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    Food Industry Leaders To Converge on Kalamazoo

    KALAMAZOO -- How to survive in an increasingly competitive environment, dealing with workforce challenges and appealing to a growing Hispanic population are among the topics to be addressed at Western Michigan University's 41st Food Marketing Conference to be held here March 27-28.

    KALAMAZOO -- How to survive in an increasingly competitive environment, dealing with workforce challenges and appealing to a growing Hispanic population are among the topics to be addressed at Western Michigan University's 41st Food Marketing Conference to be held here March 27-28.

    The event, which annually draws more than 500 food industry executives, will take place at the Radisson Plaza Hotel downtown. Couched under a theme of "Winning through Differentiation: People, Products and Services that Make a Difference," the speaker lineup includes industry leaders from the likes of Kroger, Roundy's, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and Sara Lee.

    The university is holding the event in conjunction with the Network of Executive Women, as it has for the last two years. The NEW presentation will kick off with a luncheon program at noon Mon., March 27, featuring Trudy Bourgeois, author, president and c.e.o. of the Center for Workforce Excellence.

    A panel discussion also will take place featuring business executives Kim Feil, s.v.p. and c.m.o. of Sara Lee Corp.; Ruth McCarthy, v.p. of home for Meijer; and Julie Washington, v.p. of marketing development for Procter & Gamble. Al Carey, president of PepsiCo sales, will present, "The Case for Fundamental Workforce Change," during which he will discuss the challenges a changing work force will have for both retailers and manufacturers.

    Other activities include two series of concurrent workshops, a generational panel discussion and presentations by two featured speakers, John Flood, chief customer officer with Sara Lee Foodservice, and Jon Flora, s.v.p. and an officer for The Kroger Co.

    Other speakers include Jim Flannery, Procter & Gamble; Gini Roback, Roundy's Supermarkets, and Marv Imus, president of Paw Paw Shopping Center.

    The annual Food Marketing Conference is presented by WMU's Food and Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing Program in the Haworth College of Business. All proceeds from the conference support food and CPG marketing scholarships and program operations.

    For more information, visit the conference Web site at http://www.hcob.wmich.edu/fmc.

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