Speakers

Speakers

Stuart Aitken

Chief Merchant and Marketing Officer, The Kroger Co.

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

Doug Baker

Vice President, Industry Relations, FMI

Doug Baker is a food retail industry relations vice president for FMI – The Food Industry Association where he facilitates professional, non-competitive collaboration among member communities across private brands, technology, and grocery resilience issue areas.

In addition to his facilitation of the private brands leadership council and their efficiency-driven initiatives to encourage brand owner innovation, Doug also oversees FMI’s CIO Council, the Industry Collaboration Council and joint industry initiative, SmartLabel . Prior to FMI, Doug began his career in the food retail industry in 1984 with Fry’s Food Stores. His 30+ years in food retail have included leadership roles at Fry’s (a division of Kroger), Kraft/Nabisco and Federated Group with focuses on retail operations, consumer packaged goods and private brand development and marketing.

Gavin Barlow

VP, Strategic Accounts, Visa, Inc.

Gavin Barlow is Vice President of Retail within Visa's Cybersource organization, responsible for enabling large, global enterprise merchants to succeed in digital, including many large Food Retailers.  Gavin's 7-year tenure at Visa has provided exposure and engagement opportunities with Visa's top clients across many verticals and regions (global and the U.S.). Gavin is a seasoned technology executive who held various US and Europe based leadership roles at businesses ranging from managed IT start-ups to large telcos such as T-Mobile and Orange. Gavin has a BA in Business from Aberdeen, Scotland and an MBA in Marketing from the University of South Carolina.

Kevin Barner

Chief Operating Officer, Roche Brothers Supermarkets

Kevin Barner is Chief Operating Officer at Roche Bros. Supermarkets Co.,  a regional grocer with 21 stores located throughout Massachusetts.

Kevin has over three decades of experience in the food industry.
His background includes wholesale/distribution, manufacturing and extensive experience in the retail grocery space. Prior to his current role, Kevin served as Chief Financial Officer for almost two decades at Hans Kissle Company and Agar Supply Co.

Edward N. Basha III

Chairman, President and CEO, Bashas' Inc.

 

Ernest Baskin, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor of Food Marketing and Gerald E. Peck Fellow, Saint Joseph’s University

Dr. Ernest Baskin is an assistant professor of food marketing and Gerald Peck Fellow at Saint Joseph’s University. As an expert in consumer behavior and marketing research, his research focuses on consumer judgment and decision making. He has been extensively covered in the popular press such as the Chicago Tribune, CNNMoney, and the Atlantic and blogs such as Lifehacker and Nerdwallet. He is often a featured expert on both television and radio interviewed on shows such as NBC News, NPR and others on topics in the food industry ranging from the sweetened beverage tax to retailing trends to the Amazon-Whole Foods merger as well as his own personal research. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the Yale School of Management.

Nicholas Bertram

President, The GIANT Company

Nicholas Bertram is president of The GIANT Company, an omni-channel grocer known to customers as GIANT, MARTIN’S, GIANT Heirloom Market, GIANT Direct and MARTIN’S Direct that has been proudly serving families across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia since 1923.

Bertram was appointed to the role in 2017, following years of executive roles at The GIANT Company’s parent company Ahold Delhaize, where he still serves on the US Leadership Team. He began his retail career over 20 years ago at JCPenney, then joining Walmart as a part-time stocker where he spent the next 12 years. He quickly rose in responsibility with leadership roles in store operations, human resources, and innovation. Bertram then went to Jewel-Osco in Chicago as its senior vice president of retail before joining Ahold Delhaize in 2013.

Bertram currently serves as chair for the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Chamber. He is also co-chair of the corporate council and a member of the Foundation Board of Overseers for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Most recently, Bertram was named a 2020 Most Admired CEO by The Philadelphia Business Journal. He attained a BBA in marketing from Eastern Kentucky University and an MBA in global management from the University of Phoenix, along with post-graduate programs at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, Harvard and The Wharton School.

Kimberly Betts

Managing Director; Deloitte Consulting LLP, Human Capital

Kimberly is a leader in Deloitte’s Human Capital practice where she focuses on organizational and workforce transformations. Kimberly has spent the last 30 years leading the workforce dimensions of global, large scale transformations in Retail and Consumer Products companies. Kimberly helps organizations maximize their return on transformation through associate adoption of new processes/systems, and in helping clients strategically manage their workforce in driving toward the Future of Work.

Over her career, Kimberly has driven the human dimensions of large-scale technology and process transformations, in the areas of workforce management, organization and culture change, operating model and organization design. Kimberly has worked across all functional areas within Retail and Consumer products as both a consultant and before that as a leader at Ahold USA – before the Ahold and Delhaize merger. 

Thom Blischok

Chairman and CEO at The Dialogic Group, LLC

Thom Blischok is Chairman and CEO of The Dialogic Group. LLC, a growth and results-driven professional services firm serving both the Retail and CPG industries. His record of achievements include advising major retailers on growth and market re-positioning strategies in the Drug, Apparel, Convenience Store, Grocery, Dollar, e-Commerce, Mass, Specialty, and Club retail sectors with special emphasis on improving merchandising, marketing, supply chain, and technology capabilities.

Brad Bogolea

CEO and Co-Founder, Simbe Robotics

Brad Bogolea is CEO and Co-Founder of Simbe Robotics, where he is responsible for the company’s vision and execution of its leading automation solution for the retail industry. Brad brought to market the Tally robot, the world's first autonomous shelf auditing and analytics solution to help retailers ensure merchandise is always stocked, in the right place, and correctly priced. The NRF Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation (NRF), has named Brad to "The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future."

Craig Boyan

President, HEB

Craig joined H-E-B in 2005 as Chief Strategic Officer and was an advisor to H-E-B for two years before joining the company.

Prior to H-E-B, Craig worked at the Monitor Company, a global consultancy based in Cambridge, MA.  Craig founded and ran Monitor’s New York office.

Craig is a member of the Board of FMI and a member of the FMI Executive Committee.  He also served as the Chairman of the 2016 FMI Midwinter Executive Conference. Craig serves as the Chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation; he is also on the Board of Trustees for Texas Biomedical Research Institute; and serves on the Early Matters S.A. Steering committee, as well as the UTSA Campaign Leadership Council. Craig is also Chairman of the Board for Junior Achievement of South Texas, and a member of the Mayor’s Education and Development Workforce Leadership Team. He is a past member of the United Way Executive Committee and, served as the General Campaign Chair for the 2015 United Way Campaign. 

Susan Boyme

Vice President, Western Region, RELEX Solutions

Susan Boyme is Vice President, Western Region at RELEX Solutions in its North American market. She has extensive experience within the retail industry, working specifically with grocery-centric technology companies for the last 20 years. Susan’s focus and passion for supply chain, merchandising, and digital transformation initiatives have been shaped by roles in sales, solution engineering, marketing, and strategic product management.

Elizabeth Buchanan

Head of Consumer Intelligence - North America, NielsenIQ

Liz Buchanan leads Nielsen's Consumer Intelligence Business Unit for North America. In this role, she is focused on driving client value from Nielsen's suite of Omnichannel measurement and Omnishopper solutions. Prior to assuming her current position, Liz led Nielsen's Retailer Collaboration programs in the U.S., as well as the TDLinx business.

During her 14 years at Nielsen, Liz has held various commercial, customer success and technology deployment roles. She has extensive experience with CPG data, platforms, analytics and technology -- and led the deployment of the industry's first cloud-based platform, Nielsen Connect, to the marketplace. She has worked extensively across the U.S. and Global markets, supporting Global Brands, Global Retail, Financial Services and Agencies. 

