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This two-day event will feature thought-provoking speakers and discussions, networking with leading global pork producers and a celebration of PIC’s 60th anniversary, all within the beautiful landscape of downtown Nashville.


Registration Opens

Located at the Hilton Nashville Downtown

8:00 AM CST

Hotel Check-In

Check-in is available at respective hotels starting at 4 pm.

If the room is not available, a luggage concierge will be offered to guests.


Enjoy a meal in the lobby of the Hilton Nashville Downtown

11:00 AM CST

Day 1 Sessions

Location: Hilton Nashville Downtown, Volunteer Ballroom, Second Floor

“Factors Influencing the Future of Protein Production”


Topics include:

  • What’s Next: Revolutions and the Future of Protein Production
    • Mark Zinder, Mark Zinder & Associates
  • Agriculture Update
    • Joe Kerns, Partners for Production Agriculture
1:00 PM CST


2:40 PM CST

  • A Future Industry for a Future Consumer
    • Charlie Arnot, Look East
    • David Fikes, FMI
  • Excellence in Leadership
    • Eric Potterat, High Performance Psychologist
3:10 PM CST

PIC Hall of Fame Presentation

Location: Hilton Nashville Downtown, Volunteer Ballroom, Second Floor

PIC Hall of Fame Class of 2022 Inductions

Honoring Butch Baker, John Gibson, and Agroceres

4:30 PM CST


Located at the FGL House (120 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201)

6:00 PM CST


Enjoy breakfast in the lobby of the Hilton Nashville Downtown

7:00 AM CST

Registration Opens

Located at the Hilton Nashville Downtown

7:00 AM CST

Day 2 Sessions

Location: Hilton Nashville Downtown, Volunteer Ballroom, Second Floor

“Learning from Inside and Outside the Swine Industry”


Topics include:

  • Insect Ingredients – What’s the Buzz About?
    • Liz Koutsos, Enviroflight
  • Pig Production Development in China
    • Lifeng Duan, Giant Star
8:00 AM CST


Grab & Go lunches will be offered following the event

12:00 PM CST


Bill Christianson

Event Moderator

Bill graduated from St. Johns University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and received a doctorate in veterinary medicine and philosophy from the University of Minnesota.

In 1993, Bill joined Genus as manager of Veterinary Research & Development. He transferred to the newly formed PIC Western Europe to become veterinary manager in 1995.  After three years, Bill relocated back to the U.S. when he accepted the position of vice president, Health Assurance.  There, in 2000, his role expanded operatively to include Production and Genetics. By 2002, Bill became the technical director of PIC and was then appointed the director of U.S. sales in 2006.  PIC named Bill the general manager of PIC USA in 2007. In 2010, Bill became the chief operating officer for Genus Americas, which encompassed both the ABS (cattle) and PIC (pigs) genetics businesses. Then, Genus restructured Genus Americas giving Bill the opportunity to focus on Genus PIC as the COO.

Brad Freking

Day 2 | A Labor Plan for the Future & Inflation in a Commodity Industry: Panel Discussion

Brad Freking and his wife, Meg, founded New Fashion Pork in 1994 after expanding his parent’s farrow-to-finish sow operation in Jackson County, Minnesota. A veterinarian by training, Brad grew New Fashion Pork’s roots and acquired hog facilities and feed mills across the Midwest during the business’ following ten years.

Now operating in seven states, New Fashion Pork employs over 400 team members, markets over 1.4 million hogs yearly, and owns just under 60,000 sows. New Fashion Pork’s commitment to excellence and continued progressive development has made them one of the most successful and leading pork production companies in the United States.

In 2004, Brad joined forces with four like-minded producers to build Triumph Foods. Triumph Foods is a state-of-the-art pork processing facility in St. Joseph, Missouri.  In the fall of 2017, Triumph Foods entered a 50/50 joint venture with Seaboard Foods, establishing another state-of-the-art pork processing facility, Seaboard Triumph Foods, in Sioux City, Iowa. Triumph Foods and Seaboard Triumph Foods each process over 6 million hogs annually. The two processing plants are recognized as top processors and exporters of premium, fresh pork products.

Triumph Foods also entered a 50/50 joint venture with Daily’s Premium Meats in 2015. The plant, located across the street from Triumph Foods, produces a variety of cured bacon, smoked hams, and delicious breakfast sausages for both the food service and retail sectors.

