Good Food News| March 13, 2019

Grand Opening (Symposium) at 15th Anniversary EXPO

by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed

The Good Food EXPO got its start in 2004 as a local food trade show. And the Good Food Trade Show — Friday, March 22 at University of Illinois at Chicago — remains the heart of the two-day EXPO. The EXPO is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. Tickets for the Trade Show can be found on the Good Food EXPO site

The Opening Symposium at FamilyFarmed’s 15th Anniversary will be part retrospective and part vision on how to move the Good Food movement ahead. All Opening Symposium events are held on the Main Stage at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Isador and Sadie Dorin Forum.

Networking Reception 8:30-9 a.m.

Jump-start your EXPO experience with Big Shoulders Coffee, trail mix from Farmer’s Fridge and time to socialize and network.

Opening Symposium 9-11:30 a.m.

Celebrating 15 Years of Good Food

Dave Donnan, senior partner and global food and beverage lead, A.T. Kearney
Walter Robb, Stonewall Robb Advisors, Seed 2 Growth (S2G) Ventures; former co-CEO, Whole Foods Market
Charlotte Flinn, Board Chair, FamilyFarmed
Jim Slama, CEO and Founder, FamilyFarmed

Food industry veteran Dave Donnan will provide his expert retrospective to open the 15th Anniversary EXPO. Walter Robb will follow to discuss the Good Food influence of Whole Foods Market.

Good Food Leadership Awards

Walter Robb, Stonewall Robb Advisors, Seed 2 Growth (S2G) Ventures; former co-CEO, Whole Foods Market
Jim Slama, CEO and Founder, FamilyFarmed
Good Food Business of the Year Award : Luke Saunders, CEO and Founder, Farmer’s Fridge
Good Food Advocate Award: Arthur Neal, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

FamilyFarmed’s Jim Slama will present the annual Good Food Business of the Year Award and the Good Food Advocate Award. Longtime Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb will present an award to a special EXPO guest.

Walter Robb helped steer Whole Foods Market’s growth during his tenure as co-CEO. Here he speaks during the opening ceremony for Whole Foods’ store in the underserved Chicago community of Englewood in September 2016, with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Whole Foods Market President Michael Bashaw to his immediate right and numerous community leaders. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed

Naturally Chicago Launch

Brandon Barnholt, CEO, KeHE Distributors
Anu Goel, President, Client Growth Solutions, SPINS
Carlotta Mast, Market Manager and Senior Vice President, New Hope Network; Board President, Naturally Boulder
Jim Slama, CEO and Founder, FamilyFarmed
Alison Velazquez, CEO and Founder, Skinny Souping
Milton Zimmerman, Executive Vice President, Presence Marketing/Dynamic Presence

A lineup of Good Food Industry all-stars joins Jim Slama to introduce an important new FamilyFarmed program.

Luke Saunders (center) of Farmer’s Fridge, who will receive FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business of the Year Award at its 15th Anniversary Good Food EXPO, is seen here with Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (left) and FamilyFarmed CEO Jim Slama at the 2015 EXPO.
Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed

New Markets for Local Food Producers

Jay McGhee, FamilyFarmed Market Development Director (moderator)
Irv Cernauskas, Owner, Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks and Fresh Picks Farmer Alliance
Kelly Cosgrove, New Business Development Director, Fortune Fish & Gourmet
Melissa Flynn, Executive Director, Green City Market
Stacie Sopinka, Senior Vice President for Innovation and Quality, US Foods
Bill Stavrou, Founder, Foodhaul

Leaders from across the Good Food buyer spectrum discuss how early-stage producers can break through one of their biggest challenges: securing profitable relationships with buyers.

Bringing Farm to Table Back to the Forefront

Mitchell Davis, Chief Strategy Officer, James Beard Foundation

A few years ago, farm-to-table looked like it had become almost a cliché for restaurants, but there are signs that local sourcing may be slipping as a priority. Restaurant industry innovator Mitchell Davis addresses what needs to be done to re-energize farm to table.

Farmer of the Year Award Presented by Routes to Farm

No spoilers here… you need to attend the announcement of the winner!

Sympatico with the Good Food EXPO’s Opening Symposium? Please go to the EXPO ticket page where you can buy tickets for the Good Food Trade Show that opens the EXPO on Friday, March 22, and pre-register for the free Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 23.


Good Food News


Bob Benenson


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