Liz is an Executive Sponsor of the Women in Nielsen (WIN) Employee Resource Group and is active in both local and national advocacy groups focusing on diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace and beyond. She resides in Chicago with her husband and their rescue dogs.

 

Steve Cahillane

Chief Executive Officer, Kellogg Company

Steven Cahillane joined Kellogg Company in October 2017 as Chief Executive Officer. He became Chairman of the Board in March 2018. Prior to Kellogg, in 2014, Mr. Cahillane assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer at The Nature’s Bounty Co., the largest global pure-play manufacturer, marketer and specialty retailer of health and wellness products. In this role, he successfully aligned the company with key health and wellness trends, established a thriving eCommerce division and created significant shareholder value.

Prior to Nature’s Bounty, Mr. Cahillane spent seven years with The Coca-Cola Company, most recently as President of Coca-Cola Americas, the global beverage maker’s largest business with $25 billion in sales. Prior to Coca-Cola, Mr. Cahillane spent eight years with AB lnBev, the world’s largest brewing company, in various senior leadership roles including Chief Commercial Officer, in which he led commercial strategy, global marketing, sponsorships, innovation and research following the 2004 merger of lnterbrew and AmBev.

Mr. Cahillane sits on the boards of Northwestern University and The Consumer Goods Forum. Mr. Cahillane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration degree from
Harvard University. 

Gary D. Casterline Jr.

Store Manager, Flemington Shop Rite

Mark Clouse

Chief Executive Officer, Campbell Soup Company

Mark A. Clouse is President and Chief Executive Officer of Campbell Soup Company. Mark has more than two decades of experience in the food industry, including senior management positions at Mondelēz International, Kraft Foods Inc and Pinnacle Foods.

Mark joined Pinnacle Foods from Mondelēz, where he served as Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Growth Officer, with responsibility for the company’s growth strategy and key functions including corporate strategy, global marketing, global sales, and research, development and quality.

Throughout his 20-year career at Kraft, including the subsequent transition of Mondelēz, Mark served in a range of leadership positions managing food brands in developed markets and entrepreneurial global businesses in emerging markets such as Brazil and China.

Prior to joining Kraft, Mark served in the United States Army as a pilot and completed his service as a captain. Mark is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics. 

Joseph S. Colalillo (Joe)

President, Shop Rite of Hunterdon County, Inc.

 

The Honorable Joseph Crowley

Former Member of Congress (NY-14) and Senior Policy Analyst, Squire Patton Boggs

The Honorable Joseph Crowley is a former Member of Congress (NY-14) and Senior Policy Analyst, Squire Patton Boggs.

Congressman Crowley represented people of New York's 14th congressional district, including his hometown of Woodside, Queens, in the US Congress for nearly 20 years. He served in the House Democratic leadership for six years, first as Vice-Chair and then as Chairman of the Caucus. He was also a member of the prestigious House Committee on Ways and Means, where he worked to
protect Social Security and Medicare, championed efforts to make healthcare more affordable and advocated cutting taxes for middle class Americans and small businesses. He successfully helped shepherd legislation to reform laws that unfairly taxed foreign investment in US commercial real estate and was a key voice in discussions on how reform should be designed to benefit working
men and women.

Congressman Crowley was on the frontline of efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act, enact marriage equality in New York State and protect women’s rights and human rights. He was also a three-time co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, co-chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and an active member of the Friends of Ireland Caucus, Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, and co-founder of both the Bangladesh Caucus and Rare Disease Caucus.

Congressman Crowley’s rise in the Democratic Party leadership is indicative of his tireless work to elect Democrats at every level of government. He mentored colleagues and candidates and earned the respect of other Members of Congress with whom he served. Before entering national politics, Congressman Crowley served in the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 1998.

 

Tomas Diaz

CEO / Co-Founder, flexEngage

A seasoned leader and visionary expert on what grabs - and holds - the attention of consumers, Tomas Diaz is flexEngage's founder and chief executive. Beginning his professional career at Whirlpool, he rose rapidly and was soon selling to the nation's largest retailers. The experience showed Diaz that there was a strategic opening in the market - a need retailers had for electronic receipts that were truly interactive, customizable and a core part of the customer engagement platform. That vision led to the founding of flexEngage in 2014. Since its founding, YCombinator alumni flexEngage has grown to house over 30 major retailers, totaling the support of over 45B in transactions with no sign of slowing down. Diaz holds an undergraduate degree in International Business and an MBA, with a concentration Marketing & Finance, from Rollins College.

Callie Eideberg

Director, Government Relations, Environmental Defense Fund

Callie Eideberg is the Director of Government Relations at the Environmental Defense Fund, leading the organization’s efforts on Capitol Hill. She brings over 15 years of experience working at the intersection of agriculture, conservation and climate policy. Ms. Eideberg specializes in political engagement, legislative strategy, and coalition building to advance policy priorities and achieve advocacy objectives. Prior to her current role at the Environmental Defense Fund, Callie managed the legislative portfolio for multiple agencies within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Before that, she spent five years on Capitol Hill counseling members of Congress on agriculture and environmental policy. She has a Juris Doctor from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Western Kentucky University. Ms. Eideberg lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children.

Tim Figge

CEO, Hussmann Corporation

Tim Figge is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Hussmann Corporation, a Panasonic company. As CEO, Figge is responsible for leading the company’s delivery of the Hussmann Promise – a strategy based on providing customer-focused solutions in the food retailing industry and operational excellence.

Figge joined Hussmann in 2002, and held positions in finance, sales and branch operations with increasing responsibilities. Additionally, he held roles at Thermo King and Trane, which were other divisions of Hussmann’s previous parent company, Ingersoll Rand. Figge was later appointed chief financial officer for Hussmann. In this role, he led the business’s divestiture from Ingersoll Rand. Prior to being named CEO, Figge served as company president overseeing manufacturing, sales, engineering, marketing and business development operations. In addition to his time at Hussmann, Figge previously spent nine years with Arthur Andersen as an auditor, consultant and advisor on mergers and acquisitions.

Figge plays an active role in the St. Louis community, serving on the boards of the United Way, Junior Achievement, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Development Board and T.A.S.K. (Team Activities for Special Kids). He holds a BSBA in Accounting from the University of Missouri.

Oscar Gonzalez

Co-President, Northgate Gonzalez Market

Oscar Gonzalez is Co-President of Northgate Gonzalez Market, a family-owned supermarket chain that delivers authentic and fresh products to the Hispanic community in Southern California – and all foodies that love authentic Mexican food!  Northgate has grown from its one store humble beginnings in 1980 to forty one stores and over 6,000 associates in 2019.  The chain has opened four new Mercado stores – with an emphasis on fresh, prepared foods, and the excitement of an open air market!  The company has also been successful in the creation of related businesses – in real estate development and property management, financial services, and urgent care centers.

Oscar is a graduate of the Pepperdine University Executive MBA program.  He serves on the boards of FMI, the Western Association of Food Chains, and Homeboy Industries.  He has also served on the board of Unified Grocers, as well as being on the Coca Cola Retailing Council.  In addition, Oscar is active in the Young Presidents Organization.

In 2018 Oscar and family received the Robert B Wegman Award and The Stars & Stripes Good Scout Award in 2013.

Oscar lives in La Habra Heights, California with his wife Silvia and four children – Karla Teresa, Clarissa, Oscar Miguel, and Victoria Nicole.  His personal life largely revolves around family activities associated with his immediate family.

