Produce Marketing Association announced that Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Shake Shack founder, will be the keynote presenter at PMA’s 2018 Foodservice Conference & Expo scheduled July 28-29 in Monterey, Calif., USA. Registration opened March 8.
Meyer is a 32-year hospitality industry veteran and widely recognized business and humanitarian leader, innovator, and influencer in the foodservice world.
He earned the prestigious Julia Child Award in 2017, made TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list in 2015, is a best-selling business author, and a leader in the fight against hunger in the United States.
Meyer’s 2006 book “Setting the Table,” a New York Time’s bestseller, examines the power of hospitality in restaurants, business and life. The restaurateur’s bold thinking and novel approaches to hospitality were recently featured on CBS News’ 60 Minutes.
Union Square Hospitality Group is comprised of some of New York City’s most acclaimed restaurants, including Union Square Cafe, which Meyer founded in 1985 at age 27, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, and more. Collectively, Meyer and chefs at his restaurants have earned an unprecedented 28 James Beard Awards.
In addition, as an active national leader in the fight against hunger, Meyer serves on the board of Share Our Strength and has long supported hunger relief initiatives, including City Harvest and God’s Love We Deliver.
Meyer will be focusing on innovation in his keynote address on Saturday, July 28.
“We are so thrilled Danny Meyer is joining us as our keynote speaker,” says Brent Scattini,
Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Mission Produce, Inc., and co-chair of PMA’s Foodservice Conference volunteer committee along with Jill Overdorf, Director, Business Development with Naturipe Value Added Fresh. “Danny is a well-regarded, dynamic, savvy business person, a veteran in the restaurant industry, and will have much to offer our conference participants in the way of inspiration and actionable ideas.”
The keynote will kick off a refreshed conference and expo that features a new theme, new schedule and new format in the newly renovated Monterey Convention Center. The theme of this year’s conference and expo is “Growing Appetites.” Programming, content and activities will be designed around the theme.
The consolidated two-day conference program will include general sessions on Saturday and Sunday, and a midday networking reception, expanded Buyer Roundtables program, Hands-on Training session, and the Center for Growing Talent’s (CGT) Women’s Fresh Perspectives Reception all on Saturday. Sunday’s expo will feature more space on the floor, including exhibit space and lounges, where participants can connect with peers, see and experience the latest innovations and trends in foodservice.
Traditional favorites like the CGT Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament, Bocce for Talent Tournament, and 5K Race for Talent will all return, with some schedule changes from past years. In addition, CGT’s Career Pathways program activities, which introduce university students to industry career opportunities, will also return.
“PMA and our Foodservice Committee are excited and energized by the fresh, new, bold approach we are taking at this year’s conference and expo,” says Overdorf. “New activities are planned. Our speakers are dynamic. The committee has worked to design this event to elevate our game, and each change has been implemented to help participants—buyers and suppliers alike—grow their appetites for fresh produce in foodservice.”
Additional information on the remainder of PMA’s Foodservice Conference & Expo program, including day-two general session and expo details, will be released soon.