Executive Leadership Symposium - In partnership with Cornell University

May 11-13, 2016 | Dallas, Texas USA

The Executive Leadership Symposium, brought to you in partnership with Cornell University, offers senior executives an opportunity to come together and discover how to harness the innovation and changes taking place to confidently position their companies for a competitive advantage today.


Unique Format, Unique Experience, Unique Results

This exclusive program offers what no other leadership program provides:

Executive Perspective – Start by participating in general sessions designed to stretch your thinking. Delve deeper into material through discussion with thought leaders and professional facilitators who bring new information and best practices for review.

Program of Peers – Capitalize on focused time with industry peers to discuss new strategies, new ideas and even new partnerships.

A Format to Explore Answers – Learn from general sessions then work elbow-to-elbow with colleagues, facilitators in a smaller group format to discuss practical application of concepts for your specific business. Following the small group discussion, reconvene with the speakers to debate the issues presented.

Results You Can Use – Leave with a global perspective, actionable strategies and new relationships to help you approach ‘business as unusual’.

A Smart Investment in Leading Education – This all inclusive program will provide access to best-in-class instruction, a learning environment designed for executive education and an opportunity for vetting ideas and problem solving at the decision-maker level.

In Partnership With:
Cornell University Logo

Who Should Attend

Who Should Attend

This program is designed exclusively for executive leaders with critical roles in the global produce supply chain including those who have the ability to define and lead strategy in their organizations and affect change. The event is limited to the first 75 applicants and is confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Appropriate titles include, but are not limited to:

  • • CEO
  • • COO
  • • CFO
  • • CTO
  • • President

Look who attended the 2015 Symposium.

AMC Direct, Inc.
Capespan North America
Castellini Company
DMA Solutions, Inc.
Domex Superfresh Growers
Duncan Family Farms, LLC
GreenGate Fresh, LLLP
Grocery Outlet, Inc.
Index Fresh, Inc.
JV Smith Companies
Kalfresh Pty., Ltd.
Kam-Way Transportation Inc.
L&M Companies
Les Domaines Export
Meridian Fine Foods LLC
Naturipe Farms, LLC.
Orchid Island Juice Company
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
Pacific International Marketing
Pro Act, LLC
Produce Marketing Association
Progressive Produce Corporation
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Sam’s Wholesale Club
Sunkist Growers, Inc.


2016 Symposium Schedule at a Glance

Wednesday, May 11

Reception/Registration:  5:15 p.m. –  5:45 p.m.
Networking Dinner
General Session

Thursday, May 12

General Session
Small group discussions with facilitators
Facilitators lead questioning of speaker

General Session
Small group discussions with facilitators
Facilitators lead questioning of speaker

Off Site Dinner

Friday, May 13

General Session
Facilitators lead questioning of speaker
Symposium Wrap-Up

2016 Fees

2016 Symposium Fees

PMA Foundation seeks candidates who shape decisions in our industry that reflect the leadership skills needed in today’s markets. Eligible candidates must be employed in any segment of the produce or floral supply chain and be in a senior executive role within the company. The program is designed for a maximum capacity of 75 executives.

EARLY RATE (US$): On or before April 8, 2016
For participants
requiring a hotel stay:
PMA Members
Loyalty Reward, PMA Members
For participants not
requiring a hotel stay:
PMA Members
Loyalty Reward, PMA Members
REGULAR RATE (US$): After April 8, 2016
For participants
requiring a hotel stay:
PMA Members
Loyalty Reward, PMA Members
For participants not
requiring a hotel stay:
PMA Members
Loyalty Reward, PMA Members

*Loyalty Reward for Past Attendees (must have attended Executive Leadership Symposium at least once in the last three years)

  • • Welcome Reception and Dinner on Wednesday
  • • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thursday
  • • Breakfast on Friday
  • • Program materials
  • • Optional: two nights luxury hotel accommodations **
  • • Certificate of completion

** DFW Airport Marriott South
4151 Centreport Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76155
(817) 358-1700

For questions about the program, eligibility requirements or to learn how to nominate someone for consideration, please contact us at LeadershipSymp@pmafoundation.com, or call +1 (302) 738-7100.

