Conference Schedule and Registration

Building Bridges to a New Horizon

How do we stay true to our values while moving forward? Can we look forward and still honor our past? As we turn each new page, and turn the wheel of our lives once again, we have the good fortune to be able to meet once again in October for inspiration, cutting-edge education, and connection by participating in Provender’s Annual Educational Conference.

Real People, Real Connections

We all got into the natural foods trade not just to make a living but to make a difference and make the world a better place. Independent integrity matters for a healthy, just, and sustainable food system for our precious planet’s future. These ideas are the foundation that our community is built upon. It is so good to see familiar faces and find fresh connections after we’ve been so isolated. At the Conference you can look forward to connecting with long-time friends and making new ones. Socializing opportunities begin Wednesday evening with a Happy Hour as a great way to roll into conference mode, then continue through our famous Meet Your Makers Trade Show, then on to live music Friday evening. Don’t forget to visit the Samples Room!

Conference Keynotes and Workshops
This year’s theme is “Building Bridges to a New Horizon”. The line-up of keynote speakers and workshops are being carefully planned around that theme now. There will be presenters from the Pacific Northwest and beyond, on topics that are relevant to present-day circumstances and to the future well-being of our planet.

We are working hard behind the scenes to get all of our great content ready so visit this page often to see what’s coming our way…if you are ready to take advantage of EARLY BIRD PRICING click the button below and get registered today!


Wednesday Intensive – John Mabbott

“How to Flail, How to Fail, How to Fly”
Life and Ledger Lessons from a Retail Unicorn

Join us for an insightful and electric day of conference and conversation with John Mabbott, a veteran of the Provender Alliance. John is currently engaged as a turnaround manager with the Los Alamos Food Co-op, marking his sixth mission in this role.

“I consider these missions,” John says. “I hate seeing grocery stores close, I hate seeing people lose jobs, and I hate it the most when it is clearly avoidable.”

Over the past three years, John’s presentation “Re-Imagining Managing” has captivated audiences nationwide employing his blend of humor, peppery speech, personal anecdotes, and poignant insights, to significantly enhancing leadership in food stores across the country.

Now back in the “turnaround business,” John aims to merge these experiences into a powerful and “good heavy” learning session.


Thursday Keynote Speaker – Paul Stamets, Host Defense

Paul Stamets has been a mycologist for 40 years and is the author of seven books. His new book on psilocybin mushrooms is due out in Spring 2025. He is an invention ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was inducted into The Explorer’s Club in 2020. He has received numerous awards, including the National Mycologist Award from the North American Mycological Association, the Gordon and Tina Wasson Award from the Mycological Society of America, and the Disruptor Award from NextMed.

He has named four new species of psilocybin mushrooms, and a new species of mushrooms has recently been named after him: Psilocybe stametsii.

Paul is a dedicated Earthling, Knowledge Keeper, and is a leader in the protection of ecosystems focusing on the roles of mycelium and mushrooms. Paul’s philosophy is that “MycoDiversity is BioSecurity.” He funds research to save rare strains of mushrooms that dwell within the old growth forests. He believes the old growth forests contain a deep reservoir of species essential for pandemic defense. His contributions include supplying several clinical studies showing immune support with mushroom mycelium.

He is a collaborator with numerous scientific organizations and research institutes. His research is considered breakthrough by thought leaders for creating a paradigm shift for helping ecosystems worldwide.

His work has entered the mainstream of popular culture: In the new Star Trek: Discovery series on CBS, the science officer is portrayed by an astromycologist, Lt. Commander Paul Stamets. His work with mycelium has become a central theme of this series. In addition, he is the primary guide to the incredible mushroom documentary Fantastic Fungi, which first appeared in theaters in fall 2019, with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Paul will be appearing in a live virtual link

Stay tuned, topic to be announced…

Friday Keynote Speaker

Coming soon


Full Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday schedules

Coming soon

These are not just a series of one-way seminars. The Provender Conference provides multiple opportunities for you to engage in meaningful ways, formally and informally. You’ll experience authentic networking with presenters and other attendees. Be a part of the deep connection that Provender Alliance provides during the 48th Annual Educational Conference.

The whole Provender community looks forward to connecting with you!