Speakers

Sarah Alter

President & CEO, Network of Executive Women

Sarah Alter leads NEW, the largest women’s leadership organization serving the North American retail and consumer goods industry. She was named president and CEO by the Board of the Network of Executive Women on June 5, 2017. Alter has had an international career in retail, financial services and technology. She served as vice president of Discover Financial Services and vice president for digital sales and marketing at Quill.com. Sarah holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Northwestern University.

Viviana Alvarez

Head of Sustainability, Unilever

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

Kevin Antram

SVP, Revenue, Daisy Intelligence

As the leader of the revenue teams at Daisy, Kevin is responsible for the strategies that drive total company revenue, new sales, channel sales, and customer renewals.

He has had a 30-year career in high-tech sales and executive leadership. This includes leadership roles at SAS as Global VP, Sales & Field Operations, Reynolds & Reynolds as VP, Sales, and MapInfo Canada as VP and GM.

Kevin has firmly held beliefs around sales, and one of his mantras is: stop selling and help people buy what they need. That's how you deliver value.

Kevin has a BSc. in Applied Math & Economics from Brown University, where he also played lacrosse.

Diane Badame

Academic and Program Director of the MS in Marketing Program and Professor of Clinical Marketing, USC Marshall

Diane Badame specializes in the fields of marketing management, customer satisfaction and new product development. She currently serves as the Academic and Program Director of the Master of Science in Marketing Program. Professor Badame received Marshall's Golden Apple Teaching Award in 2010 and 2018. Before joining Marshall, she held senior management positions with major consumer packaged goods and financial services companies. Professor Badame also consults with business organizations in the areas of marketing strategy, new product developments and customer satisfaction.

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.

Nicholas Bertram

President, GIANT Food Stores,

Nicholas Bertram is President of GIANT Food Stores.

GIANT is a proud company of Ahold Delhaize, where Bertram worked for the last 5 years in a variety of executive roles.

Bertram 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 VP of Retail before joining Ahold Delhaize.

He currently serves as Vice Chair for the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Chamber, and Co-Chair of the Corporate Council for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 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 and at Harvard.

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.

Thomas Bornemann

Principal, Consumer Products and Retail Consulting, Ernst & Young LLP

Thomas Bornemann, a partner in consumer products and retail practice, at EY (formerly Ernst and Young), is responsible for managing major CPG companies’ portfolio of EY services focusing on the integrated value chain including all elements of both the demand and supply chains. He has overseen numerous strategic projects, which generated substantial and more importantly sustainable business results.  

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.

Matt Brewer

Head of Product Marketing, Symphony RetailAI

Matt is an expert in strategy and business transformation and has advised retail, CPG, and media clients on the technology, process, and organizational enablers needed to bring those visions to reality for the past 15 years. Prior to joining Symphony Retail, Matt was SVP-Global Retail at Nielsen and has previously held cross-functional leadership roles at Deloitte Digital, IRI, Ernst and Young, and General Electric.  

Francois Chaubard

CEO, Focal Systems

Francois Chaubard is the CEO of Focal Systems, an AI company that builds programtic AI solutions to automate and optimize Grocery Retail. Prior to this, Mr. Chaubard worked at Apple as a Deep Learning Researcher on secretive projects. Before that, he attended Stanford University where he earned two master degrees in CS and EE where he researched AI and Computer Vision. Before this, he worked at Lockheed Martin as a Missile Guidance Algorithm Engineer on the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Marie Chevrier

Founder and CEO, Sampler

Marie Chevrier, is the Founder and CEO of Sampler, the leading platform helping brands like L'Oréal and Nestlé deliver samples online and gather the insight they need to build one-to-one relationships with their customers. Sampler has reached over 50 million consumers globally in 24 different countries and its most notable clients include CPG industry giants Unilever, Pepsi, and Henkel. Marie is also a dedicated advisor to Technology and CPG startups including ScoutCanning, member of the RetailTomorrow advisory board, and Co-Founder of RetailTO - a community dedicated to growing and strengthening Toronto’s Retail ecosystem.

Emily Chou

Graduate Student, USC Marshall

Emily has a diverse background across the entertainment, hospitality, and consumer goods industries. Prior to business school, she worked in scripted TV development for networks including Fox Broadcasting Company and AMC Networks. In 2017, she helped open an experiential dining restaurant in Los Angeles that was ranked the city’s #1 restaurant by the L.A. Times and also featured in The New York Times. Emily is pursuing a career in CPG brand management and most recently interned at Mattel with the Hot Wheels Global Brand Marketing team.

Terri Cooper

Chief Inclusion Officer, Deloitte

Dr. Terri is currently Deloitte’s Chief Inclusion Officer.
Terri has a personal passion and commitment to growing and developing talent at all levels. As chief inclusion officer, Terri drives Deloitte’s strategy to recruit, develop, and advance a diverse workforce and foster an inclusive environment. She is focused on advancing inclusive leadership at all levels to advance inclusion in workplaces today.

Terri has more than two decades of experience working in various capacities of the life sciences and health care industry, including participating in a broad range of strategic advisory services. She has created new global operating models; supported the integration of development, regulatory, and drug safety functions in a number of Life Sciences company mergers; restructured all aspects of the research and development (R&D) value chain; and driven increased cost and efficiency measures.

