High Performance Management Conference

September 14-17, 2015
Chicago, Illinois USA

This unique leadership 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 not only meet onsite for this two and half day program but they will also participate in two webinars post conference.


Position yourself and your company for greater stability and proficiency.

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. This conference is specifically designed for attendees to learn new concepts and mind-sets and then put them to work.

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.

Participants will not only build new relationships across the supply chain but they will learn from a unique combination of educational sessions and small group exercises that focus on topics such as

  • macro trends
  • food safety and crisis management
  • business acumen
  • horizontal and vertical management
  • team leadership and more
If you are a mid-level manager then 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 and enriching your leadership pipeline, 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?

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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 Developing a Leadership Framework
3:45 PM – 4:00 PM Break
4:00 PM – 5:15 PM Computer Simulation/Snacks
5:15 PM – 6:00 PM Presentation Style Recommendations


8:00 AM – 9:15 AM Be a Produce Data Ninja
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


Dates subject to change.

November 19, 2015 | 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Stepping Into Omni Channel Fulfillment

January 14, 2015 | 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Efficiencies Across the Supply Chain


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
On or Before August 17, 2015
After August 17, 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)


  • Evening Networking Reception on Monday, September 14th
  • Breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks on September 15th
  • Breakfast, lunch, refreshment breaks, and dinner on September 16th
  • Breakfast on September 17th
  • Access to speaker handouts and materials
  • Optional: three (3) nights’ hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg (arrival September 14, departure September 17)

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

Bill Bishop

Bill Bishop

Recognized as one of the retail food industry’s preeminent advisors, he’s been involved in research and consulting since 1976 with a concentration on the new issues and developments impacting this business. Over that time he specialized in a range of areas including:

    • New retail formats – analyzed hard discounters to hypermarkets
    • Direct store delivery practices – wrote the Food Marketing Institute DSD Handbook
    • Customer loyalty programs – helped Citicorp POS develop the first supermarket loyalty program
    • Retail pricing strategy – created price reputation management index

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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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Bradley Fitzhenry

Bradley Fitzhenry

Bradley Fitzhenry is a marketing strategist with over 25 years’ experience in building brands that people love. He is currently a Brand Manager at MJR Creative Group and is a sought after strategist and consultant for the firm’s food, wine and agriculture client base. In addition to his strategic acumen, Bradley is an award-winning designer and writer whose holistic approach to building marketing ecosystems creates meaningful, sustainable connections between products and their consumers. Bradley frequently speaks on marketing trends, particularly the effective use of social media for business. He is completely dedicated to his pug Bulleit and has been a house music dj for over 20 years.

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Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg has helped thousands of sales producers generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of referral based business. He speaks at conferences, runs sales meetings, and delivers hard, actionable ideas that can be applied immediately! Michael writes for the Huffington Post and numerous industry publications. He has been quoted in the Harvard Business Review and is a two-time TEDx speaker. Michael is currently an award winning adjunct professor at Rutgers University and frequently volunteers as a speaker at organizations focused on career search.

Dr. Elliott Grant

Dr. Elliott Grant

As the CEO of ShopWell Labs, Dr. Elliott Grant has led the commercialization and growth of the #1 free personalized nutrition solution in the United States. The ShopWell mission is to help shoppers discover better food.

His first company, HarvestMark, grew to become the industry leader in fresh supply chain traceability and analytics and was acquired by Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB). Prior to starting HarvestMark, Elliott was a VP Operations for a major food-packaging manufacturer, and spent 5 years at McKinsey & Company advising clients on operations.  He earned his PhD in Engineering from Cambridge University.  He currently holds 23 US patents and is the inventor of the Voice Pick Code, which is incorporated into the PTI standard. Elliott was named by The Packer as one of the produce industry’s top 25 executives, Silicon Valley Business Journal selected him as one of the 40 leading executives under the age of 40.  He is honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the Produce Marketing Association and Chairs the PMA’s Science & Technology Committee.

Catherine Hambley

Catherine Hambley

Catherine Hambley, Ph.D is a senior consultant and one of the founding partners of Academy of Brain-based Leadership (ABL). She has served as a strategic business partner to leaders and organizations that are looking to enhance their effectiveness and ensure the success of their people and organizations. In her work as a consulting psychologist, Catherine translates relevant neuroscience into practical applications in the areas of leadership development, executive coaching, organizational culture, navigating change, strategic planning, and building successful, high performing teams.

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Bob McNaney

Bob McNaney

Bob McNaney is no stranger to communication management. A National Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist with 24 years of reporting on his side, he has been exposed to news of all kinds. His diverse background in media, public relations, spokesperson coaching and issue management have helped him develop a unique skill set ideally suited to lead the media relations and crisis & critical issues practice at PadillaCRT.

Bob provides counsel to global organizations on a wide variety of crisis issues.

Andy Neillie

Andy Neillie

Speaking, training and leading teams have characterized the past 20 years of Dr. Andy Neillie’s career. He currently works as a keynote speaker, corporate trainer, coach and consultant, traveling weekly to present workshops on leadership and sales topics for numerous Fortune 500 firms. By combining his background in management and sales with strong speaking and training abilities, he is able to motivate clients and audiences to take actions that benefit them and their organizations.

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Tony Stallone

Tony Stallone

Tony Stallone comes from a long line of people passionate about food. Tony’s great-grandfather was one of the biggest buyers and sellers of lemons and oranges in the US. Some say he was bigger than Sunkist at the time.

Tony’s fresh food history began at age 5, when, after church, Tony and his father would travel to the produce market to repack tomatoes for the Monday morning business (back in those days the first customers arrived just after midnight). Each summer thereafter, Tony worked at the market. The market at that time was a collection of jobbers (or merchants) who sold to independent grocery stores, wholesalers delivering to restaurants, and peddlers who typically sold their products out of the back of their trucks. Tony learned the art of buying produce from his father who would bring him along each morning as he did his daily purchases and working along side chefs as they honed their trade. Our “Produce Guru” has been in training for more than 40 years!

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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


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