Schedule & Workshops for 2018

October 3rd

7:30 to 10:00 AM and 1:00 to 8:00 PM Conference Registration—HOTEL LOBBY
8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast—GORGE ROOM

• Oatmeal with Raisins and Brown Sugar

• Poached Pears with Hazelnuts

• Fresh Baked Breakfast Breads

• Peanut Butter and Almonds

• Seasonal Fresh Fruit

• Chilled Fruit Juices

• Coffee and Teas

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Visual Storytelling Intensive—COLUMBIA ROOM

Visual Storytelling with Story Gorge

PLEASE NOTE: There is an additional fee for this event

Story Gorge has an innate appreciation for social enterprise, dynamic small business, and support worthy nonprofits and wants to help them tell their stories. In this workshop, you will learn how to use accessible technology to produce web ready content.  Storytelling is more than just technical knowhow. Our workshop will delve into the elements of story, image and audio that trigger empathy and understanding in an audience. When you use story to explain your mission, your audience will resonate and support the cause.  This is a hands-on workshop, so come ready to jump in!

Who should attend?

  • Anyone with a story to tell


Sean O’Connor, an award-winning visual storyteller, internationally published photographer and honored contributor to a Northwest Regional Emmy Award. Sean’s creative work is dedicated to creating socially responsible stories and educating youth and adults in the art of visual media production. Collaborating with dynamic nonprofits and leading industry brands, Sean works to cultivate global relationships with social and environmental impact. His credits include broadcast television and international film festivals, as well as print and web photography publications with Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Outside Magazine, High Country News and others. He lives in the Columbia River Gorge with his wife and two children. When not shooting or producing, Sean is in pursuit of wilderness experiences, silent moments, and positive interactions with new faces. Visit for more info.

Please note that you will get the most out of this intensive if you have either an I-Phone or an I-Pad to use in class.

12:00 to 1:00 PM Lunch—GORGE ROOM

• Build Your Own Sandwich Buffet

• Vegan Soup

• Assorted House Made Cookies and Dessert Bars

4:30 to 6:30 PM Meet & Greet—SHORELINE ROOM

If you find yourself arriving early to the conference, meet us in the Shoreline Room for a Meet & Greet and taste your way through a variety of fabulous food products from our generous product donors.  This is an informal, fun opportunity to make connections, settle into the conference and sample some products that may be new to you.

No Host Bar

6:00 to 6:30 PM Work Trade Training—COLUMBIA ROOM

Did you sign up for work trade?

You must attend this brief training session to prepare for your assigned tasks.  We promise to keep it brief.

6:30 to 8:00 PM Dinner—COLUMBIA ROOM

• Tri-Tip Beef with Rosemary Demi-Glace and Sauteed Mushrooms

• Stuffed Roasted Local Crimini Mushrooom with Spinach and Quinoa

• Mashed Potatoes

• Whole Roasted Local Carrots

• Mixed Garden Greens

• Assorted Dessert Bars

7:30 to 10:00 PM ProvX—COLUMBIA ROOM

Come listen to fellow attendees as they present on a topic of their choosing.  Presenters will get 8 minutes to tell you about something they are passionate about.  This will be a fun and educational event.

If you are interested in presenting, look for a sign-up form with your registration confirmation.

October 4th

7:30 AM to 5:00 PM Conference Registration—HOTEL LOBBY
7:00 to 7:45 Early Morning Group Run or Walk

Meet at the front desk for an informal group run or walk.  Get the day started off with a little fresh air and movement.

7:30 to 9:00 AM Breakfast—GORGE ROOM

• Scrambled Eggs

• Vegan Chickpea Flour Scramble with Vegetables

• Bacon

• Yukon Gold Breakfast Potato Wedges

• House-made Biscuits with Butter and Preserves

• Seasonal Fresh Fruit

• Chilled Fruit Juices

• Coffee and Teas

8:30 to 10:00 AM Keynote Event—GORGE ROOM

Systematic Inventive Thinking
Sinai Gohar

Don’t do innovation. Innovate in what you do.

SIT stands for Systematic Inventive Thinking®, which is both the name of our company and the method we have developed to help organizations achieve their objectives through innovation. It provides skills for thinking and acting differently in an effective way; leads to generating ideas that are both innovative and practical; and helps designing the structures that make innovation consistent, systematic and reliable within organizations.

The SIT method relies on academic research, and is implemented by leading organizations around the world.  At the heart of the method is one crucial idea: that inventive solutions share common patterns. Focusing not on what makes inventive solutions different, but on what, if anything, they might have in common, led to the development of the five Thinking Tools that form its core.

The 90-minute keynote provides participants with an interactive, engaging experience. Topics covered will include:

  • Myths and approaches to innovation;
  • The basic principles of SIT. How it is different from what you know and do today;
  • Overcoming Cognitive fixedness
  • Brief exercises with thinking tools
  • Case studies of how these tools have benefited many of the world’s leading organizations and how they can benefit attendees’ own organizations.

For more information visit:

10:15 AM to 11:45 PM Workshop Session I 11:45 to 1:00 PM Lunch—GORGE ROOM

• Baked Mac and Cheese

• Vegan Soup

• Meat Based Soup

• Salad Bar

• Assorted Cookies and Desserts Bars

12:30 Silent Auction Opens—GORGE ROOM

The silent auction features items created or donated by Provender members as a fund-raiser for the One Person Can Make a Difference Scholarship Fund.  Bring your submissions or send them in advance.

