Executive Leadership Symposium - In partnership with Cornell University

Save the Date
May 16-17, 2017 | Dallas, Texas USA

The Executive Leadership Symposium, brought to you in partnership with Cornell University, offers senior executives an opportunity to come together and discover how to harness the innovation and changes taking place to confidently position their companies for a competitive advantage today.


Unique Format, Unique Experience, Unique Results

This exclusive program offers what no other leadership program provides:

Executive Perspective – Start by participating in general sessions designed to stretch your thinking. Delve deeper into material through discussion with thought leaders and professional facilitators who bring new information and best practices for review.

Program of Peers – Capitalize on focused time with industry peers to discuss new strategies, new ideas and even new partnerships.

A Format to Explore Answers – Learn from general sessions then work elbow-to-elbow with colleagues, facilitators in a smaller group format to discuss practical application of concepts for your specific business. Following the small group discussion, reconvene with the speakers to debate the issues presented.

Results You Can Use – Leave with a global perspective, actionable strategies and new relationships to help you approach ‘business as unusual’.

A Smart Investment in Leading Education – This all inclusive program will provide access to best-in-class instruction, a learning environment designed for executive education and an opportunity for vetting ideas and problem solving at the decision-maker level.

In Partnership With:
Cornell University Logo

Who Should Attend

Who Should Attend

This program is designed exclusively for executive leaders with critical roles in the global produce supply chain including those who have the ability to define and lead strategy in their organizations and affect change. The event is limited to the first 75 applicants and is confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Appropriate titles include, but are not limited to:

  • • CEO
  • • COO
  • • CFO
  • • CTO
  • • President


2016 Symposium Schedule

Wednesday, May 11

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Reception/Registration:
5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Networking Dinner
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. General Session: “Creating a Culture of Innovation”

Thursday, May 12

6:30 a.m. – 7:20 a.m. Buffet Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Welcome/Introductions
8:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. General Session: Workplace Culture: Starting with You

9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Refreshment Break
9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Applying Predictive Index
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Refreshment Break
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Applying Predictive Index (cont)
12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch
12:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Professional Photography
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. General Session: Global Consumption Boom – Why Everything is about to Change

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Refreshment Break
2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Small group discussions with facilitators
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Refreshment Break
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Facilitators lead questioning of Vikram Mansharamani
6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Off Site Dinner

Friday, May 13

6:45 a.m. – 7:35 a.m. Buffet Breakfast
7:45 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Introductions
8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. General Session: Culture 2.0: The Facts, Fundamentals and Future of Workplace Culture Development and Performance Impact

9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Ideal Culture Examined
11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Symposium Wrap-Up


2016 Symposium Fees

Center for Growing Talent by PMA seeks candidates who shape decisions in our industry that reflect the leadership skills needed in today’s markets. Eligible candidates must be employed in any segment of the produce or floral supply chain and be in a senior executive role within the company. The program is designed for a maximum capacity of 75 executives.


NOTE: Registration closes on April 28, 2016

EARLY RATE (US$): On or before April 8, 2016
For participants
requiring a hotel stay:
PMA Members
Loyalty Reward, PMA Members
For participants not
requiring a hotel stay:
PMA Members
Loyalty Reward, PMA Members
REGULAR RATE (US$): After April 8, 2016
For participants
requiring a hotel stay:
PMA Members
Loyalty Reward, PMA Members
For participants not
requiring a hotel stay:
PMA Members
Loyalty Reward, PMA Members

*PMA Member Loyalty Reward for Past Attendees (must have attended Executive Leadership Symposium at least once in the last three years)

  • • Welcome Reception and Dinner on Wednesday
  • • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thursday
  • • Breakfast on Friday
  • • Program materials
  • • Optional: two nights luxury hotel accommodations **
  • • Certificate of completion

** DFW Airport Marriott South
4151 Centreport Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76155
(817) 358-1700

Tyler Phipps Memorial Scholarship

We would like to make you aware of an opportunity to have your registration, which includes lodging and meals, covered for the Executive Leadership Symposium.

The Tyler Phipps Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in 2015 to honor Tyler Phipps, senior director of sourcing for Market Fresh Produce, who passed away suddenly in September. A portion of the funds is set aside annually to provide an opportunity for an industry executive to attend the symposium.

Application deadline and information for the 2017 symposium will be announced shortly.

Learn more about the Tyler Phipps Memorial Scholarship Fund and how you can get involved here.

For questions about the program, eligibility requirements or to learn how to nominate someone for consideration, please contact us at LeadershipSymp@GrowingTalentbypma.org, or call +1 (302) 738-7100.


Meet the 2016 Speakers

Tim Kuppler


Culture 2.0: The Facts, Fundamentals and Future of Workplace Culture Development and Performance Impact

Presented by Tim Kuppler, Co-founder of CultureUniversity.com | Director of Culture and Organization Development for Human Synergistics

Culture. It has become one of the most important words in corporate board rooms, and for good reason. New Deloitte research shows that culture is one of the top talent challenges facing business leaders with more than half rating this issue as “urgent”.

