81st Annual Convention Speakers

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harrybalzerHarry Balzer, Chief Industry Analyst and Vice President

Not many people in the United States have followed Americans’ actual eating patterns as long as Chief Industry Analyst and Vice President Harry Balzer. A national expert on food and diet trends, Harry is the author of our Annual Report on Eating Patterns in America, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010.  More than 90 percent of the nation’s food and beverage manufacturers and restaurant operators rely on Harry and our data. He is widely known within the industry as a consistent source for information on actual consumer eating habits – not just what they say they are doing, but what they really do! Harry received recognition from Self Magazine for being one of 25 people in the U.S. who has changed the way the nation eats, cooks, and thinks about food. His television appearances include “Today,” “Good Morning America,” “NBC Nightly News,” CNN, and CNBC. Harry has been extensively quoted inThe Wall Street JournalUSA TodayThe New YorkTimesFortune, Forbes,TimeNewsweek, and a host of other business and trade publications. In addition, he speaks about the latest food-related trends at several prestigious food industry events and speaks regularly at prominent universities, including Northwestern University, Cornell University, and the University of Pittsburgh.  Harry Balzer is a graduate of Duquesne University.


Dato Carl photoCarl Bek-Nielsen, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Director of United Plantations Bhd

Carl Bek-Nielsen commenced his career with United Plantations Bhd in 1993 as a Cadet Planter before obtaining his degree in Agricultural Science from the Royal Veterinary and Agriculture University of Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1997 he returned to resume his career as a Corporate Affairs Officer with United Plantations Bhd. Today, he holds the position of Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Director of United Plantations Bhd. He is involved in several aspects of the Palm Oil Industry, its Sustainability and the Group’s overall business operations, adopting a “hands-on” approach. Carl Bek-Nielsen has held the following Board Positions: Chairman of United International Enterprises Ltd, listed on the Danish Stock Exchange, Board Member of Melker Schörling AB, listed on the Swedish Stock Exchange, and Vice Chairman to the Board of United Plantations Bhd listed on the Malaysian and Danish Stock Exchange. He serves as a Council Member on the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC). He, furthermore, is a member of the Programme Advisory Committee to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board and the Chairman of the Research & Development Committee of the MPOA. Carl Bek-Nielsen has presented several papers at various international and local conferences on issues relating to Agriculture, Sustainability and Palm Oil. Carl Bek- Nielsen enjoys history, outdoor sports and flying.


RobertColletteRobert Collette, President, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils

In November 2007, Bob became the President and Secretary of the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, a national trade association representing the refiners of edible fats and oils in the U.S. As ISEO’s President, he holds primary responsibility for formulating and advancing ISEO’s advocacy positions and acting as liaison to key government agencies. In this capacity, Bob facilitates and implements ISEO policy on issues pertaining to technical matters, the environment, transportation, occupational health and safety, energy and government regulations. Prior to joining ISEO, Bob spent the previous 23 years with the National Fisheries Institute, a national trade association representing seafood businesses. He served as the Fisheries Institute’s V.P. of Science and Technology for last nine years of his tenure and was responsible for planning and coordinating the Institute’s regulatory and technical programs. He has a Master of Science Degree in Food Science from the University of Rhode Island and is a member of several professional societies and organizations, including the American Oil Chemists Society, Association of Food and Drug Officials and the Institute of Food Technologists.


Thomas-Mielke1Thomas Mielke, OIL WORLD

Thomas Mielke has served as the Editor-In-Chief of OIL WORLD publications, an independent research organization that provides global supply, demand and price analyses, statistics and forecasts for all the major oilseeds, vegetable oils & animal fats and oilmeals as well as for biodiesel and other products. Since 2002 he is Executive Director of ISTA Mielke GmbH in Hamburg (Germany), where OIL WORLD is produced. Thomas Mielke has given nearly 300 lectures and talks in conferences and workshops all over the world. He joined the OIL WORLD team in the mid-1970s, after studying economics and specializing in oilseed and products market research. OIL WORLD was founded back in 1958 and is recognized worldwide as the independent, authoritative and unbiased information provider for oilseeds, oils and oilmeals, with clients and reader distributed in about 100 countries. The WEEKLY and daily FLASH reports can be obtained from the internet at www.oilworld.de.

Payne Charles Payne, CEO of Wall Street Strategies, Inc and Fox News Channel Business Channel Analyst

Charles V. Payne is the Chief Executive Officer and Principle Analyst of Wall Street Strategies, Inc. (WSSI), which he founded in 1991. With less than $10,000.00 in start up capital and working from his apartment, he launched WSSI to provide a unique brand of stock market advice. Through this service, subscribers (money managers and individual investors) began to reap sizeable profits and the firm developed a national reputation as provider of timely and effective equity analysis.

Charles is a contributor to the Fox Business Network and Fox News Channel. Currently he has a daily role on Varney & Co and guest-anchors Varney, Cavuto and on occasion Lou Dobbs. On the Fox News Channel Charles has hosted “Your World” and “Beck” and several times throughout the year host Cavuto on the Saturday morning Business block line up. Charles can also be heard on KFI-AM 640 the largest AM station in the Los Angeles area. Over the years opinions and articles on Charles Payne have been featured in prestigious news organizations such as Reuters, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times and has been the keynote speaker at numerous investment conferences worldwide.

Charles is author of Act Fast, Be Smart and Get Rich debuted in April 2007. He was awarded theCongress of Racial Equality’s (CORE) Man of the Year Award in 2009. Charles attended Minot State College and Central Texas College during his time in the Air Force and Majored in Criminal Justice.


Curt+Steinhorst+at+The+Center+(high+res)Curt Steinhorst, The Center for Generational Kinetics

Curt Steinhorst is a Certified-Speaker at The Center for Generational Kinetics, an organization whose founder has been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, and The View.  Curt is a member of Gen Y who has a reputation as a leader in his own generation. At age 20, he was elected President of his 10,000 member class at Texas A&M University. Since graduating from college Magna Cum laude he has worked extensively to make the most of generational strengths in a variety of organizations.   Curt’s speaking style has wowed audiences of up to 20,000 from California to New York and Africa. Curt’s personal experiences leading Gen Y and direct work with top performers make him a powerful communicator for bridging the generations. Learn more about The Center’s unusual take on generations at www.GenHQ.com.