General Session & Keynote Address

The general session is the marquee event during the Irrigation Show, celebrating the past year and looking forward to the bright future ahead. The highlight of the event is the anticipated announcement of the new product contest winners. After seeing these new technologies firsthand on the show floor, come hear which products the panel of judges chose as the best in each category. The session also features recognition of the IA and Foundation annual award recipients, as well as the introduction of the new IA President.

The general session is open to all attendees and exhibitors. 



2017 Keynote Speaker

Doug Rauch

If you have ever set foot in a Trader Joe’s, you’ve experienced the innovative mastery of Doug Rauch, the general session keynote presenter for the 2017 Irrigation Show and Education Conference.

Rauch is the former president of Trader Joe’s Company, a popular neighborhood grocery store. Rauch spent 31 years with the company — 14 years as president. In an industry known for cut-throat competition, Rauch worked to grow the small nine-store chain in Southern California to a nationally acclaimed retail success story with more than 340 stores in 30 states.

Those who work with Rauch agree that his innovative approach is what took this company that started as a 7-Eleven knockoff to become the hottest retailer in America.

Retiring from Trader Joe’s in 2008, Rauch has directed his focus toward other work, including helping find a solution to the hunger problem. He is currently CEO of Conscious Capitalism, which looks at how four specific tenets — higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership and conscious culture — can simultaneously build stronger businesses and improve society as a whole.

He was also a recent senior fellow at the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative, where he focused on the challenges of food waste, hunger and obesity. Out of this fellowship he became the founder/president of Daily Table, a unique, nonprofit retail concept designed to bring affordable nutrition to the food-insecure in our cities.

Rauch received his executive MBA from the Peter Drucker School of Management, Claremont University, where he won several honorary awards including the Early Career Outstanding Entrepreneur Award.

During his keynote address, Rauch shared stories and eye-opening case studies and revealed how to create a self-sustaining culture of innovation, build a brand in a competitive marketplace and lead with a purpose.



Doug Rauch