Terri serves as a frequent speaker on diversity and inclusion issues and trends. She was recently named to Crain’s 2019 New York Notable Women in Accounting.  She is a board member for the Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership Strategic Board of Advisors.

She holds a Joint Honors Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and Pharmacology and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London, UK. 

 

Brian Crain

Head of Global Business Development, Precima

Brian Crain leads Partnerships and Business Development for Precima globally. Based in Paris, France, Brian brings his 20+ years of software, analytics and new markets experience to lead retail and B2B growth for Precima. His focus and inspiration is on building long-term partnerships with companies to unlock huge value from Precima’s AI, analytic and software capabilities.

Dave Croci

Director of Leadership Development, Root, Inc.

As Director of Leadership Development at Root Inc., Dave is passionate about helping organizations maximize their talent. Dave has helped people leaders, at all levels, build capability, improve effectiveness and drive organizational change.

As an organizational development expert with over 15 years of experience, Dave is responsible for improving leader capability through Root’s unique solutions and methodology. Dave has worked with many organizations in the broader food industry (AWG, Meijer, Kellogg’s) to empower leaders and increase performance. Dave played a key role in developing the Future Leader eXperience, a manager development and certificate program, created in partnership by FMI and Root. Dave has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from Bowling Green State University.

Elizabeth Cruz

Graduate Student, USC Marshall

As an emerging brand marketing professional with a broad industry background, Liz has had the opportunity to work with high-performing teams on both historic and up-and-coming brands – Henkel Corporation, Levi Strauss & Co., and Flexport, Inc. This diverse experience has included aerospace marketing and brand management, retail inventory management and strategic development, and international freight trade logistics and customer portfolio management. In these environments, she would continually build her brand and its ability to provide for the brands it represented. She came to business school to transition into a strategic marketing role and is working towards a career in CPG brand management. The first step in accomplishing this goal was working as an MBA Brand Marketing Intern for Hasbro, Inc. on the Disney Princess and Frozen brands this past summer. She looks forward to continuing to grow in her CPG career and passion for marketing upon graduation in May.

Troy Datcher

Chief Customer Officer, The Clorox Company

Troy Datcher was named senior vice president and chief customer officer in February 2019. In this role, he has responsibility for the company’s worldwide sales organization.

During his combined 20 years with the company, Datcher has held many positions within Sales function. Most recently, he served as vice president – sales planning, Cleaning/Specialty and sports marketing, with responsibility for development and deployment of customer business plans. Before that, his roles included vice president – corporate capability development and sports marketing as well as director of sales planning – Glad and Brita Products Division. He joined Clorox in 1999 as a region sales manager for the company’s automotive business.

In addition to his experience at Clorox, Datcher spent three years as sponsorship and marketing director for JTG/Daugherty Racing. He began his career at The Procter & Gamble Company, where he held several roles of increasing responsibility over a nine-year period. 

Datcher serves on the board of trustees for Gettysburg College, is a member of the board of The Clorox Company Foundation and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council. He also serves on the board of the East Oakland Youth Development Center.

A native of Vincent, Alabama, Datcher holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

 

Daniel DelGiudice

Sr. Director - Business Development, Shipt

Dan DelGiudice leads business development @ Shipt, where he is responsible for new Retail & CPG partnerships.  He has been with Shipt for 1.5 years, and is a product of the Food Industry.  A graduate of St. Joseph’s University’s Erivan K. Haub School of Business (BS, MS), he has spent the last 14 years in the Food & Beverage Industry, across brick & mortar (A&P), direct to consumer (Amazon’s Quidsi unit), CPG eComm partnerships (ABInBev), and now with Shipt.  Dan is passionate about the food business, especially in this particular moment in time of change, where we are all creating a lasting impact.  Dan resides in the Greater NY Metro area.

Mike Demko

CEO and Founder, locai

Mike Demko is a results-driven Senior Executive with 20+ years of success across the grocery, eCommerce, and digital technology industries. Leveraging extensive experience in driving revenue growth and improving profitability, he has helped companies scale through a data driven, hands on approach.  His broad areas of expertise include operations, marketing, product development, financial planning, turnaround management, and M&A.

Mike is the CEO & Founder of locai, a provider of a suite of engaging digital grocery applications.  Prior to locai, Mike was CEO at Door to Door Organics, an online grocer serving 55 cities across 17 states.  Before joining Door to Door Organics, he was the COO at GPShopper, a mobile applications platform for retail. Mike’s efforts at GPShopper helped lead to the sale of the company to Synchrony Financial, the leading private label credit provider in the US.  He has also held leadership positions at companies including Ask.com, FreshDirect, Priceline, and LinkShare.  He holds a BS and MS in Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from The Wharton School. Mike also served as an Officer in the U.S. Army. 

Mark During

General Manager Marketing Operations, Coles Group

Mark During is a retail marketing leader with broad international experience in large FMCG retail environments, and has delivered strong results through retail, brand and marketing strategy. He is a former Marketing GM at Shoprite, Africa’s largest grocery retailer and was more recently with Coles in Australia. Over nearly twenty years in retail, Mark has developed and implemented customer-first marketing strategies and campaigns that are designed to translate customer demand into operational delivery. More recently Mark launched a new spin on retail loyalty programs into the Australian market with huge success. Mark now resides in Melbourne Australia with his wife and two daughters.

