SOURCE Magazine Summer 2022 July 2022 - Page 25

A Reimagined Agribusiness Symposium Brings System Leaders Together Again Under a New Name
SOURCE | Summer 2022 23

The GROWMARK System Summit

A Reimagined Agribusiness Symposium Brings System Leaders Together Again Under a New Name

Amy Bradford , GROWMARK Corporate Communications Manager abradford @ growmark . com
In-person events are occurring across the country and this summer , the GROWMARK System will have an opportunity to convene together at The GROWMARK System Summit , August 4-5 , at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center .
The Summit is the Agribusiness Symposium reimagined into a one-day conference targeted to FS and Grain member cooperative leadership . “ There hasn ’ t been an Annual Meeting & Agribusiness Symposium since 2019 , due to COVID restrictions ,” according to Ann Kafer , GROWMARK Executive Vice President , HR & Corporate Services . “ The pandemic caused us to look at how we deliver relevant and applicable educational content to directors and management personnel , and the GROWMARK System Summit is one result ,” she said .
The Annual Meeting , in which shareholders and others learn the fiscal year operational results , has been held virtually in late November . “ The benefit of holding the business meeting in late November is we can present audited results , which are more meaningful to our shareholders ,” Brad Drake , GROWMARK Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer noted . “ Pre-pandemic we were issuing estimated results and the last few days or weeks of the fiscal year could produce different results . With this timeframe , we have the audit complete and can report it .”
The GROWMARK Annual Meeting is the System ’ s biggest public relations event of the year , and for more than 40 years , the conference was held at the Chicago Hilton . This year , the GROWMARK Summit will be held downstate at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Convention Center . focused time on professional development and less time traveling and being away from the business .” The 2022 GROWMARK System Summit features System supply chain and legislative updates , as well as sessions on myFS , sustainability , and innovation . Speakers to these topics will be a combination of GROWMARK Vice Presidents and representatives of partner organizations . Keynote speakers include Joe Theismann and Gen . ( Ret .) Stanley McChrystal .
Shareholders will receive an update from Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck , CEO Mark Orr , Drake , and Executive Vice Presidents covering Retail Supplies , Member Resources , and Enterprise Marketing . There will be plenty of time for Q & A .
Shareholders will attend Zone Caucuses and nominate individuals to serve as GROWMARK directors ; voting will take place via mail following the August caucuses , with directors elected announced at the November 29 GROWMARK Annual Meeting .
While the location and schedule are different than in past years , there will be some familiarity when attendees walk into the Ballrooms . Work is progressing on the final stage setting , graphics , theme videos and transitions , and branding throughout the hotel , all supporting the Summit theme : CONNECT EMPOWER GROW .
“ We know we cannot reproduce the pageantry we had at the Hilton ; however , there will be top-notch production with a more connected environment for networking .” Kafer said . “ Attendees can expect to feel very much a part of The GROWMARK System Summit and have a sense of pride being part of the System .”
“ In addition to looking at how we deliver our operational results , the pandemic also provided an opportunity to scout various locations outside of Chicago for the event ,” Kafer said . “ We wanted to try Bloomington-Normal , as a central location for much of the System , to give attendees more