By: Dagmar Farr, Chief Member Relations Officer, SVP, Membership and Education, FMI
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Zoom fatigue.

“You’re muted!”

“Can you hear me now?”

How many times have we heard this during the doozy that has been 2020? The hardships of the year are robust, least of which include some of these technological glitches. And yet, as an industry, we’ve made exemplary strides to meet modern consumer demands—all while getting used to a “new normal” in a very digital climate. I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve accomplished together.

As we continue to shape our industry’s strategic future, I hope you consider one of FMI’s shining member benefits—the Midwinter Executive Conference. And yes, we’re bringing the event to the comfort of your office, virtually.

Five Midwinter Events You May Not Have Been Aware Of:
  1. Our very own Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, will inspire our members in delivering a better “new normal” to consumers. The pandemic has changed the way we navigate our world and the food industry has the distinct opportunity to take the changes foisted upon us and begin shaping, modifying, and improving them.

  2. Power-house presenters like General Stanley McChrystal (retired) will be interviewed by Mark Clouse, CEO at Campbell Soup Company as they address what it takes to build an innovative organization. Susan Morris, executive vice president and COO of Albertsons Companies will share welcome comments as our Midwinter Chairman.

  3. Sessions will be hosted by a wide range of industry thought leaders, spanning the entire food supply chain. Leadership from retailers, suppliers and service providers will share insights on:
    • COVID-19 and the post-pandemic impact on the industry.
    • Ecommerce, technology and digital imperatives.
    • Workforce, diversity, equity and inclusion.
    • The regulatory environment and advocacy issues.
    • Sustainability, health and well-being.


  4. Tons of ways to connect through “new normal” social events like Tuesday’s Supper Bowl—a family meals cooking competition held by the FMI Foundation. With a continued focus on health and well-being, Wednesday’s “Offense is Your Best Defense” session offers networking and learning facilitated by FMI Director, Health & Well-being, Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN. And if advocacy is more your speed, you won’t want to miss Thursday’s “Road Map to 117th Congress – GR Pit Stop,” an off-the-track conversation looking under the hood of upcoming legislation.

  5. In addition to the Strategic Executive Exchange, boasting nearly 100 retailer and supplier companies with more than 700 scheduled meetings, we are offering Direct Connect—a complimentary virtual tool facilitating quick and easy virtual greetings once the Midwinter platform goes live.

We’ve got an astounding assortment that is sure to appease your zeal for learning and networking, without adding to the aforementioned “Zoom fatigue.” We’ll take a look back to find a way forward, parsing the pandemic’s impact on the industry, consumer behavior, supply chain innovation and technology drivers.

Time is valuable. Let’s spend it together, meaningfully. See you at Midwinter