Haworth College of Business News

Food industry and WMU Food Marketing Conference are February Keystone topics

The food industry and the upcoming WMU Food Marketing Conference will be the featured topics of February’s Keystone Community Bank Breakfast at Western Michigan University.

Dr. Frank Gambino, BS ’77, Ed.D. ’93, professor of marketing, will discuss current trends and economic conditions in the food industry, as well as the success of the WMU Food Marketing Conference, which dates back 47 years. This year’s conference, titled “Connecting People, Issues and Solutions,” scheduled for March 26-27 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, in Kalamazoo, is expected to attract more than 500 food industry executives from around the nation.

Gambino’s presentation will be held on Friday, Feb. 24 and is free and open to the public. The event begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and will be held in the Dean’s Conference Room of Schneider Hall. The talk will begin at 8 a.m. Reservations can be made by calling (269) 387-5050. Parking is available in the nearby Fetzer Center parking lot.

Prior to joining the WMU faculty, Gambino spent 15 years in the food retailing industry with experience in corporate merchandising, promotion, purchasing, pricing and retail operations. His teaching, research and consulting interests include category management, fact-based selling and merchandising. In 1999, Gambino received the Teaching Excellence Award at WMU.

Gambino is a frequent speaker, trainer and consultant to a diverse group of food and consumer package goods industry organizations. He is serving his third term on the board of directors for Spartan Stores in Grand Rapids, Mich., a publicly traded company which operates stores under the retail banners of D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare, Glen’s Markets and VG’s Fine Foods. He also serves on the Retail Site Development Committee for Wakefern Food Corporation’s Board of Directors of Elizabeth, N.J., which operates the Shop Rite and Price Rite retail banners.  He is the secretary to the WMU Food Industry Advisory Board.

Gambino is a past member of the board of directors to Alliance Foods and the Food Distribution Research Society as well as a past member of the WMU Faculty Senate.  He has served on several national and regional advisory groups including: the National Grocers Association’s National Skills Standards Coalition, the NGA University Coalition, the NGA Entrepreneurial Institute Advisory Group, the Food Marketing Institute’s Educators Consortium, the Southwest Michigan Regional Edge Food Consortium, and the National Standards & Certification Committee for the Category Management Association.

Gambino received his bachelor’s degree in Food Marketing from WMU, his master’s degree in business management from Central Michigan University, and his Ed.D. in educational leadership from WMU.

The Keystone Community Bank Breakfast Speaker Series is underwritten by Keystone Community Bank. The series provides an opportunity for the local community to hear top business leaders and WMU faculty, alumni and friends of the Haworth College of Business discuss current topics of interest.