PORTLAND, Ore. -- Executives from companies in the Pacific Northwest mixed with peers from other parts of the country at the Food Industry Leadership Center Executive Forum 2005. Al Carey, president of PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., presented the keynote address, in which he encouraged retailers to empower their front-line employees. Other speakers included executives from Wal-Mart Stores, Albertsons and Target Corp. Syd Hannigan, operations manager for the Oregon division of Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., discussed the future of organic/natural merchandising on a panel with Laurie Demeritt, president and chief operating officer of The Hartman Group, Seattle. (See Page 31). David Orgel, editor-in-chief, SN, moderated a panel on the state of the industry (Oct. 24 issue of SN, Page 1) and presented the SN Whole Health Enterprise Award to Ukrop's Super Markets, Richmond, Va., and the Retail Excellence Award to Hannaford Bros., Scarborough, Maine. The 11th annual event was co-sponsored by Portland State University here and Weyerhaeuser Corp., Federal Way, Wash.