Executive Leadership Forum: October 15-17, 2023

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October 15-17, 2023 | The Broadmoor | Colorado Springs, Colorado

ELF 2023 Recap: 47th Executive Leadership Forum Held In Colorado Springs, CO Exceeds Expectations

Over 130 snack industry executives and guests gathered this week at the Broadmoor for 2.5 days of education and collaboration. The event featured business leaders and experts discussing topics like sustainability, snack trends, global economic issues, leading with purpose and more.

The Forum drew 43% more female attendees than in 2022, part of SNAC’s WinS (Women in Snacks) initiative to open the pipeline for female advancement in the snack industry. SNAC’s Rising Stars program brought 7 emerging leaders nominated by their company to Colorado, and 30 first time attendees overall.

Thank you Generous Sponsors for making the Executive Leadership Forum possible.

Presentations are now available to watch and download, as well as session summaries and photos below.

Welcome and State of the Industry
SNAC’s CEO Christine M. Cochran highlighted the benefits of attending the Forum and what attendees should expect over the next 2 days, including networking opportunities, leadership growth potential, and the current state of the snack industry, how it’s evolving, and ways to keep the industry thriving.
What’s Up in Snacking?
Circana EVP of Client Insights, Sally Lyons Wyatt shared the latest snack and consumer trends. “Snacking definitely remains a lifestyle, with 49% of consumers snacking three times or more a day, and it’s still growing, especially among younger consumers who are fueling this dynamic trend.”
View from a Category Leader: Hershey
SNAC President and CEO Christine Cochran interviewed Hector De La Barreda, Senior Vice President, Chief Global Business Platforms and Process Optimization Officer, The Hershey Company. “We always stayed true to our mission, which is making ‘moments of goodness’ and putting people in the center of everything that we do,” said De La Barreda regarding Hershey’s quest to become a snacking powerhouse.
Simulation: Leadership & Group Decision-Making
Rachel Pacheco led an interactive workshop at today’s Executive Leadership Forum, demonstrating how to efficiently and effectively work as a group when making leadership decisions – a skill highly prevalent in the snack industry and beyond. 
The Purpose Path to Growth
Jim Stengel shares a brand purpose checklist to ensure your brand’s success at the Executive Leadership Forum. The checklist includes Employee and Customer Motivation, Consistency and Coherence, and Performance Measurement, along with his five lessons from 25 years of industry experience.
American Politics & the 2024 Election
Seth Masket, author and professor of Politic Science at University of Denver, used his political expertise to present about the upcoming election at today’s Executive Leadership Forum. Masket gave attendees an overview of the candidates for the 2024 U.S. election and provided professional outlook on the country’s current political climate.
McCain’s Sustainability Journey
Jess Newman celebrates McCain’s sustainability journey through smart and sustainable farming and regenerative agriculture, and a look toward the farm of the future. 
The Future of a Safer, More Sustainable Food System
Frank Yiannas discusses the challenges surrounding food safety at the Executive Leadership Forum. He explores the changing food system, food borne surveillance, consumer trust bust, food fights & polarization, trace chemicals, climate change, and the opportunities to tackle these challenges.
What Kind of Economy Are We In?
Brian G. Belski from BMO Capital Markets shared fascinating insights about the current state of our economy at the Executive Leadership Forum. His analysis painted an optimistic picture – we’re not just on the road to recovery, but we’re also witnessing a return to the robust economic environment reminiscent of the 80s and 90s. He also confirmed that we are not heading into a recession – great news for all of us involved in this dynamic industry!