2017 Financial Executive Forum


In just a few days, you'll gain the knowledge and connections you need to positively impact your company's bottom line and advance your professional career. View the sessions or download the full agenda.

See who's on the event planning committee

Sunday, May 21

1:00pm - 3:00pm U.S. Capitol Tour (optional)
5:00pm - 6:30pm Happy Hour

Monday, May 22

6:30am - 7:30am Breakfast
7:30am - 8:30am Opening Keynote
Essential Exchanges: What You Have to Give Up to Go Up
8:30am - 8:45am Break
8:45am - 9:45am The Economic Outlook for Retail Grocery in 2017 and Beyond: Peril or Prosperity
9:45am - 10:00am Break
10:00am - 11:00am Roundtables
An EMV Postmortem: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Winning the War on Talent: Recruiting and Retaining Top Tier Talent in the Grocery Industry

11:00am - 11:15am Networking Break
11:15am - 12:15pm Boosting the Bottom Line with a Proactive Approach to Tax Credits and Business Incentives
12:15pm - 1:15pm Lunch
1:15pm - 2:15pm The Economic Realities of Omnichannel Retailing
2:15pm - 2:30pm Networking Break
2:30pm - 3:45pm Idea Exchange
3:45pm - 4:00pm Networking Break
4:00pm - 5:00pm The Big Picture: An Update on the Financial Markets and Food Retail Landscape
5:00pm - 6:30pm Happy Hour

Tuesday, May 23

6:30am - 7:30am Breakfast
7:30am - 9:00am Data Breach Readiness and Response in a “When Not If” World
9:00am - 10:00am Accounting and Financial Reporting 2017 and Beyond: What Financial Executives Need to Know
10:00am - 10:20am Networking Break
10:20am - 11:20am Roundtables
Labor Regulation and Legislation in the Food Retail Sector

Improving Business Predictability with Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting Solutions 
11:20am - 11:30am Networking Break
11:30am - 12:30pm Improving Profit Margins Through Enhanced Vendor Performance Visibility
12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm - 2:45pm Idea Exchange
2:45pm - 3:00pm Networking Break
3:00pm - 4:00pm A View From the Hill 


Session Details

Essential Exchanges: What You Have to Give Up to Go Up

Kevin Paul Scott, Co-Founder of ADDO Worldwide, Business Builder and Author of “Eight Essential Exchanges” | Bio

Business means more than just products and services. Today, it’s more important than ever for an organization to stand for something.  Branding is what you tell the world you are; leadership is how you make it true. In this motivational and transformative session, Kevin will reveal how the most successful leaders make decisions, engage employees, and connect with customers using what he calls “Essential Exchanges” – what we gain by choosing between good things and even better things. Learn about the clear and challenging choices that confront us every day and how making them will lead to greater personal and professional fulfilment and develop you as a leader.

The Economic Outlook for Retail Grocery in 2017 and Beyond: Peril or Prosperity? 

Robert Genetski, Interest Rate Forecaster and Investment Banker | Bio

An unprecedented election has brought an air of uncertainty to the business world. What does a new administration and an unconventional President mean for the retail grocery industry in 2017 and beyond? Will retailers see a growth- and job-stimulating reduction in the business tax rate or face disruptive consumption tax system proposals? Will business tax reform bring gains or losses? What are the implications for global supply chains if trade deals such as TPP and NAFTA are dismantled? Could stagnant growth lead to increased M&A activity and will deflation continue to cripple food retailers? Join this session to get a realistic expert perspective on what to expect from the U.S. economy in 2017 and beyond so you can stay ahead of the curve.

An EMV Postmortem: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Hannah Walker, Senior Director, Government Relations, Food Marketing Institute | Bio

It’s been over a year since the chip-card, or EMV, deadline set by the major credit card brands went into effect. The grocery industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to become EMV enabled, yet many merchants are still struggling to migrate to the new system. Join FMI’s government affairs and payments legislation expert to discuss issues such as chargebacks, EMV routing screens and customer confusion. Share your own challenges, frustrations and successes and find out what could be next in the world of credit card payments.

