High Performance Management Conference
High Performance Management Conference

September 9-11, 2014
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 technology,
  • business acumen,
  • team leadership and more.



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’s 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.

This conference balances lecture-style teaching with simulation-centric learning to maximize knowledge transfer, skill building, and application of learning. The simulations, developed especially for the produce industry, will use the content, discussion, reflection, and feedback to stimulate thinking and allow participants to practice the skill or knowledge application in a risk-free environment. Content has been developed to include both industry issues and leadership training for a thorough educational experience.

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 position that regularly requires the individual to manage, respond, and translate strategy into action. These individuals may be seeking to fast-track their career progression or may simply desire to improve their proficiency within their current responsibilities.
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 event. Register yourself or your mid-level manager today!

Need to Justify Your Attendance?

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2014 Conference Information

Register Now

Registration Fee Includes:
  • Two nights’ hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Regency (arrival September 9, departure September 11), if selected. PMA staff will secure your housing for these dates. If additional hotel nights are needed, indicate this in the appropriate area on the form.
  • The following meals:
    September 9 – Lunch, refreshment breaks and a networking reception
    September 10 – Breakfast, lunch, refreshment breaks and networking reception
    September 11 – Breakfast, lunch and a refreshment break
  • Access to speaker handouts and materials.
  • Participants who register for the optional pre-conference will also receive one additional night’s hotel accommodation (September 8th) and breakfast on September 9th.

Please Note: Airfare to and from Chicago and transportation to the hotel is the responsibility of the individual.

Registration Fees:
EARLY RATE On or Before Thursday, July 31 REGULAR RATE After Thursday, July 31
(Requiring a Hotel Stay)
$6,930 $3,815
(Not Requiring a Hotel Stay)
$6,330 $3,485
Includes additional night of housing on Monday, September 8th as well as breakfast on Tuesday,
September 9th.
$670 $1,340

**Multi registration is the cost of each for two or more from the same company submitted at the same time.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation request must be sent in writing to PMA’s Solution Center at solutionctr@pma.com. Cancellation requests received at PMA on or before Thursday, August 14, 2014 will receive a full refund minus a $75 processing fee per registration. No requests for refunds will be accepted after Thursday, August 14, 2014.

Conference Location:
Hyatt Regency

1800 East Golf Road
Schaumberg, IL 60173
Phone: +1 847-605-1234
Web: http://schaumburg.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html


2014 Conference Schedule


8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pre-Conference: Finance for Produce Professionals
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Keynote: The Macro Picture
2:50 PM – 4:00 PM High Performing Leader Framework and Tools
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM Introduction to High Performing Manager Simulation


8:00 AM – 9:15 AM Keynote: Customer Insights
9:15 AM – 10:15 AM Introduction to Business Acumen
10:30 AM – 11:45 AM High Performing Manager Simulation Workshop I
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Food Safety
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Crisis Management
3:45 PM – 5:15 PM High Performing Manager Simulation Workshop II


8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Horizontal Leadership
9:15 AM – 10:30 AM Breakout 1: Project Management
Breakout 2: Presentation Skills
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM Breakout 3: Coaching and Feedback
Breakout 4: Change Leadership
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM High Performing Manager Simulation Workshop – Part III
2:45 PM – 3:15 PM Conference Summary and Assignments


Meet the speakers at HPMC

David Bell


David Bell

Professor Bell is an expert in consumer shopping behavior. His current research focuses on theories and explanations for geographic variation in the performance of Internet retail startups. Startups studied include Bonobos.com, Diapers.com, and WarbyParker.com. Recent articles explain the effect of physical location on customer acquisition, contagion effects among co-located consumers, and the effect of preference isolation on online demand. Other projects focused on traditional retail settings explore unplanned and impulse buying, and consumer amortization strategies for fixed shopping costs. Previous articles explained consumer store choice among retailers with different pricing strategies, the effect of reference point formation on consumer response to promotions, and the effect of structural factors (e.g., dwelling size) on consumer shopping strategies.

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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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2013 Participant Testimonials

In their words, the 2013 High Performance Management Conference attendees said:

“PMA Foundation facilitated a great program for anyone involved with Personnel management in the produce industry. Modules selected were specific and highly relevant to our Business. The presenters from Thunderbird and from within the Industry were incredibly engaging and well-spoken. And notably, this was an excellent opportunity for networking with a wide range of extremely talented Produce Professionals. Highly recommended!”

Eric Coty, Director of West Coast Sales, Oppy

“Incredible experience. 8 topics that were impactful and on target. A deep enough dive into each to come away with some great “ah-ha” moments. This inaugural program hit it out of the park!!”

Jeff DeBoer, Sr. Director Strategic Purchasing, Sysco

“This is a great conference to learn about and understand the industry’s trends and it empowers you with this knowledge to influence change within your organization.”

Linda Sanchez, Accounting Manager, Wholesum Harvest

“PMA Foundation programs are one of the best outside sources to advance your career path in the produce industry.”

Megan Schulz, Marketing & Communications Manager, Giumarra Companies


Thank You 2014 Sponsor!

Presenting Sponsor

Official Media Sponsor

The Produce News