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    Off to ‘Camp Foodie’

    Expect great things at the annual industry event.

    By Lynn Petrak
    Join us at the annual Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar and Expo in Denver, with a 2014 theme of “Camp Foodie.”

    It’s the good old summertime, when kids go off to camp, amid pine trees and fresh, crisp air, to learn new things, make new friends, and gain a bit of insight and independence to bring back home.

    Minus the bug bites, homesickness and rustic cabins, upwards of 8,000 industry leaders are heading off to their own version of camp this June: the annual Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar and Expo in Denver, with a 2014 theme of “Camp Foodie.”

    The setting in the Mile High City is a new one for Dairy-Deli-Bake, presented by the Madison, Wis.-based International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) and taking place June 1-3 at the Colorado Convention Center. One might also argue that the mountain environment is apt, given that the seminars and expo facilitate the trek to the pinnacle of success.

    The speaker lineup at this year’s Dairy-Deli-Bake includes leaders who’ve reached important peaks in their own respective industries and vocations. Keynoters include former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton; Capt. Richard Phillips; Steve Forbes; and Peyton Manning, among many others with credentials both within and beyond the dairy, deli and bakery retail and manufacturing sectors. Targeted seminar topics run the proverbial gamut of information and inspiration for the “foodie campers” in attendance, from discerning eating patterns and food culture trends, to reaching an increasingly splintered and mobile yet ever-more-demanding consumer base.

    Bill Klump, SVP of corporate marketing for Garner, N.C.-based Butterball, LLC and current chairman of the board of IDDBA, says that the association is building on its strong history of presenting prominent and respected speakers. “We have an impressive lineup of speakers every year, and this year’s lineup speaks volumes about what IDDBA has been able to do,” he notes. “Everyone walks away from this show with the ability to hear people who are influential not only in our industry, but in our society.”

    Meanwhile, reflecting the ascension to successful merchandising at the store level, a centerpiece of Dairy-Deli-Bake is the Show & Sell Center, a popular show feature that’s returning this year. The 10,000-square-foot retail merchandising and idea center will spotlight actionable merchandising concepts across the dairy, deli and bakery categories, spanning evocative and inspirational models as well as practical and easy-to-execute displays.

    Another gathering spot for foodie campers/conference attendees is the IDDBA Expo, encompassing 1,800 booths teeming with foods, services and concepts relevant to the industry.

    This year’s Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar and Expo will be meaningful in other ways, too, given the passing in March of Carol Christison, the organization’s longtime executive director and then president and CEO, who was honored at last year’s event for her 30-year commitment to, and leadership of, IDDBA in and well beyond the industry. A separate feature on Christison’s impact and legacy is included in this event preview.

    IDDBA at a Glance

    Celebrating its 50th year in 2014, the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, based in Madison, Wis., is a nonprofit membership organization serving the dairy, deli, bakery, cheese and supermarket foodservice industries. In addition to its annual seminar and expo, IDDBA offers leading-edge research, training programs, management tools and an annual trends report, “What’s in Store.” www.iddba.org.

    Life, Legacy and Leadership

    A tribute to the late, great Carol Christison.

    During last year’s Dairy-Deli-Bake conference in Orlando, Fla., IDDBA President and CEO Carol Christison was honored for her 30-year career with the organization and her leadership in building it and its annual seminar and expo to be the leading source of information and networking for the dairy, deli, bakery, cheese and supermarket foodservice industries.

    The recognition came at a special dinner right before the event. In typical Christison style, she was touched and humbled by the honor, but hardly a passive honoree, according to her friend Voni Woods, immediate past chairman of the IDDBA board and senior director of deli for Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc.

    “The board had said, ‘Let’s do something for Carol at the show.’ We approached her and told her we were doing it whether she wanted us to or not — and she took it over and planned it exactly as she wanted,” Woods recalls with a laugh.

