About two months ago, a group of 80 people from the food and beverage processing industry got together in a quiet Utah mountainside community. While it may have been off-season for the swooshing sound of rich and famous skiers in beautiful Park City, you may recall the sound of a faint roar coming from the distance around the last week of September.

The buzz you heard was not your imagination. It was the sound of food and beverage processors happily proclaiming: "Somebody finally gets it!"

Food Engineering's ProcessTechnologyXchange (PTX) was the cause of the chatter. At this strategic food industry event, food and beverage company leaders participated in private one-on-one meetings with suppliers to the industry over a two-day period. In some cases, processors were able to meet with 14 different equipment or service suppliers.

Reaction to the event from both the processor and supplier communities has been fantastic. In fact, a new Food Engineering editorial advisory board was formed at the event. The industry leaders listed below will be helping us shape not only PTX 2005, but also will assist us in defining Food Engineering's editorial content and the direction of the Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo. In addition to the companies represented on the advisory board, representatives from McCain, Barilla, Birdseye, Knouse, Blue Diamond and many other processors attended PTX.

According to our board members, PTX gave them the opportunity to set aside a few uninterrupted days to concentrate on meeting with pre-qualified vendors who matched their budgeted initiatives. The meetings were truly focused with both sides doing their homework and communicating privately beforehand via a secured Intranet site.

Back at the office, processors may be able to take a few minutes to meet with vendors, but they are constantly interrupted by other pressing demands. The relaxed yet focused setting at PTX allowed both parties to accomplish in a few days what would otherwise have taken months.

ProcessTechnologyXchange 2005 is scheduled for August 7-10 in Park City, Utah. To find out if you qualify, please contact PTX Event Director Layne Skoyen at 952-736-9373 or email lskoyen@pt-xchange.com. Further details can also be found at www.pt-exchange.com.

Here's wishing a warm welcome to our advisors. This is just the start of something big.

Food Engineering Editorial Advisory Board

Kevin Mellor
Director, Processing Center of Excellence

John Eberle
Innovation Group Manager

Fernando Palacios
Vice President of Operations and Supply Chain
Land O'Lakes

Dave Gemellaro
Director, Sector Engineering
Kraft Foods

Peter Migchels
Director of Engineering, Fresh Bakeries
Maple Leaf Foods

Tom Wolters
Senior Manager Technology
Pepsico Beverages & Food

Carl Krueger
Senior Manager, Global Engineering Services
H. J. Heinz