Randy Edeker

Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President, Hy-Vee, Inc

Randy Edeker is chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president of Hy-Vee, Inc., a position he has held since 2012. A career veteran of Hy-Vee, Edeker began his Hy-Vee career in 1981 as a part-time employee at the Hy-Vee store in Chariton, Iowa. He quickly progressed through the ranks at Hy-Vee, working at stores in Lincoln, Nebraska; Davenport, Iowa; Milan, Illinois; and Kirksville, Missouri, before getting his first store director assignment in Columbus, Nebraska, in 1993.  In 1999, he joined the southern region as director of operations and later became assistant vice president of operations. Edeker was named vice president of marketing for Hy-Vee in 2004. In 2006, Edeker was promoted to senior vice president of retail operations, and in 2008, he became executive vice president and chief operating officer. Stockholders elected him to the position of president in 2009. Edeker serves as an executive committee member and a member of the board of directors for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, as well as serving on the board of directors for Topco Associates and FMI. Edeker was named 2014 Retailer of the Year by the Iowa Grocery Industry Association and 2014 CEO of the Year by Retail Leader Magazine.

Sanjaye Elayattu

CEO, Simplain Software Solutions LLC

Sanjaye is passionate about delivering value-added solutions to the retail supply chain.  He has over 20 years of experience in the industry and is laser-focused on streamlining the supplier retailer collaboration in the grocery retail space. Established in 2007, Simplain has delivered on multiple transformation initiatives for its customers through  variety of strategic projects generating sustainable, measurable and impactful business results.

Sanjaye has extensive experience within the retail industry, specifically with leading grocery retailers in North Americas helping them achieve their strategic goals through a result-driven, goal-oriented approach.

Simplain’s  Vendor portal is used by many leading retailers in North America to improve their supplier collaboration activities such as Item Introduction, Cost Management, Promotions & Deal Management, Purchase Order Management and share supply chain information with vendors. Simplain also is proud to be associated with Symphony Retail as a recognized implementation partner.

Sanjaye is a Management Graduate from the University of Southern California.

 

Alicia Enciso

Chief Marketing Officer, Nestlé USA

Alicia Enciso is the Chief Marketing Officer for Nestlé USA, responsible for providing functional leadership across marketing and
consumer communications. Alicia works closely with Nestlé’s operating divisions and agency partners to lead consumer insights,
brand-building initiatives, consumer communications and media, presence and shopper marketing and our recently created EBusiness
unit.

Alicia joined Nestlé USA in 2013 as Chief Marketing Officer, and in 2016 was named President of the Nestlé Beverage Division. Under Alicia’s leadership, the Beverage Division accelerated top and bottom line growth driving strategic innovation, achieving $2 billion in combined annual sales. Alicia returned to the role of Nestlé USA Chief Marketing Officer in 2017.

Prior to her role at Nestlé USA, Alicia served as Vice President of Consumer and Corporate Communications for Nestlé Mexico,
where she successfully increased Nestlé Mexico’s reputation in Trust as well as Nutrition, Health and Wellness leadership. She was
also instrumental in strengthening stakeholder engagement programs and building up the marketing function for the company.

Alicia holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM). She received a Graduate
Certificate in Business and Administration from Harvard University Extension Program. In 2006, Alicia was selected as an
international fellow for the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Women’s Leadership Executive program at Harvard and Cambridge
universities, and served as a member of the IWF Mexico chapter.

Randy Evins

Senior Principal, SAP Industry Advisor: Food, Drug and Convenience

As Senior Principal, Randy Evins leads business development and thought leadership activities for SAP America’s Food and Drug Retail vertical. Randy has more the 30 years of experience in the retail food and drug specializing in business process improvement in all areas of the store and specializes in fresh products business process.

Mike Flynn

Vice President, Aperion

Mike Flynn is the Vice President of sales and operations for Aperion, a division of Hussmann Corporation.  Mike has over 25 years of retail sales and marketing experience in the food, drug, mass and convenience store channels. Mike has held various executive leadership roles within CPG and Marketing Services companies. He has worked with both National and Regional accounts developing and executing real time, innovative, omni-channel solutions driving sales and loyalty.
Mike received his BS degree from Missouri State University

Ron Gonen

CEO, Closed Loop Partners

Ron is the Co-Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners, an investment firm focused on the development of the circular economy via investments in sustainable consumer goods and packaging companies, innovative recycling technologies and advanced supply chains. Investors include many of the world’s largest retailers and consumer goods companies as well as family offices interested in investments that provide strong financial returns and tangible social impact. Prior to Closed Loop Partners, Ron was the Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation in New York City in the Bloomberg Administration. He oversaw the collection and processing of NYC’s paper, metal, glass, plastic, textile waste, electronic waste, organics, and hazardous waste as well as public policy. In 2013, NRDC and Earth Day New York named Ron as the Public Official of the Year in New York City. Ron has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School since 2010. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Social Enterprise Center Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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.

