Speakers

Lynn Dornblaser

Director of Innovation & Insight, Mintel

Lynn Dornblaser brings 30 years of product trend knowledge to Mintel, which she joined in 1998. She applies her unique perspective on the market and new product development to tailored client research and to extensive public speaking.
Prior to joining Mintel, Dornblaser covered new product trends at several trade magazine publishing companies, as editor and editorial director of publication New Product News. She has been quoted by major US news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and CNN. In addition, Dornblaser has also served as keynote lecturer and speaker for numerous industry groups and sales forums.

Dornblaser holds a BS in Journalism from the University of Illinois and has also contributed to a textbook on new product development. She can usually be found in the aisles of a supermarket somewhere in the world.

She has been involved in the food industry since she was 10 years old, baking Swedish coffeecakes for her father to sell at his Swedish butcher shop. Dornblaser is also an avid fly-fisher and enjoys standing in stream with her fly rod and waders.

Kiersten Firquain

Consultant, Chef, and Entrepreneur, Happy Food Co.

Kiersten is a consultant, chef, and entrepreneur whose focus is on local, fresh, and healthy creations. ‘Chef K,’ as she’s known, started her first company in 1999. Five years later, after attending the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Ca., she started her catering business, In Home Bistro, which she still operates today. In 2006, she founded Bistro Kids, the first Farm-to-School lunch program in the Midwest. In 2011, Bistro Kids was acquired by Treat America (Company Kitchen), a Kansas City-owned food service management company. In 2015, Kiersten co-founded her latest venture, Happy Food Co., a meal-kitting platform supply company. With her partner Jeff Glasco, Chef K is working to revolutionize the way real people purchase, cook, and enjoy good food at home. Kiersten has undergraduate degrees from the University of Kansas and a graduate degree from California State University Sacramento. She resides in Lenexa, Kan. And has one son in college.

www.gethappyfood.com
www.inhomebistro.com
www.givesomehappy.com

Chuck Gitkin

Chief Marketing Officer, Cargill Protein Group

Chuck Gitkin serves as Chief Marketing Officer for the Cargill Protein Group within the Protein and Salt Enterprise. He joined Cargill in September 2016.

In this role, Chuck and his team are responsible for Marketing, Innovation, Category Management & Marketing Analytics, Consumer Insight, Culinary, Sustainability, and Communication across all proteins and channels.

Prior to joining Cargill, Chuck was Senior Vice President of Brands and Marketing with Smithfield Foods, and held Marketing and Innovation leadership roles with McCain Foods and Unilever.  His experience also includes marketing roles with Clairol and a marketing research role with Philip Morris.  Chuck began his career in retailing with Saks Fifth Avenue, where he completed an Executive Training Program.

Chuck holds an MBA in Marketing and International Business from New York University, The Stern School of Business and an undergraduate degree from Tulane University.

Steven Goldbach

Chief Strategy Officer, Deloitte

Steven is a principal at Deloitte and he serves as the firm’s Chief Strategy Officer. He is also a member of the Deloitte US Executive Leadership Team. Prior to joining Deloitte, Steve was a partner at Monitor Group and head of its New York office.

Steve helps executives and their teams transform their organizations by making challenging and pragmatic strategy choices in the face of uncertainty. He is an architect, expert practitioner, and teacher of the variety of strategy methodologies developed and used by Monitor Deloitte over the years. Serving clients in many industries, including consumer products, telecommunications, media, and health care, Steve helps companies combine rigor and creativity to create their own future.

Steve is a co-author of Detonate: Why – and How – Corporations need to Blow up Best Practices (and Bring a Beginner’s Mind) to Survive. He holds degrees from Queen’s University at Kingston and Columbia Business School.

Ryan Hamburger

Senior Director, Retail Accounts, Instacart

Ryan has been with Instacart for three and a half years. Over that time, Ryan has supported Instacart's efforts with both new and existing retailer relationships to ensure Instacart is well positioned to deeply partner with the grocery retailers that Instacart works with. In addition, Ryan has helped build out the Retail Accounts team at Instacart to evolve with the changing landscape of grocery retail. Prior to joining Instacart, Ryan spent 4+ years in management consulting at Bain & Company working in the retail and CPG space. Ryan holds his MBA and BBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Tom Heinen

Co-President, Heinen’s, Inc.