Charlie Arnot

Day 1 | A Future Industry for a Future Consumer: The Evolution of ESG and What it Means for Pork

Charlie Arnot is recognized as a thought leader in food and agriculture.  He is highly regarded as both a writer and sought-after speaker who engages audiences across the globe. Charlie has more than 25 years of experience working in communications, public relations and issues management within the food system.

He is the founder and president of Look East, an employee-owned consulting firm. He also serves as CEO of the Center for Food Integrity, an international non-profit organization dedicated to building consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system. He also serves as an advisor to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development pork working group.

Claudio Freixes Catalan

Day 2 | A Labor Plan for the Future & Inflation in a Commodity Industry: Panel Discussion

Claudio Freixes is a veterinarian from the University of Concepción in Chile, with extensive experience in the management of pig companies internationally. He is currently General Director of Kekén, one of the main pork producing companies in Mexico.

One of his first roles included starting the pig production division of Agrosuper in Chile. In 1991, he and his family moved to Mexico to develop a pig production company known as “Kekén”. He then joined PIC in corporate production in the late 90s and later served as the managing director of Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Claudio returned to Kekén in 2001 and has been in his current role since 2008. Kekén has been recognized for having the highest production standards, a wide commercial network (including 530 stores nationwide), as well as exports area to Asia and America.

Colin Carroll

Day 2 | Addressing Labor Challenges in an Inflationary Environment & Panelist

Colin Carroll is a Partner in PwC’s Customer, Strategy and Analytics Practice with more than twenty years of consulting experience in commercial excellence, pricing, sales and channel effectiveness. Colin’s experience spans strategic, tactical and transactional pricing, go-to-market design, channel efficacy and the monetization of smart products including ‘smart barn’ technologies.

Colin has significant experience in agribusiness, crop science and animal health industries. He has worked extensively in both Production and Companion Animal in the US, Canada, Europe and China.

G. David Fikes

Day 1 | A Future Industry for a Future Consumer: Food Industry Perspective

David Fikes grew up in Arkansas, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, and has a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He currently serves as the executive director of the FMI Foundation, which has the mission of supporting the food industry with research, resources, guidance, and support in the areas of food safety, health and wellbeing, and social responsibility.

David formerly served FMI Food Industry Association as vice president of communication and consumer/community relations. Before joining FMI he was the director of communication for the American Frozen Food Institute. Prior to entering the world of food trade associations, Fikes worked for 20 years as an Episcopal priest, serving parishes in Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas.

He and his wife, Lisa, are the proud parents of eleven-year-old Harper, whose wit and comic timing far outstrip that of her parents.

Eric Potterat, Ph.D.

Day 1 | Keynote Speaker “Excellence in Leadership”

Eric Potterat, Ph.D. is a High Performance/Sport/Clinical Psychologist and a retired U.S. Navy Commander, who during his last 10 years in the Navy served as the Psychologist for the U.S. Navy SEALS.  He is currently the Director of Sport Psychology Programs for the Los Angeles Dodgers where he oversees the organization’s sport psychology programs, mental assessment and selection programs, neurocognitive efficiency programs, etc. For the last 5 years, he has also served as an Executive and Organizational consultant and coach with various Fortune 500 companies.  Within this role, he has aided with talent acquisition, resiliency training, change management, leadership consulting and as a speaker for multiple company national sales meetings, corporate retreats, etc.

Eric has 30 peer-reviewed, professional journal and/or chapter publications, has been featured on national media (History Channel, MSNBC, national magazines, etc.), and has served as a consultant to many organizations including, numerous professional (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) and collegiate sports teams, individual professional athletes, Red Bull High Performance, NASA, many law enforcement and government agencies, firefighting organizations, and Fortune 500 corporations.  His assessment, selection, player development and performance enhancement expertise helps athletes, executives and high-performance mindset focused individuals thrive and excel in the face of pressure and organization adversity.

He is considered one of the leading experts in individual and organizational resilience and performance enhancement in high-risk, high-performance occupations.

Joe Kerns

Day 1

Joe has over thirty years of experience working with producers, suppliers, and mills to support agricultural operations. He assists clients with procurement and risk management activities related to hedging, ingredient purchasing, feed quality control, diet formulation, operational benchmarking, livestock marketing, generational transitioning, and business development. 

