Melissa Abbott

Vice President, Syndicated Studies, Hartman Group

Melissa has been tracking key trends in the health, sustainability, food and retail industries for over twenty years, focusing on re-energizing brands and identifying growth opportunities. Among the first to analyze the European soy foods sector in the UK, Melissa has developed a deep understanding of retail & cultural trends in her consultations with a variety of companies including both CPG companies and retailers. She has an MS in Food Marketing from the National University of Ireland, Cork and appears in numerous national media annually. 

Stuart Aitken

Chief Merchant and Marketing Officer, Kroger

As chief merchant and marketing officer for The Kroger Co., Stuart is responsible for sales, pricing, promotional and category planning for fresh foods, center store and general merchandise categories, as well as analytics & execution, e-commerce and Digital Merchandising, Fuel and Our Brands. As chief marketing officer, Stuart led the company through a brand transformation which was revealed in November of 2019 and continues to enhance Kroger's brand reputation as a company that is inclusive and a leader in Fresh through their new brand campaign, Fresh for Everyone. 

Stuart joined Kroger as CEO of 84.51°, Kroger’s data analytics arm. Before leading 84.51°, he served as CEO of dunnhumby USA, LLC for six years. Prior to that, he was executive vice president and chief marketing officer for arts-and-crafts retailer, Michael’s Stores. For nearly a decade, he led marketing strategies, loyalty marketing, data analytics, innovation and category management at Safeway. Stuart was a software programmer in Silicon Valley and a technology professor in Scotland teaching AI, analytics and small business management

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.

Bryce Daigle

Senior Director, Market Strategy & Planning, Instacart

Bryce Daigle is the Senior Director of Market Strategy & Planning for Instacart, where he leads go-to-market strategy for Instacart's retail enablement business, including marketplace, enterprise ecommerce, fulfillment, and in-store solutions. Bryce is focused on building and launching solutions that help retailers increase access to food while navigating inflation, building sustainable ecommerce businesses, and delivering great customer experiences. Before joining Instacart in 2020, Bryce served as Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co., where he advised a number of retail and CPG clients on operational and strategic initiatives. 

Danny Edsall

Principal, Deloitte

Danny Edsall is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and co-leader of Deloitte’s Global Grocery practice. He has over 30 years of professional experience from a career spent transforming retail clients around the world. Edsall led multiple transformation programs in supply chain, merchandising, store operations, and logistics. In the last 10 years, he has helped retailers in their journey to meet the expectations of “Digital Consumers” with projects like omnichannel supply chain, distributed order management, mobile/e-commerce, self-scanning, and store experience transformations. Edsall has also contributed to many industry initiatives and has done extensive work on boards and industry standards groups such as NRF, GMA, and GS1.

Leo Feler

Chief Economist, Numerator

Leo Feler is the Chief Economist at Numerator and a Senior Economist and Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. At Numerator, Dr. Feler is responsible for thought leadership on economics and consumer behavior and publishes monthly reports on consumer price inflation, retail sales, consumer sentiment, and the labor market. At UCLA, Dr. Feler teaches courses on business forecasting and entry into emerging markets and prepares quarterly US economic forecasts. Previously, Dr. Feler advised the US government and private sector companies on mergers and antitrust litigation. Dr. Feler has also taught at Johns Hopkins University and worked as a consultant with Boston Consulting Group and the World Bank. Dr. Feler holds a PhD in economics from Brown University and degrees in economics and international policy from Stanford University.

Kasey Lobaugh

Chief Innovation Officer, Consumer Industry, Deloitte

Kasey serves as the chief innovation officer for Deloitte Consulting’s Consumer Industry and has spearheaded Deloitte’s research into the changing consumer industry, changing consumer and understanding the implications on competition and configuration for our clients.

For more than 25 years, he has worked with many of the world’s largest consumer industry companies to drive strategic perspectives, strategic initiatives, and organizational change. Kasey consults with clients to strategize against the changing competitive landscape and the rapidly evolving consumer. He focuses on broad business-based strategy that will enable innovative customer experiences, operational scalability, and provide outsized return-on-investment.
He is a sought-after public speaker, and has been quoted in Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Financial Times and other leading publications as an expert on the industry.

Kasey’s career has focused on emerging digital trends and changing business models. He was one of the leaders on the launch of Deloitte’s digital business, Deloitte Digital, and has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the industry.

Calvin Mayne

President, Dorothy Lane Market

Calvin is in the third generation of his family-owned company, Dorothy Lane Market, a food retailer based in southwest Ohio. Like his father Norman Mayne, Calvin grew up in the business, working in various departments from childhood. After studying Finance in college, he resided in New York City for some years and traveled to Europe frequently, which further sparked his passion for great food. 

Afterward, he returned to Ohio and joined his father in the business. Later, he completed the course in Basic Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. He is fluent in French and Spanish. 

Dorothy Lane Market is noted for gastronomy and love of great food. DLM has received national attention, being featured in The Wall Street Journal, as well as numerous trade publications. The company currently operates three supermarkets with a fourth store under construction and an online food gift business. The Mayne Family also owns and operates The Killer Brownie® Company. 

