Trends Influence the Floral Landscape
Room 206-207
Learn about the constantly evolving landscape of color across current and future seasons from the world-renowned authority on color, Pantone LLC. Designed with the global floral supply chain in mind, this session will provide insight into approaching color trends, color palettes and origins. Also, the impact of social, political and economic shifts in today’s culture on the floral sector along with the newest research around color trends and what’s to come in 2018. This engaging and very visual talk will be presented by Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.
Leatrice Eiseman
, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute

2:35 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. Workshop Series III

Global Connections Community

How Influencer Marketing Can Help Grow Your Business
Room 208-210
In case you’ve been living under a rock, pop culture is influencing everything from fashion to produce and in today’s marketing toolkit, influencer marketing is considered a powerful tool. Social media’s amplification of influencer voices means that companies don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on celebrity endorsements. So, it’s not surprising that more than 60% of brands implemented influencer marketing in their 2016 marketing strategy. This method allows companies to reap the benefits of targeted exposure to the right kind of consumer, one who is already invested and will pay attention. This session will explore how to determine influence and ways to engage with these individuals for more effective brand building.
David Nour
, CEO, The Nour Group, Inc.

Going Straight to the Source:  Addressing the Growing Demand for Organic Produce
Room 217-218
Gone are the days when organic produce could only be found in health food stores. As consumers continue to drive the demand for organic fruits and vegetables all year round, the industry is forced to answer the question: where will this product come from and when? With more and more retailers looking for a single source of their conventional and organic fruits and vegetables, growers are more often making the decision to offer both to maintain competitiveness. This session will explore the challenges facing the domestic and global market as players seek to address a growing demand for organic produce.
Matthew Seeley, CEO, Organic Produce Network

Jeff Brown, Procurement Manager, Wakefern
Scott Calandra, Produce Buyer, Meijer

Science & Technology Community

Technological Disruption Has Arrived:  Cut-and-Paste Genomics and Computers that Learn
Room 211-213
From the transistor to the PC, every generation has a technology that changes the rules of the game. As new technology is emerging from all areas, we have two major innovations in both genetic sciences and machine learning that are changing the industry entirely. This session will explore DuPont Pioneer’s data driven technology of genome editing and the potential that new technology has for developing fruits, vegetables, and floral varieties that will meet operational and consumer challenges in the years ahead. We will also show how huge leaps in processing power means that computers can learn and teach themselves anything, like how Google’s computers are learning to recognize different kinds of food waste just from looking at thousands of photos. Most importantly, attendees will discover that these technologies are becoming accessible to non-experts. Like true disruptions they pose unpredictable opportunities and challenges to how we do business today and for the future.
Dr. Bob Whitaker
, Chief Science & Technology Officer, Produce Marketing Association
Dr. Neal Gutterson, Vice President for Research, DuPont Pioneer
Kristen Rainey, Global Procurement & Resource Utilization Manager, Google Inc.

Industry Talent Community – Supported by Center for Growing Talent by PMA

The Power of the Employee Experience:  Culture, Engagement and Beyond
Room 220-221
The future of work is upon us. Advances in digital technologies, coupled with a more diverse, remote, and educated workforce, demand a new approach in shaping employee engagement. This session will highlight innovative methods that successful companies are implementing to foster a culture focused on the entire employee experience. Walk away with actionable strategies and business solutions to keep your employees motivated, engaged and productive.
David Dye, Managing Director, Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Deborah Neff, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Floral Community

From Harvest to Vase: Thriving in a Rapidly Changing Floral Landscape
Room 206-207
Consumer demand and advances in technology continue to drive innovative solutions across the floral landscape. From e-commerce and sophisticated supply chain networks to software platforms and innovative packaging solutions, you need to innovate fast and innovate well. But what does this mean for your business and how can you shift your strategy to better source, supply and deliver your products? This session will highlight ground-breaking floral technologies and their impact on the floral industry. Discover what it will take for your business to thrive in this rapidly changing environment.
Becky Roberts, Director of Floral, Produce Marketing Association
Debora Coleman
, Vice President Floral, Albertsons Companies
Marco van Zijverden, CEO, Dutch Flower Group
Drew Zabrocki, CEO/CTO, Centricity Global

