2019 Speakers

Tim Anderson

Chief Engineer, Display Cases and Micro-Distributed Systems, Hussmann Corporation

Tim Anderson is currently Chief Engineer, Display Cases and Micro-Distributed Systems for Hussmann Corporation.  He has over a decade of experience designing, developing, and testing refrigerated display cases operating with both synthetic and natural refrigerants.  He currently is responsible for developing and commercializing new product platform designs and serving as a technical representative to end users of Hussmann-made equipment.

Tim is a member of AHRI’s Commercial Refrigeration Engineering Committee, serving as the chair of the Standard 1200 Working Group.  He is the chair of ASHRAE Technical Committee 10.7 for Commercial Food and Beverage Cooling, Display, and Storage.  He is also a member of IEC SC61C Working Group 4, which is evaluating the charge limits for flammable refrigerants in IEC Standard 60335-2-89, the international safety standard for commercial refrigerators.  Tim received a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Nebraska Wesleyan University as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute. 


Sachin Arora

Global Business Leader, Fluorine Products, Honeywell International, Inc

Sachin leads Honeywell’s Fluorine Products Emerging Business, managing and mobilizing a global team as they shape the future of the Company’s Smart Refrigeration Solution (SRS) offering. He is currently responsible for overseeing the commercialization activities of the innovative SRS business.

Sachin joined Honeywell 2011 as the Strategic Marketing Leader for the Honeywell’s Healthcare Packaging business. In 2015, he assumed the role of Global Strategy & Marketing Leader for the Fluorine Products business. During his time at Honeywell, Sachin has led key new business development initiatives and breakthrough product strategies. Cumulatively, he has 16 years of experience in various industries, including refrigeration, food/nutrition, polymers, and chemicals.

Sachin is originally from India, born in Abu-Dhabi, UAE and raised in various regions
across the Middle East. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering
from the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) and his MBA from Penn State University.
Sachin is based in Morris Plains, NJ

Curt Avallone

Chief Business Officer, Takeoff Technologies, Inc.

Curt Avallone is the Chief Business Officer with Takeoff Technologies. He has over 30 years of retail experience in the food and drug industry. Curt is the founder of the multi-billion dollar HEB gasoline division as well as Ahold fueling operations in the United States. He introduced gasoline rewards programs to the supermarket industry first in Texas and later in New England. He luanched multiple digital initiatives for Ahold in the United States including Peapod.com at Stop&Shop Supermarkets as well as designing/operating the first e grocery fast pick warerooms in the USA that are still utilized across mutiple supermarket banners today.

Curt is the inventor/patent holder for the Ahold "scan it" system deployed in hundreds of US supermarkets that allows customers a personalized in store shopping experience and the ablity to purchase items in aisle versus traditional check-out. While at CVS , Curt designed and introduced CVS.com as a new profitable billion dollar business model. 

Paul Burd

Manager of Refrigeration Engineering, Weis Markets

Paul Burd has been the Manager of Refrigeration Engineering at Weis Markets for the past ten years. He is a seasoned veteran in all aspects of the Refrigeration component of the food retail industry having worked his way up from a Refrigeration Technician. Also admirable is his 35 years of loyalty in service of Weis Markets, Inc.

Paul Graduated Gateway Technical Institute in Pittsburgh with an Associates Degree in HVACR.

John Caramalis PE

Mechanical Engineering Design Manager, Publix Super Markets, Inc.

John, graduated from the University of South Florida with a BSE in 1983 and is a Professional Mechanical Engineer licensed in 6 states  .

As manager of mechanical engineering for the Publix Facilities Design Department, John has designed HVAC systems for Publix Super Markets for 31 years, first as a consultant and currently as a 21 year associate.

His responsibilities include design direction of Mechanical and Refrigeration (HVACR) systems in support of retail construction, remodel, and  facilities refrigeration and maintenance programs.  Publix operates 1225 stores in 7 Southeastern states. Publix builds over 50 new stores per year and remodels over 150 stores per year. 

John’s experience as a consulting mechanical engineer designing HVAC systems for various commercial, industrial, and institutional projects prior to joining Publix has become valuable in developing unique solutions for providing HVACR solutions for vertical and mixed use projects.

John successfully championed the use of dedicated Outside Air treatment as a means for improving indoor temperature and humidity conditions.  Now with the support of leadership, all new stores and replacement A/Cs are now dual path design. The added benefit of this design change is improved energy efficiency for Publix.


