2024 Spring Meeting

The 2024 Spring Meeting was held April 16–18 at the Embassy Suites Downtown in Louisville, KY.



Registration TypeBefore March 20After March 20
Full Registration (Member)$615$665
Additional Registrant (Same Company)$515$565
Spouse/University Researcher$185$235
Optional Extras
Bourbon Education & Tasting$30$30
Spouse Tour of Louisville$60$60



Advance Registration Deadline: March 20, 2024.

Registration Cancellation Policy: A processing fee of $100 will apply for registrations canceled after a registration has been processed. Registrations canceled after March 20, 2024 will be charged for the cost of meals.

Substitutions: Attendee substitutions may be made at any time prior to the event, provided that the substitute is from the same organization.

Photo/Film Policy: PPI may take photographs or film the trade show and other areas of the event. By participating in the event, you authorize PPI, without limitation, the right to reproduce, copy, exhibit, publish or distribute any such film or photograph, and waive all rights or claims you may have against PPI and/or any of its Affiliates, Subsidiaries, or Assignees.

Data We Collect: By completing the following event registration form, PPI is collecting your name, email, address, company affiliation, personal preferences and payment information so that PPI can facilitate, process and confirm your registration for the meeting.

Registration Questions?  Contact PPI at 202-293-5800 or [email protected].



Hotel Information

Embassy Suites Downtown, Louisville, KY
501 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (888) 728-3025
Website: Embassy Suites Downtown

The group rate is $189 per night plus tax.  All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card.

Book your group rate for PPI 2024 Spring Meeting

Please make your reservations by using the online PPI Spring Meeting 2024 reservation link or by (888) 728-3025 and mentioning the event name  PPI Spring Meeting 2024.

The group rate is available until March 22, 2024. PPI recommends you make your room reservations as early as possible to ensure rooms are available.


Hotel Cancellation Policy

For the guest rooms, the cancellation policy is 48 hours prior to arrival.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Arrival Day and Committee Meetings.

10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Registration & Information

10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Manufacturing & Technology Committee (includes lunch)

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Future Leaders Committee Meeting

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Supplier Advisory Committee Meeting

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Phil Talks Whiskey: Bourbon Education & Tasting

Hosted by Phil Kollin
Registration Required

Join well-known spirts expert Phil Kollin for a whiskey tasting and education session. This event is customized to accommodate all Pickle Packers tasters, from the aspiring whiskey warriors to established bourbon brainiacs.

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Welcome Reception (5 mins walk from Embassy Suites)

Tavern on Fourth (Fourth Street Live!) 
427 S. 4th Street
Louisville, Kentucky

Tavern on Fourth is the perfect destination for anyone looking to have fun, combining traditional elements of a sports tavern with classic interactive games and beverage offerings. Equipped with indoor bocce ball and cornhole courts, darts, ping pong, shuffleboard, classic arcade games and a billiard lounge, Tavern has something for everyone! With second level balconies overlooking Fourth Street Live!

Explore Many Amazing Louisville Restaurants

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Program Begins. Grand Reception in the Evening at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

7:30 am – 8:30 am
Buffet Breakfast

9:00 am
Spouse/Special Guest Breakfast and Louisville City Bus Tour
Registration Required

Guests are invited to sign up for this engaging bus tour of Louisville highlighting Derby City’s rich history, unique culture, and most celebrated landmarks. The guide will share the citys most colorful and larger than life stories that begin with the days of Lewis and Clark, continue through the years of prohibition and through to today where Louisville has been named among the ’52 places to go’ by the New York Times.

The Bus tour will include the Louisville Slugger Museum and Bat Factory, the Big Four Walking Bridge, Old Louisville and St. James Court, the Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville Water Tower, the Heigold House, Waterfront Gardens and More. The Bus tour also includes the opportunity for guests to ‘hop off’ for visits to the Old Forester Distilling Company to peruse the lobby exhibits, visit the shop and enjoy a complimentary beverage. At the second location for a ‘hop off’, Art Eatables, guests will sample produce from a local chocolatier who combines chocolate and bourbon!

The tour includes light snacks and water and will take approximately 2 hours.

8:30 am – 9:00 am
Exploring the Microbial Food Landscape: How Can Fermented Foods Contribute to Human Health?

Elisa Caffrey
PhD Student
Stanford University
Sonnenburg Lab in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Industrialized populations have disrupted gut microbiomes and suffer from high rates of chronic inflammatory conditions. Diet has emerged as one of the most powerful levers available to shape aspects of our health including the composition and functionality of the gut microbiome. The question remains whether these benefits stem from the metabolites produced during microbial fermentation or the microbes themselves.

