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Ex-Starbucks chief to keynote cross-channel foodservice conference

Former Starbucks President Howard Behar and celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman are among the speakers scheduled to address an audience this June of foodservice executives drawn from the restaurant industry and its competitors in retailing.

The program for FARE also includes a number of networking and educational sessions intended to help executives from all types of foodservice operations, from convenience stores to college dining halls, learn from one another. 

The conference, themed The Business of Food, will be presented by CSP Business Media, the parent company of Restaurant Business Daily. 

It was conceived some nine years ago as a way of addressing the problems and opportunities faced by most sellers of ready-to-eat foods and beverages. Attendees are drawn from the “C”-level suites of quick-service chains, fast casuals, full-service restaurants, supermarket delis, sports concessionaires, hospital foodservice managers and contract management companies.

Waxman is expected to add a culinary perspective to the event. A leading proponent of the American food movement in the 1980s and ‘90s, he most recently been in the spotlight as an author and the a star of the TV show “Top Chef Masters.”

Behar was the president of Starbucks’ North American operations until his retirement in 2007. He authored a book about his experiences, “It’s Not About the Coffee,” and serves as a director of the company.

Other speakers include Leon Panetta, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense who choreographed the elimination of Osama Bin Laden; Sig Hansen, star of the hit TV show “Deadliest Catch”; And David Cooper, a former member of the elite military squad SEAL Team Six.

FARE will be held June 22-24 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. 

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