2015 Speakers

Meet the 2015 Speakers

Mark King


Why Do CEO’s and Organizations Fail?

Presented by Mark King, President of adidas North America

Many people in business today are thrown into leadership positions with very little training. Although Mark was highly successful at sales and sales management, once he assumed the role of President and CEO he quickly realized his experience as a sales leader didn’t fully prepare him for the daily challenges of leading a global company in a highly competitive market. Mark shares how a deeply passionate salesman used his existing sales leadership skills and acquired new skills to successfully re-energize TaylorMade Golf Company and turn it into a #1 selling brand.

View Mark King’s Bio

Kaplan Mobray


Making Diversity an Engine for Growth and Innovation in Your Organization

Presented by Kaplan Mobray, Author, Founder of the Kaplan Mobray Leadership Institute and Former Diversity Lead for Deloitte

Too often, corporations want diversity and innovation to impact their bottom line but fail to consider anything beyond headcount. As a result, leaders do not devote bottom line focus on connecting diversity and innovation to their management practices. When used as a tool to uncover new ideas for business, a well-orchestrated diversity strategy provides new insights for generating financial growth and is an effective vehicle for anticipating business trends. Join Kaplan to discover how to turn the diversity paradigm upside down and to gain practical steps for transforming your organization to capture greater ROI.

View Kaplan Mobray’s Bio

Anders Sorman-Nilsson


Waves of Change: Three Major Forces Defining Your Company’s Future

Presented by Anders Sorman-Nilsson, Founder of Thinque and Strategic Consultant

Every industry now operates in a turbo-charged global marketplace that waits for no one. To thrive, leaders must have their pulse on the marketplace and prepare their teams for what’s next. How will the Waves of Change impact the way we do business on a daily basis and what are the three global forces that will soon reach our shores and challenge companies to shake off organizational ‘change apathy’?

View Anders Sorman-Nilsson’s Bio

Laura Stack


Execution IS the Strategy: How to Create Agile Organizations and High Performing Teams

Presented by Laura Stack, Founder and President of The Productivity Pro

Laura believes a leader’s greatest challenge isn’t creating the strategy – it’s execution. Today, strategy and execution are part of the same process because of the speed at which organizations need to evolve. These competitive pressures mean leaders don’t have time to do “strategic planning” as they did in the past, but what they can do is design a high-performing culture full of strategic thinkers. So how do you drive strategic initiatives and get results from your team? This session will provide a proven formula to create high performing teams and agile organizations.

View Laura Stack’s Bio


Thank You 2016 Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors
JV SmithProgressive ProduceWell Pict
Networking Lunch Sponsor Refreshment Break SponsorMixtec Group
Welcome Reception & Networking Dinner Sponsor
Sunkist logoDriscoll's logoMelissa's logo
View Sponsorship Opportunities for the 2016 Symposium

2016 Sponsorship Opportunities


Participant Testimonials

In their words, the 2015 Executive Leadership Symposium attendees said:

“It causes you to have self inflection points and gives you great insights to what leadership skill sets can improve the performance of your business as well as relationships.”

Michael Cochran, Wal-Mart Store

“An extraordinary experience choked full of relevant and applicable learnings. I would highly reccomend that any Senior Leader make the investment in themselves and their organization.”

Bretty Libke, Oppy

“This is the best program I’ve ever attended with a very open format that allows for self and business reflection on ways to improve your skills and your business performance.”

Robert Sorenson, Sysco Corporation

“The program exceeded my expectation’s. In a short period of time because of the way the program was structured not only did I meet and interact with different innovative intelligent colleagues in the industry, I learned a great deal because of the format to this program. The speakers were also excellent, very engaging I will defiantly be attending next year.”

Harneet Sihota, Kam-Way Transportation

“This is the “must attend” event in the Produce Industry! Each year it gets better and better!”

Tony D’Amico, To-Jo Mushrooms

2015 Symposium Photos

View 2015 Photos