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FMI Makes Contact

“We named this event ‘Customer Connect’ and we did it for a reason,” Leslie Sarasin, president of Food Marketing Institute, said in opening remarks at the FMI 2010 Show in Las Vegas Monday afternoon. “Serving the customer is at the core of what we do. In fact it’s everything we do in this business. And as you’ll soon see, connecting with the customer is at the core of everything we’re going to be doing in Las Vegas too.”

While workers unloaded crates and built displays in preparation for Tuesday's noon opening of the trade show, FMI attendees and retailers trickled into the convention center at Mandalay Bay to register and hear opening general sessions invoking a rousing tone. Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of the business bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and its followup, The 8th Habit, challenged attendees to aspire to greatness in their organizations by rejecting business practices forged in the industrial age and embracing a model that rewards the “knowledge workers age.” Covey was followed by adventurer Erik Weihenmayer, whose summit of Mount Everest – the first by a blind climber – inspired a message that vision was more important than any one goal.