2019 Annual Meeting

LaPlaya Golf and Beach Resort – Naples, Florida
March 2 – 5, 2019

There is nowhere else you can effectively network with key players in the vinegar industry than at The Vinegar Institute’s Annual Meeting.  Each year, vinegar manufacturers and the valuable suppliers to this industry get together for three days to review key issues impacting their businesses and to network with industry colleagues!

The 2019 Meeting will be held at the LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort in Naples, Florida. You will not want to miss presentations regarding changes in the retail landscape with respect to vinegar and general trends, working with different generations, an ethanol update, and online conversations regarding vinegar.  There will also be numerous networking opportunities.

We hope to see you there!
Schedule of Events

Schedule of Events

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Registration & Reception

8:00 – 8:30 A.M. | Associate Caucus

9:00 – 11:30 A.M. | General Session/Associate Exhibits

1:00 – 5:00 P.M. | Sailing Excursion (Advance registration required by January 15th)
Please plan to eat lunch beforehand.

6:30 – 7:30 P.M. | Reception

7:30 – 9:15 A.M. | Scientific Committee Breakfast Meeting

9:30 – 11:00 A.M. | Board of Directors Meeting

1:15* – 5:30 P.M. | Golf Tournament at Imperial Golf Club (Advance registration required)
*Plan to be at the Course by 12:45 P.M. for instructions and cart assignments.

7:00 – 9:30 P.M. | Closing Reception and Dinner

8:00 A.M. | Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 11:30 A.M. | General Session

11:30 A.M. | Adjourn

General Sessions

General Sessions


Retail Trends in Vinegar
Todd Hale, Todd Hale, LLC

Working with Different Generations
Dr. Jeanna Mastrodicasa, University of Florida


Chair’s Address
Matthew Moore, VI Chair of the Board, Mizkan America

Ethanol Update
Scott Richman, Renewable Fuels Association

Online Conversations Regarding Vinegar
Stan Samples, Kellen

*Presentation titles and speakers are subject to change.

Hotel Information

Hotel Information

Step onto the beach from your private oceanfront guestroom at one of the best Naples Florida beach resort hotels. Be greeted by cloudless skies, sparkling turquoise waters and white sandy beaches every morning at our Florida beach resort hotel. As a guest of LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, this image of paradise is your daily reality. One of Florida’s finest resort hotels, LaPlaya rests between the Gulf of Mexico and picturesque Vanderbilt Bay, offering guests a rare chance to experience South Florida’s subtropical beauty from front-row seats. Compared to most Florida luxury hotels, LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort reflects the contemporary lifestyle and easygoing attitude of South Florida. LaPlaya Beach Resort is a place where guests can truly feel at home.

Hotel Reservations

Accommodations are available in The Vinegar Institute (VI) room block at a special group rate.

It is essential to identify yourself as part of VI so that you will be placed in the VI room block. Booking your room in the VI block is extremely important because the Institute, on behalf of the members, has committed revenue to the hotel for a specified number of hotel rooms. We appreciate your willingness to assist us in avoiding unnecessary penalties by booking in the meeting hotel and identifying yourself as part of the VI group when making your reservation.

To make hotel reservations, you must call 800-237-6883 or visit their website.  Please follow the directions below.

Visit the resort website,

Click Book Now

Select arrival/departure dates

To receive the Vinegar Institute Annual Conference group guest room rate, in the Special Codes drop down window, enter 10T45B in the Group Code box

Click Check Availability

Enter required information to confirm your order

Please identify yourself as part of VI.  The room rate is $359.00 plus a $10 resort fee per night single or double occupancy.  All rooms are subject to 10% state and local taxes.  All room reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card.  The credit card will not be charged until the guest checks out of the hotel.  Cancellations and changes must be made directly with the hotel up to 7 days prior to arrival date to avoid penalties.  Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 p.m.

Plan to make your hotel reservations now as VI’s Meeting coincides with Spring Break. (Room reservations at the above-discounted rate are available on a first-come, first-serve basis in the VI block. Once the block is full, rooms and room rates are based on availability.)


Meeting Registration

The entire cost of the Annual Meeting is underwritten by the participants — no portion of Association dues is allocated for Annual Meeting expenses.  The registration fee includes speakers’ expenses, audio/visual equipment, entertainment, decor, stationery and printing costs for programs, website development, staff travel and all office costs incurred in planning and coordinating the Annual Meeting.

