Multi-Association Meeting Fosters Energetic, Earnest Conversations

The future may have started with the conversations sparked at last week’s multi-association summit meeting Palm Desert, Calif. But based on the interactions and meetings forged at roundtables and social events, they are unlikely to stop anytime soon.

The Future Starts Here: E&S Industry Summit, March 21-25, brought together more than 650 FEDA, NAFEM and CFESA members for educational and networking opportunities, problem solving, and issue sharing while providing each organization time to conduct necessary annual business–including new executive boards for FEDA and NAFEM.

Keynote speaker Jeremy Gutsche kicked off the full group event on Thursday with an energetic presentation on innovation, luck and seizing opportunity. Dirty Jobs TV show host Mike Rowe closed things out Saturday morning with a humorous look at his career and the importance of the kind of career offered—and training required for them—in the foodservice equipment and supplies industry.

In between were two days of roundtables that brought together members of each association to discuss the issues and challenges, big and small, facing the industry. Distribution channels, consolidation, regulatory changes, taxes, buying groups, hiring and retention were among the topics. (Publisher Robin Ashton shares another perspective in his editorial in the most recent issue of Dealer Report.)

FEDA members also paid tribute to Executive V.P. Ray Herrick’s 35 years of service to the association. Four of the 19 presidents Herrick served during his tenure, along with past board members, gathered to reminisce as the group reflected on Herrick’s years with FEDA. Herrick also was feted during an evening gathering by the presidents of the other allied industry associations.

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