 

Mike Grimes

President, Ecrebo, Inc

Mike Grimes is a technology business leader focused on retail solutions. As President of Ecrebo, Inc., Mike is responsible for customer acquisition, strategic partnerships, and general management of North American operations. Before joining Ecrebo, Mike was headed growth strategy and execution at Mobee, a crowd-sourced retail insights provider. Prior to that, Mike led the growth of Catalina’s emerging digital retail solutions business following Catalina's acquisition of Modiv Media where Mike was CEO. Modiv pioneered in-store mobile commerce and was expanding its grocery and mass merch client base when it was acquired by Catalina in 2012. Prior to Modiv, Mike was active in real-time proximity and wireless mobility solutions for the retail supply chain. 

Tim Grzebinski

Client Insights Principal, IRI

Seasoned leader with 20+ years CPG and Retail experience -13 years with IRI leading Client Insights across a wide array of store perimeter clients -Deep expertise in issues and opportunities facing Dairy and Bakery -Currently leads insights across multiple dairy manufacturers and dairy advisory organizations -Specializes in analyzing quantitative / qualitative data leading to business insights for category and brand growth

Phil Hamburg

Vice President of Strategic Growth

Phil Hamburg is responsible for the development of change management solutions with a focus on outcomes that result in a better employee experience, which in turn drives a superior customer experience with higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Phil has worked with several clients including Fifth Third Bank, Farm Credit Services of America, Lowe’s, McDonald’s, Nordstrom, Disney, and Starbucks. His expertise is in helping executive teams engage their organizations in managing change, deploying strategies, leadership development, and onboarding. He is a frequent speaker on these topics at client events and industry conferences and has worked extensively with senior leaders in many Fortune 500 and Global 2000 organizations in the retail, hospitality, and financial services industries.

Phil has more than 30 years of experience, including work at
Procter & Gamble and business development and marketing roles
with several manufacturing and distribution organizations. He holds
a Bachelor of Arts in history from Indiana University.

Keefe Harrison

CEO, The Recycling Partnership

Since 1997, Keefe has been working across sectors to build stronger recycling programs – first at the collegiate, then the state, now the national level. Formerly she served as a technical assistance team member for the North Carolina Recycling Office, the communications director for the Association of Plastics Recyclers, a project consultant for EPA via Booz Allen Hamilton, and as a senior consultant at RRS where she led the team that built The Recycling Partnership model. A nationally recognized author and speaker on environmental topics, Keefe has also spent time studying reindeer husbandry in Finnish Lapland, tagging green sea turtles in Costa Rica, and now raising a family in beautiful New Hampshire.

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. 

Steve Henig

Chief Customer Officer, Wakefern Food Corporation

Steve Henig, Wakefern’s Chief Customer Officer, has been an innovator with the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative for his entire career. In his current role, Henig works with Wakefern members, leaders and associates to create a single, consistent brand voice for customers. He oversees Wakefern’s Own Brands, Advertising, Social Media, Vendor Management Office, ECommerce, Sales Planning, and Analytics and Insights teams. Henig previously served as vice president of Digital Commerce and Analytics, where he was responsible for ecommerce initiatives, app development and analytics. He made innovative changes to the company’s ShopRite from Home service and helped ShopRite become the first supermarket in North America to implement a stand alone automated micro-fulfillment center. Before that, he served as vice president of Corporate Merchandising and Marketing. He began his career with Wakefern’s General Merchandise division in 1991, before joining the company’s Leaders in Training program. His career has included positions in Wakefern’s Dairy, Deli, Grocery Marketing, Corporate Merchandising and Marketing divisions. Henig earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and a Master of Business Administration at Monmouth University. In addition to his responsibilities at Wakefern, he is currently an adjunct marketing professor at The College of New Jersey. He currently serves on FMI’s New Consumerism Board Council and Team.

Jim Hull

Senior Industry Strategies Director JDA Software, Inc.

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

Prior to joining JDA 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.  Additional roles within CVS Health included Senior Director - Inventory Central Support, Director – Supply Chain Services and Director – Process and Services Optimization

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.

Ben Jakes

Principal, Consumer Industries and Retail Practice, AT Kearney

Ben Jakes is a Principal in A.T. Kearney’s Consumer Industries and Retail Practice, specializing in strategy and operations in food retail and across the food value chain.  Ben has helped many of the leading retailers in North America develop innovative customer strategies, design enhanced merchandising plans, and improve operating efficiency to drive improved loyalty, top-line, and profitability.  Ben has been a driver of A.T. Kearney’s thought leadership on the evolving role of the store, and how the lines between food service and food retail continue to blur.

Omar G. Jorge Peña

Chairman, Aurora Grocery Group (AGG)

Omar Jorge Peña is the Chairman of Aurora Grocery Group (AGG) and owner of Compare Foods Supermarkets in Charlotte, North Carolina. Under AGG, Omar and his extended family own and operate 21 supermarkets under the Compare Foods, Gala Foods, and GalaFresh Farms banners. AGG’s supermarkets are focused on providing the communities they serve with a wide variety of international foods, fresh meats and produce, and a customer service that makes every visitor to their stores feel like family. AGG’s stores are in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.