All registrations must be completed online and will not be processed without payment.  Registration fees are refundable through January 21st less a $100 processing fee.  After January 21st, cancellation fees increase to $500 and become non-refundable after February 1stPlease remember to register for the Meeting at the same time you make your hotel reservations.  For your convenience, we accept American Express, Visa and MasterCard.  Checks are also accepted.

(Please register by January 10, 2019 to qualify for advance registration fees.)

Advance Registration Fees before January 10:

  • Member $1,595
  • Non-Member*
    • Manufacturer/Bottler $1,695
    • Supplier $1,895
  • Spouse/Companion $400
    Children (8 -18 years old) $100.

After January 10:

  • Member: $1,695
  • Non-Member*
    • Manufacturer/Bottler: $1,795
    • Supplier: $1,995
  • Spouse/Companion: $400
    Children (8 -18 years old) $100.

*Non-member companies may attend one Meeting to become familiar with the Institute. The difference between member and non-member registration fees is applicable to dues if received within ninety (90) days from the date of the end of the Meeting.

Since The Institute must make firm financial commitments based on indicated attendance well in advance of the Meeting, we ask that you complete the online registration form on the website at your earliest convenience.


Golf Sponsorships

Promote your company on the golf course by sponsoring a golf hole!  This year’s tournament will be held at the Belleair Country Club.  This is a fantastic way to give your company special recognition and to help create a memorable golf game!  The cost is $250 per hole.  Please check the appropriate box on the registration form if you’d like to take advantage of this great opportunity!  This sponsorship will include signage with your company name and logo at one of the golf holes.  You will receive other special recognition as noted below.

Meeting Sponsorships

All members will have the opportunity to contribute any dollar amount toward the Meeting.  Since the entire cost of the Annual Meeting is underwritten by the participants, your support will enable VI to continue to maintain registration fees at an affordable rate, obtain the best speakers possible and plan for a memorable Monday night event!  Remember, no amount is too small and all contributions will be used to create the very best meeting possible!  Please check the appropriate box on the registration form if you would like to become a meeting sponsor.

Sponsorship Recognition

As a golf or Meeting sponsor, your company will receive special recognition prior to the Annual Meeting, in the Annual Meeting program, on posted signs throughout the Meeting and from the podium during the Meeting. You will also wear a “Sponsor” ribbon at the Meeting and be recognized in the Annual Meeting wrap-up sent to all members and also housed on the VI website!


Transportation to Naples

The address of the LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort:

9891 Gulf Shore Dr
Naples, FL 34108

The general phone number is (800) 237-6883.

From Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW): (27 miles/36 minutes)

• Exit the airport to I-75
• Proceed south on I-75 to Exit 111
• Turn right off the Interstate onto Immokalee Road and head west
• You will be on this road for approximately 5 miles
• Cross US-41
• The road will change names to 111th and then to Bluebill
• Turn left at the second stop sign on to Gulf Shore Drive
• Our Naples Beach Resort will be about 1/2 mile down on the right side

For ground transportation information, go here.

Parking at the LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort is $29 per car, per day for valet parking with in/out privileges. On-property self-parking is not available.

What to Pack

The average high temperature in March in Clearwater is 79°F, and the average low is 61°F.

Casual dress is acceptable at the Meeting functions. Attire for Saturday and Sunday’s Receptions is resort casual or business dress, depending on your dinner plans for those evenings.

Business & Social Sessions

Business & Social Sessions


  • Pick up your badge on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. during the one-hour Reception. Meet with friends, have a drink and make plans for dinner. There is no group dinner scheduled.


  • Pick up your registration materials before the General Session.
  • Associate members are invited to display tabletop exhibits in the meeting room during the General Session on Sunday. Contact Jeannie Milewski ([email protected] ) by February 1st if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • The Associate Member Caucus will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. Matters of interest to Associate members will be reviewed, including nominations for two open Supplier seats on the Board for fiscal year 2020.
  • The General Session (open to all registered attendees, including spouses) begins at 9:00 a.m. Breakfast is on your own, though coffee will be provided.
  • Participants of the Sightseeing & Shelling Tour will leave the hotel at 1:00 p.m. and return 5:00 p.m. You must register by January 15 to participate in this activity. Please eat lunch prior to leaving for the tour.
  • Join everyone at the one-hour Reception at 6:30 p.m. There is no group dinner scheduled.


