This group of industry women were founding members of the FPSA Women's Council.
CHICAGO – Women in the processing industry gathered for a breakfast Sept. 21 during Process Expo to celebrate the launch of the FPSA Women’s Council, a new initiative of the Food Processing Suppliers Association to empower women in the food and beverage industry to achieve both professional and personal growth. The Women’s Leadership Breakfast, which was open to all female professionals attending the trade show in Chicago, was the inaugural event of this new organization.

“All of you have different roles in the food industry but the idea of this group is to bring everyone together to connect and engage and create a women’s mission within this industry,” said Diane Wolf, key account executive with Competitive Capabilities International, founding member and moderator of the breakfast. “But regardless of your title and your position and your years in the industry the FPSA women’s council is for you.”

The mission of the new organization includes creating strategies to help women succeed in their jobs and to empower members to take their careers to the next level. The group will facilitate webinars, meetups and other activities around the country and at industry events.

Sponsors of the breakfast included Alfa Laval, Provisur Technologies, Poly-Clip System, Weber Inc., Vanmark and Grote Company.

The breakfast included a keynote address by Jane Grote Abell, Chairwoman of the Board of Donatos Pizza. Abell is a founding family member of the second-generation pizza company. She shared her insights from more than four decades of working in the family business that started in 1963 with a $1,300 investment by her father, founder Jim Grote. His philosophy back then was "To make the best pizza and to treat others the way I would like to be treated." That philosophy is still leading the company today.