The Western Growers 88th Annual will be held Nov. 10-13 at The Sheraton Hotel in Waikiki. As always, the event will be filled with many different opportunities for networking, learning about industry issues and socializing with your colleagues in the fresh produce industry. Following is a brief synopsis of many of the major events that will be held.
Workshop I: Top Chef Sheldon Simeon
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Monday, November 11
Improve your culinary skills by watching Top Chef Sheldon demonstrate his at Workshop I. A 2003 graduate of Maui Culinary Academy, Sheldon Simeon started off as a dishwasher and worked his way up to chef. In February of 2010, he opened Star Noodle in Maui. His food quickly generated media buzz and in the following year, Sheldon was a semi-finalist for two James Beard Foundation awards: Rising Star Chef and Best New Restaurant. He is now known worldwide as a finalist and the fan favorite on the 10th season of Top Chef (Seattle).
12:30 – 2:15 p.m. | Monday, November 11
Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will be headlining the PAC Lunch.
Rep. Issa was first elected to Congress in 2000 after a very successful business career manufacturing and selling vehicle anti-theft devices. He represents California’s 49th district which includes much of south Orange County and coastal San Diego County. He also serves on the House Judiciary Committee and just took first place in the 2013 House GOP Digital Challenge, a head-to-head, bracket-style competition among members of the House of Representative to expand their social media presence. From May 1 to June 30, Issa added 21,000 Twitter followers (follow him on Twitter @darrellissa) after sending out 700 tweets. He added 9500 likes on Facebook.
Workshop II: Health Care Workshop
2:30 – 3:45 p.m. | Monday, November 11
WG Compliance Attorney Jonathan Alexander, Pinnacle President Dave Zanze and Garland Reiter of Reiter Affiliated Companies will serve on the panel. The moderator will be Vic Smith of Fresh Innovations. The panel will discuss various aspects of health care and health care reform. Alexander will focus his comments on the Affordable Care Act. Zanze will discuss self-insurance and other options under that act. Reiter will talk about his firm’s efforts in controlling their health care costs through wellness programs. Smith will bring expertise concerning his own experiences as an employer offering health insurance as well as his position as chairman of the board of directors of the Yuma Regional Medical Center.
Workshop III: Financial Planning Workshop
9:45 -11:45 a.m. | Tuesday, November 12
Following the resounding success of last year’s Investment Strategies workshop, Western Growers Financial Services is proud to once again host a workshop this year focused on investment and economic themes.
Panelists Quoc Tran of Lateef Investments, R. Dennis Moon of Bank of America and US Trust, and Erik Davidson of Wells Fargo Bank will take a macro look at the economic situation and forecast what they expect to occur in 2014. WG’s Matt Lewis will moderate this session which will discuss many different factors that should influence the U.S. economy and investment opportunities in the foreseeable future.
Estate planning issues for family farming operations will also be covered during the session.
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Tuesday, November 12
Never one to shy away from controversy, John Bolton, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, will be the featured speaker at the Major Lunch this year.
A diplomat and lawyer, Bolton has been praised and vilified over his long public service career. Joe Biden once called him, “a bull in a china shop.” Bolton described North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il as a “tyrannical dictator,” and said President Obama’s early effort on international issues was nothing more than “dithering.” Outspoken and direct, he believes, “Individual liberty is the whole purpose of political life.” During his United Nation’s tenure one publication called Bolton “the most controversial ambassador ever sent by America to the United Nations.” Another praised Bolton’s stance on reforming the disgraceful United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Bolton is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a frequent op-ed contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the National Review, a Fox News commentator and an attorney with the law firm Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C.
Waikiki Scavenger Hunt
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. | Tuesday, November 12
Join us for a fun afternoon in Waikiki for a scavenger hunt. You’ll get to explore Waikiki and get to know other Western Growers members while you soak up some sun and engage in a little friendly competition. This is a great networking event and should not be missed!
6:50 -10:00 p.m. | Tuesday, November 12
John Pinette will provide comic relief during Tuesday night’s Award Dinner at the Western Growers’ 88th Annual Meeting in Waikiki, Hawaii. The event, which will take place on November 12, is a must-see as Western Growers toasts longtime WG member Jon Vessey of Vessey & Company, Inc. with the Award of Honor.
6:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Wednesday, November 13
You won’t want to miss this year’s round of golf with Western Growers’ members. At the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club in Kailua, Hawaii, you’ll experience a lush tropical rainforest setting, while playing the greens where former presidents have played. Bring your golf attire and spike-less shoes. Food, fun and prizes will be on hand.
6:30 - 9:30 p.m | Wednesday, November 13
Grab your grass skirt and brightest Hawaiian shirt for this year’s Suppliers’ Event! The event will take place on the Coconut Grove lawn at the world-renowned Royal Hawaiian Hotel (next to the Sheraton). You’ll be thoroughly entertained as you network, join old friends and groove to local Hawaiian music. Want to learn your fortune or see some exciting magic tricks? Or if you’re ready to take a break, get a beautiful henna tattoo or have the caricaturist draw your best features. When you’re ready to sway, join in with the dancers to perfect the hula. Don’t get too close to the fire-knife dancers, they will shock and amaze your senses. Since this event will close out our time here in Waikiki, you won’t want to miss it.
Visit www.wgannualmeeting.com today for additional information and details for registration, hotel and travel information, and a full schedule of events. We’ll see you there.
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