Virgo Announces Agenda, Speakers, Sponsors for Focus on the Future

PHOENIX -- Virgo Publishing announced details of the third annual Focus on the Future Executive Conference and Retreat, set for Feb. 1 to 4, 2005 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The event draws leading executives from the dietary supplement and nutraceutical industry for high-level and interactive seminars, exclusive networking events and a private corporate tent at the PGA's largest tournament, the FBR Open.

"This conference is an excellent opportunity to establish relationships with industry leaders, discuss critical issues and strategize to capitalize on emerging opportunities," said Peggy Jackson, director of publishing at Virgo Publishing. "With all these decision makers under one roof, the synergy is tangible."

The Welcome Reception, sponsored by NSF International, which follows a golf outing, kicks off the conference on Feb. 1. After the reception and a keynote presentation, attendees will head to the Millennium Resort's Pinon Grill for a dinner sponsored by Pharmachem Laboratories.

The education program, sponsored by Kemin Foods, runs Feb. 2 and 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sessions will address the future of the industry in areas such as regulations, distribution, market trends and the role of health care providers. Confirmed sessions include:

FutureFocus One: FDA Regulatory Update
From GMPs and new dietary ingredients to adverse event reporting and qualified health claims, there are many important regulatory issues to monitor. Join Dr. Susan Walker, director of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs, Food and Drug Administration, for the latest update and Q&A.

FutureFocus Two: Building Value Panel I A Retailer Point of View
Listen in as top retailers discuss what they need from manufacturers and ingredient suppliers in order to maximize the success of the products on their shelves. Dave Heilman, chief financial officer of GNC, and Sy Chalpin, president and chief executive officer for Hi-Health, will participate in the discussion.

FutureFocus Three: Athletic Performance Panel Opportunities and Challenges
Learn about the latest opportunities and challenges regarding dietary supplements in the athletic performance field. Panelists include Larry Bowers, Ph.D., senior managing director of technical and information resources for the U.S. Anti Doping Agency; Kathy Pompliano, general manager of dietary supplements and functional foods certification programs for NSF International; Steve Breen, vice president of marketing for EAS Inc.; and Mark Verstegen, president of Athlete's Performance. They will discuss the proper role of dietary supplements in athletics, when performance enhancement goes too far, what challenges/issues the supplement industry needs to overcome to be accepted in sports, and what opportunities exist if these challenges are addressed.

FutureFocus Four: Dietary Supplements and Health Care - Closing the Gap
This panel will discuss the current issues facing the dietary supplement and health care fields. Join this informative session about what needs to be addressed between these two industries to increase future partnerships and improve public health. Speakers include Cynthia Thomson, Ph.D., R.D., a registered dietitian with a doctorate in nutrition sciences and assistant professor in nutritional sciences at the University of Arizona, and Tony Welder, R.Ph., president of the National Community Pharmacists Association.

FutureFocus Five: Building Value Panel II A Manufacturer Perspective
After the retailers' perspective, Shane Durkee, director of nutritional science and new business at Bayer HealthCare, John Venardos, vice president of worldwide regulatory & government affairs for Herbalife International of America Inc., and Tom Zimmerman, vice president of business development for Pharmavite, will share their thoughts on steps industry needs to take to build value.

FutureFocus Six: Emerging Consumer Trends
Stay on top of consumer trends and their effects on the dietary supplement marketplace with this in-depth session from one of the world's leading sources of consumer and market intelligence, Mintel. Lynn Dornblaser, director of consulting services, global new products database, will present.

In addition to the education program, many networking opportunities give participants a chance to continue conversations and discussions. The registration package includes: continental breakfasts on Feb. 2, sponsored by Nutrition 21, and Feb. 3, sponsored by Unigen Pharmaceuticals; a session break sponsored by Lesaffre Group on Feb. 2; luncheons on Feb. 2, sponsored by Lonza Group, and Feb. 3, sponsored by Buckton Scott Nutrition; and happy hours on Feb. 2, sponsored by Blue California, and Feb. 3, sponsored by Proliant Health Ingredients.

Rounding out the networking events and conference are the Lakeside Villa Dessert Reception on the evening of Feb. 3, which is sponsored by Marco Hi-Tech, and the private, corporate tent at the FBR Open on Feb. 4, which is co-sponsored by Nutraceutix and INSIDER magazine.

Focus on the Future will again be held at the Millennium Resort at McCormick Ranch, Scottsdale's only lakeside boutique resort. Average temperatures in Scottsdale in February are in the 70s, and participants are encouraged to bring their spouses.

More information about Focus on the Future 2005 is available at, or by calling Virgo Publishing at (480) 990-1101 ext. 1171.

Focus on the Future is produced by Phoenix-based Virgo Publishing Inc., publisher of Natural Products Industry INSIDER, HSR: Health Supplement Retailer and low carb retailer magazines and producer of the SupplySide trade shows.


Amy Sharman
Marketing Manager
Virgo Publishing
Phone: 480-990-1101, ext. 1543
Email: [email protected]

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