 

David W. Gruehn

Customer Experience Global Industry Principal - Retail, SAP

David Gruehn has been passionately directing traffic at the intersection of retail & technology for 28 years as a visionary leader, advisor, retail executive, consultant, speaker and author. His first job as a retail associate in the early ‘80’s coincided with a passion for the emerging personal computing phenomenon which ultimately fused into a career.  As a retail CIO in the ‘90’s, David was an early adopter of online retailing launching a specialty retailer website in 1998 while harnessing emerging technologies to enhance in-store customer experiences. In 1999, David joined Microsoft to create their first retail industry go-to-market strategy focused on helping retail’s most influential leaders harness disruptive technologies to create differentiated experiences for millions of their retail customers.  Today as a member of SAP’s Global Customer Experience team, he helps SAP’s retail customers envision and harness the power of digitally transforming their business from a transactional focus to Customer Adaptive Retailing focused on creating customers for life through personal and immersive shopping experiences.  He’s held seats on the Retail System Alert and NRF Foundation advisory boards and has published numerous industry articles.

Nick Haidar

Store Director, Hy-Vee, Inc.

Nick’s career with Hy-Vee began in 2007 as an assistant manager at Rochester. In 2009, he moved to Kirksville as manager of perishables and worked his way up to his first store director assignment at Gladstone in 2015. Nick graduated from American Community High School in Beirut, Lebanon and graduated from American University of Beirut, receiving a B.A. degree in psychology. Later, he moved to the U.S. and attended the University of Miami and received a Human Resources Certificate. He is also a graduate of Hy-Vee University completing the Master of Retail Operations program along with being tri-lingual – he can speak English, French and Arabic

Sharon Hall

Partner, SpencerStuart

Sharon Hall is a member of three of the firm's global practice specialties – Human Resources, Consumer and the Diversity Practice, which she co-founded in 1999. Sharon managed Spencer Stuart’s Atlanta office for five years and has also served on Spencer Stuart’s global board of directors.

Throughout her 20 years at Spencer Stuart, Sharon has completed more than 300 searches for marketing leaders and for chief HR leaders across all industries, including consumer, retail, industrial, financial services, life sciences, communications and others. Sharon maintains consistently high-quality scores from her clients and is known to provide highly engaging experiences for the clients and candidates she serves.

Prior to executive search, Sharon spent more than 13 years developing effective teams in corporate frameworks and building her functional experience, which includes marketing, strategic planning, new business development and general management. Sharon’s corporate experience includes brand marketing at Procter & Gamble; consulting in Booz, Allen & Hamilton’s consumer practice; 10 years at Avon Products where she started up the strategic planning function for the Pacific Rim businesses as well as the new business development group before a successful transition into line management.

After serving as general manager for Avon’s personal care business, Sharon headed up strategic planning and new business development for a private equity portfolio company before joining the search industry.

Sharon graduated magna cum laude from Morris Brown College before getting an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. She is a former board member of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.

 

Kristen Hansen

Vice President of Center Store, Our Brands & Pharmacy

Andy Harig

Senior Director, Sustainability, Tax & Trade, FMI

Andrew S. Harig currently serves as Director of Government Relations at FMI, the Food Industry Assocoation.  In this position, he is responsible for lobbying Congress and the Administration on behalf of FMI’s members, with a primary focus on agriculture, taxes, trade and pensions.Prior to joining FMI, Harig was an associate trade advisor and speechwriter for the Senate Finance Committee under its Chairman, Max Baucus (D-MT).  From 1999-2001, he was the senior research associate for the Global Economic Policy Project at the New America Foundation, a Washington, DC-based think tank.Harig holds a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

James E. Harris

Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, H-E-B

James Harris is Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity with H-E-B. As director of diversity & inclusion, Harris develops policy, creates programming and sets the strategic direction for the company and the (10) regional diversity councils across the state. These councils provide tactical execution of diversity awareness programming for their respective work locations. Additionally, they insure the company’s overall strategy is driven into the marketplace, which creates an emotional connection to the brand. 

Harris leads the supplier diversity direction for the company. He creates, collaborates and connects local, small, minority, disabled and veteran business owners to the company’s procurement and sourcing process. He accomplishes this through building business networks across the state with various councils, chambers and advocacy agencies. This has led to the creation of new and differentiated goods and services for the company. In addition, it has provided job opportunities and economic impact to the communities H-E-B serves across the state. 

James serves as director and advisor on many boards and councils; Houston Minority Supplier Development Council’s: SDAC (Supplier Diversity Advisory Council) as Chair, Texas Diversity Council Board of Directors, TrueBlue Inclusion National Member, FMI(Food Marketing Institute) Supplier Diversity Committee and Liaison to FMI’s Collaborative Committee, Houston Area Urban League, Texas NAACP; Corporate Advisory Council as Chair. 

Harris has over 30 years in the food industry and has developed a reputation for driving stakeholder satisfaction by connecting corporate business strategy to customer and community needs. Before joining H-E-B, he had a number of stops along the way to include The Minute Maid Company, Bruno’s, Meijer and Kroger. In these organizations he held director and other key leadership roles. 

Harris has received many awards and accolades, nationally and locally because of his business acumen and drive for results. He has the reputation of being approachable, charismatic, strategic thinker, advocator and passionate negotiator. 

He is married to wife, Shavonda for 30 years and has two adult children, Carmen and Brandon. They are both recent college graduates and supply chain professionals.

 

Gary Hawkins

CEO & Founder, CART

Hawkins has spent his career incessantly driving retail into the future. First as a retailer, pioneering loyalty and exploring the power of customer data while turning new insights into action. Next as a leading customer strategist, helping notable retailers and CPG brand manufacturers around the world understand the power of shopper data and guiding early collaborative marketing initiatives, the cornerstone of today's industry shopper marketing. Then as a technologist, combining early insight to new tech with his unique perspective and understanding of customer-level economics across the supply chain to create the first true personalized marketing solution for supermarket retailers. 

Today, more committed than ever to the power of technology to transform retail while reinforcing the value of people and relationships, Hawkins is the Founder and CEO of CART (Center for Advancing Retail & Technology). CART’s mission is to connect retail to new innovative capabilities through programs, events, and education. Knowing that awareness and discovery of new technologies are only one part of future success, the CART team is at the forefront of helping retailers, wholesalers, brand manufacturers, and established solution providers cultivate a culture of innovation and agility through workshops and leadership training.

Sterling Hawkins

Co-CEO & Co-Founder, CART

Sterling Hawkins is a business leader, entrepreneur and investor living at the intersection of in-store and online. As a 5th generation retailer whose family name is synonymous with retail and consumer focused innovation, he currently runs innovation for the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART), evaluating over a thousand new retail technology companies every year. He has had several retail tech companies himself and today he speaks and runs workshops around the world for clients such as Samsung, Criteo, Synchrony Financial and the United Nations around breakthrough growth and innovation. 

Andrew Hoeft

CEO, Pinpoint Software, Inc. dba Date Check Pro

Andrew Hoeft is the Founder and CEO of Pinpoint Software, the parent company behind Date Check Pro, the grocery industry's leading expiration date management software. A product of the grocery industry after starting as a bagger at the age of 14, Andrew is the youngest business owner to be awarded Wisconsin Grocers Association's Vendor of the Year award in 2019, and a strong advocate for food waste prevention initiatives, including Pinpoint's own Stop Waste Together program.
 

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. 

 

Jim Hull

Senior Industry Strategies Director, Blue Yonder

Jim is a Sr. Director within Blue Yonder's Industry Strategy team, specializing in the Retail Industry.  Jim has over 30 years experience across Military, Manufacturing and Retail organizations, including Operations Leadership, Internal Consulting, Value Delivery and Lean Six Sigma roles.  Jim’s strengths include blending Retail and Manufacturing experience, Process and Trend Analysis to identify future trends and needs in the Retail space.

