GREENVILLE, S.C., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Food For Thought organizers Erwin Penland anticipate the biggest turnout in the event's six-year history when the gathering dedicated to creativity and inspiration gets underway this week in Greenville, S.C.
More than 100 senior executives, marketers, entrepreneurs and other thought leaders will attend the April 23-25 event, representing nearly a 25 percent increase over previous years. Erwin Penland President and Food For Thought founder Joe Erwin says they worked hard to accommodate the increased demand for this year's event without compromising the intimacy that makes Food For Thought so unique compared to traditional conferences.
"Food For Thought is an immersive, truly engaging experience where people develop deep connections with the presenters and their fellow attendees," said Erwin. "From the get-to-know-you dine-arounds at some of Greenville's best restaurants to the closing event at The Peace Center, the entire program is designed to encourage interaction and a sense of shared experience. My hat's off to our planning team, which applied its own creativity to expand capacity while keeping the soul of Food For Thought intact."Erwin also announced that Leila Janah, acclaimed for applying technology and breakthrough business methods to reduce poverty and promote social justice, will provide the closing keynote at this year's Food For Thought. Basing her life's work on the Sanskrit word "Sama," which means "equal," Janah is founder and CEO at Samasource, a non-profit business that connects people living in poverty to microwork — small, computer-based tasks that build skills and generate life-changing income. In 2011 she also cofounded Samahope, a crowd-funding site for medical treatments in developing countries. Janah joins a Food For Thought agenda that includes an array of sessions designed to impact how attendees view their work, the world and even themselves, including:
- A panel discussion hosted by Ad Age CMO Strategy Editor Natalie Zmuda featuring some of the most forward-thinking CMOs in the country: Tami Erwin of Verizon Wireless, Seth Farbman of Gap Inc. and Dave Ridley of Southwest Airlines.
- An intentionally discomforting conversation with Yael Cohen, the 25-year-old visionary behind the make-no-apologies charity F*ck Cancer.
- The amazing story of Jessica Matthews and Julia Silverman, two Harvard grads whose start-up Uncharted Play created a soccer ball that harnesses energy for use as a portable generator.
- Insights into how leaders can transform their business by communicating in a language that all stakeholders can understand, from "The Chocolate Conversation" author Rose Fass.
- An afternoon of high-revving driving action at the BMW Performance Center.
- The best food ever served at a conference, including an intimate dinner with Chris Hastings, award-winning chef/owner of the acclaimed Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Ala.
- A rip-roaring performance by one of America's hottest new bands, Vintage Trouble, an LA-based foursome that is appearing this summer with such legends as The Who and The Rolling Stones.