Keynote breakfast a highlight of NEPC expo

NEWPORT, RI — The keynote breakfast Thursday morning, Sept. 11, was just one of the many highlights at the New England Produce Council’s 2014 Produce & Floral Expo.

NEPC President Bob McGowan of Northeast Produce Sales welcomed everyone to the breakfast, beginning with a moment of silence in remembrance of the terrorist attacks on the United States back on Sept. 11, 2001.

He noted that 2014 represents “our 15th annual NEPC expo,” adding,nepc1535Krista Neher “We really appreciate the support of all our sponsors.”

Krista Neher, author, social media pioneer and chief executive officer of Boot Camp Digital, delivered the keynote address, focusing on the role of social media and how businesses can utilize this expanding phenomenon.

Social media “is about the people you want to connect with,” she said, and retailers “can use social media as well.” There is an “inherent trust in brands [that] people have heard of,” so “get in front of them,” she said. “We like people and products the more we see them.”

nepc1547CeCe Krumrine was honored at the NEPC 2014 Produce & Floral Expo as the New England Person of the Year. Shown with her were her husband, Mike (right); her daughter and son-in-law, Nicci and Chris Rheault; and her granddaughter, Chase. (Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg)She said that a key to success is getting out a message that is really useful and creative, not simply a static one.

Following the keynote address, CeCe Krumrine was announced as the New England Person of the Year. Krumrine has been a merchandiser for a number of commodity boards during her career, and she co-founded the New England Produce Council back in 1995.

“I love this industry,” said Krumrine, who was moved to tears by the award, especially as members of her family gathered around her. “You have all been mentors to me. Wow.”

The trade show, set up outside under tents, followed the keynote breakfast.

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