After 60 Years, GMA Moves West

Grocery Manufacturers Association said last week it will relocate its 2009 Executive Conference to The Broadmoor, a resort in Colorado Springs where it has held other events. For the past 60 years, the annual meeting of top-level industry executives was staged at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. This year a labor dispute at The Greenbrier led to the cancellation of the

WASHINGTON — Grocery Manufacturers Association here said last week it will relocate its 2009 Executive Conference to The Broadmoor, a resort in Colorado Springs where it has held other events.

For the past 60 years, the annual meeting of top-level industry executives was staged at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. This year a labor dispute at The Greenbrier led to the cancellation of the invitation-only event, and the possibility that the dispute could linger into next year prompted GMA to change the venue for 2009. The timing of the event was also shifted to Aug. 30-Sept. 2 instead of early June.

“I think it's exciting,” said Manly Molpus, who has returned as interim chief executive officer of GMA during a search for a successor to outgoing CEO Cal Dooley. “It's an opportunity for a new beginning and a new venue and a new time, and yet to maintain many of the traditions of the meeting as a premier industry gathering of the leadership of CPG and retail.”

GMA is also taking the opportunity to analyze the structure and content of the conference and determine if any changes need to be made, Molpus told SN.

In future years, plans call for staging the event later in September, he said. GMA did not announce a venue for the event beyond 2009.

Molpus said the search committee is still “on track” to identify a new CEO shortly.

“I'm sure they will move as expeditiously as possible, and that I will have a short stay,” he said.