NAMP's Management Conference Takes on Important Issues in March
By Jennifer Zegler,
contributing editor
The North American Meat Processors Association’s 49th  annual Management Conference will take place on March 24-26, 2006, at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. The two-and-a-half-day conference for middle to upper management of meat processing companies will deal with the issues and concerns meat processors face in their daily operations. This year’s theme is “Growing Margins/Controlling Expenses.” The program was designed to provide ideas, tools and know-how for staying profitable in an increasingly competitive business environment.
Attendees are welcome to arrive early in Chicago for the Meat Buyers Guide Launch Party in the evening on Thursday, March 23. NAMP will debut the new “Meat Buyers Guide” at this exclusive preview. The event will feature a chance to meet and talk to the people who put the “Meat Buyers Guide” together at a reception with complimentary appetizers of beef, pork, veal, lamb, and poultry.
The Management Conference officially starts on Friday, March 24 with NAMP’s informal think-tank session, “Issues, Answers, Action.” The session, moderated by Brent Cator and John Vatri of Cardinal Meat Specialists, Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, invites participants to discuss issues of critical importance to the industry and challenges them to find and share solutions. General sessions follow throughout the morning, featuring:
• Rick Hendrie’s presentation “The Ten Gems to Building a Remarkable Brand”
• “What’s New & Hot in Mid to High-end Foodservice” with Ron Paul of Technomics and local chefs
• “USDA/FSIS Update” by FSIS Administrator Dr. Barb Masters
On Friday afternoon, forums will continue, including the following:
• “Leadership & Succession Planning” with Gerhard Drechsler
• “Financial Tools” with R.S.M. McGladrey
• “Brand Positioning for the 21st Century” with Rick Hendrie and Yield & Costing
Saturday’s conference activities begin with “Making an Impact in Your Business” by distinguished speaker Dr. Rick Rigsby. After this presentation are two general sessions, “Plant Security for Small to Midsize Plants,” presented by Mike Moshier of Arrowsite and a representative from the FSIS Office of Food Defense and Emergency Preparedness, and “Scientific and Regulatory Update,” by NAMP senior science advisor Dr. Jim Marsden and NAMP science advisor Dr. Reddi Thipareddi. The afternoon continues with forums covering validation, plant security, risk-based inspection, and carving out a niche through marketing.
The day concludes with the two-hour NAMP Showcase, which is an opportunity for regular members to share their best and most popular foods while associate members showcase their products and services. The conference concludes Sunday with the morning session, “Rounding Up the Bull — the Best of Issues, Answers, Action.”
You can register for the conference online at with American Express, MasterCard or Visa by the beginning of March. For more information about the conference, contact Sabrina Moore at 703-758-1900 ext 102 or Hotel reservations should be made directly with The Drake Hotel at 312-787-2200. A limited number of rooms have been reserved at The Drake by NAMP, so room reservations cannot be guaranteed after February 24. For more information on the hotel visit NP