Omar obtained his BA from St. John’s University and JD from The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. After practicing law in New York, Omar moved to Charlotte in 2009 to rejoin the family business and take over the operations of the Compare Foods stores in that city. Since then, Compare Foods has solidified its position as the North Carolina market leader for Latin American and international groceries. Compare Foods is heavily involved with North Carolina’s international community, supporting many cultural festivals, youth athletic leagues, religious and non-profit organizations.

Judi Kletz

Managing Director, Industry Affairs, The Proctor & Gamble Distributing Company, LLC

A 34 year veteran at P&G, Judi has served in three functions in the Company-- Sales, Marketing, and Communications--- providing her with a rare combination of experiences and skill sets unique in the CPG industry.

From her first job in the Patient Care Products division to a series of new to market roles in the Company (Integration Operations Manager, first field Marketing Manager: Rite Aid; pioneer of field-based Communications team), she is best known for taking on work with no defined path and creating new capabilities for the Company.  In her current position, she leads the North Industry Affairs team with responsibility for the US trade associations, trade media, industry and Sales leadership executive communication.

She holds multiple industry committee and chair seats to include:  FMI Industry Collaboration Council—GM/HBC Co-Chair, GMA Industry Development Affairs Council Committee, NACDS, Retailer Advisory Board and NACDS Foundation Board.

Judi resides in Washington DC with her husband Bruce and two daughters, Alexandra, Elise and their rescue dog, Jasmine. In her spare time, she paints recreationally and travels with her family.

 

Edlynne Laryea

Head of Industry, CPG Food and Beverage, Facebook

A passionate advocate of new technology, Edlynne Laryea has spent the majority of her career using emerging tech to help organizations transform how they connect with the consumers of today. She is an expert in helping companies adapt to new trends and build the right capabilities and ways of working to drive growth. Most recently, Edlynne was Global Head of Digital Transformation and Sustainability at Johnson and Johnson. The majority of her time at J&J was spent as the as the Global Head of Social Media for the Consumer sector, where she was responsible for leading the relationships with Facebook, Google and other partners. Over the course of six years, she shifted the company’s global advertising approach away from traditional communication to more modern ways of connecting with consumers. This switch helped drive successful launches and growth across a number of the company’s brands. Edlynne has worked for large multi-national companies and early stage start-ups, on both the client-side and the agency-side, which makes her the rare marketer who understands how to get things done no matter on what side of the table she sits. She has worked for, or with some of the world’s leading brands, including spending time at Anheuser-Busch InBev launching a new import brand and as part of the brand team at Unilever that launched the original Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. In 2017, she was named a Women in Power fellow at the 92nd Street Y and she was recently named a Top 40-under-40 marketer and a Women to Watch. Edlynne is a graduate of the Queen’s University School of Business in Ontario, Canada and currently resides in New York City where she is attempting to eat at all of the Eater Essential restaurants in the city. In her spare time, she buys too many gadgets, works on her latest house cocktail recipe and is learning to play tennis. .

Jonathan Lee

Director, Client Services, BrandLoyalty

Jon Lee is a Director of Client Services for BrandLoyalty, a global organization that designs, develops and implements loyalty solutions that help the world’s most successful retailers to change consumers’ behaviour. Before starting at BrandLoyalty, Jon spent 14 years at AIR MILES in Canada in Client Services, Business Development, Technology, and Analytics roles.

Jon is passionate about loyalty and the power of data & digital and how it can transform an organization’s understanding of its customer.

Stephanie Leffler

CEO, OneSpace

Stephanie Leffler is an entrepreneur passionate about e-commerce. Most recently, Stephanie co-founded OneSpace, which helps brands build better e-commerce content, using data to inform the creative process at every step. Stephanie brings her years of experience building successful enterprises to her role as OneSpace’s CEO. Prior to OneSpace, she founded MonsterCommerce, a leading e-commerce storefront solutions company powered by 280 team members with more than 8,000 e-commerce clients. Stephanie spearheaded the sale of MonsterCommerce to NetworkSolutions, where she was SVP of Channels & Partners until departing to found Juggle.com and subsequently OneSpace (formerly CrowdSource). In her spare time, Stephanie can be found at the nearest golf course, playing tennis, or spending time with her three children and two labradoodles.

Larry Levin

Executive Vice President, IRI Thought Leadership, IRI

Larry Levin is Executive Vice President, Industry Insights, at IRI.  He has spent his entire career in market research, leading engagements for many of the world’s largest manufacturers and retailers including Pepsi, Coke, Lexus, Porsche, Nissan, Infiniti, Starbucks, Audi, Microsoft, and Disney.

Tim Lowe

President, Lowes Foods, LLC

Tim has over 28 years of broad retail experience and currently serves as President of Lowes Foods, LLC.  Tim previously served as Executive Vice-President, Merchandising for Supervalu. Tim also held the position of Senior Vice-President of Operations, Senior Vice-President of Merchandising as well as President of Shoppers Food. Prior to SuperValu Tim's broad career also included time in General Merchandise including positions with companies such as Wal-Mart and Meijer. He is a graduate of the University of Houston where he graduated with a B.S. in Pharmacy.

Tim and his wife Karla reside in Winston-Salem, NC. They have four children, three of which are married.   

