ARLINGTON, VA — July 10, 2013 — Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Baum as senior vice president of industry relations and chief collaboration officer.  In this newly designed function, Baum will engage retailer, supplier, manufacturer and service provider CEO’s to help raise the bar on industry collaboration at all points of the food retail chain. 
Baum’s career in the food, beverage and CPG industry spans more than 25 years. He is recognized among the foremost experts in the management of strategy, sales, marketing and merchandising activities in the food, beverage, consumer products and retail industries.  Baum served as the president and CEO of the Association of Sales and Marketing Companies (ASMC) and, after leading the merger between ASMC and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), he served as executive vice president of GMA. Later, he was a partner and managing director of the CPG/Retail Practice at Diamond Management & Technology Consultants. Most recently, Baum was the managing partner of MARCAT Group LLC, a leading consulting advisory firm specializing in business, market and customer development.

“Each link in the food chain acknowledges the need for more effective collaboration among all industry participants to minimize replication of efforts, maximize efficiencies and provide American consumers with desired products in a more cost-effective and efficient manner,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin. “Mark’s intricate knowledge and working relationships in every aspect of the food industry uniquely qualify him to help industry leaders recognize areas of overlap, common interest and potential for improved efforts to create a more efficient supply chain and improved consumer shopping experience.  Couple all that with his winsome ability to strategically develop practical plans, and the addition of Mark to FMI’s leadership team magnifies our ability to help the industry make the crucial move from recognition of challenges to implementation of solutions.”

Leading retailer and supplier Total Store Collaboration is a key component of FMI’s new strategic plan.  A first step of this component’s implementation will be to establish a broad-based retailer and supplier forum that will create tighter industry connections to unify efforts and outcomes on topics of common interest.  This will entail engaging a wide variety of retail food partners – food and beverage, fresh products, private brands, general merchandise and health and beauty care to name a few – with the goal of focusing FMI’s energies on delivering specific, significant and tangible results to address priority issues.

Baum begins his new FMI position on July 31st.