View Tim Kuppler’s Bio

Vikram Mansharamani

Global Consumption Boom – Why everything is about to change

Presented by Vikram Mansharamani, Author, Yale Lecturer and Harvard Senior Fellow

Globalization can be a profoundly enriching process, opening minds to new ideas and experiences. The external forces that accompany globalization play a role in establishing a healthy culture within organizations. The need to feed a larger population becomes inevitable as the middle-class balloons in emerging nations. This global consumption boom will have an unprecedented impact on food, fuel, precious metals and other commodities. The likely impact on the global standard of living will drive geopolitical and economic uncertainty. Mansharamani will untangle the dynamics and help you think differently about the nature of global prosperity and how it will shape their business and cultural values within.

View Vikram Mansharamani’s Bio

Vicki Myoda


Workplace Culture: Starting with You

Presented by Vicki Myoda, Senior Consultant, PI Midlantic | Owner, Freelance HR, LLC.

Given the importance of a company’s culture to its success, the goal of this session will be to shed light on where that culture begins: with you.

For better or for worse, you and your fellow executives create the culture of your organization, imparting it through your natural styles of communicating, risk-taking, decision-making — in short, through how you interact with and manage others.

The Predictive Index® (or PI®) is a scientifically-validated behavioral assessment that gives insight into the behaviors and motivating needs of individuals. Participants will receive a complimentary online PI® survey (requiring 5-10 minutes to complete), to be completed prior to the Symposium. All attendees will receive their personal PI® results during this session, and use them to examine several aspects of their own management styles, as well as learn more about how organizations around the world are leveraging the practical and powerful tools of behavioral science to attract, understand, motivate, and develop their employees.

View Vicki Myoda’s Bio

Doug Rauch


Creating a Culture of Innovation

Presented by Doug Rauch, Former President of Trader Joes

Through his experience at Trader Joe’s and Daily Table, Rauch has learned to be a master of innovation. With the mantra “innovate or die,” he will show you how organizations can consistently push for new and better ways to perform. Rauch believes the most important first step is instilling a culture of innovation. Culture is the organization’s DNA – the only thing a company has that can’t be copied or stolen. It will determine if a company can successfully innovate and lead change. Rauch will share great stories and case studies, and talk about how to create a self-sustaining culture of innovation that embraces failure and constantly pushes the envelope forward.

View Doug Rauch’s Bio


Thank You 2016 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors
JV SmithProgressive ProduceWell Pict
Networking Lunch Sponsor Refreshment Break SponsorMixtec Group
Welcome Reception & Networking Dinner Sponsor
Sunkist logoDriscoll's logoMelissa's logo
Thursday Evening Dinner Sponsor

Bank of the West logo


Participant Testimonials

Read thoughts from 2016 Tyler Phipps Memorial Scholarship recipient.

“As the first recipient of the Tyler Phipps Memorial Scholarship, I am very grateful for the opportunity that was granted to me. The Executive Leadership Symposium was not an event we had traditionally attended. It is doubtful the resources would have been allocated now or in the future, without this opportunity. After attending the Symposium, I can safely say, I will be attending the future events. Though I have spent many years as an executive, I am finishing my first year in produce. This was a great opportunity to meet many who have spent their career in the industry. I look forward to becoming a fixture within the produce community.”

Gina Vagnino, SDA Packaging


In their own words, the 2015 Executive Leadership Symposium attendees said:

“It causes you to have self inflection points and gives you great insights to what leadership skill sets can improve the performance of your business as well as relationships.”

Michael Cochran, Wal-Mart Store

“An extraordinary experience choked full of relevant and applicable learnings. I would highly reccomend that any Senior Leader make the investment in themselves and their organization.”

Bretty Libke, Oppy

“This is the best program I’ve ever attended with a very open format that allows for self and business reflection on ways to improve your skills and your business performance.”

Robert Sorenson, Sysco Corporation

“The program exceeded my expectations. In a short period of time because of the way the program was structured not only did I meet and interact with different innovative intelligent colleagues in the industry, I learned a great deal because of the format to this program. The speakers were also excellent, very engaging I will definitely be attending next year.”

Harneet Sihota, Kam-Way Transportation

“This is the “must attend” event in the Produce Industry! Each year it gets better and better!”

Tony D’Amico, To-Jo Mushrooms

2015 Symposium Photos

View 2015 Photos

Who Attended

Look who attended the 2015 Symposium.

AMC Direct, Inc.
B&W Quality Growers LLC
Coosemans LA Shipping
DMA Solutions, Inc.
Domex Superfresh Growers
Duncan Family Farms, LLC
Harp’s Food Stores
J&J Family of Farms
JBN & Associates, LLC
JV Smith Companies
Lakeside Produce
Lucky Supermarkets
Mission Produce, Inc.
Monsanto Company
Mushroom Council
Naturipe Farms, LLC.
POM Wonderful
Pro Citrus Network, Inc.
Produce Marketing Association
Progressive Produce Corporation
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
R. S. Hanline & Co., Inc.
Robinson Fresh
Sysco Corporation