9:00 am – 9:30 am
Molecular Breeding for Pickling Cucumber Improvement

Yiqun Weng, PhD
Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS
Professor, Department of Plant and Agoecosystem Sciences
University of Wisconsin

Dr. Weng leads the USDA-ARS Cucumber Improvement Program focusing on germplasm enhancement with both classical and modern biotechnological approaches to advance cucumber breeding. This presentation will feature molecular marker technologies for pickling cucumber improvement.

9:30 am – 10:00 am
Practical Ways to Protect Groundwater Quality Near Vegetable Production

Jed Colquhoun, PhD
Professor and Extension Specialist
University of Wisconsin Madison
Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences

Jed Colquhoun’s presentation will provide vegetable processors awareness around groundwater quality concerns and an update on practical, applied research underway that would maintain profitable agriculture while improving water quality.

10:00 am – 10:30 am
Precision Ag. Technology: The Current State of the Industry and a Speculative Look Into the Future

Brian D. Luck, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist
Biological Systems Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

In this presentation the current state of Precision Agriculture and Agriculture Technology will be discussed. Current research within the Badger Ag. Tech. Lab involving machinery traffic implications, Sprayer UAV research, and planter technology. In addition, the future of production agriculture will be discussed with an eye toward technology, automation, and artificial intelligence.

10:30 am – 11:00 am
A Review of Hop Products; Applications Within Beer and Beyond

Sami Faour
Global Technical Director
BetaTec Hop Products

Beer brewing is a complex process encompassing mixing four essential raw materials: barley malt, water, hops, and yeast. Hops, the cones of the female Humulus lupulus plant, determine typical beer qualities such as bitter taste, hoppy flavor, and foam stability to a great extent. Moreover, hops have a long history of use as a natural preservative in beer. That knowledge allowed production of natural and naturally derived food-grade hop products that inhibit gram-positive bacteria in various industries such as yeast, spirits, and sugar. In addition, a wide range of pharmacological properties has been described for hop and hop derivatives, namely, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer-related properties, which are of significant relevance to the nutraceuticals and pharmaceutical industry. The presentation aims to review the hop product portfolio and the importance of several of these products in the brewing industry and beyond.

11:00 am – 11:45 am
Powering Pickle Performance through Strategic Marketing

Sherrie Terry
President & CEO
Sherrie Terry Consulting LLC

Sherrie will discuss the importance of strategic marketing in driving profitable growth and building loyalty across the value chain. Topics will include crafting a comprehensive go-to-market strategy, connecting the dots, measuring performance, and innovative approaches to accessing strategic marketing capabilities regardless of company size, proficiency, or maturity.

Sherrie has led some of the world’s best-known and beloved brands, including Vlasic, Chiquita, Fresh Express, Banquet, and Dr. Scholl’s. Today, Sherrie helps a variety of B2B, B2C, and B2B2C clients win in the market by providing part-time, interim, or project-specific marketing expertise on a flexible, as-needed basis. She leverages extensive experience in strategic planning, brand and marketing strategy, sales operations, and innovation for both new and existing brands to help clients delight their consumers, customers, and suppliers while building loyalty and driving profitable growth.

Free Time to Explore Louisville

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Grand Reception

Kentucky Derby Museum
Floor 1, Churchill Downs
704 Central Ave.
Louisville, Kentucky

Parking – Kentucky Derby Museum has access to parking facilities adjacent to the Museum and Churchill Downs at no charge to its clients during non-racing season. Parking, cannot be guaranteed

Dinner on Your Own in Louisville

Thursday, April 18, 2024 – Closing Session

8:00 am – 9:00 am
Breakfast Session

9:00 am – 9:45 am
Pickles & Problematic Public Policy

Jason Culotta, President, Midwest Food Products Association

Learn about state legislation and regulation pertaining to growing crops, workforce, labeling, environment, and tax, and how pickled vegetable manufacturers are impacted.

9:45 am
Presentation of William R. Moore Hall of Fame Award

10:00 am – 10:45 am
Historical Perspectives on Contributions of PPI Research to Production of Pickled Vegetables

Michael Havey, PhD
Emeritus Professor, University of Wisconsin
Science Advisor, Pickle Packers International

10:45 am
Door Prizes and Meeting Adjourns

Things to Do in Louisville

Click below to explore museums, shopping, and more!

Louisville Tourism Website

The 27 Essential Louisville Restaurants (eater.com)