Will Carroll

Director, Business Development, Groom Energy

Will Carroll is a Director of Business Development at Groom Energy, EDF Group, focused on energy efficiency solutions for national and regional grocery and retail companies. In this role, Will has led both the business and technical development of building energy upgrades that include full building energy modeling, utility incentive management with multi-state turn-key installations. Past projects have included peer-reviewed refrigeration controls energy modeling, programmatic LED lighting re-designs, close-the case installations and efficiency-as-a-service programs. Will is also actively engaged with newer technologies like applying EC motors in variable speed applications, refrigeration controls for active demand management and thermal storage. Will holds a degree in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College

Lee Churchill

Vice President Sales, Seasons 4 Inc.

Lee Churchill P.E.(Canada) Lee Churchill is VP of Sales [Supermarket Equipment] for Seasons-4 Inc. A graduate of Queens University (Canada) for Mechanical Engineering he has been with Seasons-4 for 25 years; first in Engineering then moved into Sales. Previous experience was working at Phoenix Refrigeration in the early 1990’s as an engineer. With 30 years of focus on the U.S. Supermarket industry, Lee has a great understanding of all the physics that apply to maintain proper climate control inside a store. Lee’s team of Supermarket specialists at Seasons-4 have worked to manufacture high-end custom-made HVAC systems to properly control temperature and humidity in thousands of stores.

Paul Crewe

Executive Director and Chief Sustainability Officer, Anthesis Group

Paul Crewe is Executive Director and Chief Sustainability Officer at Anthesis. He previously worked at Sainsbury’s-Argos where he has led Sustainability, Energy, Engineering, Environment and Facilities Management. His strategic and operational experience span the built environment incorporating both embodied and operational carbon through design and selection of construction and engineering solutions, and at a corporate level, waste/energy management, water management, measuring and reducing food waste, recycling and setting energy and carbon reduction targets to 2030, building resilience through sustainable supply chains and strengthening corporate reputation through the embracing of sustainability and tackling the challenges of climate change.

Paul was instrumental in delivering some of the highest returning investments in Sainsbury’s 148-year-old history through key sustainability investments and technology programmes. Paul led the widely publicized deal between GE and Sainsbury’s. A ground-breaking arrangement that has seen Sainsbury’s – Argos commit to going 100% LED in their stores with alternative funding stream sitting outside of Sainsbury’s capital investment program. He also delivered Europe’s largest multi roof array of Photo Voltaic Panels, the development of commercial scale deep bore ground source heat pump technologies, fast frequency demand response systems, sustainability behavior change programs to drive out carbon, waste and water within own operations and the supplier base, and the championing of both operational and consumer waste programs.

Brian Fricke

Group Leader, Building Equipment Research, Energy & Transportation Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Brian Fricke is the Group Leader for the Building Equipment Research Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Brian has over 20 years of experience in the areas of commercial and industrial refrigeration, including the evaluation of low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants, the development of energy efficient refrigeration technologies and modeling of refrigeration system energy consumption and emissions.

Brian is an active member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), where he is member of several technical committees.  In addition, Brian is a member of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) where he serves as the chairman for the U.S. National Committee of the IIR, and Vice-President of Commission C2, Food Science and Engineering.

John Gallaher

VP of Cold Chain Solutions, ripKurrent

John Gallaher is the Vice President, Cold Chain Solutions for ripKurrent, an energy services company that focuses on turnkey solutions for our clients that target 30-50% savings.  John joined ripKurrent recently after spending over 27 years in a variety of positions including engineering, refrigeration systems R&D, business development and sales leadership in the refrigeration systems industry for major North America OEM’s. Prior to the refrigeration industry, he spent 14 years at Georgia Power Company as a mechanic in various departments at hydroelectric and cold fired steam generating facilities. During his time in the refrigeration industry, John has been involved in the development and introduction of various technologies for commercial refrigeration applications and expanding the use of these technologies to the refrigerated processing and storage industry.

John received a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Southern College of Technology in 1990. He is a member of IIAR, the Global Cold Chain Alliance, and ASHRAE.

Mike Guldenstern, BSME

Founder & Director, e2s (energy efficiency services)

Mike Guldenstern, BSME, Founder and Director e2s (energy efficiency services, llc)

Mike Guldenstern has been an industry leader in the commercial grocery & refrigeration industry for over 24 years. Mike founded e2s (energy efficiency services, llc) in 2003 as an independent commissioning (Cx) resource focused on the U.S. grocery industry. Since then, Mike has expanded the company's suite of services beyond commissioning to include in-house test and balancing, capital upgrade planning, and turn-key project execution.

