Aaron Davis, former member of the 1994 National Championship Nebraska Football team and current business owner, consultant, peak performance coach and speaker, set the incredibly positive tone for the Refrigerated Foods Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition, held February 26 to March 1. Davis brought tremendous energy and optimism, starting the event off with a powerful message focused on the importance of having a Champion Attitude no matter what your role or title is.   

Other presenters included: 

  • Jorge Hernandez, VP of Quality Assurance at The Wendy’s Company, who discussed Sustainability.
  • Technical Update by Doug Marshall, chief scientific officer at Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories.
  • Brian Antkowiak of Intralox North America, who addressed the impact of conveyance on packaging line efficiency.
  • Lynn Gravley, president and CEO of NT Logistics, who shared insights on transportation in the coming year.
  • Adam Brock of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Ranjeeta Wadhwani of Ornua Ingredients, who discussed Cheese 101, providing a great overview of the product and how to select the right cheese for certain applications. 

Held at the Sanctuary Resort in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, the conference included outstanding networking opportunities and social events, such as a service project that provided toiletry kits for clients at Our Lady of Mercy. The annual golf tournament allowed avid players a chance to enjoy networking and beautiful weather at the resort’s premier course. Suppliers displayed their wares and presented money-and-time-saving opportunities at the Exhibit Reception and during the One-on-One CEO Sessions.  The closing banquet was particularly special, including awards and a live auction. 

Scott Moffitt of Hans Kissle was elected as a new board member.

Mark Rosenfield of Reser’s Fine Foods, William Bigelow of Blount Fine Foods, Janet Rowat Kraiss of The Suter Company, George Bradford of Mrs. Stratton’s Salads and Lili Lawry of PSSI were each re-elected to serve three-year terms. RFA’s Executive Committee consists of President Lauren Edmonds of St. Clair Foods; Vice President Mark Rosenfield of Reser’s Fine Foods; Treasurer Tom Davis of Lakeview Farms and Secretary William Bigelow of Blount Fine Foods.

Josh Knott, president of Knott’s Foods in Paris, Tennessee, was recognized with the Don Sircy Membership Award. The award is named after a founding member of the RFA and granted annually to a member who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to expanding, promoting and supporting the association and the industry. Knott’s Foods has been a member of the RFA since 2008, and Knott has served on the RFA Board of Directors since 2011. The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Bill Schwartz, who has been involved in RFA since 2007 and has served as the group’s Technical Committee Chair for many years. Schwartz has served as a valuable food safety and regulatory resource for the membership for many years.