WASHINGTON, DC — March 12, 2002 — Beginning next month, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is offering a new, yearlong series of leadership forums to supermarket professionals who want to advance their training and leadership skills.

Designed to be fast-paced, example-driven and highly interactive, the daylong sessions will focus on specific issues and trends affecting food retail operations. Featuring lively presentations and frequent drills, the seminars will be led by notable industry experts experienced in fast-track training. All programs will be held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago.

The series kicks off in April with two sessions:

April 11 Loyalty Marketing: Making the Data Work for You

Ken Robb, a principal with Technomic, Inc. and a partner with McMillan Doolittle LLP, will lead a discussion of loyalty marketing programs and how they can grow volume and profits for food retailers. With 35 years of experience in the food industry as a retailer, manufacturer and consultant, Robb will address the consumer interest, technology and supplier relationships necessary to launch and maintain a successful card program.

April 12    Customer Service: Strategies to Win Customers and Grow Sales

Consultant and motivational speaker Jim Sullivan has worked with some of the retail industry’s most successful companies, including Kroger, Albertson’s, Publix, Walt Disney, American Express, McDonald’s, Nordstrom and Coca-Cola. In this session, Sullivan will discuss the art of customer acquisition and maintenance. He will also offer insight into the concept of customer service, lead a discussion on establishing a system of rewards for quality service, and explain the necessity of tying service objectives to profitability.

Other scheduled dates and topics for the training programs are:

June 19    Perishables Marketing: Best Practices for Increasing Sales and Profits

June 20    I/T Auditing and Security: Protecting Your Company

Sept. 17    Petroleum Marketing: Fueling Your Company’s Future

Sept. 18    Prepared Foods: Strategies for Success

Nov. 4       The Emerging Consumer: Ethnic Marketing

Nov. 5       Inventory Management: Back to Basics

Registration fees are $400 for FMI members and $800 for nonmembers. Companies registering three or more associates pay a reduced fee of $375 each. To register or for more information, please contact Aileen Dullaghan at (202) 220-0704 or visit the FMI Web site at www.fmi.org.