NAMA Fall Conference Sets Records in St. Louis

Written by NAMA on Thursday, October 17, 2019 , 12:22 pm

More than 220 agri-marketers converged on St. Louis, Mo., for the eighth annual NAMA Fall Conference, “HuSTLe.” It was a banner year for this signature NAMA event, shattering all goals and attendance records!

The week kicked off with a Gateway NAMA tour of some of the most inventive ag operations near St. Louis: Purina and Stumpy’s Spirits. The high-energy day capped off with an elegant sushi reception at The Ritz-Carlton sponsored by Brownfield Ag News.

The first main day of Conference kicked off with former Google executive Steve Lerch. He shared stellar examples of breeding a culture of innovation. “Move, change and invent quickly,” he urged the audience. He called on attendees to accept failure as part of the process and pursue bold gains.

  1. Neil Caskey shared a behind-the-scenes look at how the National Corn Growers Association took control of the national conversation after a misguided attack ad about corn aired during the Super Bowl.
  2. Attendees learned about the birth of True Food TV, YouTube’s most watched food education channel. Nicole Cotroneo Jolly shared practical tips for creating powerful video storytelling.
  3. Bestselling author of InstaBrain Sarah Weise delivered compelling insights into mapping and optimizing the customer experience.
  4. Four agency c-suite leaders took to the stage to reveal keys to success. The leadership powerhouse included Melissa Galazka, VP Account Service, Paradowski; Suzan Knese, Chief Operating Officer, Osborn Barr Paramore (OBP); Tina VonderHaar, President & CEO, Brighton Agency; and Alison Berry, Chief Operating Officer, HLK.

Other conference highlights:

NAMA’s Professional Development Awards of Excellence were also presented during the conference. These 2019 awards were sponsored by Farm Progress and honorees included:

Doug Reynolds, Corteva Agriscience

Hannah Thompson-Weeman, Animal Agriculture Alliance

Bob Brunker, J.L. Farmakis, Inc.

The conference ended on a high note with a spirited presentation by Dr. Jacqueline M. Applegate, President, Global Vegetable Seeds & Environmental Science, Crop Science division of Bayer. She said effective organizations have what she terms OPTICS: Openness, Purpose-Driven, Trust, Imagination, Customer-Centricity and Soft Skills.

Takeaway Conference Themes

  1. To foster innovation, leave room for failure and evolution.
  2. Move to market quickly and adjust strategy accordingly.
  3. Today’s customers respond to authenticity and transparency. Go to the source to learn.
  4. Accept that change is inevitable and empower junior team members.
  5. Find your purpose first and stay focused. 

Check out the photos on NAMA’s flickr.

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