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Consumer Packaged Goods Industry Leaders Kick Off GMA Executive Conference ~ Focus on Connecting with Consumers Through Innovation and Collaboration ~

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Today, the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s (GMA) kicked off its 2009 Executive Conference, held this year at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The conference brings together thought leaders from around the world to share and promote new ideas and successful business practices for succeeding in today’s challenging economy.

“For over 100 years, GMA has served as a laboratory for new ideas and new ways of thinking that help our member companies connect with their consumers and grow their bottom line and do both in a responsible way,” said GMA President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey. “When we developed the themes for the conference – leadership, collaboration and innovation – we sought to build a cutting-edge agenda that ties those lofty virtues to the real-world challenges they face each and every day.”

The conference program offers an in-depth look at the most pressing issues impacting the consumer packaged goods industry such as food safety, health and wellness, environmental sustainability and customer collaboration. Broader business topics such as the current outlook for the economy, CEO succession planning and the potential impact of the H1N1 flu virus on workforces were also featured on the agenda.

More than 400 CPG industry executives will attend the conference, including manufacturer CEOs and top executives; retail trading partners from the grocery, mass, drug and convenience channels; and more than 30 representatives from allied trade groups based in the U.S. and abroad.

The 2009 conference also features a special tribute to Feeding America, the largest American hunger-relief organization. Feeding America, formerly known as Second Harvest, operates a network of 206 food banks providing food to more than 25 million hungry Americans each year.

“GMA has been a partner with Feeding America for almost 30 years and it is our privilege to honor this organization’s vital work,” said Bailey. “With emergency food requests up 30 percent across the country from 2008, it is particularly important at this time that we recognize and recommit ourselves to supporting the invaluable service this organization provides on a daily basis.”