 

Richard Marino

Managing Director, The Stores Consulting Group

Rick Marino is one of two Managing Directors for the Stores Consulting Group , LLC. Prior to this, Rick build and ran both Accenture's and Capgemini's Stores Improvement practice for North America as well as developed the Senn-Delaney Stores Practice prior to Accenture and Capgemini.

Laura Mccullough

EVP, US Client Success, Nielsen

Laura is Nielsen’s Executive Vice President of U.S. Client Success. In this role, she is responsible for the mutual growth of our U.S.-based clients and Nielsen. Her team manages client relationships across various parts of our business (Core RMS and CPS, Sales Effectiveness, Consumer Panel, Spectra, Consumer Analytics) and will help those clients to maximize the return on their investment with Nielsen by consulting on pressing CPG challenges that can be solved with our products. 

Laura has 20 years of extensive experience with client service at Nielsen. Most recently, she has led our Sales Effectiveness and Marketing Analytics practice in 84 countries across the Developing Markets including China, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and India. In this role, she oversaw the development and commercial go-to-market of our world-class solutions.   Laura’s career has spanned many of Nielsen’s business units throughout the U.K., Europe and Asia. She has also led strategic CPG client relationships, including Pepsico and Unilever, as well as a number of major commercial initiatives.

Charlie McWeeney

VP, CISD, Wakefern

Charlie McWeeney serves as Vice President of the Communications and Information Services Division (CISD) at Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, which operates more than 350 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite, Fresh Grocer, and Dearborn Market banners.  

Charlie joined Wakefern in 1995 and has held various positions within CISD.  As Vice President, Charlie leads the development, integration, maintenance, and security of the cooperative's technology platforms including Web/eCommerce, Retail Systems, Warehouse Management, HR/Financial Systems, Networking, and Infrastructure.  

Charlie is committed to advancing careers in information technology, and worked with Wakefern’s Human Resources to launch Leaders in Training for Technology (LITT) and 360 Training and Mentorship programs.  He also dedicates time to a variety of technology and retail organizations, serving as a member of the FMI Technology Leadership Council. 

Laurence Michael

GM North America, ciValue

Laurence has over 25 years of international executive experience working with key retailers and consumer products manufacturers. Prior to joining ciValue Laurence was Global Head Retail for GfK based Nuremberg. He held a similar position at Nielsen as SVP Global Retail Services during his 18-year career with the firm. He is an expert in research and analytics. He holds an Economics degree from the University of Southern California.

David Moran

Co-founder and Chairman, Eversight

David Moran is the Co-founder and Chairman of Eversight, the recognized leader in AI-powered pricing and promotions. Global brands and retailers rely on the Eversight platform to optimize pricing and respond to market conditions, deliver higher ROI on promotional spend, and enable data-driven collaboration on investments. David has spent his career in Consumer Goods and Retail, most recently as the Global VP of Sales-Revenue Management for Anheuser-Busch InBev nv/sa, the world’s largest brewer. Earlier in his career David was a leader in McKinsey & Company’s Consumer Pricing Practice where he developed strategies for global retailers and brands. David sits on the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s Sales Committee and Advisory Counsel. He has also been a guest lecturer for the Stanford Graduate School of Business and USC School of Business and his research interests include pricing, promotions, digitally connected commerce, and applied behavioral economics.

Scott Moses

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

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

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

Scott was named to the “Top 50: Americas M&A Dealmakers” list by Global M&A Network (2013) and “40 Under 40” lists of promising finance professionals by IDD (2011) and The M&A Advisor (2015).  Scott graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.  He received MBA and JD degrees from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.  

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

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

Brian Moyer

CEO, Freshop

Brian Moyer, CEO of Freshop began his IT career as an Intelligence Analyst and Computer Scientist with the National Security Agency (NSA). If that’s not enough to grab your attention, consider his most recent success as co-founder and CEO of Freshop. Since 2014, Freshop’s web platform has helped grocers get online and grow their business. Brian has gone to great lengths to understand the technological intricacies of grocery, but believes that customer relationships and loyalty are the priority.

Bradford Oberwager

Founder & CEO, Jyve

Brad Oberwager is founder and CEO of Jyve, a skills-as-a-service platform intelligently connecting grocery retailers and brands with the right skilled labor at the right time. Jyve is based in San Francisco. Founded in 2015, Jyve is changing the way the world works by making skilled labor optimally accessible at scale and giving workers the flexibility to work when and where they want. Jyve’s cutting-edge app, powerful optimization technology, and machine-learning algorithm enable “Jyvers” to match their skills and experience to “Jyves” posted by retailers and brands. Brad founded, owned and has been CEO of multiple snack food and technology companies. Prior to Jyve, Brad owned Bare Snacks, acquired in 2014 by VMG and sold to PepsiCo in 2018. Brad also founded and is chairman of Sundia, maker of chilled fruit snacks and of Good Greens, a plant-based protein bar. He was the president of more.com following the acquisition of his firm, Acumins, and was CEO of OpenWebs, a marketplace for the automotive industry. He currently sits on the board of Asure Software (ASURE), which provides world-class management and workplace technology solutions for mobile workforces. He was vice-chair of YPO, a 26,000-member, global organization of CEOs. Brad has three children and lives in San Francisco.

