Speakers

Viviana Alvarez

Head of Sustainability, Unilever

In Early February, Viviana was appointed as Head of Sustainability for Unilever North America. Prior to this, she was the Head of Corporate Strategy in the US. She has also been part of the Corporate Strategy team in London supporting the overall company medium-long term plans at a Global Level. Viviana has an Executive MBA from ESADE School of Management and BSBA in Business Management. Recent Executive Education at Harvard Business School and University of Oxford on Circular Economy topics, Leadership and Scenario Planning. Other positions in Unilever - Head of Strategy - North America - Global Corporate Strategy Manager - Global Strategies Social Business Models Project Leader - Unilever Foundation Global Ambassador - Brand Planner Others: - Co-Founder of H2H ("Help to Haiti") - NGO in Haiti

Ujwal Arkalgud

CEO, MotivBase

Ujwal is an award-winning cultural anthropologist, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. He is a pioneer in the study of consumer beliefs and culture on the internet. His work in this area spanning over a decade led to the creation of the big data ethnographic method which today powers his company's technology, MotivBase. Ujwal is also an adviser and investor to a handful of B2B startups and serves on the board of the Center for Food Integrity in the United States. His latest book is called Microcultures. 

Brian Baker

Managing Director, Deloitte

Brian Baker is a Managing Director in Deloitte’s Retail and Consumer Goods practice.

Based in Kansas City, Brian has extensive experience in Retail and Supply Chain. Brian’s experience covers multiple retail areas including; inventory management, procurement of both perishable and non perishable goods, replenishment/allocation, promotional planning, pricing, third party logistics, and  import procurement. In addition Brian has 15+ years of store management experience, focusing on perishable departments.    

Brian has spent over 30 years focusing on Grocery and Retail Clients. Brian has held positions at Accenture, ALCO Stores, and Fleming Foods.

Brian is an avid golfer and enjoys time away from work with friends and family on the course.

Mark Baum

Chief Collaboration Officer & Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, FMI

Mark Baum currently serves as Senior Vice President of Industry Relations and Chief Collaboration Officer for FMI. In this role, Baum engages retailer, manufacturer, supplier, and service provider CEOs to further trading partner collaboration, leading to operational improvements and growth opportunities across all segments of the food retail supply chain. Prior to joining FMI, Baum was a Managing Partner of MARCAT Group, LLC a consulting/advisory firm specializing in business, market, channel, and customer development. Baum is known for his intricate knowledge of every aspect of the food, beverage and related businesses, and is recognized among the foremost experts in the design, management, and execution of strategy, sales, marketing, and merchandising activities throughout the industry.

John Beretta

Group Vice President – Meat & Seafood + Starbucks, Albertsons

John has been an Albertsons associate for more than 39 years, starting as an apprentice meat cutter with Safeway Stores in Northern California.  John worked his way up through company in different roles & divisions and ultimately into a corporate role as a National Category Manager. From there John spent time as vice president of seafood, marketing planning, perishables, and deli/Starbucks then a further role as senior vice president for meat, seafood, deli/food service, Starbucks & bakery. The last 5 years, John has been in Boise, Idaho in his current role.

Dr. Patricia Buckley

Managing Director for Economics, Deloitte Services LP

Patricia, is the managing director for Economics with responsibility for contributing to Deloitte’s Eminence Practice with a focus on economic policy. She regularly briefs members of Deloitte’s executive leadership team on changes to the US economic outlook and is responsible for the US chapter of Deloitte’s quarterly Global Economic Outlook and produces “Issues by the Numbers,” a data-driven examination of important economic policy issues.

Michael Castagnetto

President, Robinson Fresh, a division of C.H. Robinson

Michael Castagnetto is the President of Robinson Fresh, a division of C.H. Robinson. Michael has a distinguished track record in building and sustaining our relationships with growers, suppliers and customers at the center of Robinson Fresh’s foodservice and retail businesses. His team combines a deep institutional knowledge of complex global supply chains with technology to help solve the most complex logistics challenges.

With more than 20 years in the produce supply chain industry, Michael knows the value of C.H. Robinson’s technology, analytics and experience at a global scale. Michael’s leadership helps provide customers access to the quality fresh produce they need to build and evolve their fresh supply chains. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Chris Foote

Sustainability Coordinator, Wegmans Food Markets

Chris lives in Rochester New York, home of Wegmans Food Markets corporate headquarters where he has worked for the last four years as the Sustainability Coordinator. Prior to his current position as the Sustainability Coordinator Chris has served in in various store operations roles during his 31 year tenure at Wegmans.