Robert Mullen

Global Specialty Product Leader, Hussmann

Robert Mullen is the Global Specialty Products Leader for Hussmann.  He has worked for Hussmann for over 30 years and has held various positions within the company, from design engineering, manufacturing, marketing, product management, and most recently, specialty products business leader. Robert has been working directly with retailers for over 30 years developing innovative merchandising solutions.  He looks forward to the changing retail environment and providing new solutions to retailers’ challenges.

Jonna Parker

Principal II, Fresh Foods Team Lead, Circana

Jonna has been an innovator in the fresh foods space for nearly two decades driving the evolution of consumer-centric decision making and big data analytics throughout the perimeter. She has worked extensively in each perimeter department: Meat, Bakery, Deli, Produce, Seafood, Dairy and Floral with both suppliers and retailers. Jonna joined IRI in 2016 and leads IRI’s Fresh COE focusing on solution enhancement, thought leadership and client consultation across both suppliers and retailers. Jonna graduated with highest honors from Bradley University with a degree in public relations and marketing and lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Barb Renner

Global Lead Client Service Partner, Deloitte

Barb has more than 33 years of professional experience providing services to large multi-national corporations through a variety of leadership roles and is currently a Global Lead Client Service Partner at Deloitte.  Based in Minneapolis, Barb directly provides services to a variety of consumer and industrial product clients focusing on their regulatory environment, supply chain, technology and processes, and other business issues/opportunities.  She leads her accounts by providing industry insight and providing guidance to our professionals and clients around business opportunities and managing their risks.

Leslie G. Sarasin

President and CEO, FMI

Leslie G. Sarasin is the president and chief executive officer of  FMI, the food industry association, 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.

Tony Sarsam

President and CEO, SpartanNash

As CEO of Fortune 400 grocery retailer and distributor SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN), Tony Sarsam leads 17,500 Associates serving customers in all 50 states as well as U.S. military troops overseas. Tony joined SpartanNash in 2020 and has since focused on building a strong People First culture as the company renews its commitment to growth, operational excellence, customer service and innovation.

With more than three decades of experience in the food industry, Tony has come to understand every side of the consumer-packaged goods business – from the plant floor to the C-suite. Before joining SpartanNash, Tony served as CEO of Borden Dairy Company and Ready Pac Foods. At Borden, he led the company through a major corporate restructuring and subsequent sale that preserved employment for all frontline associates. His leadership at Ready Pac helped the company grow by more than 60% and establish a dominant 80% share of the complete meal salad category. Tony’s success at Ready Pac attracted great interest and culminated in the sale of the business to Bonduelle in 2017.

Prior to leading Ready Pac, Tony was President of the Nestlé USA Direct Store Delivery Company, which serves Nestlé frozen pizza and ice cream businesses and is the world’s largest frozen DSD sales organization. He has also served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations at Dreyer’s, which was acquired by Nestlé. Tony began his career at PepsiCo, where he started as an Associate Engineer and progressed through a series of leadership roles, including Plant Manager, Director of Finance and Region Vice President for Sales and Distribution in the West.

Bobby Stephens

Principal, Deloitte

Bobby is a leader in Deloitte Digital’s Retail & Consumer Products practice. He has nearly 20 years of retail and e-commerce operations, consulting, and start-up experience in the United States and abroad. He focuses on working with clients to drive revenue growth through digital transformation and customer engagement. To stay on top of trends, he also leads research and eminence for Deloitte’s Retail & Consumer Products practice. Prior to joining Deloitte, Stephens co-founded and led Bucketfeet, a VC-backed global omnichannel retail start-up that is still in operation today.

Neil Stern

CEO, Good Food Holdings

Neil Z. Stern is the Chief Executive Officer of Good Food Holdings, which operates premium and natural & organic supermarkets spanning from Seattle to San Diego under five grocery banners: Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres Natural Market, Metropolitan Market, New Seasons Market, and New Leaf Community Markets. 

Neil is also Partner Emeritus at McMillanDoolittle, a Chicago based retail consultancy serving the retail industry. During his 35+ year career, Neil has developed strategies and new concepts for a diverse variety of world class clients across the retail industry. Neil has worked with such leading global brands such as Nike, Samsung, Hallmark and Procter & Gamble along with a distinguished career advising grocery retail, working with such companies as Kroger, Publix, Harris Teeter, Price Chopper and Winn-Dixie among others. 

Neil is recognized as a key thought leader in the retail arena. Neil is a sought-after speaker concerning retail trends both in the U.S. and Internationally. He has delivered keynote addresses at the leading retail organizations in the country including FMI, NRF, NGA and the PLMA. Neil is a contributor to Forbes and served as Chairman of The Ebeltoft Group, an international consortium of retail consultants, from 2015 to 2018.


Ryan Wenstrup-Moore

Social Media Manager, The Kroger Co.

Ryan Wenstrup-Moore has over 15 years of leading award-winning social media and influencer campaigns in both the US and Europe. She is truly passionate about all things influencer and social and strives to make social media “social” by creating and managing strategic relationships between brands, influencers and consumers. She currently the Social Media Manager for The Kroger Co.