Food industry is topic of Keystone breakfast talk

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of WMU professor Frank .


KALAMAZOO--The food industry and an upcoming Food Marketing Conference will be the featured topics at this month's Keystone Community Bank Breakfast at Western Michigan University.

Dr. Frank Gambino, professor of marketing, will discuss current trends and economic conditions in the food industry, as well as the success of the 47-year-old WMU Food Marketing Conference, when he speaks Friday, Feb. 24. The talk, free and open to the public, begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in the Dean's Conference Room of Schneider Hall followed by Gambino's presentation at 8 a.m. Reservations can be made by calling (269) 387-5050. Parking is available in the nearby Fetzer Center parking lot.

With the theme "Connecting People, Issues and Solutions," this year's food conference is set for March 26-27 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, in Kalamazoo. It is expected to attract more than 500 food industry executives from around the nation.

Gambino earned his bachelor's degree in food marketing from WMU, his master's degree in business management from Central Michigan University and his doctoral degree in educational leadership from WMU.

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 WMU Alumni Association's 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 that 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 the Board of Directors of Wakefern Food Corp. of Elizabeth, N.J., which operates the Shop Rite and Price Rite retail banners. In addition, de 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.

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.

For more information, contact Valorie Juergens in the Haworth College of Business at or (269) 387-5964.