Greetings! I do hope this newsletter finds you well. In today’s environment, it seems there is plenty of bad news, particularly when it relates to budgets and especially if you are in academia. Writing this message to you has been a breath of fresh air for as I ponder the work of the Society, I am encouraged once again. The first thing that comes to mind is our outstanding annual conference. In 2009 the conference was in Broomfield, Colorado. Dr. Dawn Thilmany-McFadden from Colorado State University did an excellent job organizing the program. In addition, she found outstanding partners and sponsors.
We particularly owe Market Makers, Farm Foundation, and Colorado State our gratitude for their generosity. The Student Food Marketing Challenge under the leadership of Dr. Mike Gunderson, VP of Student Programs, also enjoyed another successful competition this year. Dave Carter from the National Bison Association was our case sponsor. All involved did a fantastic job, including all of the teams representing US and Canadian schools. Finally, Dr. Forrest Stegelin, VP of Research, did the herculean task of coordinating our paper sessions, where you the members shared your great work with each other.
Planning for the 2010 conference is already in full swing. Dr. Terry Hanson from Auburn University is our host this year. He has been busy putting together another outstanding program and the San Destin location is amazing. You can find more details about this year’s program in Dr. Hanson’s report later in this newsletter. I hope you will be able to join us. And, if you are coming, consider bringing a student team for The Student Food Marketing Challenge. I have never met a student that was not really excited about their participation. In addition to our annual conference, your leadership has been busy in making positive changes that will improve operation of the society. One example is the ability to accept credit card payments for page charges and membership payments through PayPal. This capability will streamline the process of collecting our accounts receivable, an important accomplishment in a full-volunteer society.
We are also considering changes to the Journal of Food Distribution Research. The changes being evaluated are focused on reducing the cost of publishing the journal without sacrificing quality. Finally, it is important to note that our website is undergoing an upgrade. We are thankful to University of Tennessee and Michele Wilson for their long-time hosting of our website. As we moved the site hosting to Texas A&M, Dr. John Park has been working hard to upgrade the site. Take a look and let us know what you think: http://fdrs.tamu.edu/. Last but not least, I am excited about the society’s leadership team.
The board is made up of a great mix of talented, competent people who serve this association on a volunteer basis. They pay their way to every meeting and spend countless hours working for the greater good. It is a pleasure to serve with these people. When you get a chance, would you please let them know how much you appreciate their contribution? You can see why I enjoyed writing this message. There are plenty of positive things happening, and it is important that we stop from time to time to recognize them. One of the strengths of the Society is the people that make up our membership. I look forward to seeing you in San Destin to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones.
Aaron Johnson, President
Applebaum Award Currently Seeking Applications
Applications for the William Applebaum Memorial Scholarship Award are due by June 1, to Dr. Sayed (Mehdi) Saghaian, VP Education. Full details on the award and application can be found on the Awards page of this website. The Applebaum Award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding graduate research in the area of food distribution and marketing. The award was established to honor the memory of William Applebaum, a former executive for the Kroger company and a founding member of FDRS. His dedication to fostering greater industry and academic interaction lives on through the award and has become a hallmark of FDRS. Cash awards are presented to recipients of this prestigious recognition.
Applebaum Scholarship Fund Drive
The Food Distribution Research Society (FDRS) is presently engaged in a fund drive to support the William Applebaum Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund was founded in honor of William Applebaum, the Chief of Staff for Market Research for The Kroger Grocery and Baking Company. Bill was also a highly regarded lecturer on Food Distribution and Comparative Marketing for the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard University. FDRS awards scholarships annually for outstanding PhD and Master level research that addresses pressing problems in the global food industry. Since the first scholarship was awarded in 1978, the fund has supported over 60 awards. Contributions may be made directly to the Food Distribution Research Society. Contributed funds are invested, and scholarships are given each year to outstanding graduate students studying food distribution and marketing. Many of our past recipients have gone on to become prominent professionals in food distribution research and education. The Applebaum scholarships have been a highlight of FDRS’s annual conference for many years, please help support this worthwhile program with a tax deductible donation. For more information please contact: Wes Harrison, Past President 225-578-2727 firstname.lastname@example.org
A Note from FDRS VP Communications
FDRS is excited to launch a new year of activities. The Society’s leadership is actively engaged in attempting to enhance our communication efforts to our members and stakeholders. We are currently evaluating different electronic formats for the JFDR as well as launching a revamped society website. Since communication is vital for the success of any organization, we hope that you will take the opportunity to share with us your thoughts and comments on the society or ideas that would enhance the value of your membership. Lastly, I want to thank all of our contributors whose input continues to drive our successful JFDR. Our editors do a fantastic job and we applaud their efforts and commitment. We greatly appreciate all of our dedicated reviewers who take time to ensure the development of quality manuscripts for publication. If you have interest in contributing to our journal in some capacity feel free to visit our website to contact one of our editors or me. I look forward to seeing most of you in Florida this fall.
Ron Rainey, VP Communications
Confusion Over the FDRS 2010 Conference
There has been some confusion about the 2010 call for papers. Rest assured, we have not removed any of the great features that make our conference appealing. As always, the conference begins with the Student Food Marketing Challenge on Saturday with finals on Sunday and competition awards at the opening reception Sunday night. The main program follows on Monday and Tuesday (including poster displays) with tours on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday will feature the regular sharing of research reports and updates. Once again, we have the opportunity to reach out to one of our sister organizations; the Agribusiness, Food, and Consumer Economics Research Center (AFCERC) at Texas A&M University will host the Tuesday sessions in celebration of its 40th anniversary of operation. An additional concurrent session will be available as an option to the Tuesday afternoon tours. This additional session will be coordinated by AFCERC, and has a separate call for papers (hence the confusion). Sorry if we caused any undue anxiety. Please join us for what is shaping up to be one of our best conferences yet. The calls for papers and posters, as well as full program information can be accessed through the Conferences page.
2010 Conference Update
If you haven’t seen it yet, navigate to our Conferences page for a breakdown of events for the 2010 conference in Destin, Florida, October 16-20. VP Programs, Terry Hanson is putting together a fantastic program focused on food and seafood distribution issues of the Gulf Coast. Attendees will be treated to a high degree of interaction with industry and academic experts. Of course, the location isn’t too bad either! The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa is a spacious beachfront property with plenty of nearby shopping and restaurants.