Top Speakers to Highlight Education Program

Three top keynote speakers with insights into the snack food industry and the business and political environment that influence it will highlight SNAXPO 2008, the 71st annual exhibition and conference of the Snack Food Association. The show will be held March 1-4 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, in the heart of the San Antonio, Texas, business district.
SNAXPO 2008 will feature a comprehensive program of expert speakers and educational sessions designed to give industry executives and suppliers a competitive advantage in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. New processes, emerging technologies and the state of the snack food industry will be some of the important topics on the agenda.
Meanwhile, the SNAXPO exhibition hall will feature top industry suppliers who take advantage of this opportunity to reach snack manufacturing decision-makers.
The opening keynote address on Sunday, March 2 will be presented by J.C. Watts, chairman of the J.C. Watts Companies and a former U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma.
As chairman of his company, Watts provides strategic focus and program leadership to the firm’s business partnerships, joint ventures, engagements, alliances and initiatives. He works with partners, customers and clients to execute market development, communications and public affairs strategies.
A corporate advisor to several major companies, Watts is a regular analyst on CNN and a frequent guest on national radio shows. He writes a twice monthly column for more than a dozen newspapers. Watts led a U.S. delegation to Vienna, Austria, at the request of President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell, to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Conference on Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia. He also co-founded the Coalition for AIDS Relief in Africa.
Watts was elected to Congress in 1994, and in 1998 was elected by his colleagues to chair the Republican Conference, the fourth-ranking leadership position in the House GOP. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he was quarterback for the Sooners and later played in the Canadian Football League.
Highlighting the program on Monday, March 2 will be the State of the Industry presentation by Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). Sally Lyons Wyatt, senior vice president or IRI, will discuss how consumer and market demands are reshaping the industry. She also will review performance of specific snack food categories. Last year’s presentation stressed the growth of the healthy category, but cautioned companies not to ignore indulgent snacks as part of their portfolio. Wyatt will reveal what 2008 holds for our industry.
The keynote speaker on Tuesday, March 3, will be Heather Mayo, executive vice president of merchandising for Sam’s Club. She will provide insight into growth and opportunity in her company’s club store channel. Mayo joined Sam’s Club after several years as an executive at BJ’s Wholesale Club.
In addition to the three keynote addresses, SNAXPO 2008 will provide several educational sessions on the exhibit floor so that attendees can learn more about key industry topics and relate them to products and services provided by show exhibitors. These exhibitors will represent virtually every aspect of the snacking industry, from milling to flavors, packaging, technology, commodities, logistics, business systems and services, and more.
SNAXPO 2008 will offer a special Latin American Track on Saturday, March 1, with the entire program in Spanish. There also will be special events to honor international attendees and their involvement and commitment to global expansion of our industry. An international reception will be held Sunday evening, March 2.
SNAXPO’S opening party will be at the famous Buckhorn Museum & Saloon, housed in the former Lone Star Brewery. It features one of the world’s largest collections of Texan and western artwork, and artifacts featuring the famed Texas Rangers, including a wax museum and one of the world’s longest and oldest bars. The reception will feature Texas food and music.
In addition, there will be numerous social and networking events, including an opportunity to take advantage of sightseeing opportunities in the San Antonio area.
For additional information or to register, please call SFA’s Colleen Robinson at 1-703-836-4500 ext. 213, or visit .