Prior to joining Blue Yonder in 2016, Jim was the Senior Director of Inventory Management for the Beauty and Personal Care business within CVS Health.  As the leader of this department, Jim and team  worked with manufacturers and internal partners to optimize the replenishment of this $5B business across 11,000 skus and 8000 locations.  

Jim also has worked at Staples, Inc., as Manager of Profit Improvement Culture and then as Senior Manager – Industrial Engineering.  Jim earned his Black Belt and Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma during his Staples tenure.  Prior to Staples, Jim was Business Unit Leader at Avery Dennison’s Core Labels Business, as well as an MRO role as Maintenance Manager.  Jim’s early career was with the US Navy as a Lieutenant in the Nuclear Power Program, assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Stefan Kalb

CEO, Shelf Engine

Stefan Kalb is the CEO and co-founder of Shelf Engine. Kalb co-founded Shelf Engine in 2016 to address the global food waste pandemic he experienced first-hand with grocers. Prior to Shelf Engine, Kalb spent 7 years as the CEO of Molly’s, a healthy grab-and-go food company he started in 2009. While Kalb grew the company to more than 400 regional retail locations, food waste was eating into Molly’s bottom line. Hungry for a solution, Stefan and Shelf Engine co-founder Bede Jordan developed a model to considerably improve perishable food forecasting. After successfully cutting Molly’s food waste in half, Kalb and Jordan quit their day jobs to launch Shelf Engine with a mission of transforming the food supply chain by helping grocery stores reduce waste and increase sales through intelligent forecasting. Today, Shelf Engine has more than 100 employees and manages orders for leading grocers at thousands of locations nationwide. 

Stefan is a graduate of Western Washington University. He’s an avid skier, cyclist, climber and soccer player. When Stefan is not enjoying the outdoors, he’s likely busy at work in his woodshop. 

Laura Shapira Karet

Chief Executive Officer, Giant Eagle, Inc.

Laura Karet leads and oversees Giant Eagle, Inc., one of the nation’s largest multi-format food, fuel and pharmacy retailers with approximately 32,000 Team Members and $8.9 billion in annual sales.  Karet was appointed Chief Executive Officer on January 9, 2012.   

Karet is currently an active member on the board of directors for various organizations, some of which include: The Allegheny Conference on Community Development; United Way of Allegheny County; the Allegheny County Parks Foundation; and Holy Family Institute.

A native of Pittsburgh, Karet graduated from Amherst College with a Bachelor’s degree in English, and now resides in the Pittsburgh area with her husband and three children.

Sajal Kohli

Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

Sajal leads McKinsey & Company’s Retail Practice in the Americas that extends from Canada to Chile. He also serves clients across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

In his 22+ years of management consulting, Sajal has counseled Fortune 100 global retail and packaged goods clients as they set growth strategies and face the challenges of the changing global landscape. He serves clients across hypermarket, grocery, restaurant, department store, specialty apparel, beauty, luxury, home fashions, and specialty hardlines formats. He has led comprehensive commercial transformations for top retailers and packaged goods companies encompassing digital transformation rooted in the consumer decision journey, omnichannel marketing effectiveness, personalization, global sourcing and category strategy, technology-enabled pricing, promotions and assortment architecture, and merchandising capability building. Sajal also works with his clients on operational transformations to improve the performance of their omnichannel store operations and their global supply chains 

Before joining McKinsey, Sajal was an executive in Asia and Europe, including at Mexx International, a European maker of branded apparel based in the Netherlands, and at Hindustan Lever, a subsidiary of Unilever in India. A prolifically published executive and thought leader, Sajal recently contributed to the McKinsey Global Institute report, “Growth and Renewal in the United States” and is leading McKinsey’s “Reformation of Retail” proprietary perspectives. He was a co-author of McKinsey’s seminal work on “How Half the World Shops”, that examined the similarities and differences across consumer demographics and behaviors across the BRIC countries. 

Steven Kotler

New York Times Bestselling Author and Award-winning Journalist, New York Times   

Steven Kotler is a New York Times Bestselling Author, award-winning journalist and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective. The author of Stealing Fire, The Rise of Superman, Abundance, Bold, and The Future is Faster Than You Think. His bestselling books and research decode how scientific and technological breakthroughs are radically changing the world for both businesses and individuals, and how to stay ahead of the curve. Kotler is a master storyteller who decodes our new world with enthusiasm and optimism to provide what the Wall Street Journal called “a manifesto for the future that is grounded in practical solutions addressing the world’s most pressing concerns."

Steven’s work has been translated into over 40 languages and appeared in over 100 publications, including The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Wired and TIME. He also appears frequently on television and radio, and lectures widely on human performance, disruptive technology and radical innovation.

Helen Leis

Partner, Health & Life Sciences (USA), Oliver Wyman

Helen Leis is a Partner in the Oliver Wyman’s  New York Office. She leads Oliver Wyman’s consumer health innovation work, and is an expert in designing consumer-centric business models in healthcare, including product, experience, and operating models. Helen provides strategic planning, large-scale transformation, and organization alignment advice to senior executives in consumer health companies, health plans, and population health management companies. She is a frequent speaker and author on consumer health innovation, and focuses her efforts on advising her healthcare clients on the shift to consumer-centric business models. Helen earned a B.A. in economics and history from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from at Duke University. 


Harold Lloyd

President, H. Lloyd & Associates, Inc.

Harold is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago.  He has been the president of a company with 1000 employees and 14 stores and was a franchisee of a 3-unit, award-winning family restaurant group. 

For the last 34 years, Harold has been the featured speaker at the food industry’s most popular events.  He has created 30 top rated seminars and written 4 books.  He has also created and currently facilitates nine industry related share groups.

Harold is a proud father of 3 and grandfather of 2 and lives in Virginia Beach, VA with his wife, Deanna.

Anthony Longo

President and CEO, Longo Brothers Fruit Market

 Anthony Longo is President and CEO of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc., a position he has held since 1998. Longo’s was established in 1956 and currently has 37 retail locations and an on-line grocery business – Grocery Gateway. Anthony is a keen volunteer board member to a number of organizations including FMI - The Food Industry Association, The Grocery Foundation, and Humber College Board of Governors. Anthony was born and raised in the Toronto area and graduated from Humber College with a Business Administration Diploma.  Anthony and his wife Gay have three children, Thomas, Dayna, and Daniel.  In his spare time Anthony enjoys golf, curling, reading and spending time with family and friends

Sarah Ludmer, RD

Senior Director Wellbeing and Regulatory Affairs, The Kellogg Company

In both her professional and personal life, she has a passion for finding positive ways to make a difference, which is at the heart of everything she does. Sarah graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and completed her dietetic internship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.  She then built a strong nutritional foundation in a variety of clinical roles before moving to Del Monte Foods where she supported nutrition and regulatory for consumer and pet foods. 

In 2014, she joined Kellogg Company, supporting the Kashi and Morningstar Farms brands. Today she serves as Senior Director, Wellbeing and Regulatory where she combines her passion for public health and love of consumers to unlock growth through Wellbeing. In this capacity, she ensures strategic outcomes and helps brands positively impact and meet the needs of their diverse range of consumers. Sarah also volunteers her time with Kellogg’s Business Employee Resource Groups focused on veterans. 

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family including her 2 dogs and 2 cats, taking hikes in the woods, watching her boy’s activities and the catching the latest Star Wars movie. 

Milen Mahadevan

President, 84.51   

Milen Mahadevan is  president of 84.51, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co. Prior to being named president and COO, Mahadevan served as senior vice president, head of Client Solutions and Capabilities at 84.51°, where he lead the strategic direction and development of the company’s solutions and capabilities, as well as a key driver of the overarching strategy for the business.

