Alltech REBELation attracts 3,000 delegates from 63 countries

General Colin Powell shares reflections on leadership at the opening session of the Alltech REBELation conference occurring this week in Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Strong Irish presence at thought-provoking international event opened by General Colin Power, who received the Medal of Excellence award



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21 May 2015

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Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed a packed audience on Monday at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky at the opening session of Alltech REBELation. This international conference, held this week, between 18 – 20 May, explored innovation, inspiration and world-changing ideas surrounding nutrition and agriculture.

It was the first time the event’s plenary sessions were held in the famed Rupp Arena, a venue large enough to accommodate the nearly 3,000 attendees from 63 countries.

Walter Robb of Whole Foods Market and legendary marketeer Jim Stengel were among a host of industry leaders sharing knowledge and insights with the international audience, including farmers and food producers from Ireland. Sessions discussed everything from Coca Cola Milk to P&G’s brand strategies and the future of algae, protein production and fish farms.

There was a strong Irish presence at the event, where Irish speakers included Bantry Bay aquaculturist John Murphy, Dr Mark Lyons, Aidan Connolly, Catherine Keogh, Dr Aoife Lyons of Alltech, Dr Constantine Gurdgiev of Trinity, RTÉ’s Damien O Reilly, Frank Mulrennan of Celtic Media, former Google vice president John Herlihy, David Hunt of Agrilarity, Dr Ronan Power of Alltech and Sean Molloy, director of Strategy at Glanbia.

In the spirit of the company’s 31st annual conference, Alltech president and founder Dr. Pearse Lyons introduced General Colin Powell as “America’s favourite rebel”. Celebrated for his steady hand at the helm of the ship of state, Powell is high on the list of most admired leaders in the United States in the past 20 years, said Lyons.

A four-star general who served four US presidents in various roles, including national security advisor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the United States’ 65th secretary of state, Powell shared his insights on leadership with attendees.

He underscored that “leaders need to set a purpose. The best leaders convey purpose to everyone in their organisation”. He said he often advises young people to “be a success every day; give your best every day. That will bring you satisfaction”.

General Powell received this year’s Medal of Excellence. This is Alltech’s highest distinction, awarded annually to someone of great achievement and character. Previous honorees include scientists such as Dr. Eugenia Wang for her pioneering work in microRNA and agricultural leaders such as Norman Borlaug, the “father of the Green Revolution”.



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