The almond industry converged once again on Sacramento for the 2017 Almond Conference. Almond grower and Almond Board of California Chairman Mike Mason said they design the conference to stand out from others and maximize the benefits for attendees.
Listen to the interview:
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Almond Board of California President and CEO Richard Waycott’s 2017 agenda address:
“It is again my distinct pleasure to welcome you to The Almond Conference, now in its 45th year. This is the 16th conference that I have attended, so it must be pretty good because I keep coming back! All kidding aside, this is a conference like no other in the almond world, and I hope that you’ll take full advantage of what it has to offer. As with every prior year, Almond Board of California (ABC) staff and its collaborators have developed a very comprehensive agenda that touches every aspect of the industry. I recommend that you attend all three days of the conference so that you can avail yourselves of as much presentation and discussion content as possible and that you bring with you family and business colleagues so that you can split up and attend concurrent sessions, debriefing and sharing what you’ve learned over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine at the end of the day.
The agenda has kept to some traditions, but has several unique changes this year as well. What has become a tradition is the State of the Industry address, which Mike Mason, ABC Chairman, and I give on Tuesday evening from 4:15–5:15 p.m. This year we will hold this session in Hall C, which is the big hall located right next to the Trade Show Hall, where the conference opening reception will be held immediately following our presentation. You won’t want to miss either of these events. Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m., the opening plenary session will also be held in Hall C and is different from the past couple of years in that we are very fortunate to have Daniel Lubetsky joining us from KIND Snacks. Daniel founded and serves as CEO of one of the fastest growing bar and snack companies in the world, and he is an almond believer. An old friend of the almond industry, Buddy Ketchner will moderate a conversation with Daniel as he describes the vision for his company and for the almond industry. This is a must-attend event!
The initial conference sessions begin on Tuesday morning starting at 10:45 a.m. There are four concurrent sessions running throughout the day right up to the State of the Industry address at 4:15 p.m. So, please plan accordingly. Following Daniel’s presentation Wednesday
morning, the conference really takes off with four concurrent sessions on myriad topics taking place throughout the two days. These are interspersed with dedicated trade show times so you can visit the almost 300 exhibitors as well as attend the Almond Stage presentations in the exhibit hall and bid on the silent auction items. The proceeds will benefit the California FFA Foundation. The conference wraps up Thursday evening with the Gala Dinner, and this year we have revamped the event in a very significant way. Often we have tried to include too much content in the evening’s proceedings, which has caused the night to drag on way too long before the entertainment could begin. Well, rest assured, this year the acknowledgments that we will make will be kept to 30 minutes and then the evening’s fun will get underway.
To kick off the entertainment will be a brief live auction (five fabulous items, benefitting the CA FFA Foundation) followed by the hilarious entertainer Adam Trent, whom you have probably seen on late-night TV or in Las Vegas. He is very interactive with the audience and will amaze you with his talents. Following Adam, a dance bandwill kick in and it will be your turn to get up and shake a leg! All in all, I hope that this conference is especially rewarding for you in terms of what you learn, the new relationships that you make and the fun and camaraderie that you experience.”