High Performance Management Conference

September 14-17, 2015
Chicago, Illinois USA

This one-of-a-kind, professional development program will help companies optimize the impact of their mid-level managers who turn strategy into action plans and lead their teams.

Participants will learn from a unique combination of expert-led educational sessions, small group exercises and simulations that focus on topics such as

  • macro trends
  • food safety and crisis management
  • business acumen
  • horizontal and vertical management
  • team leadership and more


Optimizing the Impact of Mid-level Leaders.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mid-level managers numbered 10.8 million in the U.S. in 2012. In a recent Wall Street Journal special three-part series, experts say that mid-level managers are an essential layer in any company, turning top-line strategy into day-to-day action.

There is no denying the critical role that mid-level managers play in the success of fresh produce and floral companies today. PMA Foundation High Performance Management Conference is specifically designed to optimize the impact of their midlevel managers throughout the supply chain – both those who are likely to be “pros-in-place” and those who could ascend to a more responsible level in their company or in the industry in general.

Attendees will benefit from an intense two and half days of learning, networking and hands-on exercises to test their skills, expand their thinking and push them to tackle business challenges from a more strategic point of view.

If you are a mid-level manager who wants to position yourself for greater stability and proficiency in your career or a senior leader who understands the importance of developing the leadership skills of your team, don’t miss this opportunity!

Who Should Attend

Who Should Attend?

Management Conference Pyramid

Attendees for this conference represent managers, directors or any other mid-level positions that regularly requires the individual to manage, respond, and translate strategy into action. These individuals should be seeking to fast-track their career progression.

Typical job responsibilities for individuals who fit the High Performance Management Conference attendee profile include:

  • Currently serve in a mid-level management role whether over people or projects
  • Oversee a function/department or are an individual contributor
  • Likely have more than +/-10 years industry experience
  • Executes strategy on a daily basis
  • Has budget responsibilities for a department, projects or a team

If you are responsible for translating your company’s strategy into business results or would like to invest in your mid-level management’s professional development, this conference is a must attend program.

Need to Justify Your Attendance?

Click Here to Learn How

2015 Schedule

2015 Conference Schedule


6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Reception


8:30 AM – 12:00 PM Introduction to Business Acumen
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Networking Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Concurrent Sessions Block 1
2:30 PM – 3:45 PM Framework and Tools
3:45 PM – 4:00 PM Break
4:00 PM – 5:15 PM Computer Simulation/Snacks
5:15 PM – 6:00 PM Group Working Session- Speeches


8:00 AM – 9:15 AM Managing the Data Dump- Analytics for Improving Your Business
9:15 AM – 10:30 AM The Keys to Horizontal and Vertical Management
10:30 AM – 10:45 AM Networking Break
10:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Concurrent Sessions Block 2
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Network Lunch
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Food Safety
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Crisis Management
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM Refreshment Break
4:15 PM – 5:45 PM Scenario Based Learning – Ethics and Food Safety
5:45 PM – 7:00 PM Working Dinner


7:00 AM – 7:30 AM Breakfast
7:30 AM – 8:00 AM Speech Preparation – Time to Finalize
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM Presentations
10:30 AM – 10:50 AM Presentations – Judging and Break
10:50 AM – 11:00 AM
Present Winners
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Macro Trends and Closing Remarks


Register Today!

PMA Foundation seeks managers, directors or any other mid-level positions that regularly requires the individual to manage, respond, and translate strategy into action. These individuals should be seeking to fast-track their career progression.

Online Registration

2015 Conference Fees (US$) September 14-17, 2015
EARLY RATE On or Before July 31st, 2015 REGULAR RATE After July 31st, 2015
(Requiring a Hotel Stay)
Single: $3,650 $3,550 $7,300 $4,015 $3,915 $8,030
Multiple: $3,400 $3,300 $6,800 $3,740 $3,640 $7,480
(Not Requiring a Hotel Stay)
Single: $3,450 $3,350 $6,900 $3,795 $3,695 $7,590
Multiple: $3,200 $3,100 $6,400 $3,520 $3,420 $7,040

*PMA Member Loyalty Reward for Past Attendees (must have attended High Performance Management Conference in either 2013 or 2014)


Participants are responsible for their airfare to and from the conference, transportation to and from the hotel, and their remaining meals.

Hyatt Regency Schaumburg
1800 East Golf Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: +1 (847) 605-1234
Web: Hyatt Regency Schaumburg

For questions about the conference please contact us at hpmc@pmafoundation.com or call +1 (302) 738-7100.

2015 Speakers

Meet the 2015 Conference Speakers

Robert Brodo


Robert Brodo

Rob Brodo is the Executive Vice President and co-founder of Advantexe Learning Solutions, an award-winning global consulting firm that specializes in simulation-centric talent development engagements in the areas of business acumen, business leadership, and strategic business selling. Rob is considered a subject matter expert in the fields of business acumen, strategic selling, and computer-based business simulations, and is a highly respected and sought after facilitator and consultant. His career has combined entrepreneurial, corporate, and community achievements.

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Andy Neillie


Andy Neillie

Speaking, training and leading teams have characterized the past 20 years of my career. I currently work as a corporate trainer, coach, consultant and keynote speaker for Richardson, the preeminent sales and sales management training and consulting firm. I travel weekly to present workshops on sales and leadership topics for numerous Fortune 500 firms. By combining my background in management and sales with strong speaking and training abilities, I am able to motivate clients and audiences to take
actions that benefit them and their organizations.

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Bob Whitaker


Bob Whitaker

Bob Whitaker received his Ph.D. in Biology from SUNY Binghamton in 1982. Upon graduation, Bob joined DNA Plant Technology Corporation serving as both vice president for vegetable research and development and vice president of product development. In 1998, Bob joined NewStar as vice president of product development and quality where he developed corporate global food safety programs, spearheaded product development, and had operational responsibility for two value-added processing plants. In April 2008, Bob became the chief science & technology officer of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), overseeing food safety and technology efforts from field to fork.

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2014 Participant Testimonials

In their words, the 2014 High Performance Management Conference attendees said:

“This conference was outstanding, providing me skills that can be used immediately. I enjoyed that what I learned helps my job, me professionally and me personally.”

Angela Fraser, California Avocado Commission

“A fantastic networking opportunity and learning experience. Exceeded my expectations!”

Justin M. Heinrch, Holt Logistics

“This was my first PMA Foundation program and I must say it was a great learning experience. I enjoyed the speakers and learned a lot that I can take back right away and apply.”

Justin Raffoul, Lakeside Produce

“Collaborating and networking with, and learning alongside my peers from across all facets of our industry is an experience that has had and will continue to have a very positive impact on my career, my colleagues and my company.”

Brock Nemeck, DMA Solutions


Interested in Sponsoring This Program?

View 2015 Sponsorship Opportunities

Thank You 2014 Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor

Official Media Sponsor

The Produce News