Philanthropist and football legend Doug Flutie will share his life experiences on and off the field during the keynote address at the 2012 Annual Meat Conference, to be held February 19-21, 2012, at the Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, Fla.

Flutie set NCAA career records for passing yards and total offense. He is also remembered for throwing the “Hail Mary” touchdown pass in the last seconds of Boston College’s 47-45 upset over Miami, the same season he was named the Heisman Trophy winner.

Flutie, 43, accounted for 64,938 yards of total offense in his professional career, compiling 58,179 passing yards and 6,759 rushing yards while playing in the NFL (1986-89, 1998-2005), USFL (1985) and CFL (1990-97).

Flutie has also established the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc. in honor of his autistic son, to provide financial support to families impacted by autism and to fund research. To date, the Fluties have granted close to $3 million to various autism organizations.

The Meat Conference each year attracts 800 members of the retail food and meat industries. It is considered among participants to be the leading educational event focusing on meat and poultry marketing innovations, merchandising issues and consumer purchasing trends.

The conference is sponsored by the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute. Associate sponsors include the American Lamb Board, Beef Checkoff, National Chicken Council, Pork Checkoff and National Turkey Federation.

Other scheduled general sessions include:

Winning in the New Consumer Economy: Jeffrey Gregori, vice president, solutions consulting, The Nielsen Company, will discuss the new economic climate and what it takes to better understand, connect and communicate to key business partners and consumers.

The Economy and Its Impact on Your Business: In this session, attendees will learn more about how to adapt their business because of consumer spending trends, unemployment rates and industrial capacity. This session will also explore the impact of economic trends on the livestock, poultry and meat retail industries. Scheduled speakers include Steve Meyer, Ph.D., president, Paragon Economics, Inc., Randy Blach, CEO, CattleFax and Paul Aho, Ph.D., president, Poultry Perspective.

The Power of Meat: An In-Depth Look at Meat Through the Shoppers’ Eyes: The popular, annual Power of Meat research highlights consumers’ likes and dislikes at the meat case and tracks consumer preferences for meat packaging and preparation. Speaker Michael Uetz, principal, Midan Marketing, will help attendees increase their understanding of what drives purchasing decisions in a recessionary environment and develop the best marketing strategies for their meat and poultry offerings.

Strategic Futures: Renowned futurist David Zach will discuss the implications of emerging technology, automation and unlimited access to information on business and what it will take to thrive in today’s quickly changing world.

Registration for this conference is $695 for supermarket retailers/wholesalers and exhibitors. Non-exhibiting suppliers can attend for $1290. Visit to view the complete conference program and register online.

Source: AMI