Previously, Mahadevan served as the head of Client Solutions and the Service Line Organization for dunnhumbyUSA. In this role, he was responsible for best practices and innovation in data management, analytics, insights, communications and media. This focus allowed Mahadevan to deliver scalable solution strategies for dunnhumbyUSA’s client base. He played a critical role in expanding the company’s foundational capabilities across markets, channels, verticals and categories.

Mahadevan holds a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Imperial College in London, England.

General (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal   

Former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan, Best-Selling Author and Co-Founder of the McChrystal Group 

General Stanley A. McChrystal was called “one of America’s greatest warriors” by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He is widely praised for launching a revolution in warfare by leading a comprehensive counter-terrorism organization that fused intelligence and operations, redefining the way military and government agencies interact.  
 
McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976 as an infantry officer, completed Ranger Training, and later Special Forces Training. Over the course of his career, he held leadership and staff positions in the Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, 82nd Airborne Division, the XVIII Army Airborne Corp, and the Joint Staff. He is a graduate of the US Naval War College, and he completed fellowships at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997 and at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2000.  
 
From 2003 to 2008, McChrystal commanded JSOC - responsible for leading the nation's deployed military counterterrorism efforts around the globe. His leadership of JSOC is credited with the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein and the 2006 location and killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. In June 2009, McChrystal received his fourth star and assumed command of all international forces in Afghanistan.  
 
Since retiring from the military, McChrystal has served on several corporate boards of directors, that include Deutsche Bank America, JetBlue Airways, Navistar, Siemens Government Technologies, Fiscal Note, and Accent Technologies. A passionate advocate for national service, McChrystal is the Chair of the Board of Service Year Alliance, which envisions a future in which a service year is a cultural expectation and common opportunity for every young American. He is a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he teaches a course on leadership. Additionally, he is the author of the bestselling leadership books, My Share of the Task: A Memoir, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, and Leaders: Myth and Reality.  
 
General McChrystal founded the McChrystal Group in January 2011. Recognizing that companies today are experiencing parallels to what he faced in the war theater, McChrystal established this advisory services firm to help businesses challenge the hierarchical, “command and control” approach to organizational management.

Sanish Mondkar

CEO and Founder, Legion Technologies

Sanish is the founder and CEO of Legion. He has more than 20 years of strategic experience in products, technology, and cloud ops. He was Chief Product Officer at SAP and Ariba. In his role at SAP, he was responsible for all Procurement and Business Network products and technology, which represented over $1B of annual revenue. Sanish holds a Bachelors of Computer Engineering from Pune University and a Masters of Computer Science from Cornell University.

Suzy Monford

President and CEO, PCC Community Markets

 Suzy Monford is Chief Executive Officer, PCC Markets. Previously she served as Kroger’s Group Vice President of Fresh Merchandising. 

Suzy is also the former CEO of Andronico’s Community Markets, the San Francisco Bay Area chain that was acquired by Albertsons in early 2017. Prior to Andronico’s, she was recruited to innovate retail in Australia, first by Coles Supermarkets in 2009 and by Woolworths Supermarkets in 2013. For 10 years, Suzy served as an executive for H-E-B Central Market and H-E-B Grocery Company in Texas. Prior to H-E-B, she was president of Cheers, Inc., a Texas-based fast casual restaurant chain.

Suzy was recently named a 2019 Top Woman in Grocery and has also been recognized as a 2017 Top Woman in Retail Tech, a 2016 Top Industry Disruptor and a 2016 Top Woman in Grocery. She holds a bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.

Susan Morris

Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Albertsons Companies   

Susan Morris has been Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer AB Acquisition LLC and Albertsons Companies, Inc. since January 2018 and served as Executive Vice President of Retail Operations from April 2016 to January 2018. 

Prior to this, Susan led the Company’s Denver Division team, overseeing over 130 stores in five states. She joined Albertsons when she was 16 as a customer service clerk in Colorado, and worked at store level until she graduated from Colorado State University when she accepted a job at the division office.

Her career has spanned roles from Store Director to Corporate Grocery Sales Director, Vice President of Bakery and Operations and, upon the sale of Albertson’s Inc.’s assets to SUPERVALU, Vice President of Customer Satisfaction. In 2010, she was named Senior Vice President of Sales and Merchandising when she left SUPERVALU to join Albertsons LLC. In March 2013, Morris moved from her role as Vice President of Marketing & Merchandising for the Southwest Division to Intermountain Division President.

 

Todd Morris

CEO , Label Insight

Todd Morris, CEO of Label Insight A Retail and CPG veteran with almost thirty years experience working with industry leaders, Todd Morris currently serves as the CEO of Label Insight, the leading product metadata platform that is powering growth for retail leaders like Instacart, Wal-Mart, Target, and Google, and more than 30,000 CPG brands. Previously, Todd spent 18 years at Catalina where he served as Global President, with responsibility for relationships with thousands of global retailers and brands spanning North America, Europe, and Asia. He began his career at Procter & Gamble where he served in brand management roles on Tide and Cascade. Todd is an authority on retail and CPG trends. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and CNBC, lectured at Harvard Business School and presented at many industry conferences.

Michael Needler

Chief Executive Officer, President and CEO, Fresh Encounter

Michael Needler, Jr. is the President and CEO of Fresh Encounter, Inc., a 33 store independent retailer located in Findlay, Ohio.  Fresh Encounter stores operate under the Chief, Community Markets and Great Scot banners.  Michael joined Fresh Encounter in August of 2009 after spending five years in banking and capital markets in Los Angeles, Ca.   
He attended the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business for his M.B.A. He completed the Executive Management Development program at Cornell University and received his B.A. from Hanover College in Indiana, majoring in Economics and Finance.  Michael serves on the FMI Board of Directors, NGA Government Relations Committee, Ohio Grocers Board, and NGA Foundation Board of Regents. Michael is actively involved in his community where he serves as the Chairman of Board of the directors for the Findlay Family YMCA, Board of Counselors for the University of Findlay, coaches youth soccer and actively involved in the United Way.

Steve Oakland

President and CEO, TreeHouse Foods, Inc.

Steven Oakland is Chief Executive Officer and President of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE: THS). He has served as a Director of TreeHouse since March 2, 2018 and was appointed CEO and President, effective March 26, 2018. TreeHouse is North America’s largest private label food and beverage producer focused on customer brands and custom products, with a network of manufacturing facilities across the United States, Canada and Italy.

Steve served as Vice Chair and President, U.S. Food and Beverage of The J.M. Smucker Company (Smucker’s) (NYSE: SJM), a manufacturer of branded food products, since May 2016. He previously served as President, Coffee and Foodservice of Smucker’s from April 2015 to April 2016; President, International Food Service of Smucker’s from May 2011 to March 2015; and President, U.S. Retail-Smucker’s Jif, and Hungry Jack from August 2008 to May 2011. Steve spent most of his career at Smucker’s, serving in increasingly senior positions including General Manager of Smucker’s Canadian operations from 1995 to 1999. He earned his B.A in Marketing and Economics from the University of Mount Union.

Steve has served on several community boards and is currently on the Board of Directors of TreeHouse Foods, Inc., Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL), Foster Farms, and MTD Products Company.

Gretchen O'Hara

Vice President, US AI & Sustainability Strategy, Microsoft

Gretchen O’Hara is business builder who creates and leads teams that create from whitespace and build ecosystems empowering customers and partners.  With over 25 years’ experience in the tech industry across the US and worldwide, Gretchen has built systems and mobilized organizations to maximize the collective power of customers, partners, technical evangelists, startups, and developers to drive innovation.