Winning the War on Talent: Recruiting and Retaining Top Tier Talent in the Grocery Industry

Facilitator: Kevin Paul Scott, Co-Founder of ADDO Worldwide, Business Builder and Author of “Eight Essential Exchanges” | Bio

Recruiting and retaining the best talent can be difficult and costly in any industry. The labor-intensive supermarket industry faces its own unique set of challenges. Improvements in the economy along with decreases in unemployment mean higher turnover rates, the costs of which hit the bottom line. And the grocery industry continues to contend with its brand image problem, particularly among millennials. So, how do you win the war for talent? Join your peers in this facilitated conversation on the important decisions that retailers face to effectively recruit and retain employees. Discuss and share best practices for attracting top tier talent and for creating an environment where employees are prepared, passionate, purposeful and will want to stay.

Boosting the Bottom Line with a Proactive Approach to Tax Credits and Business Incentives

Rose Burden, Executive Director Southeast Incentives Leader, Indirect Tax Services, Ernst & Young LLP 
Chris Knezevic, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young LLP

As food retailers continue to face an increasingly competitive business environment, the importance and role of tax credits and business incentives (C&I) in maintaining profitability is growing. To optimize the use of C&I, financial executives must first have a clearer picture of the opportunities available and the benefits they provide. This overview of C&I will examine the types of incentives available, both at the state and local level, explain what triggers them and define who can take advantage of them. Learn about current incentive trends in the food retail industry and best practices for identifying, evaluating and optimizing the opportunities available.  Relevant case studies will help you discover how C&I can be applied in your own company to positively impact the bottom line and give you competitive advantage.

The Economic Realities of Omnichannel Retailing 

Facilitator: Thom Blischok, Chairmand & CEO, The Dialogic Group, LLC.

Digital technology has profoundly and irreversibly reshaped the overall retail landscape, transforming the way consumers shop.  Today’s consumer expects to be able to buy anything, anywhere, anytime using a digital device. Omnichannel retailing is here to stay and retailers face the economic reality that they must embrace and integrate it in order to survive. But what are the financial implications needing consideration when implementing an Omnichannel strategy?  What types and levels of capability investments are necessary, what are the risks and returns, and what challenges will retailers face going forward in their digital journey’s?  

Improving Profit Margins Through Enhanced Vendor Performance Visibility

Facilitator: Steve Schmitchel, Vice President, Business Development  and Program Management, Topco Associates, LLC.
Scott Frost, Senior Vice President, CFO and Treasurer, Weis Markets, Inc.
Michael Lockard, Senior Vice President and CFO, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.
Kyle McCoy, Executive Vice President and CFO, Brookshire Grocery Company

Without a clear picture of vendor performance, grocers must rely on vendor information, which puts them at a negotiating disadvantage.  In this session, you’ll learn how other grocery retailers have been able to increase their negotiating power using a proven methodology to assimilate procure-to-pay transaction data from disparate systems to provide on-demand visibility of vendor performance, P&L, trade funds and net cost down to item level.  Discover how to improve your margins using data driven insights that allow for fact based vendor negotiations and collaboration.

Data Breach Readiness and Response in a “When Not If” World

Kris Kleiner, Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP | Bio
Andy Obuchowski, Vice President, Global Forensic & Cyber Investigations, Charles River Associates | Bio

Jim Buhr, Vice President, CFO and CIO, Bashas’ Inc | Bio

Like it or not, it’s just a matter of time before your organization experiences a data breach.  Since 2005, more than 4,500 data breaches have been made public and more than 816 million records breached. Are YOU prepared for the inevitable? Readiness is prudent, but not dealing with the inevitability of an event could be considered reckless. Join a panel of cyber security experts to discuss best practices for preparing for, mitigating and responding to a data breach and hear from retailers who have experienced a breach on what compliance challenges they faced. Share your own cyber security and compliance challenges and take home practical advice on developing a documented data breach response plan.

Accounting and Financial Reporting 2017 and Beyond: What Financial Executives Need to Know

Bill Park, Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP

What accounting and financial reporting changes are coming down the pipeline in 2017 and how will they impact the food retail industry? Attend this session to get an up-to-the-minute report on FASB’s latest accounting standards, including the lease accounting standard, to make sure you’re in compliance. 

Labor Regulation and Legislation in the Food Retail Sector

Facilitator: Dana Mullen, Regulatory Counsel, Food Marketing Institute

Discuss pending labor regulations impacting the food retail sector with FMI’s legislative expert including overtime, minimum wage, worker classification, scheduling requirements, workers comp and other issues of interest to financial executives.  