    It was Woods who introduced Christison for the recognition. “This is a woman who is a mentor, a leader, someone to be reckoned with, and who has a dry-witted, wicked sense of humor, along with a quiet dignity and strength,” explains Woods. “When you ask what type of leader she was, I say she was charismatic. She pretty much always got her way, but it was never bullying. She was more like a pied piper, and if you talk to people in this industry, there are so many she touched.”

    Christison, who started at IDDBA in 1982 as executive director when it was still the International Cheese & Deli Association, died March 4, 2014. Her celebration of life in Wisconsin once again drew industry leaders to pay their respects. “There was a huge turnout from people who traveled to come. It’s a testament to how much she meant to us and the industry,” notes Woods.

    Bill Klump, current chairman of the IDDBA board and SVP of corporate marketing at Garner, N.C.-based Butterball LLC, contends that Christison’s imprint is indelible. “Carol has had a long-lasting impact on the IDDBA, and took it from a somewhat startup regional organization to one of the strongest national organizations in the grocery industry,” he says, echoing Woods’ impressions. “She was a dynamic leader who was witty and fun to be around. Her energy inspired other people to become involved in IDDBA and serve the industry the way she did.”

    Another person whom Christison inspired to become more involved in the industry is Jewel Hunt, group VP of the pharmacy, health and wellness unit for Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc. and current treasurer of IDDBA. “Carol reached out to me and asked me to work on a couple of committees, then asked me to serve as a member at large on the board,” Hunt says, agreeing that Christison had a knack for leadership and a sense of humor. “She was just a wonderful person, so genuine, and no matter what you brought to the table, she helped pull the best out of everyone.”

    Lucie Arendt, IDDBA’s SVP membership, exhibits, registration and IT — and Christison’s daughter — underscores Christison’s transformative leadership with the organization: “Over 31 years, she built an effective, committed team, and our operations have grown and improved every year, thanks to her inspiring, innovative leadership. Though we will miss Carol’s professionalism, creative mind and friendship at IDDBA’s Dairy-Deli-Bake 2014, her guidance through the years also gave individual staff members the chance to shine.”

    In addition to Arendt, Christison is survived by her son, David; she was preceded in death by her older son, Jim. Contributions in her name can be made to UW-Madison’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology research fund, which supports research in gynecologic cancers: UW Foundation Fund #12902096, Lock Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807, orwww.obgyn.wisc.edu/division/gynecology-oncology/default.aspx.

    Lineup of Leaders

    They may have made their mark in disparate places — the White House and global stage, a high-end restaurant kitchen, the gridiron, the broader financial landscape, and the middle of the ocean — but the keynote speakers at this year’s Dairy-Deli-Bake have one big thing in common: leadership in their respective areas of intense, and sometimes even dangerous, competition.

    Slated to speak at this year’s Dairy-Deli-Bake are Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bobby Flay, Peyton Manning, Steve Forbes and Capt. Richard Phillips, who will each share their experiences and how those experiences not only shaped them, but also inspired others and made a difference in the world.

    The takeaway for attendees at this year’s Dairy-Deli-Bake conference will be how to apply such leadership to their own industry’s vision and work.

    Leaders from within the food, research and supermarket industry are also imparting insights and actionable ideas in a series of targeted sessions addressing the current challenges, needs and goals of the dairy, deli, bakery, cheese and supermarket foodservice sectors. The sessions will be offered throughout Dairy-Deli-Bake’s run, June 1-3.

    Meet Your Foodie Camp Leaders

    Hillary Rodham Clinton: The 67th U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, Clinton’s “smart power” approach to foreign policy repositioned American diplomacy and development for the 21st century.  Earlier, as First Lady and U.S. senator from New York, she traveled to more than 80 countries as a champion of human rights, democracy and opportunities for women and girls. Clinton also worked to provide health care to millions of children, create jobs and opportunity, and support first responders who risked their lives at Ground Zero. In her historic campaign for president, Clinton won 18 million votes.

