Something amazing happens when you cultivate collaborative, friendly relationships with professionals in the industry: they start to know, like, and trust you – and then they might invite you to be part of something they do. Now, that’s not the motivation for meeting professionals and networking (and for a flaming extrovert like yours truly it’s irrelevant), but it’s a wonderful benefit.

I met the Specialty Food Association‘s education and content specialist Sara Kay by simply reaching out to her after reading interesting articles about food law and regulation. Anyway, we chatted, we recorded a podcast, and we became fast friends at the Research Chefs Association Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

After the show, she connected to ask me to join the Big Ideas stage, a series of fast-paced talks given TED-talks style focused on the specialty food industry. We brainstormed how I could use my most recent experiences doing product development in a trendy startup and a few insights I’ve had in the various R&D and cross-functional team roles. I’m pretty excited to share the questions that a brand should consider when jumping aboard a trend.

So here it is: I’ll be one of the speakers for the Big Idea Stage! Given the line-up, I sort of feel like I’m jumping in with some bigger players, but I am excited to share some thoughts and to attend my favorite trade show (behind the Research Chefs Association, of course).

Join me at the Specialty Food Association Summer Fancy Food Show, taking place at the Javits Center in New York City, June 23-25. The Big Idea Stage talks are Sunday and Monday, and my talk is Sunday, June 23, 1:15-2:15pm.

Josh and I will be in NYC for a few days taking in the sights and bites. If you’re at the trade show, let me know! I’ll be walking the floor Sunday before and after the talk and all day Monday before the Research Chefs Association reception at YOTEL’s Rooftop Terrace. Let’s meet up!

Be part of this network – join us at the next Research Chefs Association conference. Join a local event. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen. Come join the podcast.

Special thanks to Sara for inviting me into her world and network!