Chris oversees the ongoing company-wide efforts at waste reduction in all areas. He is Responsible for training and implementation of waste reduction efforts, with a significant focus on food waste through donations and composting, at all stores and facilities. 

When he is not promoting sustainable practices at Wegmans, Chris values time with his family and enjoys fly fishing in the great trout filled waters of upstate New York.   

Kevin Holt

CEO, Ahold Delhaize USA

Kevin Holt is Chief Executive Officer of Ahold Delhaize USA, the largest grocery retail group on the East Coast of the U.S. with $43 billion in annual sales, and a member of the management board of Ahold Delhaize, one of the world’s largest international grocery retail groups. A 30-year veteran of the grocery retail industry, Holt led the integration of Ahold and Delhaize’s U.S. companies following the merger of Ahold and Delhaize and successfully implemented Ahold Delhaize USA’s customer-centric model. As CEO of the group, formed in 2018, Holt guides each of Ahold Delhaize USA’s local brands as they focus on winning with customers locally and capturing leading market share, a position the brands currently hold in the majority of the markets they serve. A true transformation champion, Holt continues to lead the company’s transformation for the future, fueling a culture where associates find purpose in their work each day and positioning Ahold Delhaize USA to deliver an unparalleled omnichannel and ecommerce experience for consumers. 

Prior to his current role, Holt served as Chief Operating Officer of Ahold USA since 2016. In this role, he played a key role in the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, which has been recognized as one of the industry’s most successful M&A transactions to date. 

Prior to that, Holt was Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize America, parent company of Food Lion and Hannaford, a position he began in 2014. In that capacity, he was instrumental in helping each of the consumer brands grow market share through organizational transformation, which brought decisions closer to the customer, focused on local products and merchandising and improved efficiencies through supply chain and technology advancements. 

Earlier, Holt served in executive leadership positions for SuperValu and Meijer, leading these companies through successful M&A activity and delivering technology and innovation to enhance consumer experience. Before entering grocery, Holt spent nearly a decade in the technology sector with NCR delivering solutions to large, complex organizations.

Holt holds a B.S. in Business Economics from Ferris State University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Food Marketing Institute, an industry trade association. Additionally, he chairs the Food Marking Institute Foundation, which is committed to collaborating within the food industry to address social concerns. 

 

Rodney McMullen

Chairman and CEO, The Kroger Co.

Rodney is Chairman and CEO of The Kroger Co., which employs nearly half a million associates who serve America through food inspiration and uplift. More than 11 million customers shop Kroger every day through a seamless digital shopping experience and in 2,800 grocery retail stores under more than a dozen banner names.

Rodney joined Kroger in 1978 as a part-time stock clerk in Lexington, KY. During his career with Kroger, he has served in numerous leadership positions, including assistant treasurer, vice president of Planning and Capital Management, corporate controller, chief financial officer, senior vice president, executive vice president and vice chairman. He was elected to Kroger’s board of directors in 2003, to president and chief operating officer in 2009, and to his current position in 2014. Rodney was named Chairman of the Board in 2015.

Rodney is a member of the Board of Directors of VF Corporation, Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), Cincinnati Business Committee and Consumer Goods Forum. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Xavier University and on the Dean’s Advisory Council of University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Rodney earned bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Finance, and an MBA with an Accounting concentration, all from the University of Kentucky.

Rodney and his wife, Kathy, live in Cincinnati and enjoy traveling and hiking.

Scott Moses

Managing Director and Head – Food Retail & Restaurants Investment Banking, PJ Solomon

Scott Moses is Head of Grocery and Restaurants Investment Banking at PJ Solomon, and a member of the Firm's Operating Committee.  Scott advises clients on mergers, acquisitions, sales and divestitures of traditional and specialty grocers, including some of the most significant sector M&A transactions, with a combined transaction value of over $50 billion. 

Scott’s numerous clients (many family-owned), have included: Kroger, Albertsons, Sprouts, Sunflower Farmers Market, Lucky’s Market, United, Southeastern Grocers, Best Market, Martin's, Haggen, Lund’s/Byerly’s, El Rancho, Mi Pueblo, Pro’s Ranch, Supervalu (Shop&Save), Central Grocers, Ahold (USFoodservice), Jean Coutu (Brooks/Eckerd), Fred's (Rx) and Weis Markets (SuperPetz), as well as many private equity firms.  