1:15 to 2:45 PM Workshop Session 2 3:15 to 6:00 PM Meet Your Makers—GORGE ROOM

This event is something like a tabletop show only Provender-style. We invite manufacturers, distributors and others to come set up a table and tell the story of their business to conference participants. This is an opportunity for retailers to learn more about the people behind the products they sell and for everyone in the natural products community to network in a fun and informative atmosphere.

This is an unconventional sales event.  We have fun.  There is no pressure to book orders, just an opportunity to let people see the human side of companies, their story, their values and their vision.

Register on-line HERE.

6:00 to 7:30 PM Croquet and Bocce Ball—SNACK ROOM

Meet up in the Snack Room and team up for some irreverent Croquet or Bocce Ball.  Those of you who have been coming to Provender Conferences for years may remember the croquet games of yore.  Let’s revive the tradition.  Wear your most fabulous hat and come have some fun!

7:30 to 9:00 PM Dinner—GORGE ROOM

• Pork Carnitas

• Chicken Fajitas

• Tempeh Fajitas

• Corn  and Flour Tortillas

• Spanish Rice

• Refried Beans

• Tortilla Chips and Salsa

• Sour Cream and Guacamole

• Jicama Slaw

• Assorted Desserts

8:00-8:15 Scholarship Awardee Presentation—GORGE ROOM

Come find out what this year’s scholarship recipient is doing to educate and inspire their community by expanding that community’s knowledge and positive engagement with healthy food systems and social justice.

8:15-8:30 Annual Provender Awards—GORGE ROOM

The 26th edition of our awards where we celebrate outstanding contributors to Provender and our trade.

8:30 to 10:00 PM Scavenger Hunt—GORGE ROOM

Meet new people and have fun solving clues and finding answers.  The winning team will get prizes!

October 5th

7:30 AM to 3:00 PM Conference Registration—HOTEL LOBBY
7:00 to 7:45 AM Early Morning Run or Walk

Meet at the front desk for an informal group run or walk.  Get the day started off with a little fresh air and movement.

7:30 to 9:00 AM Breakfast—GORGE ROOM

• Meat and Veggie Fritattas

• Lentil Quinoa Veggie Bowl

• Yukon Gold Breakfast Potato Wedges

• Seasonal Fresh Fruit

• Chilled Fruit Juices

• Coffee or Tea

8:30 to 10:00 AM Keynote Event—GORGE ROOM

Climate Change and Small-Scale Family Farmers: What We See and What We Can Do

Bena Burda | Founder, Maggie’s Organics
Dana Geffner | Executive Driector, Fair World Project

Dana and Bená came together as friends through their work with small-scale producers around the world.​ Each of them has seen first-hand how changing weather is ravaging small-scale farmers on every continent. The 450 million smallholder farmers globally are critical to addressing climate change and meeting the world’s food security needs.

Share their experiences: one in the world of non-profits and public policy, and one with on-the-ground supply chains. Witness farmer realities, hear about agricultural and industry initiatives, examine potential policy changes.

How can we work in solidarity with smallholders around the world? How our choices and actions can support family farmers and producers in mitigating climate change.

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Workshop Session 3 12:00 to 1:30 PM Lunch—GORGE ROOM

• Pork Loin

• Ratatouille

• Broccolini with Olive Oil and Garlic

• Wild Rice

• Mixed Green Salad

• Assorted Cookies and Dessert Bars

1:00 to 1:15 PM General Membership Meeting—GORGE ROOM

Your Provender board will take the stage, with updates about their work throughout the year.  Expect a creative retrospective!

1:30 to 3:00 PM Workshop Session 4 3:30 to 5:00 PM Workshop Session 5 5:30 to 6:30 PM Pool-Side Celebration—POOLSIDE

Get your beach ball—Join us for a pool-side gathering!  The Hood River Inn pool cannot be beat, so we invite all Provender Conference attendees to gather for some down-time between workshops and our grand finale dinner.  Swimming is not mandatory, though highly recommended, during this hour of Provender poolside chillaxing.

6:30 to 8:00 PM Dinner—GORGE ROOM

• Rosemary Roasted Chicken

• Steamed Runner Beans with Rosemary and Tomato

• Garlic Roasted Baby Potatoes

• Roasted Seasonal Vegetables

• Kale Caesar Salad

• Dinner Rolls with Butter

• I Scream Bar – featuring Fruit, Crumbled Cookies, Nuts, and Assorted toppings

7:30 Silent Auction Closes—GORGE ROOM
7:45 to 8:30 PM Logo Item Raffle—GORGE ROOM

Bring a logo item from your business to add to the drawing.  Proceeds go to the 2018 work trade fund.

You, or your proxy, must be present to win the raffle.

8:30 PM to 12:00 AM Rock the Conference—GORGE ROOM

SURPRISE!  You are the lead singer, and this live band makes you a star!  Back by popular demand, find out what we already know…that Karaoke From Hell is a blast!

October 6th


Meet on the patio by the river for fond farewells until next year.

10:00 AM to 11:00 PM Board Meeting—MOUNTAINVIEW ROOM

The new Provender board meets.  You are most welcome to attend…