California Fresh Fruit Association announces speakers for annual meeting

The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) today announced the speakers for their upcoming 82nd Annual Meeting, March 25-27, 2018, in Pebble Beach, California. This year’s event will feature addresses by Dr. Henrik Christensen, the Qualcomm Chancellor’s Chair of Robot Systems, and Mr. Mr. Bill Bishop, Chief Architect and Co-Founder of Brick Meets Click. Both speakers will deliver passionate messages about issues that are impacting the future of California agriculture and what our industry must do to be prepared. Additional information regarding CFFA’s 82nd Annual Meeting can be found by visiting
Dr. Henrik I. Christensen is the Qualcomm Chancellor's Chair of Robot Systems and a Professor of Computer Science at Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering UC San Diego. He is also the director of the Institute for Contextual Robotics. Prior to UC San Diego he was the founding director of Institute for Robotics and Intelligent machines (IRIM) at Georgia Institute of Technology (2006-2016).
Dr. Christensen does research on systems integration, human-robot interaction, mapping and robot vision. The research is performed within the Cognitive Robotics Laboratory. He has published more than 350 contributions across AI, robotics and vision. His research has a strong emphasis on "real problems with real solutions". A problem needs a theoretical model, implementation, evaluation, and translation to the real world. He is actively engaged in the setup and coordination of robotics research in the US (and worldwide). Dr. Christensen received the Engelberger Award 2011, the highest honor awarded by the robotics industry. He was also named the "Boeing Supplier of the Year 2011" while at Georgia Tech.
Dr. Christensen is a fellow of American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He received an honorary doctorate in engineering from Aalborg University 2014. He collaborates with institutions and industries across three continents. His research has been featured in major media such as CNN, NY Times, and BBC. 
As growers and shippers look to increase their efficiencies throughout their operations, how can robotics play a part? Dr. Christensen will discuss the current and future opportunities of robotics in the fresh fruit industry 
Mr. Bill Bishop
Recognized as one of the retail food industry’s preeminent advisors, Mr. Bishop has been involved in research and consulting for several decades with a concentration on the new issues and developments impacting this business. 

Mr. Bishop co-founded Brick Meets Click in 2011 with Steve Bishop. Today, as its Chief Architect, he focuses on analyzing the forces driving change in food and grocery retailing and providing practical guidance on how to respond effectively. Brick Meets Click’s services and thought leadership help organizations successfully navigate the changing food retail ecosystem and leverage disruptive business innovations, from online grocery to new formats and hard discounters. 
Early in his career Mr. Bishop was the Vice President of Research at the Supermarket Institute (now FMI). Later, he founded Willard Bishop Consulting and led major studies on new store formats, pricing strategy, direct store delivery, and loyalty marketing. He also helped create the supermarket-focused Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council (CCRRC) and convenience retail-focused NACS/CCRRC. 

Mr. Bishop earned a PhD in Agricultural Economics and Marketing from Cornell University. He has taught Marketing Channels at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and also served on the Boards for Raley’s Fine Foods and The Food Institute. 

Mr. Bishop will describe the opportunities for our industry to increase consumption by speeding alignment with the changes in: 

  • How consumers are thinking about and buying food. 
  • Adjusting sales efforts to build relationships with our retailers, both brick and mortar and online, who are gaining share at the expense of traditional supermarkets. 
He will encourage audience members to begin now to make these changes and provide specific recommendations on “how to”.

George Radanovich 
Tel: (559) 226-6330

Ian LeMay
Tel: (559) 905-7751

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