Since day one, e2s has been driven to create value within owners’ projects, and genuinely help all stakeholders in the process of bringing owners’ projects to life correctly and efficiently. e2s has commissioned over 1,200 projects totaling over 50,000,000 square feet of commercial grocery space as an independent commissioning agent in support of clients’ sustainable development and retro-commissioning programs. e2s has developed and deployed over $50m in energy efficiency upgrades and critical MEP/R/EMS infrastructure end-of-life replacements. The e2s team has 250 years of combined grocery system expertise, including HVAC, lighting, refrigeration systems, and their related controls, and brings that extensive experience to bear on every project. e2s operates nationally in all 48 states and Hawaii.

Sarah Johnston

Client Portfolio Commodity Services Director, Calpine Energy Solutions

Ms. Johnston began her career with Calpine in 2009 as a data analyst. She assumed her current role in 2011 when her focus shifted to reporting and analysis for risk management clients. As Client Portfolio Commodity Services Director, Ms. Johnston manages a roster of Calpine Energy Solutions’ Portfolio Risk Management clients with complex and expansive footprints or portfolios.  She is responsible for analyzing data on macroeconomic trends, commodity market influences, and broader energy markets, while ensuring that Calpine’s key clients’ electricity portfolios are balanced and well managed. Her expertise in energy portfolio management guides clients through the use of advanced risk analytics, evaluation of strategy performance, and guidance in creating and executing energy policies and strategies. Ms. Johnston is also a frequent speaker at summits and forums on the topics of energy portfolio management, corporate sustainability, and commodity risk management.

Education and Credentials

  • B.S., Business Administration, Elmhurst College
  • Graduate Certificate, Corporate Sustainability and Innovation, Harvard University

Kevin Kelley

AIA Founding Partner & Principal, Shook Kelley

Kevin Ervin Kelley is the co-founder and principal of Shook Kelley, a strategy + design firm founded in 1992 with offices in Charlotte and Los Angeles. Shook Kelley specializes in the art and science of Convening: bringing people together around a physical place, space, idea, forum and experience. The firm’s client list includes well-known brands such as Harley-Davidson, Whole Foods, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Harris Teeter and more.
Trained as an architect, Kevin realized early in his career that design is a strategic weapon for any business in any industry. Kevin’s specialty is getting inside the minds of consumers and figuring out how the physical environment affects a consumer’s choice, comfort, retention and purchase behavior. This is a skill and technology that every consumer-based company can benefit from.
Kevin is a much sought after lecturer and presenter for various conferences around the country. He has taught courses on branding and marketing for the professional development program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and has previously served as a professor within the College of Architecture at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Tom Land

GreenChill Partnership Program Manager, Stratospheric Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Tom Land has worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for over 20 years. He has implemented and managed EPA regulatory programs to phase out chemicals that deplete the ozone layer. He also represents the U.S. at international treaty negotiations of the Montreal Protocol and helps guide the Multilateral Fund in approving cost-effective projects that assist developing countries to transition from ozone-depleting substances. Now, as manager of EPA's GreenChill Partnership Program, Tom is collaborating with the food retail industry to adopt practices and advanced refrigeration technologies to reduce refrigerant emissions and the amount of refrigerant in systems for cost-savings and environmental benefits.

Michael Lehtinen

Marketing and Business Development, Kysor/Warren

Originally from Chicago, Michael relocated to Atlanta to begin his professional career in marketing. He has been with Kysor/Warren for several years now, starting in a product management role and advancing to marketing director. His experience covers all aspects of marketing for various products over the years, such as: medical diagnostic equipment, pharmaceutical packaging, environmental sample containers, supermarket refrigeration and laboratory plastic ware. His experience has been gained with: Roche Diagnostics, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Kysor/Warren. In his current role his focus is on delivering superior products & services to food retailers and advancing the adoption of natural refrigerants in the industry.

John Lerch, CEP

Director, Energy and Facilities, Weis Markets, Inc.

John Lerch is the Director of Energy and Facilities for Weis Markets, Inc. a regional supermarket chain based in Sunbury, PA with stores located in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia. John is responsible for the energy procurement, facility maintenance, HVAC/ Refrigeration Maintenance, equipment maintenance, and the implementation and execution of energy efficiency and sustainability programs at 200+ stores.

Xinpei Li, LEED AP, CEM, EIT

Division Energy Manager, Quality Food Centers/ Kroger Co.