Scott was 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 has been quoted numerous times as a sector leader in business and grocery media outlets including: Forbes, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Food Dive, Progressive Grocer, Shelby Report, Supermarket News and Winsight Grocery.

Scott sits on the Board of UpLift Solutions, a national nonprofit that helps bring full-service grocery stores to underserved markets across the country.

John Pauley

EVP, Chief Commercial Officer, Smithfield

Mr. Pauley joined Smithfield Foods in 2000 as president of Curly’s Foods, Saratoga Spice, and Iowa Quality Meats. During his tenure, he most recently served as executive vice president of retail sales and marketing for Smithfield’s U.S. packaged meats business. In 2019, Mr. Pauley assumed his current role with responsibility for all domestic packaged meats sales channels and business development, as well as all U.S. marketing activities, innovation, and product development.

Aneta Ranstoller

VP of Marketing, Invatron Systems Corp.

As Vice President of Marketing at Invatron, Aneta is responsible for the development of brand positioning and the overall business marketing strategy to lead demand generation, sales enablement, product marketing and public relations. With more than 15 years of global solutions and product marketing experience, Aneta is accomplished in shaping the vision, defining the marketing strategy, and building high-performance teams to drive business results and positive change through innovative campaigns and operational excellence. Aneta’s recipe to success is founded on a big-picture market and customer-centric approach to inform, engage and delight audiences. Prior to Invatron, Aneta held positions across a number of B2B SaaS industries in product management and the marketing mix to conceptualize, direct and execute integrated strategic marketing plans for acquisition and growth campaigns, engagement and retention programs, product launches, digital marketing, brand and customer communications, to grow revenue and redefine the customer experience.

Stephen Rogers

Consumer Industry Center - Executive Director, Deloitte

Steve is the executive director of Deloitte's Consumer Industry Center, Deloitte Services LP. He leads a team that conducts research to uncover new ways of thinking, working, and leading within the consumer industry through data and evidence driven analysis.

With nearly 20 years of experience within consulting and high tech, Steve is especially interested in the intersection of technology, consumers, and business. He is focused on how industry leaders can deliver better results and the strategies organizations use to adapt to accelerating change.

Vivek Sankaran

President & CEO, Albertsons

Vivek was named President & CEO of Albertsons Companies, Inc. in April 2019. Vivek most recently served as CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America. Prior to that, he served as the company's president  and chief operating officer, a position he was named to in 2016.  Over the last 3 years, he has led Frito Lay to industry-leading growth by remaining focused on innovation, technology and execution. Over his ten-year career at PepsiCo, in addition to leading Frito-Lay, Vivek also served as the chief commercial officer for PepsiCo North America, Chief Customer Officer of Frito Lay, and as the Senior Vice President of Strategy for PepsiCo.

Before joining PepsiCo in 2009, Vivek was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where he served various Fortune 100 companies bringing a strong focus on strategy and operations. He co-led the firm’s North American purchasing and supply management practice and was on the leadership team of the North American retail practice.

Vivek has an MBA from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai.

Bill Schmitz

Managing Director, Jefferies

Bill Schmitz leads Jefferies’ Consumer Products Investment Banking practice, joining the firm after nearly 20 years at Deutsche Bank where he worked as an investment banker, research analyst and Deputy Director of the Research Department. He has advised numerous private equity, founder-led and large corporate clients in M&A, capital markets and strategic advisory assignments, developing strong friendships with C-suite executives across the industry. 

A native of Chicago, Bill received an AB from Brown University and currently lives in Connecticut with his wife of 20 years Kristina, 4 school-aged children and a dog. Outside the office, Bill enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing golf, chasing his kids around various sports fields and courts, fishing, running and watching college football.

Susan Schwallie

Executive Director, Client Development, The NPD Group

Susan brings 24 years of insights experience as President, Food & Beverage Practice of the NPD Group. She has worked across a variety of North American CPG clients and categories translating insights about how Americans eat into action for marketing, sales, culinary, and corporate strategy professionals. She recently co-authored The Future of Dinner, The Future of Snacking, and Inside America's Kitchens studies illuminating how each generation approaches food and cooking. She is a founding member of The Center for Food Integrity’s Trust Insights Council and speaks often about restaurant and in-home consumer trends. Susan is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has a love of all things food and beverage. 