Improving Business Predictability with Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting Solutions 

Facilitator: Sarah Bevers, Senior Financial Analyst, United Supermarkets LLC

With increased competition in the industry, deflation and other external factors, accurately projecting future performance can be complex. What technology and tools are available to assist in this process? What ways can you measure actual to anticipated results to review your assumptions and make adjustments moving forward? Discuss these and other issues related to projections and trending future performance.  

The Big Picture:  An Update on the Financial Markets and Food Retail Landscape

Scott Moses, Managing Director, Head-Food Retail & Restaurants Investment Banking, Peter J. Solomon Company | Bio

Get an overview of the key financial and the strategic developments currently under discussion in food retail boardrooms.  Learn which factors food retail financial executives could incorporate into their strategic and financial projections calculus and discuss operational benchmarking, relative valuation and the prospective shifts in the food retail M&A landscape.

A View From the Hill

With the first 100 days of the new administration behind us, get an insider’s perspective of what’s happening on Capitol Hill how a Republican-led Congress and White House is likely to shape our industry in the coming years.

Idea Exchange

Join in a lively discussion about the issues and challenges that keep financial executives in the food retail business up at night. Get ideas, swap best practices, share your pain points and connect with your finance peers during our most popular session.


James (Jim) Buhr

James Buhr is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer for Bashas’ Family of Stores – the family-owned grocer that operates Bashas’, Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Eddie’s Country Store, and Bashas’ Diné supermarkets. Jim began his career with the company in 1986 as Corporate Controller. Prior to that and coming to Arizona, Jim held managerial positions in computer systems, finance and auditing with Dayton Hudson Corporation now Target Corporation headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Southwest Minnesota State University and an MBA from University of South Dakota and served as an officer in the United States Air Force upon graduation from college.

Jim served as Chair of the Arizona Society of CPAs Board of Directors and actively participated on several committees since joining in 1987.  He was also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants council.  He was formally recognized as a valuable partner of the FBI for his cooperation in fighting cyber-crime and is currently a member of Arizona InfraGard.

Robert Genetski

Dr. Robert Genetski is the founder and President of ClassicalPrinciples.com, a global economic and financial consulting service. His experience in the world of economics and finance involves a unique combination of business and academic expertise. He has headed asset management, investment research departments and served as the chief economist for several financial institutions. He has also taught economics at NYU and the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. For five consecutive years he has been recognized as one of the top 5 speakers in the field of Economics/Finance. He has appeared on CNN and Fox News and his articles have appeared in the Fortune, The Wall Street Journal and Investors’ Business Daily. He is the author of a number of books, notably A Nation of Millionaires, Taking the Voodoo out of Economics, and Winning with Money. Dr. Genetski's latest book, Classical Economic Principles & the Wealth of Nations has received rave reviews for its clear, concise explanation of the economic policies necessary to promote wealth and prosperity. He has served on the board of directors for a number of public companies. On two separate occasions Genetski has been singled out as the number one interest rate forecaster in the United States.

Kristopher Kleiner

Kris Kleiner is part of Norton Rose Fulbright's Data Protection, Privacy and Cybersecurity practice group. Kris’ practice focuses on technology, privacy, and information security, but also includes commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Kris currently serves as "breach coach" or is on the approved panel for numerous cyber insurance carriers and companies. Kris has experience assisting various clients operating in multiple industries in identifying, remediating, and responding to data privacy incidents. Kris’ experience includes assisting in organizing and supervising forensic investigations, advising on and preparing individual and regulatory notifications, and assisting in responding to inquires about data security and data breach incidents. In addition, Kris has experience working with clients to develop or improve incident response planing policies, procedures, and documents. Before joining Norton Rose Fulbright as an associate, Kris served as a judicial intern for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr. and for the Honorable Michael A. Martinez in Colorado's Second Judicial District Court. Prior to attending law school, Kris worked in business management and management consulting and has experience managing small to mid-size businesses and assisting clients with developing and implementing operational improvements and cost savings measures.

Scott Moses

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.  Scott has advised clients in some of the most significant retail M&A transactions over the past 15 years, with a combined transaction value of over $50 billion.