    Capt. Richard Phillips: “Steering Your Ship through Rough Waters: Lessons on Leadership from Capt. Phillips”
    Capt. Richard Phillips — whose story was told in last year’s Academy Award-winning film “Captain Phillips” and the best-selling book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea” — shares his experience as a “floating CEO” in charge of the day-to-day operations of a multimillion-dollar ship and its crew. In his presentation, Phillips will cover the vital importance of leadership and teamwork, combined with a belief in the power and potential of yourself and your team.

    Steve Forbes: “Leadership Lessons: The Stunning Parallels between Great Leaders of the Ancient World and Today’s Top Business Leaders”
    Steve Forbes, an internationally respected authority in economics, finance and corporate leadership, will talk about how the recent economic crisis underscores the importance of strong and effective leadership. In a presentation based on his book “Power Ambition Glory,” Forbes will draw comparisons between great leaders of the ancient world and contemporary business leaders. What, for instance, do Cyrus the Great and Jack Welch have in common? In his enlightening seminar, Forbes shares insights into what will make or break businesses right now by exploring the remarkable similarities between those who directed the empires of the ancient world and today’s leaders.

    Bobby Flay: “From High School Dropout to Culinary Star: A Career of Cooking, TV and Inspiration”
    Chef, restaurateur, author and TV star Bobby Flay puts the “foodie” in this event’s “Camp Foodie” theme. Flay, who started in the industry at 17 and worked his way through the French Culinary Institute and on to fame and recognition through his innovative restaurant dishes, will discuss the mistakes and decisions that have shaped his career, how he combines cooking and media, and how to tantalize customers with exciting flavor combinations, presentations and cooking techniques. In addition to his restaurants, Flay shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for food through his cookbooks and shows on the Food Network, Cooking Channel and NBC.

    Peyton Manning: “What It Takes to Be a Champion”
    Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning, the league’s only five-time MVP and a 13-time Pro Bowl selection, has earned his place among the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks. In the 2013 season alone, he compiled the best statistical season by a quarterback in NFL history. Off the field, he is a recipient of the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award and NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, and formed the PeyBack Foundation in 1999 to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth. In his IDDBA presentation, Manning will share his thoughts on what it means to be a champion.

    Peter Diamandis: “Achieving Innovation and Breakthroughs”
    Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the Culver City, Calif.-based X Prize Foundation, is the author of “Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think.” In his seminar, he will explain how exponentially advancing technologies will transform companies, industries, governments and our lives over the next five to 10 years, and show attendees how to drive and incentivize breakthrough thinking within their companies to achieve clear, measurable and objective results.

    Harry Balzer: “Eating Patterns in America”
    What are Americans actually eating? This may sound like a simple question, but it’s really a challenge to answer accurately. Consumers often say one thing, but do another. Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and VP of The NPD Group, based in Port Washington, N.Y., has been following the eating and drinking patterns of Americans for years. In this informative session, he’ll share consumer data and show how to transform those findings into tangible strategies and tactics to help those in the industry make critical decisions with confidence.

    Gary Vaynerchuk: “Riding the Hashtag in Social Media Marketing”
    A social media expert and New York Times best-selling author of “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World,” Gary Vaynerchuk shares advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition in his latest book. In his presentation, he’ll explain why companies shouldn’t just develop high-quality content, but also create content adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices to best engage with consumers when and where they want to be found. Vaynerchuk is on a self-proclaimed mission to strengthen marketers’ right hooks by changing the way they fight, to make consumers happy and, ultimately, to compete.

    Harold Lloyd: “Fishin’ For Sales? Better Change Lures!”
    Harold Lloyd, president of Virginia Beach, Va.-based Harold Lloyd Presents, will guide attendees toward increased sales by encouraging them to think outside the parameters of the mundane to find unexpected selling opportunities as they “fish” for sales. In his presentation, he’ll go beyond the hypothetical to show manufacturers and suppliers how to contribute to the implementation of such practical and unique ideas.

