For the last 10 years, as President and CEO of the Specialty Food Association, a global not-for-profit, I overhauled SFA, assembled its management team, built community within its membership base, helped food and beverage companies from everywhere in the world introduce new products and brands, compete effectively, and safely-develop packaged food products.
During my tenure, the SFA grew 30%, increasing membership by 880 dues-paying food manufacturing companies, wholesalers, importers/exporters and organizations supporting food safety, IP, employee training, science, distribution, logistics, packaging and innovation. Member retention is at an industry pacing 85%.
Revenue from membership increased 4% yearly for the last 9 years. Revenue from educational programs increased 3X. Attendance and revenue from the two trade association shows (Fancy Food Show) grew exponentially, now approaching nearly 200,000 different food and beverages, and nearly 3,000 exhibitors between the New York and San Francisco shows. Attendee satisfaction is at 80%.
Importantly, I developed the for-profit educational component of the Specialty Food Association offering multiple courses covering all disciplines important to food and beverage innovation, safety, intellectual property management, IT, and marketing, to name just a few.
My skills were developed growing to Senior Vice President roles at Kraft (now, Mondelēz International, Inc.), where I had responsibilities, among others, for the Asia Pacific region, and over 50 manufacturing facilities in more than 50 countries, and Vice President of international marketing for Philip Morris.
I currently hold a number of BOD positions, including the World Education Services, and advise and mentor a number of start-ups.
My goal is to lead a for-profit food, beverage or educational company with global reach, or a large not-for-profit organization in need of turn-around or new growth initiatives in highly competitive arenas.
Innovative Trends in the Restaurant and Foodservices
Compiling foundational strategy thoughts for the National Restaurant Association (the first NRA!) and would like to use Convetit’s 2-month study to;
1. Better explore/validate segmentation of customers for their show in food & beverage
2. Reactions/builds/thoughts to creative stimulus
We’re hoping to deploy the study and start to get applicants to our discovery board around ~ w/o 10/2 and then start conducting the research the following week, 10/9. Thinking since there are “attendees” and “exhibitors” we will for sure want to add a few new participants the second month (add a few exhibitors) to we have a good mix of their target customers to gauge the reaction of creative stimulus.