Xinpei Li is currently the Energy Manager with Quality Food Centers, a subsidiary division of Kroger Co. She has a Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering with thesis work in Green Process Engineering. Her Master Degree is in Chemical Engineering with thesis work in Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Systems. 

 Xinpei brings Cumulative 7+ years of academic research as well as professional work experience in the area of Energy and Sustainability Engineering.

Charlie Lowe

Director of Refrigeration, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.

Charlie is responsible for the operational readiness and the energy efficient operation of the refrigeration, lighting, electrical, plumbing, and food processing equipment systems installed in K-VA-T’s Food City and Super Dollar stores. Charlie is based out of Abingdon, VA.


Lauren MacGowens

Sector Lead, Refrigeration Technology, Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute

Lauren MacGowens is the Sector Lead for Refrigeration Products at AHRI. Lauren is responsible for developing, implementing, and communicating the overall strategy for the entire Refrigeration Sector of AHRI.  Lauren joined AHRI in 2012 as an Associate Certification Engineer.  She held numerous intermediate positions within certification in technical, managerial, and regulatory roles, prior to serving as the Lead Regulatory Advisor, Refrigeration Technology. 

Lauren has been intricately involved in industry updates for standards, certification programs, codes, and regulations. She continues to support regulatory affairs for all items pertaining to refrigeration technology.  Throughout her career, she has served on advisory roles for many associations and engineering societies within our global industry.  Within ASHRAE, she chairs and holds voting positions for a number of standards and technical committees.  She has been instrumental in standards publications and updates of both method of test and ratings standards used in many Department of Energy (DOE) regulations. She also provides input to EPA, DOE, foreign governments and other regulatory agencies regarding ozone and climate and energy efficiency regulations.  

Lauren holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Catholic University of America.

Paul Marks

Beta Test Improv

Paul is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and  has been the owner of Briarcliff Hall, a private SAT tutoring service for students taking the college entrance exam, for the past 27 years. In addition, he studied improvisation at Second City and Improv Olympics (i/o) in Chicago from the very best instructors (some of whom have been finalists for Saturday Night Live).

Paul spent several years researching and studying corporate culture, team building, and presentation skills to see if there was a synergistic relationship between his improv philosophy and the business world. Confident of the connection, in early 2012, he opened Over The Counter improv (now called Beta Test Improv) to teach the benefits of improvisation and right-brain thinking to corporations. Within seven months, he was featured in an article for the Charlotte Observer regarding the benefits of improv in the corporate world, and some companies took notice; when he first began offering the workshops…4 companies took a chance on this unique business improv program.  By 2018, Paul was giving more than 90 speeches across the country annually.

Paul's unique style of laughter, leadership, and right-brain thinking has led companies such as Daimler Trucks, Wells Fargo, Ingersoll Rand, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Red Ventures and many others to use his training workshops.  As a top executive said at University Eye Associates, “Paul’s workshop had more laughter than at any function in our 35 year history.”

Scott Martin

Director, Business Development and Industry Relations , Hillphoenix

Scott Martin currently serves as Director, Business Development and Industry Relations for Hillphoenix, A Dover Company, located in Conyers, Georgia. A third generation Refrigeration Engineer, Scott received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Polytechnic State University in 1985. Scott has held a wide variety of industry roles including Product Manager, Director of Engineering and R&D, and most recently Director of Sustainable Technologies. Today, Scott’s focus reflects a strong Hillphoenix commitment to providing product and technology answers that help retailers supply higher quality food products while advancing efforts toward environmental stewardship.

Doug Milu

Refrigeration & Energy Program Manager, Publix Super Markets Inc.

Doug Milu is the Refrigeration and Energy Program Manager for Publix Super Markets Inc. Publix has 1,222 supermarkets in 7 Southeastern states. Milu is a seasoned professional bringing 36 years experience in Supermarket Refrigeration, installation, service and maintenance to his position. He is currently responsible for oversight of Publix's refrigeration and HVAC equipment specifications, installation specifications, as well as having input to future refrigeration designs. His core team also facilitates research and development of advanced technologies in refrigeration systems, energy management and sustainability.

Brad Morris

Senior Manager, Engineering and Energy, Giant Eagle, Inc.

Brad Morris is Senior Manager of Engineering and Energy for Giant Eagle Inc., a regional supermarket chain based in Pittsburgh, PA, with stores in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  Brad is responsible for managing the Architectural and Engineering design teams, the operation and maintenance of the refrigeration and HVAC systems and the execution of energy efficiency projects.

