On November 12, 2014 fellows of the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 Center for Risk Management Education and Research (CRMER) had the opportunity to visit with Bob Goodpaster, Vice President, Chief Global Knowledge Officer for The Hershey Company while he was on the K-State campus. Goodpaster first visited with CRMER students at K-State last spring and wanted to continue the relationship with the Center by returning to speak with fellows this fall.
The dialogue began with new fellows sharing why they joined the Center then Goodpaster shared background on his career and opened the discussion up for questions from the fellows. The first topic of discussion was the concept of providing consumers with choices and their tendency for keeping taste a top priority when choosing food products. Goodpaster expressed the importance of manufacturers being transparent with respect to food ingredients and the need to offer choices that align with consumers’ preferences.
Fellows continued asking questions which led discussion on topics including TV advertising, the Milton Hershey School, crisis communication and public relations, expansion in the Asian and Chinese markets, the complexity surrounding ownership of U.S. brands, and the differences between working for a consulting firm and large companies.
Goodpaster also shared advice for the fellows including to gain new experiences, do your job well, and exhibit honesty and integrity. The conversation wrapped up with a discussion on consumer trends and the constant challenges facing the global knowledge field including the aging population, millenials, technology, government regulations, and globalization.
Risk Fellows were able to learn about a variety of topics, issues, and risks facing a large multi-national company from an experienced executive who is generous enough to share his passion for understanding market research and consumer insights in a global society. We appreciate the time Mr. Goodpaster spent with the fellows and look forward to continuing the relationship with The Hershey’s Company.