PMA Fresh Summit Testimonials Offer Insight, Inspiration, and Excitement: Part 2
ANAHEIM, CA - It’s always nice when PMA comes to California, and as a West Coast kid, you can bet that the home state energy really takes it up a notch for me and our AndNowUKnow team. The feedback has truly been incredible this year as PMA has taken its traditional trade show format and, in many ways, transformed the current of the show from a rush into an electrical charge. Everyone seemed taken by the new energy, but I am just one witness to it all! Let’s have a few of our industry friends share their thoughts on the 2019 event and what sparked their excitement and passion.
Michael Schutt, Sr. Category Manager, Produce and Floral, Raley's
“I can easily say, ‘West Coast Best Coast’ when it comes to what is being lauded as a record attendance for this year's PMA Fresh Summit. In a time when well-attended, intimate region shows threatened to lessen the impact of what has long been dubbed the ground zero expo and trade show for the fresh produce and floral industry...the giant has flexed its muscles. For me, the people in the room, or in this case the exposition hall, equals energy and this show had lots of it. Whether it was in my interactions on the floor with fellow retailers or with the exciting first-time exhibitors, the one common buzz was a well-attended, high-energy show, complete with huge celeb draws such as Magic Johnson and Queen Latifah. This year, as we are deep into the MLB postseason, it would seem that PMA has made the right adjustments to its swing and hit this one out of the park.”
Dan'l Mackey Almy, President and CEO, DMA Solutions
“This year’s Fresh Summit marked my 25th year attending the conference and I feel it was among the best yet. While it is reported to be among the largest attended, I felt it to be more personal and special than ever. The Produce Marketing Association deserves a toast for the many unforgettable moments and star-studded speaker line-up that exceeded expectations and left us with so much energy and inspiration. It was a vibrant expo like nothing I have ever seen and recognition was given to several inspiring leaders that have done so much for our industry. With our headquarters in Dallas, we are so thrilled Fresh Summit is coming to our home in 2020!”
Lori Taylor, CEO and Founder, The Produce Moms
"I have attended Fresh Summit annually since 2014. The 2019 event was without question the best Fresh Summit experience of my career. I appreciated the organization of the updated expo layout. It allowed easy and efficient navigation of the show floor. The quality of the speakers was unparalleled: Magic Johnson on the mic at Fresh Summit was as perfect as his no-look pass in the Lakers jersey! The Produce Moms team was able to meet with a ton of industry thought-leaders, Founders, and CEOs, many of my colleagues from Kroger, and more--the action on the expo floor didn't slow down until the event ended on day two! The board meeting for Global Women Fresh was a memorable and powerful gathering of female leaders from our global industry; it was a nice reminder of the global reach and impact of PMA."
Brianna Shales, Senior Marketing Manager, Stemilt Growers LLC
"We’re feeling energized about produce after another amazing PMA Fresh Summit in sunny California! Our team raved about this year’s Forums of the Future, including Cathy Burns’ address on trends and hearing from the legendary Magic Johnson. We also enjoyed the magic of our own with our favorite magician, David Harris, joining us at the Stemilt booth. We can’t wait to see what Dallas has in store next year!”
Mike Mauti, Managing Partner and SVP Client Services, EXECULYTICS CONSULTING
“Another Fresh Summit has come and gone and once again it delivered. What a great way to meet with existing partners building on big collaborations over the last year. But, it also opened the door to many new opportunities, some that seemed to be right in front of us the whole time, while others seemed to materialize out of nowhere. That’s what happens at Fresh Summit, and I can’t wait until next year.”
Matt Mandel, Vice President of Operations, SunFed
"Apart from the glitz and glamour associated with the Fresh Summit, it is a great opportunity for some good old-fashioned elbow rubbing. Whether you are catching up with old friends you see once a year, meeting people you've only spoken to on the phone for the first time, or finally getting that precious facetime with the customer you've been chasing, in the midst of it all, it is a great time for human connection. It really reminds me that beyond the daily grind, and the buying and selling, that this industry is filled with some of the greatest people on earth and I cherish the opportunity Fresh Summit gives me every year."
Rex Lawrence, President, Joe Produce
"What great PMA Fresh Summit this year! Honestly, I thought it was the best ever, and this was my 30th straight one. Although it was record attendance, I thought it never felt too crowded. It did, however, have a wonderful buzz about it the entire time: nice wide aisles and easy to get around. It felt more organized and flowed really well. Of course, we got to network, do business, and make new friends throughout the event, and that's why we're there! The speakers and sessions were excellent as well. I wish we could have it on the West Coast at least every other year--Anaheim or even Vegas in the West, Orlando in the East, and Dallas in the middle. Nice job PMA!"
That was a hell of a show, PMA! Thank you again for the amazing event and we are sure to feel the ripple of excitement for the year to come.