Brad holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Grove City College and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer.

Jeff Nader

Design Services, api(+)

Jeff is a seasoned architectural retail designer with broad project management experience and strong creative flair. He’s proven himself to be talented in implementing a wide variety of design and development projects and can readily conceptualize innovative ideas. Jeff worked on a variety of commercial project and program types, ranging from hospitality, retail, and restaurant to governmental and healthcare, but his heart and the large bulk of his portfolio belongs to retail design. His portfolio includes work with: -BTI Partners -Fields & Table -Powell’s Supermarket -Seritage Growth Properties -Stellar Partners -WS Development -Disney World -Kroger -Walgreens -Starbucks -Chick-fil-a -Wendy’s -Burger King -McDonald’s Jeff holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Michigan, and he is pursuing his architectural license. Before joining api(+) Jeff held retail design positions with respected firms including Studio H2G, Miter House and Rick Swisher Architect Inc. A true craftsman and creative, outside of the office he designs and builds furniture. His creativity also extends to the kitchen where he enjoys cooking traditional Lebanese dishes.

Jon Nixon

Director of Store Planning, AHT Cooling Systems USA

Jon is responsible for System Design, Project Management and Installations for AHT Cooling Systems USA a member of the Daikin Group. He is instrumental in the implantation of the Store Planning Department at AHT USA, a vital team that works hand in hand with Sales to deliver turnkey packages.  His focus is in Semi Plug in Micro Distributed R290 Vento systems.  AHT has been the global leader in green refrigeration which is Jon’s passion.

Jon has more than 25 years of industry experience in commercial construction, design, project management and business development.


Brian Owens


Mr. Owens is an engineering manager with ten years in the energy efficiency industry, specializing in data collection and analysis, research, and quantifying energy savings for retrofit efficiency programs that address the grocery sector. He leads collaboration with utility programs, facility managers, and trade allies to bring new technologies and efficiency measures to incentive programs. Mr. Owens received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Portland State University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Oregon, and a member of ASHRAE.

Andre Patenaude, C.E.T.

Director – Solutions Integration, Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions

Andre is responsible for supporting system-related innovation and leveraging Emerson’s global cold chain to drive adoption of integrated solution in North America. He most recently led marketing efforts pertaining to Emerson’s food retail and chiller markets. Prior to that, he had managed Emerson’s global CO2 development. 

Andre has more than 35 years of industry experience in sales, marketing, training and business development of HVACR system architectures and applications.

He is a certified Mechanical Engineering Technologist C.E.T.

Steven Keith Platt

Director and Research Fellow, Platt Retail Institute (PRI), Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University & Research Director, Retail Analytics Council

Steven Keith Platt is Director and Research Fellow at the Platt Retail Institute (PRI). He also is an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University and serves as the Research Director at the Retail Analytics Council, an initiative between Northwestern University and PRI.

PRI is an international consulting and research firm that focuses on leveraging technology to impact the consumer experience. Central to this is building actionable AI models that aid retailers and technology companies in gaining insights into their customers and operations. The Retail Analytics Council is the leading organization focused on the study of consumer shopping behavior across retail platforms and the impact of technology. 

Steven received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and Marketing from the Boston University School of Management.  He also has a Law Degree and an LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University, where he served as Articles Editor for the University's Journal of Tax Law. He has authored many studies about retail analytics and digital communication networks, and has published articles in journals including the American Bankers Association Journal, Digital Signage Quarterly, Extended Retail Solutions, Retail Information Systems News, the Retail Solutions Providers Association Magazine, and the Retail Navigator, among many others. He has been quoted in publications including Bloomberg, Business Week, Chain Store Age, the Chicago Tribune, DSN Retailing Today, Inc. Magazine, RFID Journal, Stores Magazine, the San Jose Mercury News, Time Magazine, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. He has also appeared as a guest analyst on the CBS Evening News and Early Show, ABC World News, and HD News. He has also lectured at conferences around the globe.

Michelle Poler

Founder, Hello Fears

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela to a family of holocaust survivors, Michelle was accustomed to living with fear. But when she moved to New York to pursue a Masters in Branding at the School of Visual Arts, Michelle quickly realized that NYC was not for the fearful.

In efforts to re-write her definition of fear, Michelle set out to face 100 fears in 100 days. Half way into the journey, the project was discovered by the media, becoming an instant viral phenomenon. 