Carletta Ooton

Vice President - Safety, Sustainability, Security & Compliance, Amazon

Carletta Ooton is Amazon’s Vice President for Safety, Sustainability, Security & Compliance. She oversees the company’s Food Safety, Trade Services, Product Safety & Recalls, Customer Packaging Experience, Social Responsibility, Energy & Environment, Sustainability Science and Global Security teams worldwide.

Her responsibilities include establishing global standards and policies, managing emerging issues, developing and deploying global programs and ensuring effective risk identification and mitigation worldwide. Carletta has been actively involved with industry and government collaboration across many of her areas of responsibility.

Before joining Amazon, Carletta worked at The Coca-Cola Company where she served as the company’s Chief Quality, Safety & Sustainable Operations Officer and the VP of Technical Operations & Capability Development.  Prior to that she worked for Cott Beverages, Bath & Body Works, Unilever, and Tate & Lyle.

Carletta received dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Chemistry, and a Master of Science degree in Microbiology from Southern Illinois University.

 

Steve Pinder

Managing Director, Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy

Steve Pinder is a Managing Director in the Retail and Consumer Group with Kurt Salmon, a part of Accenture Strategy.  Steve has 15 years of experience leading major transformational programs for North American and Global clients across multiple retail sectors.  Steve leads Kurt Salmon's Grocery and General Merchandise practice, and in the market he is frequently cited on critical topics and emerging trends in strategic growth, consumer strategies, digital transformation, and E2E supply chain transformation.

Jason Rambler

Director, North American Sales, Digimarc Corporation

Jason Rambler is the director of North American Sales at Digimarc Corporation (NASDAQ:DMRC), a leading provider of automatic identification technologies. Jason oversees Digimarc’s domestic U.S.-based direct salesforce, he develops new business with strategic account targets and manages client relations with major consumer brands.

Since joining Digimarc in 2016, Jason has helped build significant new business relationships with leading consumer brands, with a primary focus on solving business challenges in manufacturing, recycling and supply chain.

Previously, Jason worked for more than a decade at NCR Corporation in product marketing and product management capacities, primarily related to scanning and vision solutions. Jason helped lead the development of the company’s first image-based barcode scanner, and holds several patents related to scanning and vision-based solutions to help retailers make checkout smarter and easier for consumers.

Joel Rampoldt

Managing Director, AlixPartners LLP

Joel Rampoldt is a Managing Director in the Retail Practice at AlixPartners.  He helps retailers drive sales and margin improvement with focus on their key commercial levers: pricing, promotions, assortment, localization, freshness and vendor negotiations.  Working closely with client executives and store associates, Joel helps execute complex transformational programs in which profit improvement is reinvested to drive top line sales.  He has worked with a wide range of food retailers in the US and Europe including large multi-nationals, major regionals and specialty players.  He is a proven expert in driving financial outcomes in comp sales, gross margin, cost of goods sold and perishable shrink.

 

Merrick Rosner

Vice President, Enterprise Accounts, AppCard, Inc.

Rosner oversees the grocery sales and consulting team at AppCard. Prior to AppCard, Merrick was CEO of Urbio and VP, Sales and Business Development of Poppin. Merrick is currently an advisor for Prolific Interactive. Merrick graduated early from Lehigh University with a double major in Finance and Marketing and a minor in African-American studies.

John Ruane

Senior Vice President, Merchandising, GIANT Food Stores

John began his career journey at age 14, working for “Foodtown” in Caldwell, N.J.  In 1980 he joined Pathmark.  He worked his way through many roles from part-time clerk to SVP of Merchandising in.  In 2007 Pathmark was acquired by A&P and he became the banner merchant for Pathmark & Food Basics, their discount formats.

In 2011, John joined Stop & Shop NY as the Sales VP and in 2012 Ahold USA as the SVP of Fresh.  In this role he was responsible for all fresh merchandising and supply chain for 800 Ahold USA stores.  
 
In January 2018, he became the Chief Merchandising Officer for The Giant/Martins Brand.  In this role he is responsible for developing and implementing customer-centric strategies that will ensure continued growth of the Giant Brand while continuously improving both the customer experience and value propositions.   
 
John attended Rutgers College in New Jersey and currently lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  His best accomplishment is that he is the father of six great children. Krista, Johnny, Alyssa, Michael, Christian and Alexa.

 

Elena Sakovsky

Graduate Student, USC Marshall

Elena is a passionate product development professional with eight years of experience in the fashion industry. After working for leading Russian fast-fashion companies, Elena launched her handbags line in Los Angeles five years ago. Leveraging consumer insights and reshaping the brand, Elena developed a line that was featured in numerous fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and recognized by celebrities like Kat Von D. In order to continue learning Elena decided to pursue her MBA at USC Marshall School of Business to explore new opportunities, stay on the top of business processes and increase expertise in marketing. In 2019 Elena sold her business and now is interested in pursuing a career in brand management in a leading CPG company after graduation.

