The trade association leading innovation in food production.‬

Member Login    Become a Member      

Moving Forward

For those of you not paying attention over the last few weeks, we’ve made quite a bit of news. Two weeks ago, it was the transformation of FPSA into the newly named Food Production Solutions Association. Last week, we announced the hiring of our new President and CEO, Matthew R. Ott, who was brought in to guide FPSA through this evolution as we plot a new course that we expect will deliver even more value to our members, while also attracting new categories of food industry players. As part of this change in leadership, David Seckman has now moved over to work as the Executive Director of one of FPSA’s most critical programs, the Food Industry Technician Program, or FIT as it is more commonly known.

This comes on the heels of our successful Executive Exchange & Conference that we held in sunny Indian Wells. If you missed out, I recommend you put this event on your calendar (March 19-21) for next year when we reunite at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix.

This year’s Conference focused on the voice of the end-user, with sessions on the business case for sustainability, new plant construction, workforce development issues, and artificial intelligence and its growing role in the food industry. We haven’t even closed the books yet on our spring conference, and already we are building the educational program for this year’s Fall Operations Conference taking place September 23-25 at the Hilton President in Kansas City. FPSA Networks are stepping up to assist in the development of these sessions including important topics in project management, the transition from legacy factories to smart factories, and disaster planning for operations and contingency planning to name just a few. Whether you are a food manufacturer or an OEM, I hope you’ll join us at this event that promises takeaways you’ll be able to bring back to your own company’s operations. Registration for this conference will open later this Spring.

Yes, lots of news. Lots going on. This is just the start. I look forward to the new programs we will be launching with Matt.

On a personal note, in Indian Wells, FPSA members and staff had a chance to recognize the contributions of one of this Association’s longtime leaders – Ken Hagedorn of Handtmann, Inc. It has been my honor to know Ken for over 18 years at this point, and to witness an impact that is unsurpassed by any other volunteer of this Association. Whether it was spearheading the support of training programs for individuals with disabilities in Africa with Bake for Life; assisting down on their luck people who needed a job with no questions asked at Greyston Bakery; or just helping staff and the Council in securing speakers for our Conferences, Ken was always the first one to raise his hand. No one could ever say no to Ken. He wouldn’t let them! When my time at FPSA is done, I will have fond memories of countless members … but I have to say Ken is in a category by himself. We at FPSA are lucky to have counted him among our leaders for the last several decades. Ken is still among us, and cranky as ever. We wouldn’t have him any other way!

Andy Drennan, FPSA SVP