3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Emerging Leaders Program Capstone and Graduation
Room 214
Center for Growing Talent by PMA wraps up this year’s program with a capstone course and graduation ceremony for our industry’s next generation leaders who will join an elite group of rising stars making a difference in our industry.
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Fresh Ideas in Action Reception
Room 243-245
Connect with other attendees following the education sessions to exchange ideas and sample recipes from the top 10 finalists in the Sensory Experience Contest.
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Young Professionals Reception(Complimentary ticket required)
Hilton Riverside, Riverside Rooms
Center of Growing Talent by PMA invites young professionals under 35 years of age to mix and mingle at this high-energy reception and grow their professional network. 
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Chair’s Invitational Reception (Ticket required)
Mardi Gras World – La Mansion
A private gathering of produce and floral industry leaders, including PMA and Center for Growing Talent by PMA Board of Directors and campaign donors, Gold Circle contributors, new members and new member sponsors.
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Welcoming Reception*
Mardi Gras World – Float Den
Attendees and exhibitors enjoy good company and great conversation while connecting with the people and personalities that compose this dynamic industry. (May require separate registration.) 

Friday, October 20

Time Event
7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. 5K – Race for Talent
Crescent Park, French Market District
Join Center for Growing Talent by PMA for their annual 5K Race for Talent and get a great start to your morning with a 3.1-mile walk/run. Race is limited to 1,000 participants. You do not need to be registered for Fresh Summit; family and friends are welcome to participate.

Separate registration required. Register as individuals or sign up your team here.
 7:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Floral Buyer Roundtables
Room 208-210
Similar to speed-dating, this unique opportunity matches floral suppliers and retailers according to criteria provided in pre-meeting applications. If selected, suppliers will meet for ten (10) minutes with at least five (5) different floral buyer companies. This program is limited to 30 floral supplier companies, and spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.Floral Buyer Roundtables are currently sold out.
 7:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Breakfast General Session – Illuminating a Future of Possibilities
Great Hall
With so many advances in artificial intelligence, the internet of things, smart cities, intelligent environments, and autonomy on land, sea, and air, our future will be radically altered and ours for the making. But how can you take an active role in shaping it? World renowned futurist Brian David Johnson delves into the challenges and illuminates the possibilities for this exciting tomorrow.
Brian David Johnson, Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society
8:00 .am. – 5:00 p.m. Innovation@work
Hall D Lobby
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Exposition
Hall B1-H
With more than 19,500 attendees from 60+ countries and 1,000 exhibitors, the Fresh Summit exposition is where contacts are formed, trends are revealed, ideas are exchanged and careers are made. Feel the electricity as you are on the show floor to experience the energy, the flavors and the conversations that will fuel new and profitable opportunities for your business.
5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. New PMA Member Reception (Invitation Only)
Room 223
The PMA Membership Committee hosts this reception to help new members connect with other members and understand how to get the most from their membership.
5:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Floral Networking Reception
Rooms 220-222
Industry leaders, innovators and new shining stars all converge for networking, story sharing and business building. Plus, see who is chosen as the 2017 Floral Marketer of the Year Award winner for demonstrating superior leadership in improving and advancing our industry.
5:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Global Connections Reception
Rooms 217-219
Designed to foster business relationships that transcend borders, this reception attracts attendees from throughout the global supply chain.
5:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Industry Talent Reception
Rooms 225-227
Stop in and learn how Center for Growing Talent by PMA, a charitable organization, is attracting bright new talent, developing the leadership skills in our professionals, and helping companies sustain a competitive workforce. We’ve got your year round talent management solutions to grow your business.
5:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Science & Technology Reception
Room 215-216
Exchange ideas and insight into the latest food safety issues and technological advances that are reshaping the industry and impacting all segments of the supply chain.

Saturday, October 21

Time Event
7:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Breakfast General Session – Mastering Innovative Creativity
Great Hall
In today’s landscape, if an organization is standing still, it’s moving backward. Success depends on embracing change, surpassing limits and outshining the competition. Join us as world renowned speaker and author, Dan Thurmon, reinvigorates attendees with action-packed messaging that will instill a passion to succeed. Learn how to create a culture of continuous improvement by shattering self-imposed limitations, rekindling a commitment to excellence, and fostering a mastery of change.
Dan Thurmon, President, Motivation Works, Inc.
 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Innovation@work
Hall D Lobby
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Exposition
Halls B1-H





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