October 1, 2007
The Art of Leadership & a Vision for the Future
As I write this, I’ve just returned from the Snack Food Association’s Executive Leadership Forum in Amelia Island, Fla., and I couldn’t be more pleased. We had a terrific conference with an outstanding program in a beautiful setting. Those of you who could not attend missed a truly memorable event.
Of course, the purpose of the conference is to examine questions and issues involving leadership, and we did just that — both through speaker presentations and by sharing and discussing business experiences with one another. It was a time when colleagues could learn from each other, whether at dinner, on the golf course or in private discussions.
One of our speakers, Flip Flippen, a nationally recognized business consultant, discussed ways to identify individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to overcome personal constraints that can hinder performance and growth.
Political analyst Charlie Cook analyzed the upcoming congressional and presidential campaigns, explained the dynamics at work, and offered predictions as to the ultimate nominees for president. I was impressed at his candor and lack of partisanship. He has been called “the Picasso of election analysis,” and it’s easy to see why.
We also heard a very helpful presentation by Dr. Charles Taylor, medical director of the Taylor-High Clinic, a preventive medical center in Atlanta. Dr. Taylor’s practice encompasses the care of corporate executives and their families. He is considered extremely proactive in his approach to preventive medicine.
There was another important event at the forum, one that will be critical to the SFA and its members going forward. Our SnackPAC reception, which Cook attended, helped to generate financial resources that will support the association’s political action program in the upcoming elections.
Clearly, as we cope with issues such as possible restrictions on foods and federal programs in schools, and attacks on the very products that we produce for the American consumer, it is essential to have allies in Congress. Supporting those who share our views and concerns is key to strengthening our position when important proposals are considered.
I want to thank the many companies that supported our Executive Leadership Forum as sponsors — AET Films; AFP advanced food products, llc; BluePrint Automation, Inc.; Bryce Corp.; CP Flexible Packaging; Evans Food Group Ltd.; Givaudan, Heat and Control, Inc.; Inteplast Group/AmTopp Division; Kerry Savory; Kliklok-Woodman; Land O’Lakes; Overwraps Packaging, Inc.; Packaging Products Corp.; Presco Food Seasonings, Inc.; Printpack Inc.; Rudolph Foods Company, Inc.; and Videojet Technologies. Their commitment helped make this year’s forum one of the most successful ever.