Speakers

The 2018 Financial Executive and Internal Auditing Conference promises to deliver multiple opportunities for learning, collaboration, and engagement. This year's lineup of speakers will include experts with multi-channel expertise directly related to the issues most relevant to you.

Andy Harig

Director, Government Relations, Food Marketing Institute

Andrew S. Harig currently serves as Director of Government Relations at the Food Marketing Institute.  In this position, he is responsible for lobbying Congress and the Administration on behalf of FMI’s members, with a primary focus on agriculture, taxes, trade and pensions.Prior to joining FMI, Harig was an associate trade advisor and speechwriter for the Senate Finance Committee under its Chairman, Max Baucus (D-MT).  From 1999-2001, he was the senior research associate for the Global Economic Policy Project at the New America Foundation, a Washington, DC-based think tank.Harig holds a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Benton Blaine

Manager, Location Investment Services, Ernst & Young LLP.

Benton has eight years of experience as a private sector economic development professional representing companies in their expansion and development projects. Benton is the former senior manager for a national boutique site selection and incentive negotiations consulting firm. During his career, Benton has successfully orchestrated dozens of projects and analyzed hundreds of locations for companies while securing economic development incentives and public-private partnerships that have had a direct reduction in the clients’ initial or recurring costs. The business acumen developed by being a licensed real estate broker and formerly in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 company has helped Benton locate US headquarters, manufacturing, chemical, distribution and back-office projects. Education and professional affiliations Benton graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor’s in Finance. He then went on to earn his JD from Charlotte School of Law. Benton is admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in addition to being a licensed North Carolina real estate broker.

Mike Bower

Director of IT Finance, Publix Super Markets, Inc

Rose Burden

Executive Director Southeast Incentives Leader, Indirect Tax Services, Ernst 7 Young LLP

Rose is an Executive Director in the State and Local Tax (“SALT”) Southeast Area Business Incentives Group of Ernst & Young LLP covering 6 States.  Rose identifies business incentive opportunities for clients in Southeast Area locations and has secured millions in savings for clients with facility or equipment expansion projects.  She has an exceptional track record of establishing relationships and building support teams with key government officials and the private sector to maximize business incentives for clients.  Rose has helped clients realize significant benefits in areas such as state and local grants,  local property tax reduction vehicles, training program reductions, expedited permitting, reduced land costs, sales and use tax abatements, enterprise zone benefits, income tax credits, infrastructure grants, and utility rate reductions.  Rose has over 25 years of project management and economic development experience in local and statewide development.  Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Rose directed economic development and corporate expansion programs for Fulton County (Atlanta). Also, Rose was a former senior project manager for Oglethorpe Power Corporation. She has served as lead project manager on numerous corporate relocation and expansion projects in industry sectors including office headquarters, financial services, telecommunications, technology, broadcasting and entertainment networks, manufacturing, distribution, etc.

Kevin Coupe

Content Guy/ Prime Storyteller, MorningNewsBeat.com, Producer/Co-Host, “The Innovation Conversation” Podcast Author, “Retail Rules! 52 Ways To Achieve Retail Success,” & Co-Author, “The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons From The Movies”

Kevin Coupe is the author of “Retail Rules!  52 Ways To Achieve Retail Success," a guidebook for competing effectively and efficiently on Main Street.  And he is the co-author, with Michael Sansolo, of “The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies,” which uses film narratives to teach about leadership, marketing and surviving the workplace.

For more than 16 years, he’s had his own website/blog – MorningNewsBeat.com  – that was launched almost before the word "blog" was coined.  MNB provides what Kevin calls “business news in context, and analysis with attitude” to some 35,000 subscribers all over the world.   An independent survey ranked MNB as the “top industry news and information site.”

Kindra Hall

Speaker, Author, Communication Expert

Kindra is an award-winning columnist, author, and national champion storyteller. As a former Director of Marketing and VP of Sales, Kindra discovered the most effective method for capturing attention and increasing revenue—great storytelling. Kindra’s work can be seen in a weekly column at Inc.com, and has been featured in SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur.com and behind the scenes in New York Times bestselling books. A former board member of the National Storytelling Network, and with a Masters’ Degree in Organizational Communications & Management, Kindra now teaches innovative brands and executives to close more sales, become better leaders and blowup brands with the irresistible power of strategic storytelling.

Michael Howse

Vice President, Internal Audit and Asset Protection, SpartanNash Company

Scott Moses

Managing Director, Head - Food Retail & Restaurants Investment Banking, PJ Solomon Company

Scott Moses is a Managing Director and Head of the Food Retail and Restaurants Investment Banking practice at Peter J. Solomon Company.  He specializes in retail sector strategic and financial advice, with a focus on mergers, acquisitions, sales and divestitures of traditional and specialty grocers.

Andrew Nodes

VP, Retail Accounts, Instacart

Andrew Nodes leads Business Development for Instacart on the East Coast, working with national, regional, and local retailers. By developing partnerships between Instacart and retailers, and managing key accounts, Andrew helps grocers achieve maximum value from the Instacart platform and offerings. Through these partnerships, Instacart has established its retailer marketplace strategy.

Prior to joining Instacart, Andrew was a management consultant at A.T. Kearney based in their Washington DC office, concentrating on the retail and consumer packaged goods industries.  His project work ranged across retail’s and CPG’s value chains, from operations strategy to merchandising to supply chain to omnichannel strategy. Previously, he worked for BearingPoint and Hilltop Advisors.
 

Hilary Thesmar

Chief Food & Product Safety Officer & VP, Food Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute

In her role as the Chief Food & Product Safety Officer & Senior Vice President of Food Safety Programs for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Dr. Hilary Thesmar provides leadership for all safety programs for FMI’s retail and wholesale members and provides support for members on food safety training programs, FSMA training, recall plans and management, crisis management, research, and overall safety and sanitation programs.   She also works with the FMI Foundation on food safety education and research projects.  

Dr. Thesmar has a Ph.D. in Food Technology from Clemson University, a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University, a bachelor’s degree in Food Science from Clemson, and she is a Registered Dietitian.  She has over a decade of experience in scientific and regulatory affairs with food trade associations.  

Dr. Thesmar is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the International Association for Food Protection and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Dr. Thesmar currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for Food Safety Education.  

Bryan Thompson

Director, Security, and Risk Services, RSM US LLP

Bryan focuses on security, privacy, and risk services that include security assessments, vulnerability and risk management, security monitoring, incident response and compliance frameworks. Bryan has over 20 years of security experience, working with a variety of companies with a focus on planning, design and delivery of high-performing, cost-effective enterprise security programs. He has extensive experience developing and implementing information security management processes, concepts, solutions and technologies (Microsoft products, EMC, Salesforce, etc.) with a focus on data protection, security architecture, industry leading practices, and frameworks and regulatory compliance (e.g., Sarbanes-Oxley [SOX], Payment Card Industry [PCI], National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST], International Organization for Standardization [ISO]). Bryan has previously led a number of data protection assessments and policy development engagements, which focused on security governance, data privacy, information classification and handling, and overall data protection processes. He also serves as the Florida security, privacy, and risk leader, where he facilitates clients’ development and implementation of effective security program management practices across a variety of industries. Prior to joining RSM, Bryan held executive and senior-level positions, including chief information security officer (CISO), with organizations in industries such as defense and aerospace contracting, pharmaceuticals and finance. In addition, Bryan has been with one of the Big Four and another large consulting firm, where he served as the PCI leader and the data privacy champion.