November 3-5, 2019 Naples, FL

Insights for Industry Growth

Join us in Naples, Florida this November for AFFI’s Leadership Conference. This year’s conference will have two tracks. One that is tailor made for frozen food and beverage company C-suite executives and one designed for food safety teams. We invite you to explore the detailed agenda below, which has exciting sessions focused on the future of the frozen category. 

Registration Note
 To register for the conference without a member login, please reach out to


Sunday, November 3

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Food Safety Working Group Meetings
Acacia 1-3

Naples Grande Golf Club

3 – 5 p.m.
Executive Committee Meeting
Acacia 1-3

5:30 – 7 p.m.
Welcome Reception 
Palm Terrace Pool

Sponsor Dinners – Dine Arounds

Monday, November 4

8 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
Orchid Ballroom

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Opening Session – Leadership and the Future of Frozen Food
Orchid Ballroom 1-2

Conagra CEO Sean Connolly will share insights on what it takes to be a leader in innovation and the role of the entire frozen food industry in the future success of the category.

Sean Connolly, CEO, Conagra Brands
Prior to joining Conagra Brands, Sean was President and CEO of The Hillshire Brands Company from the time of its formation as an independent company in 2012 to its sale to Tyson Foods in August 2014. Prior to his Hillshire Brands leadership, Connolly was CEO for Sara Lee North American Retail and Foodservice, as well as President, Campbell Soup North America. He also managed numerous brands in the food and beverage division at Procter & Gamble. Sean has used his general management, marketing and innovation skills to improve business performance across a diverse range of food and beverage categories and channels of trade, with a focus on innovation and disciplined execution.

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Networking Break

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

Orchid Ballroom 3-4

Alexa, living room lights on!” Our homes are going through a digital revolution that is now going deeper into the kitchen. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is helping consumers along the food journey by connecting them with information on how they meal plan, shop, prep and cook. Hear about the current consumer trends in meal preparation, kitchen appliances, and how we ensure frozen foods are part of the food journey in smart kitchens of the future.

Shawn Stover, GE Appliances 
Darren Seifer, The NPD Group 


Critical to AFFI’s strategic priority to advance food safety includes the implementation of AFFI’s best food safety practices. NSF International will provide an overview of the AFFI-NSF Equipment Hygienic Design Certification and Assessment Program and the pilot program to assist manufacturers apply AFFI’s best practices. In addition, Merieux NutriSciences will reveal initial data analysis from their Lm Trend Tracker program and the progress on environmental monitoring program best practices.

Sarah Krol, Senior Global Managing Director, NSF International
Tessa Pritts, Director of Digital Solutions, Merieux Nutrisciences

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

Orchid Ballroom 3-4

Running a company is no walk in the park. It is tough to “call it a day” when you go home after work. The daily stressors of running a company are likely to run through our mind into the evening hours. Share insights on top concerns and learn how others are managing them.  


Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, sensors, and other digital technologies can be utilized to more efficiently find and access information about unsafe foods. Learn how the transition to digital technologies can identify food contaminates across the supply chain to produce a safer food system. 

Larry Kohl, Vice-President of Quality Assurance, Retail Business Services
Patrick Quade, CEO & Founder,

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Leadership Conference Luncheon – Creating a Food Safety Culture
Orchid Ballroom 1-2

All employees have a role in implementing a strong food safety culture that protects consumer health and brand reputation, yet it starts with the CEO. Understand from an industry expert the important aspects of creating an effective and durable food safety culture at your organization.

Dr. Randall Huffman, Chief Food Safety & Sustainability Officer, Maple Leaf Foods

1:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Networking Break

1:45 – 3 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Orchid Ballroom 3-4 (from 1:45 – 2:25 p.m.)

Common health goals include eating more fruits and vegetables and eating all foods in moderation. Learn how the public health community is partnering with academia and the food industry to encourage healthier eating habits and lifestyles and how the frozen food industry can take advantage of these initiatives to meet consumer demands and boost frozen food sales.

Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RD, President & CEO, Produce for Better Health Foundation
Diane Ty, Executive Director, Coalition for Portion Balance

Orchid Ballroom 3-4 (from 2:30 – 3 p.m.)

Thanks to innovation and deeper understanding of DNA, scientists can make targeted genetic improvements to plants and animals to address some of society’s most urgent challenges including climate change, sustainability, hunger and improving health and wellness. All these benefits confer to fruits and vegetables intended to be frozen. But questions remain: How will gene editing be regulated and most importantly, will consumers accept gene editing technology?

David Fikes, VP Communications & Consumer Affairs, Food Marketing Institute

Banyan (from 1:45 – 3 p.m.)

NextGen technologies such as web-based information systems, cloud technologies, and other digital systems effectively integrate regulations, risk analysis, and documentation across the supply chain. Learn how these systems can be used to achieve key public health and food safety missions. 

Dr. Timothy Wei, Professor, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

3 – 4 p.m.
Thought Leadership Sessions

Orchid Ballroom

The term “leader” is constantly changing in meaning and the skills necessary to be a leader in the frozen food industry are changing from one generation to the next. Jeremy will share insights from his years of consulting with businesses, especially multi-generation family businesses. He will also provide an overview of AFFI’s new LIVE Series – a unique program designed to facilitate learning through group discussion, individual coaching and peer support.

Jeremy Lurey, CHIEFEXECoach


Hear from top food safety executives on how to manage food safety risks across the supply chain. Gain insights on how the food industry can utilize science and data-based decision making to drive food safety objectives with tools to ensure safe food year-round for consumers. 

Jorge Hernandez, Vice-President of Quality, The Wendy’s Company
Michael Roberson, Director of Corporate Quality Assurance, Publix

6:30 – 9 p.m. 
Reception, Dinner & Member of the Year Recognition
Sponsored by: 

Tuesday, November 5

7:30 – 8 a.m.

8 – 9 a.m.
Closing Session – Future Demands on Sustainability for the Frozen Food Industry

AFFI’s Power of Frozen research showed that the core frozen food consumer seeks foods that are sustainably produced and packaged. Regulations, particularly at the state level, are creating mandates for CPG companies to recycle plastics. Is the frozen food industry and its supply chain ready to meet these demands? Learn about initiatives underway as well as obstacles and how the frozen food industry can work together to promote sustainable change.

Corey Rosenbusch, President & CEO, Global Cold Chain Alliance
Meghan Stasz, Vice President, Packaging & Sustainability, Grocery Manufacturers Association
Rick Loesel, President & CEO, Controlled Azane Refrigeration

Orchid Ballroom 3-4

9:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
AFFI Board of Directors Meeting
Orchid Ballroom 3-4

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Frozen Food Foundation Board of Directors Meeting
Orchid Ballroom 1-2 

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Happy Hour
Palm Terrace Pool

Dinner on Your Own

Thank You to Our Sponsors


Naples Grande Beach Resort
475 Seagate Drive
Naples, Florida 34103

The room rate in our hotel block is $249/night plus tax. This special rate is available to attendees for dates before and after the conference as well. The resort features three pools, a private beach, and on-site golf, tennis and spa. The cut-off date to book rooms in the block is October 10, 2019