KANSAS CITY — The rapidly changing landscape for the consumer packaged foods industry will be addressed by Sean M. Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Conagra Brands, Inc., in a presentation during the 42nd annual Purchasing Seminar sponsored by Sosland Publishing Company.
The seminar, which was created for purchasing executives at food, beverage and ingredient companies, will be held June 9-11 at the Palmer House in Chicago.
“Over the last several years, the food industry has experienced wrenching change,” said L. Joshua Sosland, president, Sosland Publishing Company. “Sean Connolly has been navigating those changes in leadership positions at a number of companies. His insights will help purchasing executives better understand how their roles are evolving in the current hyper-dynamic environment.”
Mr. Connolly has been c.e.o. of Conagra since March 2015. Before that, he was president and c.e.o. of Hillshire Brands Co. from the time it was spun off by Sara Lee Corp. in 2012 until it was acquired by Tyson Foods, Inc. in 2014 in a $9 billion transaction.
Before he was tapped to lead Hillshire, Mr. Connolly was president and c.e.o. of Sara Lee North American Retail and Foodservice and president of Campbell Soup North America. Earlier, he was brand manager in the food and beverage division of Procter & Gamble Co.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas.
The seminar will begin the evening of Sunday, June 9 (an optional Market Fundamentals presentation will be offered Sunday afternoon) and will continue through mid-day on Tuesday. Mr. Connolly’s presentation will launch the main session June 10. The program will feature market presentations on grains, oilseeds, bakery shortening, sweeteners, many other ingredients, the weather and other topics of importance to the food and beverage industries.
Mr. Connolly’s presentation will be followed on the program by Steve Freed, vice-president of research at ADM Investors. Mr. Freed, a regular participant in the seminar for many years, will address “The Global Outlook and Rethinking Risk Management,” addressing how factors driving price discovery in grains are changing.
New on the program in 2019 will be a breakout session on packaging markets, to be presented by Lauren Jia, managing director, commodities risk management, Macquarie Group, New York. Uncertain crude oil markets have generated wide price swings in packaging prices, and Ms. Jia will discuss the situation for plastic markets, including polyethylene and polypropylene, and suggest risk management strategies.
Prior to 2019, the Purchasing Seminar had been held in Kansas City for 41 consecutive years. The event brings together more than 800 executives from a wide range of companies, from the world’s largest consumer packaged foods companies to small start-ups, together with a wide range of suppliers of ingredients and services.
For additional information about this event or to register, please visit www.purchasingseminar.com or contact Christina Sullivan at (816) 756-1000.