2021 APC Winter Conference Speakers

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APC’s in-person Winter Conference is designed to help you connect with business partners, old and new, from across the peanut supply chain. You will leave Washington, D.C., with insights and ideas to protect, sustain and grow your  business.  Speakers will cover current business topics ranging from consumer trends to international trade to building a sustainable future.  Each one will offer timely, real-world information on which you can make business decisions today. They will also offer future insights that you can factor into decisions tomorrow. 


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Jeff Frank, Hormel

Hormel’s vice president of grocery products Jeff Frank will reveal why his company is bullish on peanuts, and what Hormel’s acquisition of the Planters brand means for the peanut supply chain.




Jeff Frank is vice president of Grocery Products at Hormel Foods. In this position, he was responsible for leading the strategic integration of the Planters® and Corn Nuts® brands into the Company in 2021. Frank began his career with Hormel Foods in 1998 as a meat products sales representative in San Francisco, Calif. A year later, he transferred to the world headquarters in Austin, Minn. and steadily progressed to the position of senior product manager in 2003 overseeing iconic brands such as Hormel® Black Label® bacon and Hormel® Cure81® ham. In 2005, he advanced to the position of director of retail marketing at the company’s former business in Los Angeles, Calif., and was promoted to vice president of retail marketing in 2007. He transitioned to the company’s joint venture with Herdez del Fuerte S.A. de C.V (Mexico), MegaMex Foods, in 2009 as the vice president of marketing. He was named president & CEO of MegaMex Foods in 2013 where he successfully led the global supply chain along with sales and marketing strategy to drive business growth with on-trend brands such as Wholly® Guacamole, CHI-CHI’S® salsa, and Herdez® salsa. He was named vice president of marketing for the Foodservice Group at Hormel Foods in 2018 and assumed his current role early in 2021.

Frank holds an executive certificate from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and Spanish from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He has also participated in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program.

Hormel Foods is a global branded food company with over $9 billion in annual revenues across 75 countries worldwide. Its brands include Planters®, SKIPPY®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Applegate®, Justin’s®, Columbus®, Wholly® Guacamole, Hormel® Black Label® and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, was named on the “Global 2000 World’s Best Employers” list by Forbes magazine for three straight years, is one of Fortune magazine’s most admired companies, has appeared on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” list for the 12 years, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts.


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Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, AgTrade Strategies

Ag international trade expert and APC consultant Sharon Bomer Lauritsen will update us on Biden administration trade priorities, market shifts, and drill down on challenges and opportunities facing U.S. peanut exports.



Since 2020, Sharon has served as APC’s consultant on tariff and non-tariff trade issues important to the U.S. peanut industry. She retired from the U.S. government in 2020 with 29 years of experience, most recently as the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs and Commodity Policy, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Executive Office the President.  This is the top career staff position at USTR focused on agricultural issues.

Sharon served at USTR for 15 years leading agriculture trade negotiations for the United States, including with Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and at the World Trade Organization.  She also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, for ten years in senior management positions, and five years leading the agriculture section of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.  She started her career in government relations for the United Fresh Produce Association.

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The American Peanut Council does not discriminate in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, or marital/family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Individuals with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations or alternative means of program communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, ASL, Languages other than English etc.) should contact APC for assistance at 703-838-9500.