2015 Food & Drug Conference Summary

Leaders in the supermarket and drug store industries connected with each other, learned from experts and gained inspiration from personal success stories at the 2015 Food & Drug Conference, Dec. 14-15 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Attendees at the annual event included corporate executives, union officials, legal experts, investors and other industry stakeholders representing a broad spectrum of specialties and opinions.

Highlights of the Food & Drug Conference included:

  • A no-holds-barred conversation on drug prices in America featuring J. Kyle Bass of Hyman Capital Management, LP, and Gregg Hymowitz of EnTrust Capital;
  • A commentary on drug prices by Mark Blum of America’s Agenda: Health Care for All;
  • Martin Hahn, food regulation expert with Hogan Lovells US LLP, speaking on “GMO Foods: Fact, Fiction and Future”;
  • Paul L. Whitely of UFCW Local 227 in Kentucky, speaking on the history and processes of distilling bourbon, known as “America’s spirit”;
  • Benefits expert Joe Sweeney of The Segal Co., speaking on “The Cadillac Tax: What Was the Point and Can Plans Steer Clear of It?”;
  • Author Matt Tenney, providing an inspiring account of his personal journey toward embracing “servant leadership”; and
  • Playwright and actor Ian Ruskin, appearing in his one-man multimedia play, To Make a Long Story Short: The Life and Times of Sam Kagel.”

In her remarks to conference attendees, Director Ellen Anreder addressed current developments in the food and drug industries, including mergers, bankruptcies, the rise of e-commerce, transformations in health and pension benefits, and political events affecting the ability of workers to join unions.

“We are in a tumultuous period,” Anreder said. “As stakeholders in the food and drug industries, we’re all forced to embrace change.

“Together, we can ride waves of change and chart a new course. Together, we can help our unions and companies succeed. And together we can improve lives of working people.”