Featured Keynote Speakers

Monday, October 9

Opening General Session Keynote • 8:45 - 10:00 a.m.

EQ+IQ = The Winning Formula for Digestible Science

Linda Eatherton, Managing Director and Partner, Ketchum Global Food & Beverage Practice

Science denialism. Fake news. Social media. It seems the odds are stacked against us.

There is no doubt the world changed and the food industry is undergoing radical changes as a result. But have WE changed? Are we adapting to this new consumer and are we adjusting to breakthrough all these barriers? You’ll hear about new research that crystalizes the forces of change and the changed consumer to put in perspective the importance of our roles and our ability to bridge the divide and to be heard. The insights will reveal the new marketing playbook that is literally being written as we speak that includes a new approach to sharing facts, science and information to conversations that work and win!

About Linda Eatherton: One of the leading authorities on the food and beverage sector, Linda has devoted her entire career to the food and agricultural industry and has served it from the inside out. She held leadership roles at Kraft Foods and Dairy Management Inc. before becoming director of Ketchum’s Global Food & Beverage Practice in 2000. Linda has provided counsel to companies throughout the food supply and value chain on issues, marketing, reputation and social challenges. At Ketchum she has led award-winning work for top firms including Nestle USA, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Wendy’s, FritoLay, the Kellogg Company, Senomyx, Evolva, Ingredion and The US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

Eatherton is recognized for her cultivation and curation of global food insights from her research series “Food 2020: Consumer as CEO” and the breakthrough identification of the Food eVangelist, a powerful cohort that has reshaped consumer mindsets about food and agriculture worldwide. These insights have led to award-winning strategies for Ketchum clients and make her an in-demand speaker for professional industry groups.

Wednesday, October 11

Closing General Session Keynote • 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

3D-Printed Foods: Innovations in Military Field Feeding Technology

Lauren E. Oleksyk, Team Leader, Food Engineering and Analysis Team, Combat Feeding Directorate, US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC)

Additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3D printing, is a much talked about technology that is gathering speed as a viable alternative to traditional manufacturing methods, with a focus on customization. 3D printing is the process of making any three-dimensional object from stock material by electronically controlling the deposit of materials in successive layers.  This is in contrast to a traditional manufacturing process which involves subtracting material through cutting, grinding, milling or other methods. Today, a full range of materials can be printed including plastics, concrete, metals, textiles and biogenetic materials.  However, printing food material is still a novel concept in the earliest stages of development. 

For the US military, 3D printing technology promises great benefits for Soldiers operating in arduous, constrained environments.  It can provide critical repair parts at the point of need, allow rapid prototyping of new protective equipment, or produce products with less material to lighten the Soldier’s load. In terms of field feeding, 3D-printed foods offer the main benefit of providing customized nutrition on or near the battlefield for future Armed Forces.  Unlike standard combat rations today, 3D-printed foods may be tailored for each Soldier based on his/her personal and real time physiological or nutritional status, the environment in which they are operating, their present level of activity, and per their own food sensitivities, preferences or desires.  The Department of Defense - Combat Feeding Directorate at NSRDEC is charged with conducting research and development of field rations and field feeding equipment for all Services. 

Efforts to advance 3D food printing technology for military field feeding will be presented, including the future operational concept and anticipated challenges associated with printing and characterizing food material, product perception, and potential applications in the cereal grain industry.   

About Lauren Oleksyk: Lauren Oleksyk is the Team Leader of the Food Engineering and Analysis Team in the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) at the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), in Natick, Massachusetts. She supervises a team of food scientists and engineers who explore groundbreaking food processes and technologies to develop the highest quality combat rations for warfighters worldwide.

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science from Framingham State University and Master of Science Degree in Management from Emmanuel College. She is a member of the Army Acquisition Corps and graduate of the U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School.  She holds U.S. Patents on extended shelf life bread and a self-heating food package, and has authored over 30 publications in the field of food science and packaging. She has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, BBC, Federal News Radio, NBCs “Rock Center” and was featured in Time Magazine’s cover story on “Ten Ideas That Are Changing your Life.” Her professional honors include the US Army Materiel Command’s Louis Dellamonica Award, Colonel Rohland A. Isker Award, R&D Magazine Top 100 Award, and the Dupont Packaging Award.