E&S Industry Summit

In March, NAFEM, CFESA and FEDA came together at The Future is Here: E&S Industry Summit in Palm Desert, CA, to discuss the future of the foodservice industry.

The four-day event featured lots of learning, networking, and collaborating about how to keep the industry moving forward in the best way possible.

Day one opened with the business meetings of each individual association.

The following day, attendees heard from speaker Jeremy Gutsche, CEO of www.TrendHunter.com. Gutsche advises organizations to disrupt or be disrupted.  He inspired attendees to seek out overlooked opportunities, find better ideas faster, and reach full potential in a world where innovation, disruption and adaptation are unequivocally essential to transformative success.

Following Gutsche, Warren Solochek of NPD Group, Timothy Ditzler of Villanova University, Mark Freeman of Microsoft, Alicia Mowder of Sonic Drive-In, and Dan Henroid of UCSF Health participated in a panel discussion on E&S trend hunting and the future impacts of the ever-changing market. The panel was followed by interactive roundtable discussions with great conversations on what the next 10 years of the industry is going to look like and how to stay ahead.

Day two focused on determining what it takes to keep up with growing demands in the market. Speaker Polly LaBarre – Founding Member of Fast Company and Editorial Director of MIX – shed some light on how she makes organizations more resilient, innovative and inspiring, and talked about how to embolden and equip leaders at every level to make a meaningful impact. She shared the three core questions that guide her work: How can organizations change the way they change to become endlessly adaptable and gain an advantage over time? How do you embed innovation as a DNA-level capability inside an organization? How do we unleash and organize human potential in ever more powerful ways?

LaBarre then stuck around for a panel discussion on how to be emboldened and equipped for collaboration and success along with Mark Dancer of Channelvation and Ann Vranicic, Vice President of Marketing at Valin Corporation. For the rest of the day, the group participated in roundtable discussions to continue to explore the ideas of collaboration and how to make change happen.

The final day wrapped up with a great keynote presentation by Mike Rowe a popular media personality and host of the highly rated TV series Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs.  His new project, “Returning the Favor” features Mike Rowe as he travels the country in search of remarkable people making a difference in their communities. “Returning the Favor” gives back to those who pay it forward with humor, heart and surprise.

Following Mike Rowe’s presentation, a final set of roundtable discussions focused on three main topics: attracting and maintaining talent, creating a winning culture and professional development. Intense conversations about balancing a multi-generational and technology-filled marketplace while keeping a company at the top of its game provided a strong and motivational ending to the conference sessions.

Of course, the E & S Summit wasn’t all work and no play. Social events included a spouse’s brunch, golf tournament and tennis tournament. Nightly cocktail receptions provided plenty of opportunities for informal networking and an all-industry tribute to FEDA’s long-time executive director Ray Herrick as he embarked on his retirement.

Special thanks to our sponsors, patrons, speakers, members and guests for their commitment and participation to make this conference a terrific networking and learning opportunity.