Food Public Affairs: What it is and Why You Need it to Survive and Thrive in the Global Environment

Session Track: Opening Session
Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 8:20 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Session Description:

Restrictions on marketing to children, "fat" and "sugar" taxes, and restrictive dietary guidance are but a few of the challenges facing the food industry. To manage your organization's health and wellness reputation, it is critical to have a clear understanding of the role that food policy, government relations, influencer relationships, lobbying, and corporate reputation management have on food product development. This session will familiarize you with these concepts and highlight challenges, opportunities, successes, and failures of public affairs initiatives within the food industry. You will gain perspective on the challenges and opportunities involved in product development and promotion through the lens of a public affairs mindset.

Speaker Information:

Dick Crawford, Consultant, Geezers Consulting
Dick CrawfordAfter retiring as Vice President of Government Relations for McDonalds, Dick Crawford founded Geezers Consulting to offer other businesses the benefits of his experience in shaping public policy. His time is split between for-fee consulting for organizations with interests in nutrition, food safety, agriculture, marketing, trade, taxation, and other food industry issues, and pro bono services for organizations that are engaged in causes he believes in. He has a track record of developing and implementing strategies that have protected and advanced vital business interests at the state, federal, and international levels. He is a trusted advisor with a network of policymakers, business leaders, academic experts, nonprofit organizations, and other influencers. Mr. Crawford believes that policymaking should--and can be--a win/win proposition, helping clients to build coalitions and have a seat at the table when public policy decisions are made.

Donald Foley, Director, Public Affairs, Ketchum
Donald FoleyDonald J. Foley is a veteran communicator with extensive experience in national politics and corporate affairs, as well as a demonstrated capacity for long-term planning, problem solving, and project management at the highest levels of business and government. He joined Ketchum’s Washington, D.C., office in 2009 as Director, North American Public Affairs. In addition to providing counsel to numerous office holders and office seekers, he served a wide range of private sector clients in industries ranging from aviation, to defense, to the renewable energy sector. After 20 years on Capitol Hill, he spent four years as vice president of worldwide corporate communications for Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis. During his career, he has specialized in reputation management and crisis communications, and has guided corporations, non-profit clients, and public figures through national controversies involving high-profile investigations and litigation.

Mr. Foley was appointed convention manager by president Bill Clinton for the Chicago Democratic National Convention in 1996, and has served on the senior staff of several Presidential campaigns.