Scott’s numerous food retail clients (many family-owned), include: Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sunflower Farmers Market, Lucky’s Market, United Supermarkets, Southeastern Grocers, Haggen, Lund’s/Byerly’s, Mi Pueblo, Pro’s Ranch Markets, Ahold (USFoodservice), Jean Coutu (Brooks/Eckerd), Weis Markets (SuperPetz), 7-Eleven, Jetro, The Little Clinic, Dollarama, as well as many private equity firms.  

Scott has been named to the “Top 50: Americas M&A Dealmakers” list by Global M&A Network (2013) and “40 Under 40” lists of promising finance professionals by IDD (2011) and The M&A Advisor (2015).  Scott graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.  He received MBA and JD degrees from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.  Scott sits on the Board of Directors of UpLift Solutions, a national nonprofit that helps bring full-service grocery stores to underserved markets across the country. 

Andy Obuchowski

Andrew Obuchowski is Vice President, Global Forensic & Cyber Investigations at Charles River Associates. Previously he served as Director with McGladrey’s Security & Privacy Consulting group in Boston. As an industry leader and expert in his field, he provides services and solutions for clients in preparation of and in response to matters involving data breach investigations, cyber security and incident response, digital forensic analysis, and intellectual property theft. Andy possesses more than 19 years of experience, including 12 years of law enforcement investigative knowledge, instruction at numerous police academies, and membership in several computer and financial crime task forces in Massachusetts. He is currently an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass., where he developed and teaches graduate and undergraduate programs in information security, computer forensics, and computer crime investigations. Prior to joining McGladrey, Andy was a leader with Navigant’s Legal Technology Solutions group overseeing matters and developing business relationships, project plans and policies/procedures surrounding data privacy and digital forensics. He also managed teams responsible for data breach investigations, complex digital forensic collections, network vulnerability and rapid security assessments. Andy also consulted on global matters relating to information security, digital forensics, and e-Discovery with Kroll's Secure Information Services and Computer Forensic Consulting practice

Kevin Paul Scott

Kevin Paul Scott has traveled to six continents and spoken to leaders from more than 100 countries. Kevin co-founded both ADDO Worldwide and the ADDO Institute. The ADDO Institute received the Governor’s International Award for “New Company of the Year” in the state of Georgia. The Institute works specifically in the areas of global leadership, student leadership, and thought leadership. Prior to founding ADDO, Kevin’s background included non-profit charitable work, business ventures, and politics. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Kevin served on a presidential campaign team and then worked as a representative for a United States Congressman. Kevin was named one of the “Power 30 Under 30″ for his work in expanding the marketing efforts nationwide as the Communicator in Chief for a global company. In consecutive years, Kevin was named to the “40 under 40” lists for Georgia Trend and then the Atlanta Business Chronicle. For his leadership and business acumen, Kevin has been featured on Fox Business, CNBC and in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Detroit Free Press, The Economist and others.

Hannah Walker

Hannah Walker joined FMI as a Senior Director, Government Relations in March 2012. She handles banking, SNAP, WIC Payment Data Security, and other payments issues for FMI. Prior to joining FMI Hannah spent three years as Legislative Director for then House Agriculture Committee member Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL). Hannah handled the Congressman’s agriculture, judiciary, energy and environment portfolio. Hannah joined Rooney after working for the State of Florida and former Congressman Mark Foley for several years, where she also handled agriculture and energy issues. Hannah started her political career at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2001 and then moved to the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2004 cycle. Hannah is a native Tennessean; she received her Bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and Law Degree from the University of Memphis and is a member of the Tennessee Bar.

Planning Committee

Mrs. Sarah Bevers
Senior Financial Analyst
United Supermarkets, LLC

Mr. Mike Booher
Director of IT Finance
Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Mr. Chuck Eallonardo
Bristol Farms, Inc.

Mr. Eugene Fradella
Vice President and CFO
Allegiance Retail Services, LLC (Foodtown)

Mr. Thomas Frey
Senior Vice President and CFO
Topco Associates LLC

Mr. Brian George
President and CEO
Alex Lee, Inc.

Mr. Dustin Hornbuckle
Mitchell Grocery Corporation

Mr. David Langless
Executive Vice President and CFO
Tops Markets, LLC

Mr. Michael T. Lockard
Senior Vice President and CFO
K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.

Mr. Gregg Maxwell
Group Vice President NASC, Controller Retail Accounting
Albertsons Companies

Mr. Kevin Stubbs
Senior Director, Operations and Finance
Southeastern Grocers, LLC