As VP, AI & Sustainability Strategy at Microsoft, Gretchen is building the path for Microsoft’s US acceleration of its Artificial Intelligence, cloud and sustainability initiative to become carbon negative by 2030. AI and Sustainability will change and shape how we live, it is through strategic partnerships, innovation, and ecosystem activation that Microsoft will achieve these ambitious goals.

Gretchen is also a passionate advocate for women and girls in STEM and the cloud. She is a Co-Founder of Women in Cloud (WiC), an organization taking action with global leaders, corporations, and policy-makers to help create $1 billion in economic access and opportunity by 2030.

 

Doug Pearson

SVP of Sales for Strategic Accounts & Alliances, Planalytics

Doug Pearson is Planalytics' Senior VP of Sales for Strategic Accounts & Alliances and has been helping leading Retail and CPG companies operationalize the benefits of weather analytics for over 25 years. Doug has held various managerial positions at Planalytics including roles in corporate strategy, product development, and sales. Doug is a graduate of Lehigh University.

Joe Picone

Store Director, AJ’s Fine Foods

Joseph Picone is the Store Director of AJ’s Fine Foods in Phoenix. His loyalty to the store and his clear work ethic are the hallmarks of his resume.

At only 23, he began his employment with AJ’s Fine Foods in the Butcher’s Corner as a meat clerk in 2000.  He worked in the Butchers Corner for roughly two years and then made a strategic decision to move to the grocery department with a fierce desire to expand both his knowledge and experience in the grocery business.  Roughly a year later he was promoted to an entry level management position and has tirelessly worked his way up the ranks until his promotion to the Store Director position in 2010. Picone proudly credits his mother as the biggest influencer of both his career and life and he holds a deep admiration for her strength as a single mother.

 Picone lives in Arizona with his wife, son, and daughter. When not serving customers and leading his team at the store, he is an avid outdoorsman with a fondness for cooking.

Art Potash

CEO, Potash Markets

Art Potash is the second generation owner and operator of Potash Markets located in Chicago Illinois.Potash Markets is comprised of 3 neighborhood markets, which offer every day and specialty items in a smaller, friendlier, easy in and out format.

Art worked in the family business since he was 8 years old sorting empty bottles, bagging ice, unloading customers shopping carts and delivering the weekly ads throughout the neighborhood.

Upon graduation from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Art worked for the Kroger Company in Texas and Louisiana from 1979 to 1983, and then joined the family business in Chicago. Upon return to Chicago, Art supervised store operations, various remodeling projects, and the build out of two new store facilities.

Art assumed the role of CEO in 2006.

Art serves on the Board of Directors for FMI and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA).

Art and his wife Arla live in Chicago and enjoy summers boating on Lake Michigan and travel whenever possible.

Steve Presley

Chairman and CEO, Nestle USA, Inc.

Steve Presley is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé USA.
Steve began his career with Nestlé more than 23 years ago as a controller for the beverage factory in Suffolk, Virginia. He held various roles within the Beverage Division, including Vice President of Finance and Vice President/General Manager of Premium Ready-to-Drink Beverages. During that role, Steve was responsible for achieving a 100% increase in retail sales of the ready-to-drink beverage business, starting with Nestlé Nesquik and Nestlé Coffee-mate Liquid. A key part of his growth strategy was the construction of a ready-to-drink products facility in Anderson, Indiana. The construction of this factory is the largest single capital investment ever made by Nestlé.

In 2009, Steve was named President of Nestlé Business Services and in 2013, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer for Nestlé USA. In 2016, Steve’s role was expanded to include leading Nestlé USA’s strategic transformation where he was responsible for developing, implementing and leading innovative strategies to ensure the long-term growth of the company. This work included simultaneously orchestrating the sale of NUSA’s Confections business, moving its headquarters across the country, and leading acquisitions and investments in companies like Freshly, Sweet Earth and Chameleon Cold-Brew.

Steve is originally from West Palm Beach, Florida. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of South Florida and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Shekar Raman

Co-founder and CEO, Birdzi, Inc

Shekar Raman is CEO and co-founder of Birdzi, a grocery retail AI solutions company that was inspired by an idea his 11-year-old daughter had about locating products in the supermarket. He is passionate about building data-driven technologies leveraging AI and machine learning to help retailers and brands elevate the customer experience.
 
Shekar began his career working on the Human Genome Project at the Dept. of Human Genetics, Univ. of Pennsylvania, developing algorithms for protein modeling. He was part of some of the pioneering groups (early 90s) in BioInformatics at UPenn,  and at the Dept. of Human Genetics, UNLV, where he applied speech recognition techniques to identify and classify genetic sequences.  He then continued onto AT&T Bell Labs, working in the Speech Recognition group as a consultant developing data collection algorithms where he also acquired significant expertise in systems engineering. He then later moved on to Systems Engineering, architecting and implementing infrastructure solutions for a large Fortune 500 company working in both consulting and management roles.

Shekar Raman has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Communications from Osmania University, Hyderabad India. He went to Graduate School at Villanova University where he obtained a MS in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Digital Signal Processing and Pattern Recognition.

 

Krystal Register MS, RDN, LDN

Director of Health and Well-being, FMI   

Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN is the Director of Health and Well-being at FMI - The Food Industry Association.  She serves as the lead coordinator and issue expert for health and well-being programs and activities, nutrition policy, operations, and communication issues for FMI members.  Krystal was a retail dietitian with Wegmans for 12 years and made significant contributions to company-wide wellness programs, health messaging, community events, and local media response in the National Capital Region.  

Eric Reynolds

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, The Clorox Company

Eric Reynolds is executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Clorox Company, a role he assumed in September 2020. In this position, he has executive oversight of all U.S. businesses as well as the global Product Supply Organization, Information Technology and enterprise operations. He also serves as executive sponsor for enterprise sustainability.

During more than 20 years with the company, Reynolds has served in many senior leadership roles, most recently as executive vice president – Household and Lifestyle, with responsibility for the Litter, Food, Charcoal, Brita, Glad, Burt’s Bees, Nutranext and RenewLife businesses. Additionally, he spent three years as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. As CMO, he had global responsibility for all marketing functions, including brand strategy and management, personnel staffing and development, consumer insights, advanced analytics, agency management, consumer promotion, digital capabilities, media planning and buying, commercial production, and graphic design. Before these roles, he served as vice president and general manager – Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, overseeing Clorox’s growth and brand strategies in these regions. His career at Clorox began in 1998 as an associate marketing manager on the Brita business.

Reynolds currently serves as the executive sponsor for the company’s LGBTQ employee resource group.

Prior to joining the company, Reynolds spent five years working for General Mills in finance.

He currently chairs the Vesper Society, a social justice health access foundation, and serves as a director on the boards of the American Cleaning Institute and the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

A native of Minneapolis, Reynolds holds a bachelor’s degree in English and economics from Saint Olaf College. He also holds an MBA in marketing and strategy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

 

Bruce Richards

Retail & Consumer Goods, Adobe

Bruce Richards is an industry leader in Retail & Consumer Goods for Adobe. He is a subject matter expert who specializes in customer experience, digital strategy and marketing.  He has a wealth of experience in both client side and customer advisory roles having led client services in several consulting and marketing services organizations working with some of the world’s largest retailers and consumer goods brands including Macy’s, Estee Lauder, Bloomingdale’s, CVS/pharmacy, Hanes, Nivea, Kohl’s and El Corte Ingles.