Heinen’s started as a butcher shop in 1929, opened Cleveland’s first supermarket in 1933 and Ohio largest Supermarket in 1959. Today, this family owned grocery chain has grown to 23 stores (19 in Cleveland and 4 in Chicago). Unique among most grocery store chains, Heinen’s self-distributes their products through their three two warehouse facilities and a new food manufacturing plant, also located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Tom Heinen is the Co-President of Heinen’s, Inc. He and his twin brother, Jeff, run the company and represent the third generation to lead in the business.

Tom grew up in Cleveland and graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in Business Management. Prior to becoming Co-President, Tom worked in and developed strategies in several areas of the company, including Heinen’s nationally recognized Meat Program, Bakery, Prepared Foods and Deli. Tom and his brother are actively engaged in the business and between them share in overseeing all operations of the company. Tom specifically leads the company’s Chicago operations, Central Food Production and Labor Relations for Heinen’s 3,700 associates.

Larry Keeley

President, Doblin

Larry is a director of Deloitte Consulting LLP and president and co-founder of its innovation practice, Doblin. He is a strategist who has worked over three decades to develop more effective innovation methods. A globally recognized teacher, speaker, writer, and thinker, he fervently champions the strategic combination of design and business. His book, Ten Types of Innovation, The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs, codifies much of the research and tradecraft that drives effective innovation.

Sebastian Langbehn

Head of Global Vegetable Seeds, Bayer

Sebastian Langbehn heads Bayer Crop Science’ Vegetable Seeds organization, focused on advancing health and nutrition through horticulture. Most recently, he joined Bayer through the Monsanto merger and acquisition, successfully completed in August 2018, and has been the Monsanto, Global Vegetable Seeds, Vice President. Originally from Argentina, Langbehn is based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sebastian has devoted his entire career to horticultural innovation and customer centric solutions, beginning as the owner of a fresh vegetable operation in Chile. In 1996, he joined Seminis Vegetable Seeds in Chile, then through the merger and acquisition of Seminis, joined Monsanto in 2005. Immediately prior to leading Monsanto’s vegetable seeds business, he served as Global Vegetable Seeds Product Management and Marketing Lead, Asia and South America Vegetable Seeds Commercial Lead, North and South America Vegetable Seeds Commercial Lead, and South America Vegetable Seeds Commercial Lead. As a grower, himself, he hopes to bring an empathetic approach to better meet grower’s needs around the globe with both De Ruiter Seed and Seminis Seed brands.

Langbehn received an agricultural engineering degree from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and a master of business administration from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez – Santiago.  He enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with his wife and three children.

Jim Lemke

President, Robinson Fresh

Jim Lemke serves as President of Robinson Fresh and is leading the division in a time of considerable change. In his current role, Jim oversees global fresh produce and temperature controlled supply chain activities. He works with his team to create solutions for customers with complex requirements and helps achieve a balance between delivering global products with local appeal. He brings almost 30 years of experience, a dedication to leading high-performing teams and a strategic vision to Robinson Fresh that will take the company well into the future. Prior to Jim being named president of Robinson Fresh in January 2015, he served as senior vice president from December 2007 to December 2014 and served in various roles within the C.H. Robinson network since joining the company in 1989.

Jim volunteers as a member of the Fresh Food Executive Committee for the Food Marketing Institute and is on the board of directors for Second Harvest Heartland based in Minnesota. Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Minnesota. As a fan of outdoor activities, Jim enjoys spending time on the lake with family, golfing, gardening and hunting.

