The Executive Leadership Forum held in Laguna Beach, Calif., was an excellent event and provided a great opportunity for Snack Food Association member company executives to learn from one another and from the tremendous roster of speakers led by former U.S. Olympics president Peter Ueberroth.
As SFA chairman, I am convinced that providing educational opportunities and services for our member companies is perhaps the most essential service we can offer. Thus, I was delighted with the quality of the education presented at the Forum and am encouraged by our association’s strong commitment to knowledge development, which I believe is one of the major benefits of trade association involvement.
During the conference, we heard a presentation by Daryl Thomas, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Herr Foods, who co-chairs a special task force the SFA has established to develop new educational opportunities for our members. Daryl discussed our expanded partnership with educational institutions such as The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, and St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, to provide new courses and programs that will be delivered to SFA member company executives and associates in a variety of ways, including online courses, seminars and lunchtime Webinars. OSU operates a Food Science and Technology Department and will focus on operational and quality assurance subjects. St. Joseph’s College operates a well-respected Academy of Food Marketing and will focus on sales and marketing subjects.
I am convinced that strengthening our educational offerings and broadening the reach of this programming is one of the most important achievements we could realize at SFA, and I look forward to the completion of the Task Force’s work and the implementation of our new educational curriculum.
I also was delighted with the well-attended Total Quality Management Short Course held at OSU, where attendees had an opportunity to deal with real-world problem solving challenges. Held at the Gould Pilot Plant at OSU, the TQM course is one of the most valuable offerings developed by the SFA and OSU.
I believe we are off to a good start as we work toward the goal of improving what is already an outstanding system of delivering knowledge to our members. We will continue to move forward.