SFA Conference Conquers Inclement Weather

Despite the gale force winds, swirling rain and red tide sweeping up the beach, the Snack Food Association’s 2007 Executive Leadership Forum — held at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Fla. — was a sweeping success.
Snack food company executives from across the nation gathered Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 to hear top speakers discuss key issues involving business leadership, health and politics. Weather held up during a 6-hour period — just the right window of time to get in the annual golf and tennis tournaments. Regardless of the climate, the conference forged ahead to rave reviews.
“This was an outstanding conference at a great location,” said SFA president & CEO Jim McCarthy. “We had an excellent turnout, and every member I spoke with was delighted with the experience.”
Four key speakers highlighted the event.
Flip Flippen of the Flippen Group, a business consulting firm, spoke about how each individual has “constraints” he or she must recognize and then learn what to do in order to become successful.
Flippen’s approach is to help individuals change behaviors that stand in the way of success. He told executives attending the conference that dealing with such “constraints” is especially important for them, because as business leaders, their individual successes affect the success of the company and everyone who works there.
In addition, political analyst Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report, offered his insight into all the candidates running for president, including an analysis of their status and the pros and cons of their candidacies.
Cook noted the unusual possibility that the 2008 campaign could involve three candidates from one state — New York — should Sen. Hillary Clinton (D), former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) all end up in the race.
Dr. Charles Taylor, medical director at The Taylor-High Clinic — a preventive medicine facility at Atlanta — encouraged executives to be proactive in understanding their own health situations and risk factors they might face. He discussed some of the key health problems — such as hypertension and heart disease — affecting the public at large and emphasized the importance of lifestyle and diet in maintaining good health.
Attendees also heard a presentation by Gigi Gray, director of the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, who discussed her company’s philosophy and values in terms of achieving customer satisfaction and employee loyalty.