Event Leadership

We are grateful for the conference co-chairs, John Ruane of Giant Food Stores and Rick Steigerwald of Lunds & Byerlys, two industry leaders representing the changing landscape of fresh. Their leadership in this event exemplifies the uniquely progressive values set by senior leadership in fresh.

John Ruane
John Ruane, Chief Merchandising Officer,
Giant Food Stores, LLC

John began his career journey at age 14, working for Foodtown in Caldwell, N.J., where he caught the “retail bug.” This store was owned and operated by a single owner, who taught him many lessons about customers and how to run the business like he owned it.

In 1980, John joined Pathmark which was a strong, emerging local brand, known for delivering exceptional value for the customer—something John’s current brand, Giant/Martins, has in common. John worked his way through many roles from part-time clerk to SVP of Merchandising, eventually becoming the Banner Merchant for Pathmark & Food Basics, a discount format. In 2011, John joined Stop & Shop NY as the Sales VP and in 2012, Ahold USA as the SVP of Fresh. In this role, John was responsible for all fresh merchandising and supply chain for 800 Ahold USA Stores, including all meat, seafood, deli, prepared, bakery, floral and produce.

Effective January 1, 2018, John became the Chief Merchandising Officer for The Giant/Martins Brand. In this role he is responsible for developing and implementing customer centric strategies that will ensure continued growth of the Giant brand while continuously improving both the customers’ experience and value propositions. John is very proud of the Giant Martins brand and look forward to continuing to enhance our customers every changing needs.


Rick Steigerwald
Rick Steigerwald, Vice President, Fresh Foods
Lunds & Byerlys

Rick Steigerwald serves as vice president of fresh foods for Lund Food Holdings, Inc.,which operates 27 Lunds & Byerlys stores, two manufacturing facilities and a produce distribution center in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market place.

His career began with Buttrey-Osco, a division of Jewel Food Stores in 1972, working primarily in produce and floral throughout the company. In 1985 Rick joined Supervalu, working in various areas of operations and merchandising at the division, region and corporate home office level. In 2005 Rick joined Lund Food Holdings, Inc. as director of produce and in 2013 became vice president of fresh foods. Rick is responsible for all of the fresh food departments and the companies produce distribution center.


FreshForward Planning Committee

Mr. John Beretta
Group Vice President, Meat and Seafood
Albertsons Companies

Mr. Jason Bucko
Senior Vice President, Sales
Mastronardi Produce Limited

Mr. Michael Celani 
Vice President, Domestic Retail
Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds LLC

Mr. Andrew Eder
Strategy and Transformation Manager

Mr. Randy R. Evins 
Senior Principal, Industry Advisor Food, Drug and Convenience
SAP America, Inc.

Mr. Eric Gassaway
Director, Sustainable Food Sourcing
Bayer U.S.-Crop Science

Mr. Dan Koch
Vice President, Bakery and Deli
Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc.

Mr. Terrence M. Murphy
Group Vice President, Fresh
Wakefern Food Corp.

Ms. Teri Rose
Senior Director Culinary Development
The Kroger Co.

Mr. John Ruane
Chief Merchandising Officer and Senior Vice President
GIANT Food Stores

Mr. Don Sanderson
Group Vice President, Fresh
Meijer, Inc.

Mr. Joe Weber
Executive Vice President, Growth and Business Development
Smithfield Foods Inc.