Viva Las Vegas

by Meyer Sosland
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The International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) is taking its 114th Annual Conference & Expo where it has never gone before — Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. The IAOM Conference & Expo will be held at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and Las Vegas Convention Center April 19-23.

The event is expected to attract more than 900 grain milling professionals and allied trade representatives from across North America and around the world.

"Las Vegas is an exciting city, full of activities for everyone. I think that in the conference after-hours, attendees will have many different activities from which to choose," IAOM Executive Vice-President Melinda Farris said. "This diversity of events and activities is a draw for people from around the world. We anticipate that the attendance for the conference will be higher than it has been in the past several years, because of the added attraction of the city and venue itself. We are expecting to have a larger-than-usual contingent of delegates from our international membership."


This will mark the third straight year that the conference and expo will be a two-day event held in the middle of the week. Prior to the 2008 event in Orlando, it was held over four days.

The IAOM Board of Directors meeting will start on the morning of Monday, April 19 and will be concluded the next morning. The Food Protection Committee Meeting will be held Monday afternoon.

The exhibitor move-in will start on Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Those with three or more booths will be allowed to begin at 8 a.m. The day will also feature meetings by IAOM’s various committees. In the evening, the annual Buhler Reception will take place in a ballroom at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Kicking off the official start of the IAOM Conference, Steve Ellis, Cargill, will give the keynote address at the Wednesday, April 21 International Milling Education Foundation (IMEF) breakfast on "Challenges in the Industry: Safety, Flour Fortification, Third-Party Audits, Consumer Trends."

"IMEF continues to grow," Farris told World Grain. "We have had a series of very generous donations over the past year. Many of those donors will be recognized at the IMEF Breakfast."

"We have reached a milestone — one-quarter of a million dollars. The funds have allowed us to support KSU (Kansas State University) student speakers at the IAOM annual conference for the past three years. Last year, we were able to support a KSU student with a $2,500 scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year. As the endowment continues to grow, IMEF will look at offering support for millers to attend the resident courses and to take the correspondence course, among other programs."

The Expo begins Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The education program begins after lunch with presentations on four general topics: facility management, quality control, technical operations and employee management (see complete schedule on page 62).

IAOM has moved the Product Showcase, which will feature presenters who have a new product or service or are adapting a product or service from another industry to use in the milling industry, to a time slot between the afternoon educational sessions on the first day.

"Probably the biggest change is that we’ve moved the technical sessions on Thursday to the morning," Farris said.

More educational sessions are scheduled for Thursday, April 22, the final day of the conference. After lunch that day, Ricardo Carvajal, J.D., M.S., Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C., will make a presentation entitled "The FDA’s Direction and Management’s Responsibility in Food Safety."

IAOM said the presentation is being held right after lunch in order to capture a larger crowd. "This is a session that each and every miller should attend," Farris said.

The conference wraps up with the annual IAOM Banquet and Awards Ceremony Thursday evening. On Friday, the IAOM Annual Golf Tournament will be held at the Las Vegas National Golf Club.


The latest products and services offered to the milling industry will be on display at the IAOM Expo, a trade show that is expected to include more than 175 display booths.

Expo hours will be from 9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21 and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 22.

There will be no educational programming between 9:15 a.m. and noon on Wednesday and 9:40 a.m. to noon on Thursday so that the Expo can take center stage during those times.


Registration forms are available online at IAOM members who register by March 15 receive a discounted rate of $300. After that date, the cost for members is $375. 2010 Conference Registration fees are available at: (for those people who need to register and pay with a check or wire transfer).

The IAOM web site also features updated information on hotel reservations, exhibitions and scheduled speakers.