Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark To Be Featured Speaker At FMI’s Future Connect™ Leadership Conference

November 6, 2008
- Speech Open To MARKETECHNICS® Attendees -

ARLINGTON, VA — November 3, 2008 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced that Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, will be a featured speaker at FMI’s Future Connect™ Leadership Conference, May 4-6, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas. Newmark will deliver his remarks at the closing session on Wednesday, May 6.

“The next generation of industry leadership is already using Craigslist and Facebook, and YouTube to purchase products, connect with peers, and learn more about the world around them. It is essential that we embrace and understand these and other social media as we grow our future leaders and our businesses. Craig’s keynote participation in Future Connect will bring critical insight to our industry,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO, FMI.

Newmark created the online, non-commercial community bulletin board of classified advertisements and discussion boards in 1995. It grew from a simple email exchange service to an urban and regional community service outlet known throughout the world, generating close to 10 billion page views per month, about 35 million unique visitors, and serving more than 550 cities in 55 countries.

Newmark, a visionary who brought customer service to a new level, continues to work as a customer service representative at Craigslist while serving as its chairman. He will share his insight about building future online communities. He was dubbed the “Wizard of the Local” by Time Magazine and named to its 2005 Time 100. He also received the Person of the Year award at the 9th Annual Webby Awards in 2005.

He has 25 years of experience as a web-oriented software engineer and worked for IBM for 18 years, as well as for Charles Schwab & Co. He holds a masters degree in computer science.

Future Connect™ will educate high-potential associates from all levels of retailer, wholesaler and supplier companies to direct teams, focus skills and talents and achieve high-profit sales. Interactive education sessions and group roundtables will help associates understand the landscape of issues facing the industry, including current business and consumer trends, developments in global food sourcing and managing an increasingly diverse workforce.

Best-selling business authors, world-renowned thought leaders, industry mavericks and coaches of winning teams from business and sports are among the speakers for the three-day conference.

FMI MARKETECHNICS® Show Begins on Final Day of Future Connect™

The 2009 FMI MARKETECHNICS® conference will begin Wednesday, May 6. The convergence of technology into all aspects of business is critical to the future success of retailers, wholesalers and suppliers. MARKETECHNICS® attendees are welcome to hear Craig Newmark’s speech at the closing session of Future Connect™ on Wednesday. It will provide opportunities to further collaborate and share information. After this session, MARKETECHNICS® will then move to the Dallas Convention Center, where the exhibit hall will open at 2 p.m. on May 6 and will run through May 8. Registrants for Future Connect can continue their experience in Dallas and register for MARKETECHNICS® for an additional $50.

For more information and to register for Future Connect™,   go to Registration for FMI Member Retailers/Wholesalers and FMI Associate Members is $1,000. Nonmember registration is $1,300. A Group Advantage Plan is available.

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit