Schedule & Workshops

October 5th

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

• Individual Meat or Vegetable Frittatas

• Gluten-free Blueberry Coffeecake and House-made Biscuits

• Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal with Dried Fruit, Maple Syrup, and Walnuts

• Poached Pears with Raspberries and Mascarpone

• Granola, Jams, Yogurt

• Chilled Fruit Juices

• Coffee and Teas

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


PLEASE NOTE: There is an additional fee for this event

Have you wondered how to give a useful performance evaluation to a long-term employee?  Have you lost workers to other companies just because they wanted to do something new?  And when they do leave, how do you recruit replacement candidates who bring diverse experiences to your workplace?

Building upon last year’s intensive cultivating organizational health, this year’s intensive turns the focus toward nurturing the individuals on your company teams – and ensuring that you bring the right individuals through the door in the first place.

Get a wide variety of candidates in the pool.  Ask thoughtful interview questions that vet for the traits you need yet avoid unconscious bias.  Give new workers a strong footing.  Motivate, challenge, and support your team members.  Show them how they can continue to learn and grow both professionally and personally – without leaving the organization.

Who should attend?

  • Department Managers
  • Team Leads
  • Supervisors
  • Workers who have considered becoming a supervisor or manager
  • General Managers
  • Executive Directors
  • Collective Members

Many of these concepts apply to leading a Board of Directors as well, so current or future board chairs would benefit from attending.

Topics Include:

Through a combination of presentation, small-group exercises, and individual planning, this intensive covers the phases of employment:

  • Recruiting
  • Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Retention and Motivation
  • Advancement and Career Development

In all phases, we must address both the people and the processes.  The themes of communication, management style, trust, and diversity flow throughout those employment phases.

Presenters include:

  • Karen Foster, professional development trainer of Foster Communications. After working in non-profits and commercial real estate, Karen has spent more than a decade as a workplace trainer.  From corporate giants to universities and tribal governments, she brings both guidance and humor into her workshops.

… followed by a panel of peers well-regarded for their employment practices, including:

12:30 to 1:30 PM Lunch—GORGE ROOM

• Vegan Hearty Vegetable Stew with Tempeh

• Fresh Seasonal Fruit Salad

• Mini Salad Bar with Chicken

• Focaccia or Gluten-free Bread

Assorted House Made Cookies and Dessert Bars including Macaroons, Brownies, Pecan Honey Bar

1:00 to 5:00 PM Tours—MEET IN FRONT OF THE HOTEL

PLEASE NOTE: There is an additional fee for this event

On Wednesday afternoon join your Provender friends on a Hood River cider adventure.  Together you will sample several ciders at multiple locations in the Hood River area.  You will meet interesting people doing interesting things with cider and enjoy the company of friends, new and old.  Space is limited so register early.  We look forward to sharing this unique Hood River adventure with you.

Your registration fee includes transportation.

4:00 to 6:00 PM Meet & Greet—SNACK ROOM (room 151, West Wing)

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

Bring your own beverage.

Come join us and celebrate our 40th conference!

6:00 to 7:30 PM Dinner—GORGE ROOM

Taco Bar with:

• Black or Pinto Refried Beans

• Shredded Lettuce

• Shredded Cheese

• Ground Seasoned Beef

• Guacamole

• Sour Cream

• Sliced Black Olives

• Salsa

• Shredded Seasoned Chicken

• Diced Tomatoes

• Corn tortillas

Tortilla chips

Mini Salad Bar with Chicken

7:00 to 7:30 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.

7:30 to 9:30 PM Evening Keynote—GORGE ROOM

Mycodiversity is BioSecurity:  Mushroom Mycelium & Food Web
Paul Stamets | Founder, Director of Research, Fungi Perfecti
Join this engaging speaker, author, mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, for an informative lecture on mushrooms that aims to deepen your understanding and respect for the organisms that literally exist under every footstep you take on this path of life: fungi.  His presentation will cover a range of mushroom species and new research showing how mushrooms can help the health of people and planet.  Habitats have immune systems, just like people, and mushrooms are cellular bridges between the two.  Our close evolutionary relationship to fungi can be the basis for novel pairings in the microbiome that lead to greater sustainability and immune enhancement.

October 6th

7:30 AM to 5:00 PM Conference Registration—HOTEL LOBBY
7:00 to 7:45 Early Morning Zumba—POOLSIDE

Join us at the pool!  Jump into the Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning dance-fitness party that makes working out a splash!

7:30 to 9:00 AM Breakfast—GORGE ROOM

• Baked French Toast with Apple Compote, Maple Syrup and Butter

• Scrambled Eggs

• Tofu Scramble with Toby’s Tofu Seasoning

• Bacon

• Fruit or Vegetable Smoothies with Unsweetened Coconut Milk

• House-made Gluten-free Biscuits

• Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal with Dried Fruit, Maple Syrup, and Walnuts

• Seasonal Whole Fresh Fruit (local apples, local pears, bananas)

• Granola, Jams, Yogurt

• Chilled Fruit Juices

• Coffee and Teas

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

Food Justice in Action:
Encouraging Your Community to Get Involved
When LaDonna Redmond couldn’t find any healthy food in her Chicago neighborhood, she decided to rebuild the urban food system.  The farmers market, food distribution network and urban farms sites led to a grassroots movement of citywide-and then national-conversations about food justice.  It is her mission to see that every person has a right to food and the right to feed themselves.  In early April 2013, she launched the Campaign for Food Justice Now (CFJN), a membership-based organization that uses a race, class, and gender analysis to promote food and agricultural system reforms, and advocate for the adoption of right-to-food policies in the U.S.

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

• Olympia Provisions or Tofurky Sausages, Grilled Mt. Shadow Burgers

• White Bean Quinoa Patties

• Assorted Buns

• Potato and Sweet Potato Wedges

• Cole Slaw

• Salad Bar with Chicken

• Assorted Desserts including Apple Crumb Bars, Brownies, Espresso Cheesecake Bars

12:45 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, in celebration of 40 years of Provender Conferences!
Vote for YOUR Provender Board!  Ballots are mailed to members prior to the conference; on-site voting will continue until 2 PM Friday.

1:30 to 3:00 PM Workshop Session 2 4:30 to 6:30 PM Meet Your Makers—COLUMBIA ROOM

Continuing our tradition of Meet Your Makers, this tabletop event is specifically designed for our manufacturer members to tell you their stories and sample their wares.  Exhibitors must be Provender members.

7:00 to 8:30 PM Dinner—GORGE ROOM

Japanese Buffet

• Steamed Brown Rice

• Dashi Broth

• Yakitori (grilled skewered seasoned chicken)

• Cabbage Salad (shredded cabbage, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, hijiki seaweed)

• Roasted seasonal vegetables

• Baked Salmon


• Gomasio (roasted sesame seeds with salt)

• Tamari and Shoyu

• Pickled Ginger

• Fried Tofu

• Sliced Nori Seaweed

• Hard-boiled egg

• Green Onion

• White Miso Paste

• Wasabi

• Chopped English cucumber

• Shredded Carrot

• Toasted Sesame Oil

• Buckwheat Soba


• Forbidden Rice Pudding


8:00 to 8:30 PM Silent Auction Begins—GORGE ROOM

The silent auction features handmade crafts and other 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.

8:30 to 10:00 PM Evening Keynote—GORGE ROOM

Presenting WYMPROV!  Eugene’s Four-Woman Comedy Improvisation Group

It was twenty-five years ago when Sally Sheklow, Debby Martin, Vicki Silvers and Enid Lefton threw themselves on the mercy of their first audience without a trace of a script.  WYMPROV! was born to raucous laughter and hearty applause.  Since then they’ve been wowing audiences at festivals, conferences, universities, jamborees, birthdays, fundraisers and PRIDE celebrations.  After all these years they still crack each other up and are delighted to be promoting  fun, happiness and well-being through laughter.