Prior to founding Partners for Production Agriculture, he directed risk management activities for industry leaders such as ADM, Premium Standard Farms, Continental Grain, and Iowa Select Farms. 

Currently, he and his team work with livestock producers and allied industry members in 13 states. Clients include packers, producers, veterinarians, researchers, mill operators, and feed ingredient suppliers. He often serves as a keynote speaker for industry events on topics such as commodity markets, nutritional factors impacting production, operational sustainability, leadership, and enterprise ownership. 

Joe is an alumnus of Iowa State and enjoys spending time with Laura and the kids. 


Lifeng Duan

Day 2 | Pig Production in China: Now and Into the Future

Lifeng Duan obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture at Sichuan Agricultural University from 1987-1994 and a master’s degree in business administration at Sichuan University from 2000-2003.

He joined the Giant Star Group in 1994 and served as technical director, general manager of branch offices, president of the Group, board director; and in 2013, took up his current position as board chairman of Giant Star Agricultural and Livestock Co. From 2018 to present, he has been the secretary General and legal person of Sichuan Animal Husbandry Association

Liz Koutsos

Day 2 | Insect Ingredients: What’s the Buzz About?

Liz Koutsos is the President of EnviroFlight, a company that is pioneering the commercialization of black soldier fly larvae for feed and food applications. EnviroFlight upcycles regionally sourced by-products into sustainable high-value ingredients to improve plant, animal and human nutrition worldwide. EnviroFlight is wholly owned by Darling Ingredients (DAR, NYSE) and opened the first commercial-scale black soldier fly production facility in the U.S. in 2019.

Prior to EnviroFlight, Liz was the director of Mazuri Exotic Animal Nutrition, a division of Land O’Lakes/Purina Mills leading a team to enhance the nutrition and conservation of exotic and endangered animals worldwide. Liz joined Mazuri following an appointment on the faculty of the Animal Science Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she managed the Cal Poly Poultry Unit, developed a research lab and a master’s degree program and engaged undergraduates in the “Learn By Doing” model.

Liz is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor’s degree in animal science, and the University of California, Davis with an M.S. and Ph.D. in nutrition and immunology. Liz is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at North Carolina State University and a Smithsonian Research Associate.

Mark Zinder

Day 1 | What’s Next: Revolutions and the Future of Protein Production

Mark Zinder is a leading financial expert, trend forecaster, and seasoned keynote speaker.

He has traveled the globe delivering more than 2,500 presentations to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. He is also a regular guest on Fox Business and CNBC, sharing his expertise and positive outlook while tackling tough questions on the economy.

Mark’s extensive background spans 39 years and includes being the National Spokesman for Franklin Templeton. During that time, he worked side-by-side with Sir John Templeton, Dr. Mark Mobius, and Mr. Michael Price to hone his ability to spot trends before they become obvious.

Mark has a unique gift for simplifying complicated concepts and shares those insights and many more that are key to being successful in today’s constantly changing world. He has engaged audiences both small and large, including financial institutions, universities, insurance agencies, and NASA, with his breadth of content and motivational style.

Matt Culbertson, PhD

Day 2 | Creating Future Opportunities in a Dynamic Market

Matt was born and raised on a swine farm in Western Illinois where he gained his initial experiences within the swine industry.

Matt obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in animal science from Oklahoma State University and both a master’s and doctorate in animal breeding and genetics from the University of Georgia. Matt returned to the Midwest and worked for Heartland Pork Enterprises where gained experience supervising a range of activities from technical operations to production to business development and transportation.

In 2002, Matt began working for Murphy Brown / Smithfield Foods where he managed their internal genetics program as well as technical operations for their Eastern operations. In 2011, Matt joined PIC and currently serves as global director for Product Development and Technical Services.  In this role, Matt leads a global team focused on accelerating the creation and delivery of superior swine genetic products and technical support for PIC customers around the globe.

Nick McCulley

Day 2 | “A Labor Plan for the Future & Inflation in a Commodity Industry” Panel Moderator

Nick McCulley joined PIC in 2012 as the global technical services director. In 2014 he transitioned to Global Supply Chain director. Before joining PIC, Nick was the chief operating officer of M2P2 where he worked for 9 years.

