The Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA), Marietta, Ga., presented its 36th Annual Conference & Tabletop Display, March 6-9 at The Vinoy Renaissance Resort in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Titled “Navigating the Unchartered Waters of FSMA,” this year’s conference kicked off with keynote speaker Ed Viesturs, the first American to ascend all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks. Viesturs shared some of his insights into managing and mitigating risk through perseverance, dedication and teamwork.

Other presenters and topics included Pasta 101; “Engaging and Developing Millennial Leaders” by Scott Sadler, entrepreneur, facilitator, speaker, consultant, certified executive coach and owner of Creative Conflict Solutions;  “The Effects of Social Media on the Food Industry” by blogger “SciBabe”, Yvette D’Entremont;  “DNA Fingerprinting: Friend or Foe?” by Ben Howard, laboratory manager of Certified Laboratories;  “Which Trends Should Get Your Attention” by Alex Stanley of SmarTeam;and a food safety technical update from RFA technical director, Martin Mitchell.

In addition to the timely presentations, the over 200 attendees boarded the Yacht StarShip for a dinner cruise, complete with a photo kiosk, awards and dancing. The annual golf tournament allowed players a chance to network and enjoy beautiful weather on the venue’s award-winning course. And, suppliers displayed their wares and presented money and time saving opportunities at the tabletop reception and during the one-on-one CEO sessions.

The annual conference also experienced a change in board members. For example, Tom Davis, chief executive officer of Lakeview Farms, was elected as a new board member. Re-elected to serve 3-year terms were Don Klausing, purchasing manager at Flexible Packaging; Jeff Rhodes, national accounts sales manager for Ventura Foods; and Wes Thaller, vice president of House of Thaller.