September 10-11, 2023
Omni Fort Worth Hotel

 By Invitation Only


Held in conjunction with the IFDA Solutions Conference, the IFDA Executive Leadership Summit provides a forum for foodservice distribution leaders to gain insight into the critical challenges and opportunities impacting the industry, and to engage in peer-to-peer dialogue that fosters personal and professional growth. The agenda was developed by foodservice distributors and designed to facilitate a growth mindset through several timely topics of study and discussion. See the 2023 agenda.

Register for the IFDA Executive Leadership Summit


Thank you to our 2023 Sponsors!

Premier Sponsor - Deloitte 



Agenda at a Glance

*Agenda subject to change

Sunday, September 10, 2023

5:30–6:30 pm  Solutions Conference Welcome Reception
  Omni Fort Worth, Fort Worth Ballroom 4-5
6:30 pm   Executive Leadership Summit Dinner 


Reata Restaurant - Sundance Square


Monday, September 11, 2023

7:00 – 8:00 am    Solutions Conference Breakfast 
  Fort Worth Convention Center
8:00 – 9:00 am Solutions Conference Opening General Session and IFDA Cornerstone Award
  Warehouse Innovation & The Future of Automation in Distribution
Fort Worth Convention Center

IFDA Cornerstone Award, presented to: Mark Harman, IFDA Treasurer, and President Stanz Foodservice / Troyer Foods
9:00 – 9:30 am Transition to the Executive Leadership Summit
   Omni Fort Worth Hotel
9:30 – 10:00 am             Welcome and Introductions
Led by Mark Allen, President & CEO , International Foodservice Distributors Association, and Julien Leblanc, Founder and President, Blueprint

10:00 – 11:00 am

Lessons in Leadership: Mastering the Skills and Attributes Necessary to Thrive in the Future – an Interactive Case Study
This session will discuss the ways in which changing market conditions and evolving social factors demand more of today’s leaders than ever before.A number of leadership characteristics – critical thinking, adaptability, leading with values – are more crucial than ever. In addition, today’s CEOs increasingly find that “what got you here, won’t get you there” as they face the demands of managing today’s dynamic organizations. Come prepared to think about what YOU can do to up your leadership “game,” and help your organization meet the challenges of our evolving industry.

Presenter: Jared Harris, Samuel L. Slover Associate Professor of Business Administration, Darden School of Business 
11:00 – 11:45 am Foodservice Distributor Growth Strategies in a Post-pandemic World
The pandemic changed the consumer in ways in which we are now only coming to grips with.  This session will showcase opportunities for foodservice distributors to find new profitable growth in an environment where channels are blurring and consumer demand and expectations continue to evolve.   

Presenter: David Portalatin, Senior Vice President, Circana
11:45 – 12:45 pm Lunch
12:45 – 1:45 pm
Top Priorities for Preparing for, and Surviving, a Cyber Attack
Defending vital information technology systems and data is a critical priority for foodservice distributors and is an important component to ensure stakeholder trust and to maintain ongoing business operations.  During this session we will discuss the latest threats to vital business systems, share steps to minimize the threat of attacks and hear from leading distributors about their efforts to both prevent, and recover from, a cyber-attack. 

Curtis Dukes (moderator)
Executive Vice President & General Manager
Center for Internet Security


Mike Sweet, President, Ben E. Keith Company
Charles Van Eerden, 
Vice President of Operations, Van Eerden Foodservice
Paul Saval, President & CEO, Saval Foodservice

1:45 – 2:30 pm
Distributor Imperatives: A Compelling Path to Funding Your Automation Aspirations
As the imperative for additional automation in distributor operations becomes ever more compelling, key questions remain about how to fund these investments.  In this interactive discussion, Deloitte wholesale distribution practice leaders will share their research on distributor financial performance, provide an overview of three strategic imperatives for distribution companies to execute, and share the proven strategic cost reduction levers companies can pull to fund automation investments.  This session is a compelling companion to the Solutions Conference presentation on automation applications in distribution.

Sanjay Agarwal, Principal, Deloitte Consulting
Guy Blissett, Client Relationship Executive – Wholesale Distribution, Deloitte Consulting


2:30 – 3:15 pm Washington Insider Jeopardy
Ever wonder how successful organizations navigate and impact an increasingly complex regulatory environment?  This fast-moving, interactive session will highlight current regulatory priorities, illustrate the importance of engaging policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels and showcase effective ways to shape onerous regulations – all in a fun, entertaining format.

Mark Allen (moderator), 
President & CEO, IFDA
Mala Parker, Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, IFDA
Kristin Spiridon, Senior Director, Policy and Government Affairs, IFDA
3:15 – 3:30 pm Executive Leadership Summit Wrap-up and Adjourn
Led by Julien Leblanc, Founder and President, Blueprint
5:00 pm  Solutions Conference Happy Hour on the Expo Floor
  Fort Worth Convention Center



Mark Allen, President & CEO

703-962-9933 /