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President’s Message – February 2020

“Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and the connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging.”
~ Deepak Chopra

The above quote from Deepak Chopra seems to apply very appropriately for our upcoming Annual Conference that will be held starting March 4th – 6th in sunny and warm southern California at the Park Hyatt Aviara. Not only will there be great educational sessions but also time allotted for all attendees to make new business connections while hearing from an outstanding array of excellent presenters. Likewise, the Annual Conference affords attendees to “connect” with colleagues and hear about and be part of the new activities and opportunities that the Association is undertaking – in essence, providing the opportunity to become more engaged in your Association.

I know that all of you will greatly benefit from not only hearing from Jim Donald, the former CEO of Starbucks, Pathmark Supermarkets, and Extended Stay Hotels, and currently the co-chairman of the Board of Albertson’s, but also being able to personally engage with him. Please be on the look-out for an e-mail from Jim prior to the conference where he will be seeking your input and as he prepares his remarks for the conference.  Click HERE to read more about Jim’s impressive career.

In addition to Jim Donald, we have a great line-up of industry speakers from the following companies:

  • Roy Greengrass, Manufacturing Director, Impossible Foods
  • Paul Bowen, Director of Wastewater, Environment & Sustainability, Coca-Cola
  • Dan Siegel, Founder & Chairman, and Justin Siegel, Chief Executive Officer, for Deli Star Corporation
  • Sabrina HoSang, Chief Operating Officer for Caribbean Food Delights
  • Susan Brady, President of Templar Food Products
  • Mitch Felderhoff, President of Sales & Marketing for Muenster Milling
  • Joe Hildebrand, Plant Engineer for the J.M. Smucker Company
  • Warren Bell, President of Bagels by Bell
  • Ellen Drewett, Senior Specialist Processing Engineer for the Nestle Development Centre
  • Billie Johnson, Food Safety/Regulatory Compliance Manager for BHJ North America
  • Robert Long, Sanitation/IPM Network Operations Manager for Mars Petcare US
  • Jiakai Lu, Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • Kim Rice, Vice-President of Food Safety & Quality for Rose Acre Farms
  • Belen Salazar, Research Assistant for the Food Science Department at Purdue University

Stay tuned as additional speakers are still being finalized.

And, please don’t forget about one of the truly wonderful events taking place at our conference, the FPSA Auction. We will be both raising funds for a variety of great charitable causes and having a great evening with James Cunningham, our auctioneer/entertainer for the evening.  Please click HERE for the schedule of events, registration information, and hotel reservations at the Park Hyatt Aviara. Book now as rooms at the discounted FPSA rate are limited. I look forward to seeing you there soon.

Lastly, please keep in mind that our 2020 Career Development Scholarship program provided by our Foundation which will award up to 15 scholarships to FPSA members' employees and immediate family members, has officially launched. The application process ends on April 17th.  Winners will be notified in June. To learn more about the program, please click HERE.  If you need more posters to place throughout your office to promote the program, please contact Ann Marie Penaranda at

And in closing, I want to extend my appreciation to Dolores Alonso, our Senior VP of Membership, as she begins a new journey in the consulting world. Dolores has greatly helped in taking FPSA to a new level of excellence and service. As always, please feel free to reach out to me at or at 703/663-1200 with any questions regarding how you and utilize the services and benefits of the Association we can be of any assistance to your company/team.


David Seckman