Greg Livelli

Senior Vice President, Hussmann Portfolio Solutions

Greg serves as the Senior Vice-President of Hussmann Portfolio Solutions. In his current role, Greg oversees the Hussmann Engineering and Marketing teams that are focused on providing innovative solutions and value-added benefits of world-class display cases and refrigeration systems. Greg has over 20 years’ experience in business growth strategies within rapid-changing environments and extensive expertise with highly engineered systems that deliver performance-driven customer value. Prior to joining Hussmann, Greg was the Senior Vice President of Portfolio Product for ABB’s Measurement and Analytics Business Unit. Greg earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineer from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Regis University. Greg serves on the Board of Directors for the St. Louis Fire Department Foundation and enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and skiing.

Davey McHenry

Vice President, Consulting Services, The Hartman Group

Davey is Vice President of Consulting Services for The Hartman Group. Davey advises and leads Hartman’s major consulting projects and key client work sessions, providing clients with business solutions and thought leadership to propel their business forward. Davey is also responsible for developing and fostering new consulting relationships across the food and beverage industry.

Davey has a rich background in strategic relationship management and business strategy with broad industry experience, serving clients in pharmaceuticals, technology, and consumer packaged goods. Davey holds an MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington with a concentration in marketing and business strategy and a BA in International Studies from Willamette University.

Dr. Frank Mitloehner

Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis

Frank Mitloehner is a Professor and Air Quality Specialist in Cooperative Extension in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis.  Dr. Mitloehner is an expert in agricultural air quality, livestock housing and husbandry.  He conducts research that is directly relevant to understanding and mitigating of air emissions from livestock operations, as well as the implications of these emissions for the health and safety of farm workers and neighboring communities.

Dr. Mitloehner has served as chairman of a global United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) partnership project to benchmark the environmental footprint of livestock production. He served as a member of a workgroup on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and as member of the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee on “A Framework for Assessing the Health, Environmental, and Social Effects of the Food System”.

He received his MS degree in Animal Science and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and his PhD degree in Animal Science from Texas Technical University.

Pete Pearson

Director, Food Waste, World Wildlife Fund

Pete Pearson leads work at WWF on food loss & waste prevention and food recovery, helping businesses and communities understand agriculture’s impact on wildlife and habitat conservation. Pete has led local and national sustainability programs within the retail grocery industry; has over 10 years of technology experience with companies including Hewlett-Packard, Accenture and Albertsons; has worked with public schools and hospitals as an independent sustainability consultant, co-founded a sustainable agriculture non-profit, and co-produced a documentary film on local and regenerative agriculture (www.ToLiveLocal.com). Pete currently lives in Washington DC and enjoys fly fishing, boating, and exploring the outdoors with his family.

Leslie G. Sarasin

President and CEO, Food Marketing Institute

Leslie G. Sarasin is the president and chief executive officer of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the association of food retailers and wholesalers, which represents more than 1,500 member companies in the United States and around the world. Under Sarasin's leadership, FMI has become a forward focused and member centered organization committed to help supermarkets excel in their role of feeding families and enriching lives. Her synergistic style and determined spirit of collaboration has infused FMI with a renewed commitment to help its members address the critical industry issues of the day - food safety and the emerging importance of health and wellness. Prior to coming to FMI, Sarasin was president and CEO of the American Frozen Food Institute.

Mack Tilling

President, Relish Works, Inc.

Mack Tilling is the Founder and President of Relish Works Inc, an Innovation incubator based in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, adjacent to 1871. Relish’s mission is to collaborate with, create and launch new businesses, products, and ecosystems within food-related hospitality markets.

Mack is a serial entrepreneur including as a founder of Me.com–acquired by Apple –Vizu–acquired by Nielsen, and Instill Corporation. He also has been an advisor and held board roles at several startups.  You can reach Mack at Mack@relishworks.com

Jason Wadsworth

Manager of Sustainability, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 97-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 21 consecutive years, ranking #2 in 2018.

Jason has been with Wegmans for 29 years in various roles and is responsible for sustainability and energy programs focused on reducing emissions, reducing waste to landfill and offering sustainable product and packaging choices for customers and employees..

Jason is also a founding member of the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) Sustainability Executive Committee and the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) where he serves as the Retail Chair.