Aaron Davis, former member of the 1994 National Championship Nebraska Football team and current business owner, consultant, peak performance coach and speaker, set the incredibly positive tone for the Refrigerated Foods Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition this week. Davis brought tremendous energy and optimism, starting the event off with a powerful message focused on the importance of having a Champion Attitude no matter what your role or title is. He emphasized the importance of challenging the status quo and “protecting our peace” to make time for our families and loved ones. Davis shared that “pressure is a privilege,” and encouraged and inspired the audience to maintain a positive attitude for success and happiness.
Other presenters and topics included Jorge Hernandez, VP of Quality Assurance at The Wendy’s Company, who discussed Sustainability; the annual Technical Update by Doug Marshall, Chief Scientific Officer at Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories; Brian Antkowiak of Intralox North America who addressed the impact of conveyance on packaging line efficiency; Lynn Gravley, President and CEO of NT Logistics, who shared insights on transportation in the coming year; and Adam Brock of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Ranjeeta Wadhwani of Ornua Ingredients who discussed Cheese 101, providing a great overview of the product and how to select the right cheese for certain applications.
The Conference was held at the Sanctuary Resort in Kiawah Island, SC on February 26-March 1, 2023. In addition to the timely presentations, the Conference also included outstanding networking opportunities and social events, including a service project that provided toiletry kits for clients at Our Lady of Mercy. The annual Golf Tournament allowed avid players a chance to enjoy networking and beautiful weather at the resort’s premier course. Suppliers displayed their wares and presented money and time saving opportunities at the Exhibit Reception and during the One-on-One CEO Sessions. The closing banquet was particularly special, including awards and a live auction.
Scott Moffitt of Hans Kissle was elected as a new Board member, and Mark Rosenfield of Reser’s Fine Foods, William Bigelow of Blount Fine Foods, Janet Rowat Kraiss of The Suter Company, George Bradford of Mrs. Stratton’s Salads, and Lili Lawry of PSSI were re-elected to serve 3-year terms. RFA’s Executive Committee consists of President, Lauren Edmonds of St. Clair Foods; Vice President, Mark Rosenfield of Reser’s Fine Foods; Treasurer Tom Davis of Lakeview Farms; and Secretary William Bigelow of Blount Fine Foods.
Awards were announced at the Closing Banquet. Josh Knott, President of Knott’s Foods in Paris, TN, was given the Don Sircy Membership Award. This award, named after the founding member of the RFA, is granted annually to one member who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to expanding, promoting and supporting the Association and the industry. Knott’s Foods has been a member of the RFA since 2008, and Josh has served on the RFA Board of Directors since 2011. The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Bill Schwartz, who has been involved in RFA since 2007 and has served as the group’s Technical Committee Chair for many years. Bill has served as a valuable food safety and regulatory resource for the membership for many years, and is highly respected in the industry and the Association.
For more information on the Refrigerated Foods Association visit the website at www.refrigeratedfoods.org or call the Association Headquarters at 678-426-8175.