    Laurie Demeritt: “Key Shifts in Food Culture: How Consumer Preferences and Behaviors are Evolving and How to Respond”
    Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group, in Bellevue, Wash., will share strategies for remaining relevant to shoppers, optimizing your social initiatives, and developing programs that build loyalty and sales. Her presentation will explore powerful forces that affect the dairy, deli and bakery industries, including changing consumers, evolving eating habits and the rise of mobile technology with social engagement, and will demonstrate how attendees can stay top of mind with shoppers and develop programs and platforms that build loyalty and sales.

    Bill Klump: “Man Up: Men’s Recent Impact on Grocery Marketing”
    Bill Klump, current chairman of IDDBA and SVP of corporate marketing at Garner, N.C.-based Butterball LLC, discusses the emergence of men as pivotal and frequent shoppers. As he points out, 52 percent of fathers identify themselves as the primary grocery shopper. Klump will share how those in the industry can actively target this demographic and translate research into action to maximize sales and encourage shopper satisfaction and loyalty.

    Mary Kay O’Connor: “Food Trendscape 2014”
    Join Mary Kay O’Connor, VP education of IDDBA and the association’s “What’s in Store” trends editor for the past 28 years, as she reveals the micro- and mega-trends that are rapidly reshaping markets and competitive arenas. She’ll cover topics like globalization and m-commerce and the big data they supply, as well as the “one-stop life shop” marketplace, both real and virtual.

    Take a Good Look

    The Dairy-Deli-Bake Expo, Show & Sell Center, and Cake Decorating Challenge offer immediate ideas and information.

    While there may not be canoeing, fishing, and arts and crafts, there will be plenty of education and entertainment on hand at IDDBA’s Camp Foodie, thanks to offerings like the Dairy-Deli-Bake Expo, the Show & Sell Center and the annual Cake Decorating Challenge.

    The hall inside Denver’s Colorado Convention Center will be lined with exhibits featuring a slew of products and services for the dairy, deli and bakery categories. This year’s expo has expanded to more than 1,800 booths from upwards of 700 vendors.

    Another hallmark of the 50th annual Dairy-Deli-Bake conference is the retail merchandising and idea center known as the Show & Sell Center. This area alone illustrates the evolution of retail merchandising since IDDBA was first formed and held its inaugural conference in 1964.

    True to its title, the 2014 Show & Sell Center offers innovative merchandising concepts for today’s retailers across many fresh categories. For example, those in the bakery category can check out imaginative ways to merchandise items like cakes, doughnuts, muffins, cupcakes and other pastries by expanding and executing creative displays out beyond the bakery case.

    The Show & Sell merchandising area for cheese, meanwhile, features a fresh mozzarella-pulling station, demos of ultimate grilled cheeses, and unique displays designed to maximize shopper attention and cheese sales. In the deli section, attendees can learn about a fun concept called “glamping,” as well as practical and executable ideas for this important part of a retail supermarket. Given the rise of the prepared food section in today’s supermarkets, the meal area in the Show & Sell Center will showcase a variety of heat-and-eat meal ideas.

    Additionally, so people don’t have to rely on just their memories and notes, IDDA is offering attendees free photo CDs with more than 1,000 images highlighting the concepts in the merchandising center.

    The icing on the cake for attendees looking for a show of creativity at the conference is the 19th annual Cake Decorating Challenge. Three chosen contestants, narrowed down from a field of 66 retail bakers from 30 supermarket chains, will engage in a pastry pipe throwdown and fondant fight for the finish.

    This year’s cake decorators are Amanda Hansen, of Coborn’s Inc. in Sauk Rapids, Minn.; Stephanie Murphree, of Harp’s Food Stores Inc. in West Fork, Ark.; and Sarah Watts, of Publix Super Markets Inc. in Gainesville, Fla. The pastry chefs will compete in three phases of the cake challenge, including decorating a wedding cake, decorating enough cakes to fill one multitiered 8-foot bakery case, and decorating three different cakes from the special-occasion, show-theme and decorator’s-choice categories.

    By Lynn Petrak
    • About Lynn Petrak

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