National Pecan Shellers Association

Annual Meeting – Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington

September 18-20, 2014

Register online here or download a registration form.

2014 NPSA Annual Meeting Registration Form

2014 Exhibitor Registration Form



Delta Air Lines Discount: travel discount of up to 10% off of domestic fares. Reservations and ticketing are available via When booking online, select Book A Trip, click on More Search Options and enter the meeting code NMHTX in the “meeting event code”  box provided on the Search Flight page.

Hotel Reservations

Reservations for the NPSA 2014 Annual Meeting can now be made at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel.  The NPSA rate is $199 per night, plus 15.6% tax, and a $2 per night city assessment. For hotel reservations, click here: or call 1-877-901-6632 and reference NPSA.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, September 18

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.        Board of Directors Meeting

12:30 – 5:30 p.m.                 Golf Outing at Harbour Pointe Golf Club

12:30 – 4:00 p.m.                  A Taste of Seattle Walking Tour

5:00 p.m.                               Exhibitor Set-Up

6:15 – 7:15 p.m.                    Registration

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.                    Welcome Reception

Friday, September 19

7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.             Group Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.    General Session, Exhibits & Board Election

  • Welcome & Introductions Jerry Dowdy, Atwell Pecan Company, Inc. , NPSA Chair
  • Nuts and Health – What’s the Latest  Maureen Ternus, International Tree Nut Council, NREF
  • Starbucks R&D Process:  Innovating Beyond the Bean  - Andrew Miller, Starbucks Coffee Company


  • The Cost of Growing Pecans in the US and Abroad  –  Richard Heerema, New Mexico State University and Dr. Lenny Wells, University of Georgia
  • Board/Caucus Election – Jerry Dowdy, Atwell Pecan Company & Marty Harrell, Harrell  Nut Company

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.          Group Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.    Industry Forum & Exhibits

  • NPSA Marketing, Promotion & Research Update Laurel Sprague, Kellen Communications
  • Georgia Pecan Commission Update – Brandon & Margaret Lesi, Object 9
  • American Pecan Board Update – Mike Adams, American Pecan Board
  • Pecan Prevalence Study Wrap Up – Dr. Michelle Danyluk, University of Florida


  • Regulatory Update – Dick Wood, Wood Burditt Group, NPSA Legal Counsel
  • Other Tree Nut Report Steve Zaffarano, Diamond Foods, Inc.Pecan Report/Exports and Global ProductionBruce Caris, The Green Valley Pecan Company, NPSA Statistical Committee Chair
  • Annual Crop Forecast – Jerry Dowdy, Facilitator

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.                      Reception (Dinner Open)

Saturday, September 20

7:30 – 9:00 a.m.                       Group Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.            Shellers Forum (Open to Sheller Members Only)

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.                    Group Lunch



The NPSA 2014 Golf Tournament will be held Thursday, September 18 at the Harbour Pointe Golf Club, which offers a challenging golf experience by offering two distinctly unique nines.  The front nine winds through wetlands with water in play on every hole, while the back nine is set among rolling hills, framed by imposing Evergreen trees.  Don’t miss this opportunity to network with colleagues while getting your fresh air and sunshine.  Provide your average score/handicap during the registration process.  The fee is $135 per player, which includes transportation to and from the course.  Club rental is available by calling the course at 425.355.6060.


This year’s optional activity will be a 2.5 hour walking tour that specializes in local cuisine.  The fee is $65 per person.  Be sure to bring your comfortable walking shoes. The tour leaves the hotel at noon and will begin at 12:30 p.m. Stops along the tour include:

DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine – Stop 1: Local Salumi salami & artisanal cheese – foodie destination for over 65 years, this Italian/Mediterranean grocery features a variety of hand-selected cheeses, prosciuttos, local artisan salami, an inexpensive deli, the best Italian wine selection in Seattle.

Bottega Italiana – Stop 2:  Authentic Italian gelato – www.bottegaitaliana.comConceived by three homesick Italians, Bottega Italiana is regarded as the best gelato shop in the city. Using seasonal fruits, and never any corn syrup or artificial colors their authentic gelati produces pure flavor.

The Crumpet Shop – Stop 3: Organic honey & butter crumpetFounded in 1976, this family business continues to make all their crumpets from scratch daily, using only organic ingredients. You will be hard pressed to find another shop like this one anywhere in the world.

Pike Place Chowder – Stop 4: Best Clam Chowder in America –

Voted the best New England Style Clam Chowder three years in a row at the prestigious Great Clam Chowder Cook Off in Newport, Rhode Island and later inducted to the Clam Chowder Hall of Fame (yes there is one). America’s best chowder is right here in Seattle.

Pure Food Fish Market – Stop 5: Alder wood smoked wild king salmon –

Since 1914, locals in the know have been buying their fish from the Amon family, Sol Amon who is often referred to as the “Cod Father” has been tending shop for over 56 years. His recipe for Alder-Smoked Salmon is the best I’ve ever tasted.

La Buona Tavola – Stop 6: Truffle oil & salt, potato leek soup, 10 year balsamic vinegar  –

“We sell only the things we’ve fallen in love with. That’s our promise to you: 100% satisfaction – whether you buy our Italian truffles and pate, or an affordable bottle of wine with a bag of Croccantini, you can be sure that you’re getting the best.” – Rei Hanscomb Aka Truffle Queen.

The Rub Shack – Stop 7: Chef’s selection –

This is where you go to satisfy all your cravings you develop walking through the Pike Place Market. Seattle’s top restaurateur  Tom Douglas is a huge fan and supporter of the Pike Place Market and the Rub Shack may well be his culinary serenade. The restaurant is all about rotisserie meats that are rubbed with love from  Tom’s proprietary spice line.