Arlington, VA – (May 27, 2009) – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today announced that the incomparable Pat Summitt, head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team, will join Stephen Covey (author of the bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and Knight Kiplinger (editor-in-chief of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, and the Kiplinger Letter) as a headline speaker at the Future Connect leadership program May 4-6, 2009, in Dallas, TX.

Summitt’s dynamic presentation will highlight the elements of teamwork, help attendees identify and develop the strengths and weaknesses of a team, and demonstrate how to bring people together around common goals to create success.

Summitt is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history (men or women) with 947 victories. During her tenure, the Lady Vols have won seven NCAA titles, as well as 26 Southeastern Conference tournament and regular season championships. Tennessee has made an unprecedented 26 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Sweet 16 and produced 12 Olympians, 19 Kodak All-Americans named to 32 teams, and 69 All-SEC performers. Along with the success on the court, Summitt's student-athletes have tremendous productivity in the classroom. Coach Summitt has a 100 percent graduation rate for all Lady Vols who have completed their eligibility at Tennessee.

Collaboratively designed by FMI’s Board of Directors, FMI Members and a Supplier Advisory Council, Future Connect will help companies address the need for management development with the fast-approaching retirement of the baby boomer population. The program provides retailers, wholesalers and suppliers the opportunity to identify and develop management talent through individual and collaborative learning sessions that will include an emphasis on building the leadership of the future.

The program is designed along three tracks – operations, executive and senior executive – for executives identified as future leaders, including corporate, regional and other managers at all levels, directors, vice presidents and executives from all areas of retailer, wholesaler and supplier companies.

The highly interactive and collaborative format will mix strategically focused general sessions with university-style case studies and work groups. Three key developmental pathways – personal skills, management skills and profit-building skills – will be explored through:

  • Performance Connect (improve your contribution to the company; focus on individual growth, personal development and professional effectiveness);

  • People Connect (hone your people-management skills; focus on how to motivate and improve the performance of all employees, including direct and indirect reports, colleagues and teammates); and,

  • Profit Connect (optimize the performance of your team, department, store, division and company; focus on understanding the financial picture, how the people fit in and how they can make an impact).

For more information and to register for Future Connect, go to Registration for FMI Member Retailers/Wholesalers is $350 by the early-bird deadline of July 31, 2008 – reserve slots early as space is limited (names not required); $550 by September 30, 2008, and $1,000 until April 3, 2009. FMI Associate Member registration is $1,300 and nonmember registration is $1,600. A Group Advantage Plan is available.

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