October 7th

7:30 AM to 3:00 PM Conference Registration—HOTEL LOBBY
7:00 to 7:45 AM Early Morning Zumba—POOLSIDE

Join us at the pool!  Jump into the Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning dance-fitness party that makes working out a splash!

7:30 to 9:00 AM Breakfast—GORGE ROOM

• Vegetable Sweet Potato Hash

• Meat or Vegetable Individual Frittatas

• Sausage

• Cheli’s Tofu Scramble

• Gluten-free Biscuits

• Blueberry Muffins, Banana Muffins, Lemon Scones

• Fruit or Vegetable Smoothies with Unsweetened Coconut Milk

• Seasonal Fresh Fruit Salad with Yogurt

• Chilled Fruit Juices

• Coffee or Tea

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

Future Provenderians: Successes, Challenges, and Requests

Join us as we talk in depth with the game changers of tomorrow, young adults who are working hard to change our world for the better.  Whether it’s food supply, climate change, or the way we create and manufacture goods, everything we do makes an impact on this world around us.  Moderator Dee Fretwell will discuss these hot issues and the challenges behind them, as well as the successes our young game changers have already had fighting for a better tomorrow.  What will they need from us today?  Come and hear it directly from future Provenderians.

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

• Beef or Tempeh Chili

• Spiral-Sliced Zucchini with Raw Pesto

• Salad Bar with Chicken

• Corn Bread

• Assorted Cookies including Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Macaroons, Molasses with Candied Ginger

1:30 to 3:00 PM Workshop Session II 3:30 to 5:00 PM Workshop Session III 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

• Roasted Chicken

• Navy Beans with Lemon, Garlic and Tomato

• Creamy Polenta

• Steamed Seasonal Vegetables

• Salad Bar

• Dinner Rolls with Butter

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

7:00 to 7:30 PM Annual Awards—GORGE ROOM

The 24th edition of our awards where we celebrate outstanding contributors to Provender and our trade.

7:30 to 8:00 PM Silent Auction Closes—GORGE ROOM
8:00 to 8:30 PM Logo Item Raffle—GORGE ROOM

You, or your proxy, must be present to win the raffle.  Bring a logo item from your business to add to the drawing.  Proceeds go to the 2017 work trade fund.

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 8th


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…

8:15 to 9:15 AM Co-op Cafe Breakfast—COLUMBIA ROOM

Please Note: This breakfast is for Co-op Cafe attendees only


9:30 AM to 4:00 PM Co-op Cafe—COLUMBIA ROOM

Join us directly following the Provender conference for the Co-op Cafe.

The Co-op Cafe provides a day of highly interactive and engaging strategic conversations designed to build shared understanding and alignment at your co-op and among co-ops.  Cafe conversations focus on participation, and building community and meaningful relationships in our co-ops as essential elements of growing our co-ops.

The Co-op Cafes are sponsored by the National Co+op Grocers (NCG) and produced by the CDS Consulting Co-op as a series of regional events that make it possible for many people with various roles in a co-op to participate in a day of strategic conversation with people in similar roles at other co-ops in the region. There is a modest fee per participant.

Cafe presentations and roundup videos are available here.

Who should attend: Directors, general managers, managers involved in co-op development, membership and marketing staff, committee members and anyone involved in the co-op’s relationship with members and the community.

Click here for a full calendar of upcoming events.

Participation in the Cooperative Cafe is a modest per person fee of $60 to cover meals and incidentals. Bring eight or more people and we’ll pay for one (eight can come for $420). More are welcome!

Register here for an event in 2016.

This event is a full day – we will provide participants with light breakfast and lunch as well as light snacks and beverages at breaks during the day.  The Cooperative Cafe runs from 9:30-4:00. Breakfast is available starting at 8:15.

Using this link you can register one or more people for an event.  Each person you register will be sent an e-mail with detailed logistical information for the event.  No payment is required to register. Please contact us if you have any questions in advance of registering!


Please Note: This lunch is for Co-op Cafe attendees only