 

Karen Short

Managing Director, Barclays

Karen Short is a Managing Director at Barclays covering Staples and Hardline Retailers. Karen joined Barclays in July 2016 as a Managing Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst following the Staples Retailing industry. She now covers Staples and Hardline Retailers – with ~$1.3 trillion in market capitalization under coverage. Prior to Barclays, she was at Deutsche Bank where she covered Staples Retailing and Distribution. Karen started her equity research career in 1999 at Lehman Brothers and now has more than 20 years of equity research experience covering the sector. Karen ranked as the No. 1 Food Retail Analyst in the 2019 Institutional Investor All-America Research Team survey, No. 2 in 2017 and 2018 and No. 3 in the 2014 and 2015 surveys. She has also been recognized in the Wall Street Journal Best on the Street survey (#1 in 2011), the Starmine Analyst Awards for stock picking (#3 in 2011), and the Greenwich Survey (#4 in 2012). Prior to her career in Equity Research, Karen spent 5 years in energy sales and trading in Seattle, WA and Vancouver, B.C. Karen received her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in New York and BA from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.

Rick Stein

Vice President, Fresh Foods FMI

Rick Stein joined FMI in 2014, and is responsible for developing a portfolio of services and activities to assist members in formulating and executing their fresh food strategies.  These categories include everything from  – dairy, frozen, meat, poultry, seafood, and produce to service departments – deli, bakery and fresh prepared meals and related solutions for take-out or in-store dining.

Prior to joining FMI, Rick spent 35 + years in a wide range of retail grocery merchandising and marketing responsibilities.  Most recently Stein was the Vice President of retail marketing & merchandising execution for Safeway Stores, Inc.  Previously he held both divisional and corporate responsibilities in his tenure at Safeway in retail/store operations, category management, sales, marketing/merchandising, and strategy development. He has experience in virtually every facet of the retail food business and helped lead Safeway to achieve operational excellence and increased market share and revenues.Stein graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor of Arts in Behavioral and Social Sciences.  He has earned continuing educations credits in marketing, merchandising and management, most recently with the Disney Institute. Rick serves on numerous nonprofit boards such as the MDA, Children’s Cancer Foundation and Easter Seals of DC/VA/MD. 

Kurt Vetter

President, Wonderful Sales, The Wonderful Company

Kurt Vetter has been the President of Wonderful Sales since 2011. The Wonderful Sales organization consists of over 300 associates focused on the sales and merchandising of Wonderful branded products throughout North America.  Wonderful Sales is the Sales & Merchandising organization for The Wonderful Company.

Prior to this position Mr. Vetter was the Senior Vice President and General Manager for POM Wonderful in North America responsible for growing their beverage business. POM Wonderful is the world’s leading grower and producer of pomegranate based products.  Prior to the North American position, he was responsible for the expansion of POM Wonderful’s business throughout Asia and the Pacific opening 6 new countries as Sr VP and General Manager Asia.

 Before his GM roles, Mr. Vetter was the Senior Vice President, Sales for POM Wonderful. As one of the 5 original company members, he has spent 10 years leading POM’s sales efforts around the world. POM can now be found in 25 countries.

He has also had various senior leadership positions with The Minute Maid Company and Nestle throughout the United States.

Mr. Vetter holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from California State University, Northridge. After studying at the University of Copenhagen, he later earned a Masters Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.   

 

Mr. Vetter lives in Santa Monica, California.

Tom Windish

President, Retail Channel, Cargill Incorporated

Tom began his career with Cargill as a beef sales trainee in 1993.  He went on to hold several Cargill positions in sales, distribution, IT, and was the key account manager for the Cargill Wal-Mart team.  He joined Swift in 2005 as Vice President of Retail Sales and in 2008, became the Vice President of Business Development for Smithfield.  

Tom rejoined Cargill in 2009 as Vice President of Value Creation and added beef marketing responsibilities in 2010.  Tom joined the Case Ready business unit in 2011 as Commercial Manager and was promoted to US General Manager in 2013.  Tom led the Go to Market integration effort as Cargill integrated the Beef and Case Ready business units.  Tom became President of Cargill Food Distribution Business in August of 2015.  In January, 2017, Tom was named to his current position of President, Retail Channel.

A 1992 graduate of the University of Illinois, Tom earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Economics.  

Tom is active in kid’s sports and activities and is a Big Brother/Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters.  He also serves on the board for BBBS. Tom, his wife, Kristi, and their four children, Luke, Andrew, Laine and Cameron reside in Wichita.