  • The Scientific Committee will convene on Monday for a Continental Breakfast and meeting at 7:30 a.m. to review scientific issues of interest to the vinegar industry.
  • The Board of Directors will meet after the Scientific Committee meeting at 9:30 a.m.
  • The VI Golf Tournament will be held at the Imperial Golf Club. Transportation is on your own. Please meet at the golf club by 12:45 pm.
  • The perfect ending to a memorable meeting will be held on Monday evening starting at 7:00 p.m. Wear your favorite beach attire! Don’t forget to check this activity when registering and be sure to join us for an evening of live entertainment with the Ignite Band, who will play a variety of music!


  • Tuesday’s activities begin with a Continental Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. The General Session runs from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. The Meeting will conclude at 11:30 a.m.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to call Jeannie Milewski at VI Headquarters (678/303-3026), and remember it’s not too early to register!

Activities Offered

Activities Offered

We have planned the very best activities Naples, Florida has to offer! We hope that you will take advantage of these excellent opportunities to network with other members and colleagues in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, while visiting Naples, Florida.

If you want to explore Naples and surrounding areas on your own, click here for a list of attractions. For dining options, click here for a variety of local eateries and fine dining restaurants.

There are a minimum number of people that must participate to make the sailing excursion available.  The number of people required and the total cost is listed below.  It is critical that we receive your registration form promptly because all activities must be prepaid, and the number of participants confirmed before Tuesday, January 15, 2019!  No refunds for activities will be given after January 15, 2019.  You will be notified if any of these activities must be cancelled.  On-site registration for activities will be based on availability, and an additional processing fee may apply.  Please note that if you sign up for an activity on-site during the Meeting and there is availability, you must present a credit card or the cost will automatically be charged to the credit card number we have on file at Headquarters.

We appreciate your cooperation in meeting the deadlines given so that we can avoid additional costs!

Sightseeing & Shelling Cruise (Sunday, March 3)

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cost per Person: $200
No lunch is provided (Light snacks and drinks will be available for purchase on the boat)

Enjoy Florida at its best! The only way to truly experience Southwest Florida is on the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and this custom 53’ catamaran is the perfect vessel to take your guests on this sun-drenched excursion. This amazing catamaran was originally built in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands as an ocean-racing catamaran. On this 3-hour cruise, you will have an opportunity to see the natural wonders of the area. Mangroves, birds, and perhaps even dolphins or manatees are scattered along the way. Spend 1 hour on Keewaydin Island (also known as Key Island) for some beach time and wonderful shelling.

No lunch is provided.
Minimum Number of People Required: 20
Maximum Number of People: 24
Registration Deadline: January 15, 2019

Imperial Golf Club (Monday, March 4)

1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Cost per Person: $175

Come relax & play at South Florida’s Premier Private Golf Club. The West Course is a Ward Northrup designed par 72 course. Dog-legs and water hazards are prominent features of this “Florida-style” design. The layout rewards placement off the tee and accurate approach shots to well-bunkered greens.

The East Course is an Arthur Hills designed par 72 course. The East Course features generous fairways and gradual doglegs that provide a traditional “northern” feel. Talented players enjoy the 7,014 yard championship tees and new golfers enjoy the forward tees at 4,932 yards. With seven tee box options, the East Course delivers a masterful golf experience for players of all skill levels, from the beginner to the professional.

Lunch will be provided on the carts. Transportation will not be provided, so carpooling is recommended.

Directions to the course are:

  • Head north on Gulf Shore Dr toward Bayview Ave
  • Turn right onto Bluebill Ave
  • Continue onto 111th Ave N/Immokalee Rd (Pass by Wells Fargo Bank (on the right in 1 mi)
  • Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto US-41 N
  • Turn right onto Imperial Golf Course Blvd

Includes lunch, greens fees, a round of 18 holes and shared golf cart
Rental Clubs: $27

If you need rental clubs, it is imperative that you indicate this when registering as the Golf Club has limited sets available and will not be able to accommodate last minute requests.