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Fresh Summit adds Leslie Odom Jr., Experience Extensions to agenda

September 20, 2018

Newark, Del. – The Fresh Summit agenda is expanding, adding award-winning actor and musician Leslie Odom, Jr.’s big voice on a big topic and new Experience Extensions to the schedule Oct. 18-20 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

The Tony and Grammy award-winning performer is the fourth “Forum for the Future” speaker to be announced by Produce Marketing Association (PMA), each forum featuring a big voice on a big topic of industry interest. Odom is perhaps best known for his breakout role as Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical smash hit “Hamilton.” In a Forum for the Future titled “Thinking Past Tomorrow Through Business Transformation,” Odom and MorningNewsBeat’s Kevin Coupe will explore business lessons that can be learned from theater, popular culture – and “Hamilton – about diversity, the importance of storytelling, and the enduring power of a creative spirit.

This spring, Odom added the title of author to his resume with the release of his book “Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning.” The book brings together what Odom has learned in life so far about unlocking your true potential and making your dreams come true even when it seems impossible.

Odom made his Broadway debut in “Rent” and starred in the stage adaption of “Leap of Faith”, and on the big screen alongside Johnny Depp in “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Odom is the fourth and final Forum for the Future speaker to be named, joining PMA CEO Cathy Burns’ annual State of the Industry address and Wired magazine editor-in-chief Greg Williams on Thursday, Oct. 18. Lauded U.S. football quarterback Peyton Manning will speak on Friday morning, Oct. 19.

Experience Extensions add to the conversation

In between Thursday’s Forums of the Future, Fresh Summit attendees can join in new Experience Extensions that are designed to spark conversations about critical topics – or they can simply take a break in the coffee bar lounge:

  1. Produce Safety: Mission Control: Attendees can ask questions of and join the food safety conversation with PMA’s Bob Whitaker, Ph.D., and Trevor Suslow, Ph.D.  
  2. Transportation in Floral: Discuss Changes for Efficiencies: Attendees will join a panel of experts from the air, sea and trucking industries, to break down what’s really going on in transportation and to contribute industry’s voices to uncover potential solutions.
  3. Seismic Shifts in Global Trade- Where is it Headed?: Attendees have the opportunity to lend their questions and voices to a discussion about the trade environment with PMA staff and trade experts. 
  4. Transportation in Produce: Who’s in the Driver Seat?: Attendees can uncover potential solutions to today’s produce transport issues by joining a conversation with PMA’s Ed Treacy, American Trucking Association’s Jon Samson and CH Robinson’s David Molloter.
  5. STAY: Why Would Anybody Stay with You?:  Attendees get a view into what really matters in keeping your best talent and how you can find the right competitive edge.
  6. Blockchain Village: Blockchain is no longer a technology of tomorrow; it’s a solution for the now. Several PMA members from across the supply chain will be on hand to demonstrate how they are applying blockchain in their business now.  

Thursday’s activities will wrap up with a Welcoming Reception from 5-6:30 pm. A Global Street Festival theme will transport attendees around the globe with food and drink specialties as well as festivities from diverse parts of the world. The reception is convening and concluding earlier to then allow attendees to spend more of their evening as they like.

Learn more about Thursday’s “can’t miss” day at Fresh Summit and register at The All Access Pass is the best registration value, and includes all Forums of the Future, the Global Street Festival Welcoming Reception and this year’s record-breaking expo. Retailers receive significant registration discounts. Advance registration ends Oct. 5; on-site registration is also available.

About Produce Marketing Association

Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit


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