Michelle completed her 100th challenge on a TEDx’s stage. This helped her turn a personal project into a global movement, allowing her to quit her job as an Art Director in advertising to pursue her passion.

Michelle discovered that inspiring others to go after their fears was her new calling. She is now touring the world speaking at companies, schools and organizations teaching audiences how to step outside their comfort zones as a way to tap into their full potential.

She is also the Founder of Hello Fears, a platform aimed at making the world a braver place through a mix of live events, video series, podcast interviews, user-generated content, and daily inspirational posts.

Gustavo Pottker

Applications Group Leader - Refrigerants, Honeywell International, Inc

Gustavo Pottker joined the Advanced Materials Division of Honeywell in Buffalo/NY in 2012. He currently leads the research and development of low global warming potential refrigerants and software enabled services for commercial refrigeration.

Gustavo is originally from Brazil where he received his B.Sc. and M.Sc degrees in Mechanical Engineering and got his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois. He has 19+ years of academic and industry experience in refrigeration and air conditioning, including domestic and commercial refrigeration, residential and mobile A/C.

Andrew Rauch, RA

Director, Store Planning & Architectural Design Services, Giant Eagle

Andrew is passionate about leading the way adapting to change from the design front during in the tremendous time of flux that the food retail industry is facing. He is the Director of Store Planning & Architectural Design Services, a position he has held during his 13 year tenure at Giant Eagle. He is responsible for oversight of both the Store Planning and Buying Departments at Giant Eagle. He previously led a team at Filene's Department Store as the Director Store Planning and has also worked as an architect. 

Andrew hold a Masters of Architectural Studies from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Michael Sansolo

Retail Food Industry Consultant and Research Director, Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils of North and Latin America

Countless studies and years of work with some of the world’s most innovative companies gives Michael Sansolo a unique and diverse view of the changing nature of trends impacting shoppers, employees, competition, economics, supply chains and management. A long-time senior vice president of FMI and now a consultant, speaker and author, Sansolo has traveled the globe working with companies on adjusting to new market conditions.

He currently serves as the research director of the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils of both North and Latin America, working with these groups on emerging business topics such as social networking.

Sansolo recently authored Business Rules! a collection of diverse and useful lessons in business success. Stories are gathered from companies of all sizes and lessons from professional sports, Broadway Theater, a New York City catering company and pop star Lady Gaga.

Previously, Sansolo co-authored The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies, a book that identifies creative lessons in leadership, marketing and workplace dynamics gleaned from movies as varied as The Godfather and Young Frankenstein. Topics in the book include ethics, brand building, crisis management, outside-the-box thinking and diversity. Sansolo also writes a weekly column on wide-ranging business trends for www.MorningNewsBeat.com, a daily blog with nearly 35,000 readers.

Michal Shepard, CEM, CSDP, CEA

Director of Maintenance, Energy and Engineering, Harris Teeter

Michal Shepard is the Director of Maintenance Energy and Engineering at Harris Teeter in Charlotte, NC. (2004- Present).  

He has 37 years’ experience in the supermarket industry concentrating on facility maintenance, HVAC&R, lighting, equipment selection, procurement, engineering and energy disciplines. He has CEM, CEA and CSDP accreditation from Association of Energy Engineers.

Sandy Verma

Global Director Strategy and Development, AT&T IoT Solutions

AT&T is a Fortune 10 Company and a world leader in Global Telecommunications, Media and Technology with 2018 reported consolidated revenues of $170.8 Billion. 

Sandy Verma leads Global Strategy & Business Development Solutions for AT&T Internet of Things (IoT). The group provides an innovative suite of global connectivity, application delivery platforms, analytics, security and professional services solutions. With IoT remaining a top priority for AT&T, Sandy spearheads development of strong vertical strategies for a range of industries, including retail, supply chain and logistics, finance, manufacturing, automotive, fleet, healthcare, smart cities, agriculture and consumer electronics. His team helps accelerate IoT innovation and adoption around the world, supporting organizations in every segment as they transform to change the way people work and live. 

With a dynamic track record of leadership in the wireless industry spanning two decades, Sandy joined AT&T Mobility in the United States in 2001 and has held senior leadership roles across North America and Asia Pacific. Most recently, he was Managing Director of IoT for Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong. 

Sandy graduated Masters in Business Administration and International Trade from the Peter Drucker Graduate School of Management in Claremont and the University of Oxford. He is also a graduate of the Management Program for Executives at the University of Southern California.


Rusty Walker

Trainer, Learning Center Program, Hillphoenix, A Dover Company