Doug Rogers

Chief Security Officer, Wegmans Food Markets

 Doug Rogers is Director of Information Security at Wegmans Food Markets, where he is responsible for delivering a stable, secure and scalable infrastructure within multiple datacenters supporting business needs across the entire enterprise. He spent 11 years providing leadership for Enterprise Data Management Services including the development and support of an Enterprise Data Warehouse; Business Analytics Center of Excellence, and Master Data Management Program. Responsible for providing internal and external customers with access to quality and accurate information leading to actionable insights.

Randy Russell

President & Partner, The Russell Group

Randy Russell was born and raised in Virginia. Prior to joining the firm in 1986, Randy served in a number of agricultural policy positions, both inside and outside of government, including Chief of Staff for Secretary of Agriculture John R. Block, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Vice President for Agriculture and Trade Policy at the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Director of Government Relations for The Pillsbury Company, and the 1981 Farm Bill Coordinator for USDA.

Randy attended George Mason University where he did both his undergraduate studies in Public Administration and graduate studies in Economics. He is a proud member of GMU’s baseball team, where he played catcher.

Randy has been actively involved in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program in Northern Virginia. He was a Big Brother for ten years and was named President, Vice President and Treasurer of the Northern Virginia Council of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He also served on the Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the National Capital Area. Randy currently serves as Chairman of the Board and is on the Executive Committee for the World Food Program USA, which raises awareness and funding to fight global hunger. He is also on the Board of Governors of the Bryce Harlow Foundation, encouraging the highest standards for professional lobbying and government affairs.

Randy and his wife, Beth, live in McLean, VA, and have six children. The Russells are co-founders of The Golden Phoenix Foundation, working to address the issue of childhood abandonment around the world. He and Beth are also active members of the National Council for Adoption, which helps promote domestic and foreign adoptions as well as foster care.

Randy and Beth have a small farm in Round Hill, VA where they raise alpacas, as well as chickens and turkeys.

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.

Todd Schnuck

Chairman and CEO, Schnuck Markets, Inc

Todd R. Schnuck is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schnuck Markets, Inc. Todd is the third generation of the Schnuck family to lead the company. Prior to being named Chairman and CEO, Todd was Schnucks’ President and Chief Operating Officer from 2006 to 2014. He had previously been the company’s Corporate Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, a role he held for 18 years. He joined Schnucks in 1987 as Treasurer. Prior to joining Schnucks, Todd spent four years in the Investment Banking division of A.G. Edwards & Sons. 

Todd holds an MBA from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Virginia. 

He is passionate about community engagement and currently serves as chairman of the board for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, while also holding board memberships with the United Way of Greater St. Louis, The Opportunity Trust and Greater St. Louis, Inc. He was a founding board member for the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition, and has served as President of the organization’s board of directors. Todd is also a past chairman of the board of directors for both the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Development Board, and a past board of trustees President for both John Burroughs School and Rossman School. Professionally, Todd serves on the board of directors for Commerce Bancshares, Inc., FMI and Topco.

Matt Schwartz, MBA

Co-founder & CEO, Afresh Technologies

Matt is the co-founder & CEO of Afresh--a fresh food technology company. Prior to founding Afresh, Matt launched a CPG snack company called Statfoods, invested in food & agriculture technology at The Production Board (started by the founder of the Climate Corporation), and managed operations at Simple Mills. Matt holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Kevin Sherlock

Executive Vice President, Chief Retail Officer, Hy-Vee

Arnaud Simeray

Enterprise Account Executive, CB4

Arnaud Simerary is the Entreprise Account Executive at CB4, a retail technology firm based in NYC. He helps retailers leverage the power of AI and Machine Learning to drive significant store sales increase, optimizate store execution and improve customer experience. 

Most of his career has been focused on sales, business development and growing companies, primarily in the technology space for both F500 firms as well as start ups with an emphasis in the retail industry. Simerary did most of my education in Europe, graduated with a Bachelor in Computer Science & Engineering and later on an MBA in International Business. He then decided to move to the US to start my career, settling in the place he now calls home: New York. 

Outside of work, he is an avid sports fan, practicing frequently soccer and tennis. Hopefully this helps with my healthy obsession for amazing food and discovering new cuisines. If not enjoying Manhattan, He also tries to visit 1-2 new countries each year and recently Simerary had the pleasure to visit Greece, Dubai, Ukraine and Argentina.

Joe Smirlies

SVP, Product Management, Invatron Systems Corp.

As Senior Vice President of Product Management, Joe is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts in sustainable fresh-native technology solutions. With over 30 years of experience in the grocery technology sector, Joe brings the depth and breadth of knowledge to service fresh food retailers with innovative technologies and shape the future of fresh food retailing. Joe spent the early days of his career with IBM and transitioned to Invatron in 1999 as its first Chief Technology Officer where he co-created Invatron’s fresh item management portfolio of solutions. For the last 20 plus years, Joe continues to partner with leading grocery retailers across North America to understand their challenges and deliver technologies to optimize grocery store sales, operational processes, and food waste initiatives.

David Smith

President and CEO, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc.

David Smith is President and CEO of Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. He started his career with AWG in 2003, where he served in Division and Corporate positions as the Director of Real Estate, Director of Member Services and Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing. David was selected as Senior Vice President and Division Manager to lead the site selection, development, and start-up of AWG’s newest division, Gulf Coast, in 2012. In 2014, David assumed the role of EVP of Operations / Chief Operating Officer and was elected by the AWG board to his current role in August 2015. Prior to AWG, David grew up in the retail side of the grocery business in a family-owned independent multi-store operation working in every conceivable job from bottle boy and bag boy as a teenager, up to President, CEO and principal owner of the business at age 26

Angela Spence

Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Ahold Delhaize USA

Angela is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Retail Business Services, the US servicing company of Ahold Delhaize, she is responsible for leading the strategy and tactics that foster a spirit of inclusion and engagement and ensuring an inclusive workplace for all associates.


Angela has spent the last decade leading diversity and inclusion efforts across a myriad of B2C and B2B organizations, including Cabot Corporation and Hertz. Angela has an extensive background in designing and implementing enterprise-level diversity and inclusion strategies that drive employee satisfaction, unlocks innovation and drives market growth to the organization, which have included initiatives involving unconscious bias, talent innovation and inclusion, business resource groups, community engagement, demographic goals, pay equity, and employee experience. She additionally has experience leading corporate social responsibility programs and employee engagement.

Angela is also an active volunteer in her community, as a founding leader of Feed the Fight-Boston, supporting frontline workers during Covid19 as well as the United Way’s BoStem program. 

Steve Spinner

Chairman of the Board and CEO, UNFI  

Steven L. Spinner, age 60, has served as our Chairman since October 2016 and as our Chief Executive Officer since September 2008. Mr. Spinner has been a member of our Board of Directors since September 2008. 

Prior to joining the Company in September 2008, Mr. Spinner served as a director and as Chief Executive Officer of Performance Food Group Company (“PFG”) from October 2006 to May 2008, when PFG was acquired by affiliates of The Blackstone Group and Wellspring Capital Management. Mr. Spinner previously served as PFG’s President and Chief Operating Officer beginning in May 2005. Mr. Spinner served as PFG’s Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer – Broadline Division from February 2002 to May 2005 and as PFG’s Broadline Division President from August 2001 to February 2002. 
Performance Food Group acquired Mr. Spinner’s company in 1997.

Mr. Spinner is also the Lead Director on the Board of Directors for Arkansas Best Corporation, a public company and the parent of ABF Freight System, Inc., since July 2011.

Mr. Spinner’s extensive experience in the wholesale food distribution business, including most recently having served as the president and chief executive office of one the largest publicly traded foodservice distribution business in the United States, brings valuable insight to the Board beyond the knowledge and insight he brings from being our president and chief executive officer.

