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    Craigslist Founder to Speak at FMI's Future Connect

    Craig Newmark will discuss how grocers can leverage social media in their operations.

    Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, will discuss the value of social media to the grocery industry during the closing session of The Food Marketing Institute's Future Connect Leadership Conference, which will be held May 4 to 6, 2009 in Dallas.

    "The next generation of industry leadership is already using Craigslist and Facebook, and YouTube to purchase products, connect with peers, and learn more about the world around them," said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and c.e.o. of FMI. "It is essential that we embrace and understand these and other social media as we grow our future leaders and our businesses. Craig's keynote participation in Future Connect will bring critical insight to our industry,"

    Newmark created the online, non-commercial community bulletin board of classified advertisements and discussion boards in 1995, and it's since grown from a simple email exchange service to an urban and regional community service outlet known throughout the world, generating close to 10 billion page views per month, 35 million unique visitors, and serving more than 550 cities in 55 countries. 

    Newmark continues to work as a customer service representative at Craigslist while serving as chairman, and will share his insight about building future online communities. He has 25 years of experience as a web-oriented software engineer and worked for IBM for 18 years, as well as for Charles Schwab & Co.

    FMI's Future Connect was created to educate high-potential associates from all levels of retailer, wholesaler, and supplier companies to direct teams, focus skills and talents, and achieve high-profit sales. Its interactive education sessions and group roundtables will focus on the landscape of issues facing the industry, including current business and consumer trends, developments in global food sourcing, and managing an increasingly diverse workforce.

    The FMI Marketechnics Show begins on the final day of Future Connect, and will run through May 8.

    FMI conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education, and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies - comprised of food retailers and wholesalers - which operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores and 14,000 pharmacies.

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