2019 Presidents Conference
 
John Flood
Founder
elevate
As a Past Chair of the IFMA Education Foundation, annual Guest Lecturer in “The” School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, recipient of the prestigious William J. Tobin award that honors an industry executive who has made notable and lasting contributions to foodservice education, John brings a unique perspective and passion around the subject of identifying, attracting and retaining the next generation of talent into the Foodservice Industry he loves. His experience in the Foodservice industry and ability to develop high performing teams over his 38 years in our industry is unquestioned. Prior to his retirement, or as he prefers to say “rewirement”, John served on the IFMA Board of Directors for three years.
 
Phil Kafarakis
President
Specialty Food Association
Phil Kafarakis is president of the Specialty Food Association (SFA), a not-for-profit organization whose members are specialty food artisans, importers, buyers, and entrepreneurs. Overall specialty food sales in the U.S. totaled over $140 billion in 2017. The SFA produces the world-renowned Winter & Summer Fancy Food Shows, the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty foods, the award-winning Specialty Food Magazine, and affiliated media platforms. Kafarakis’ 35+ years of leadership in the global food industry also include executive positions at McCormick & Co., Cargill, Jones Dairy Farm and Kraft. Just prior to the SFA, Kafarakis served as Chief Innovation & Member Advancement Officer at the National Restaurant Association.
 
Larry Oberkfell
President & CEO
IFMA
Larry Oberkfell is President & CEO, International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), representing the foodservice manufacturing industry. He is responsible for overall leadership of the organization and the board which is comprised of 30 industry leading manufacturer companies. IFMA’s primary business areas are insights, best practices, and industry collaboration. Larry has been active in the food industry serving in President/CEO roles at Schwan Food Company, Anchor Food Products, Orval Kent Foods, and the SureBeam Corporation. He has participated in all channels of the industry; foodservice and retail. Larry serves on the National Restaurant Association Board and Advocacy Fund Committee, as well as represents IFMA with several other industry organizations including; IFDA, NCCR, GS1, and FSMA. He has an MBA from St. Louis University and a BSBA from University of Missouri. Married 44 years to Sandra Oberkfell, with two children Melissa and Thomas.
 
David Portalatin
Vice President, Industry Advisor
The NPD Group
David Portalatin is The NPD Group’s industry advisor for the food and foodservice industries and the author of NPD’s annual Eating Patterns in America, which is a compilation of all the food and foodservice research the company conducts over the year. Portalatin works closely with foodservice distributors, manufacturers, and operators in providing strategic business insights into the state of the restaurant industry, all aspects of how consumers use restaurants, and broadline foodservice distribution to commercial and non-commercial foodservice outlets. His diverse background and experience gives him an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior and foodservice industry dynamics. Prior to his current role, he was NPD’s industry analyst in the convenience retailing industries, automotive aftermarket, and motor fuels. Portalatin held various positions in foodservice wholesale distribution and convenience retailing before joining NPD in 1999. He is a frequent featured speaker at food and foodservice industry events and corporate conferences. Portalatin also serves as a media source and his comments have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and other nationally-recognized media outlets.