 

Mike Stigers

CEO, Cub Foods

Jon Stine

Executive Director, Open Voice Network

Jon Stine serves as the Executive Director of the Open Voice Network (OVN), the non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the value of standards to the world of voice assistance.  He brings to the OVN more than 30 years of global retail and technology leadership, with executive sales roles in the apparel business, and for technology giants Intel and Cisco.  Jon has often been at the forefront of industry tech-based innovation -- but he's no fan of shiny objects.  His is a voice for sustainable, quantifiable value, grown to mass markets over time.   During the pandemic, he's been Zooming around the world from his home office in Portland, Oregon. 

Are Traasdahl

CEO and Founder, Crisp

Crisp Founder and CEO, Are Traasdahl has more than 20 years of experience in mobile and digital technology. He was the Founder & CEO of Tapad Inc. In 2016, Telenor Group acquired Tapad for $360M, making it the fifth largest venture-backed M&A exit in New York since 2009. Prior to Tapad, he founded Thumbplay, a mobile entertainment service that he grew to more than $100M in revenue in less than 3 years before he exited the company. The company, later acquired by Clear Channel, is now called iHeartRadio.

Traasdahl is a frequent contributor for outlets such as CNBC and Bloomberg News, and he has been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Ad Age and other major news publications. He was named Global Startup Awards™ Founder of the Year in 2016 and EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. He founded Crisp in 2016 to tackle the critical issue of food waste through technology.

Katie Waeltz

Vice President, Category Management and Market Insights, TopCo Associates LLC

Matthew Walker

Director of Global Sales, stor.ai

Matt has more than 10 years of international experience in the grocery industry from merchandising to supply chain and logistics. He most recently was responsible for the commercial strategy and roll-out of a micro-fulfillment center solution for Dematic, the largest automation company in North America. With a focus on the customer experience, Matt ensures clients have a thorough understanding of the many ways technology can provide seamless online and in-store experiences for consumers.

Andrew Walmsley

Director, Congressional Relations, American Farm Bureau Federation®

Andrew Walmsley joined the American Farm Bureau Federation in 2011 as Director, Congressional Relations.  In addition to leading the farm policy team, Andrew is charged with managing energy, climate, transportation, and biotechnology issues for Farm Bureau.

His work has included regulatory relief for farmers and ranchers along with securing Farm Bureau priorities in multiple pieces of legislation that were eventually enacted into law.  Because of this work, he has been named a ‘Top Lobbyist’ by The Hill.

Andrew has held multiple leadership roles around Washington D.C. He currently chairs the Farmers for a Sustainable Future Coalition, is a founding member of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance and has served as chairman of the Agricultural Biotech Alliance, as a steering committee member of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, the Rail Customer Coalition and as an advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on their Energy, Clean Air & Natural Resources Committee.

Before joining the American Farm Bureau Federation, he worked for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation as a registered State lobbyist while also managing energy, environmental, and commodity-specific issues. 

Andrew is a sixth-generation Floridian and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Operations Management.  He currently resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia with his wife, Katherine, and their three children, Madison, Davis, and Reagan Monroe.

Winston Weber

Chairman and CEO, Winston Weber & Associates   

With more than 35 years of experience in the consulting profession, Win Weber has gained a worldwide reputation as one of the two original architects of category management, introducing the concept to the U.S. market in 1990. He is also credited with introducing retailer/supplier partnering in the US, Mexico, Australia and Asia. He is currently introducing the new beyond category management Shopper-Centric Retailing business model, and its core component Shopper Solutions Planning. This leadership initiative is being supported by a leading edge Change Enablement Shopper Solutions TrainingSM process that focuses on the development of non-routine cognitive skills.

Win spent the first 23 years of his career in the consumer products industry holding senior management positions with General Foods, American Brands, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Warner Communications and Schering-Plough and his consulting experience spans the globe. He is currently Chairman and CEO of Winston Weber & Associates and a member of the FMI Collaboration Council and former Chair and current member of the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors at Syracuse University.

Hunter Williams

Partner – Retail and Consumer Goods, Oliver Wyman

Hunter is a partner in Oliver Wyman’s Retail and Consumer Goods and Pricing, Sales and Marketing practices.

Before returning home to the United States, Hunter was previously based in China for nine years and speaks Mandarin fluently.  He now serves clients globally out of Oliver Wyman’s Chicago office. His experience covers a range of consumer-facing business models around the world.

Hunter completed his Mphil at Cambridge University. His bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Chinese Language & Literature are from the University of Florida.

Hunter is father to three young children, and enjoys gardening, homebrewing and astronomy in his spare time.

Cheryl Williams

CIO, Wakefern Food Corp

Cheryl Williams, an innovator who has been at the forefront of technology during her two decades with Wakefern, was named the cooperative’s Chief Information Officer in 2016. She coordinates technology on both the corporate and retail fronts. She also oversees Data Governance and SRS Envoy Services.

Before moving into her new role, Williams was the vice president of Digital Commerce and Innovation (DCI) at Wakefern. 

As head of DCI, she led the team that launched ShopRite's first mobile app along with the ShopRite from Home online service and digital coupons to address the changing needs of ShopRite consumers. Today, ShopRite is recognized as a supermarket leader in digital commerce and ShopRite from Home is one of the fastest growing parts of the business.

In 2011, Williams was named to Wakefern’s executive staff, the senior management team that helps guides the company’s corporate and strategic vision. 

Williams is an active member of the Network of Executive Women (NEW). She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Cook College, Rutgers University. Williams and her husband Mike reside in South Brunswick, New Jersey.

Steven Williams

Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Foods North America

Steven Williams is currently the CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America leading the $18 billion snack and convenient foods business that includes Frito-Lay North America (FLNA) and Quaker Foods North America (QFNA). 

Steven, a 24 year PepsiCo veteran, has served as CEO since March 29, 2019. Prior to this role, Steven served as senior vice president and chief commercial officer for Frito-Lay’s U.S. organization, overseeing all selling and commercial activities for U.S. field sales, customer teams and headquarter commercialization, in addition to leading a large multi-functional sales organization, spanning all Frito-Lay retail customers, channels and go-to-market systems. 

Steven also previously served as senior vice president and general manager for Frito-Lay’s East division where he was responsible for the overall business and performance management for the six geographic regions in the Eastern U.S. 

Earlier in his tenure at PepsiCo, Steven led the company’s global Walmart business, managing the PepsiCo portfolio of products across all aspects of the Walmart Business worldwide, including Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club, and Walmart International Divisions. In this role, he delivered significant retail sales and share growth in Walmart.

Steven also previously led sales for a number of PepsiCo’s largest food and beverage brands, leading multi-channel and cross-functional teams to deliver revenue, profit and growth. 

Steven joined PepsiCo in 2001 as part of PepsiCo’s acquisition of the Quaker Oats Company, which he joined in 1997, and has held leadership positions of increased responsibility in sales, general management, customer management, sales planning and shopper marketing.

Jim Wisner

President, Wisner Marketing

Jim Wisner was a Vice-president at Jewel Food Stores, Shaw's Supermarkets, and Topco Associates before starting Wisner Marketing in 1999. Wisner Marketing works with manufacturers and retailers on a broad range of marketing challenges. It has developed many industry-wide research and education programs including Center Store Renewal, Supply Chain Optimization for Specialty Foods, Multicultural Marketing, and others. Most recently, Wisner Marketing has developed for FMI a new comprehensive approach to private brand management within the context of a shopper-centric retail environment.

Jim is a popular speaker and has presented on private brands on six continents. He has served as adjunct faculty in the Private Label Executive Education Programs at both St. Joseph’s University and at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.  Jim is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and earned his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.