Food Shippers of America 58th Annual Conference

The 2013 Food Shippers Annual Conference was held at the fabulous JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, AZ, February 24-26. The conference provided some new events while engaging attendees in traditional activities and providing a first-class line-up of speakers. New events this year included a Sunday networking luncheon, first-time attendee reception, a mixed-couples tennis tournament and a formal roundtable discussion added to the annual FSA business meeting. 

Sunday's activities included a morning and afternoon golf outing that saw many shots into the desert sky. The welcome reception and dinner included some light entertainment, including a mariachi band and a couple of beverage carrying donkeys.

Monday saw a filled day of inspirational and industry experts. Dean Karnazes, the Ultramarathon Man, led off the speaking sessions, challenging the audience of more than 900 attendees to not only go beyond, but to push beyond what seems possible to find out your limit. Dean certainly has just that with his accomplishments. 

Industry expert panelists talked about how to address our country's highway infrastructure and the future of natural gas in the transportation industry. We heard how Dan and Angie Bastian started a business and, through their entrepreneurial spirit, grew it to a national success. Other experts explained the changing world of intermodal chassis and how the grocery consumer is changing. Michael Sansolo wrapped up the day with some great lessons from the past that we can apply today.

Tuesday's speakers led off with Connie Podesta, who provided entertainment and hard-core information on how to sell to the people around us. The capacity crunch is coming at some point and we heard how three different organizations are approaching it now. Bob Costello gave us his forward look in to the economy to close out the conference.

FSA provided a first class dinner and entertainment Monday night. The crowd interacted with celebrity look-alikes and rocked to the 80s music of the Spazmatics.

Lastly, FSA continued its giving initiatives though an expanded scholarship program and contributions to Feeding America and its local affiliate, St. Mary's Food Bank.

Food Shippers of America