Gail Tavill, V.P. of Sustainable Development at ConAgra Foods and Brent Denniston, V.P. Global Packaging and Ingredients for Procurement for Starbucks, will be keynote speakers at the 2012 TAPPI PLACE Conference.The three-day conference held May 6-9, 2012 in Seattle, Washington features a full technical program covering technology and developments in the flexible packaging and converting industries.

“We’re very pleased and honored to have two outstanding industry executives from major consumers of packaging to provide keynote presentations at our 2012 PLACE Conference,” states Rob Hammond, Conference Chair. “As executives for two of the leading trend setters and major consumers of flexible packaging they can provide important insight and perspective on key trends impacting flexible packaging. It will certainly be a highlight and must see session of this year’s conference.”

Gail Tavill, Vice President of Sustainable Development, ConAgra Foods – In her current role she leads Research, Quality & Innovation strategies to develop packaging, products and processes geared towards reducing ConAgra Foods' impacts on the environment. She is a strong advocate for the industry and sustainable packaging design and actively participates in the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a Sustainable Value Network for Packaging, as well as the Center for Packaging Innovation and Sustainability at Michigan State University. Gail was a founding member and current President of AMERIPEN, a new trade association to proactively influence packaging legislative activity in North America. She is currently focusing on becoming a leader in food waste and sustainable product design, and is currently serving on the GMA/FMI joint task force on food waste.

After joining ConAgra Foods in Irvine, CA in October of 2000 she transferred to the corporate headquarters in Omaha in 2006. She has held progressive leadership roles in both Packaging and Product Development prior to her current assignment. Gail has led Product R&D for Chef Boyardee®, PAM®, and LaChoy® brands as well as New Product Development and has led Packaging R&D across all of ConAgra Foods' product lines. She previously worked in various Packaging Development roles at Kraft Foods on such products as pizza, Mexican foods, natural & processed cheese, ice cream and frozen novelties. Gail has a BS in Packaging from Michigan State University and MS in Environmental Management from the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Brent Denniston, Vice President, Global Packaging and Ingredients Procurement, Starbucks – Currently Denniston is responsible for sourcing all of the packaging, beverage and food items for Starbucks store and retail outlets around the world.

After joining Starbucks in 2001 he has held executive supply chain roles in the areas of commercialization, planning, manufacturing and engineering. Before that he spent eight years with Procter & Gamble. Denniston holds degrees in Paper Science and Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and a master’s in Paper Science and Engineering from the Institute of Paper Science and Technology.

The 2012 PLACE Conference covers the flexible packaging and converting Industry and is organized by the TAPPI Polymers Laminations Adhesives Coatings Extrusions Division (PLACE). It’s the premier North American event for the flexible packaging industry and attracts the whole supply chain including suppliers, converters, extruders, retailers and brand owners. The discount registration deadline is April 9.

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