Nick did his undergraduate and graduate studies at Iowa State University and currently resides in central Iowa with his wife Danielle and 2 boys, Hudson and Hunter.

Noel Williams

Day 2 | A Labor Plan for the Future & Inflation in a Commodity Industry: Panel Discussion

Dr. Noel Williams, a native of Texas, graduated from Angelo State University in 1989 with a BS in Animal Science. He obtained an M.S. degree in animal nutrition from Purdue University in 1991 and a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from Iowa State University in May 1995. Noel was a research associate at Iowa State University, managed Swine Nutrition Research for ISU, and is the author of numerous research and technical publications.

Noel began his career at Land O’Lakes in Fort Dodge, Iowa as a swine nutrition manager responsible for technical service and product development. Noel was also technical service director for the Swine Production Division at Land O’ Lakes, responsible for nutrition, health, and genetic services within the company-owned sow production, consisting of an 80,000 sow business producing market and feeder pigs.

Noel started with PIC in 2002 as technical service director. He assumed the director of Technical Services and Marketing role for PIC in 2007 and was responsible for leading the technical services team, product development, marketing, and communications. In 2009, he assumed the role of general manager for PIC Americas.

In 2012, Noel joined Iowa Select Farms. As their chief operating officer, Noel is responsible for the business’s daily operations. Iowa Select Farms is an Iowa-based company with 240,000 sows and over 800 facilities in Iowa. During this period, Iowa Select Farms has increased its sow herd by 90,000 sows, converted approximately 80% of its sow production to open pen gestation, and remodeled its sow infrastructure to implement positive pressure filtration in 80% of its sow base.

Noel is active in state and national pork organizations and currently serves on the National Swine Survivability Advisory Board, the NPPC and IPPA African Swine Fever Preparedness Task Forces, and the National Swine Health Improvement Program.

Noel resides in Iowa Falls with his wife of 32 years, Jacque, and his seven children, Hayden, Hayley, Hadley, Harvard, Holden, Hudson, and Hesson. Noel is active with his family serving as a coach on various sports teams, including football, wrestling and baseball, and serving on multiple boards and committees at the schools his children attend. He is a Deacon and Steamboat Rock Baptist Church member and leads a couple’s bible study in his home. In his spare time, Noel enjoys exercising and activities with his family.


Networking Opportunities

Connect with industry leaders from across the globe. This event offers outstanding networking opportunities.

Fun Location

Enjoy the beautiful landscape of downtown Nashville and experience the infamous Broadway during the event.

Celebrate 60 Years of PIC

PIC has a history of having great people dedicated to making our customers successful. Let’s celebrate 60 years together!

Thought-Provoking Speakers

Thought-provoking speakers will share knowledge and facilitate discussions to support the success of your operation.


Securing a travel VISA is taking longer than normal. Please plan accordingly by requesting a VISA letter from PIC. Click below to submit your information.


What is the dress code?

Guests are encouraged to dress in business casual. Dress pants or slacks with a collar or dress shirt are acceptable.

What about accommodation?

The cost of the hotel accommodations is covered by PIC. Reservations are made after the registration process is complete. Confirmation numbers will be sent prior to the event.

How do I ask questions during the event?

Questions will be taken from attendees during PIC Symposium through a text-message program. Ask the speakers your questions by texting +1 (903) 437-7799.

Is transportation provided?

Attendees are responsible for their travel and transportation logistics. A shuttle from the Hilton to the Nashville airport will be provided at the conclusion of the Symposium.

Where is the event held at?

The Hilton Nashville Downtown will hold the meetings. The reception on Tuesday evening will be at the FGL House, which is within walking distance of the hotel.

What is the wifi code for the meeting space?

Guests can use the promotional code “PICSymposium” to access wifi at the Hilton Nashville Downtown.



Hilton Nashville Downtown

121 4th Ave South, Nashville, TN 37201






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Add to My Calendar 2022-10-04 12:00:00 2022-10-05 13:00:00 United States/Chicago PIC Symposium This two-day event will feature thought-provoking speakers and discussions, networking with leading global pork producers and celebrating PIC’s 60th anniversary all within the beautiful landscape of downtown Nashville. Nashville, Tennessee PIC pic.events@genusplc.com