Ajay Salpekar

Vice President, U.S. ecommerce & Digital Customer Development, Unilever

In February 2018, Ajay was appointed Vice President, Unilever US eCommerce & Digital. He is responsible for eCommerce across all customers including pureplay and omnichannel, digital business operations and customer development, and new eCommerce-led business models. 
Prior to this, Ajay was Director, US eCommerce New Revenue Streams where he was responsible for commercializing digital capabilities such as Direct-to-Consumer, developing new customers & partners including Instacart, and developing Unilever’s eCommerce talent and ways of working. 
Ajay has held multiple Retail roles at Amazon including Buying Lead for Beauty & Personal Care categories. Prior to that he has a background in technology product management & digital UX design at Microsoft. Ajay has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

History:
2018: Appointed Vice President, US eCommerce & Digital at Unilever
2015: Appointed Director, US eCommerce New Revenue Streams at Unilever
2014: Buying Lead, Beauty/PC at Amazon 
2013: Manager, Product Management at Amazon 
2012: Sr. Program Manager at Amazon 
2006: Technical Program Manager at Microsoft

William Santiago

VP of Global Sales, Badger Technologies

Mr. Santiago has more than 21 years of enterprise sales, operations management, business transformation and strategic planning experience in serving the retail, manufacturing, distribution, finance and hospitality industries. Currently, Mr. Santiago is the Vice President of Global Sales of Badger Technologies, a product division of Jabil. In this role, he is responsible for driving all aspects of the revenue generation, sales management, presales, channel development, partner alliances, delivery and service for Badger Technologies’ suite of retail offerings.

Prior to Badger Technologies, Mr. Santiago has served in both VP and C-level positions as an influential business executive and leader with impeccable record of driving profit and operational efficiencies in such companies as Quadient (a Neopost Company), MobiManage, Intellinetics and Lexmark International. 

Mr. Santiago is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and a former United States Army Officer and Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. Mr. Santiago holds various industry certifications in Lean Six Sigma, Total Quality Management (TQM), Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) and ITIL.

 

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.

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.

Michael Schweibinz

Enterprise Sales Director, CB4

Enterprise Sales Director at CB4. Responsible for forging multiple enterprise level partnerships across grocery, convenience, and apparel. I also work with the customer success team to build onboarding practices, ROI presentations, and manage long-term customer relations.

 

Joe Sheridan

President and COO, Wakefern Food Corp.

Joe Sheridan serves as the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States.

An industry leader, Sheridan dedicates time to a variety of supermarket and retail trade organizations. In January of 2018, Sheridan became chairman of the FMI Board of Directors, and the chairman of the Board of Governors for GS1 US, a nonprofit organization that designs and manages a global system of supply chain standards. He is a past chairman of the National Grocers Association (NGA), a trade association representing independent retail and wholesale grocers. Sheridan served as NGA chairman from 2012 to 2014 and has also held positions on the NGA board and executive committee.

In 2012, the Grocery Manufacturers Association presented Sheridan with its Industry Collaboration Leadership Award for his work in fostering significant cooperation among trading partners to better serve the industry and consumers. In 2014, he received the NJFC Industry Achievement Award and was recognized at the New Jersey Food Council Night of Distinction, an event highlighting industry professionals who have made a meaningful contribution to the food industry. In 2014, he also received the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Achievement Award from the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, for his significant achievement in business.

Sheridan also leads Wakefern in community outreach efforts. In 2016, he received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America Patriots’ Path Council, which covers nearly 20,000 Boy Scouts in northern and central New Jersey. He is also a past Embrace Kids board member and an Embrace Kids Foundation honoree for his work with the foundation, which supports families of children battling cancer and life-threatening blood disorders. 

Karen Short

Managing Director,Barclays

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

Evan Silver

Founder and CEO, Simplista

Evan is the founder and CEO of Simplista. Originally from South Africa, his career began in Canada as a computer science graduate recruited into Oracle, where he excelled as a top consultant. Evan then went on to found his own successful consulting firm, helping his Fortune 100 clients drive operational effectiveness through advanced analytics and business process automation. Evan has worked with Canadian retail giant Loblaw, major telecommunications companies (Rogers, TELUS, Bell), and financial services firms (CIBC and BMO). He has over twenty years of technology delivery experience. He developed Simplista to fix a fundamental flaw in every retailer’s supply chain, and grow revenue and profit for retailers and their suppliers.

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.

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.

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.

Paul Wyatt

Vice President, Product Management, Workjam

Paul Wyatt is a market expert in the retailing industry with tremendous experience and understanding of both customer and user needs.

In his current role, Paul leads the product design and functional requirements in major projects by working closely with the customer, and is accountable to provide a cohesive product vision,   

While at Macy’s he was SVP of Selling Support Services. He was responsible for the stores' selling structure and schedules for 700 plus stores, FOB (Family of Business) selling strategies, and the corporate process owner for scheduling systems.  Prior to this role, Paul held numerous roles in Stores, MCOM Support, Logistics, and Merchandise Operations. 

He holds a BS degree from the University of Evansville in Marketing.

Paul’s driving passion is to develop tools and processes that make it easier for frontline employees to find fuller employment, while significantly reducing employers administrative costs, turnover of employees, and engagement issues. 

Paul and his wife Donna recently relocated from New York City to Ohio, where their son’s and daughter’s families reside.