2014 Speakers

Brian Haaraoja

Vice President, Fresh Merchandising

Brian started with SpartanNash (formerly known as Spartan Stores) in September of 2004.  Brian’s talents and expertise have been vital to leading several teams, including serving as Vice President; Vice President, Center Store Merchandising; and Vice President, Eastern Division,  Brian currently serves as Vice President, Fresh Merchandising.

Chris Chromy

Senior Vice President, East Retail Sales
ConAgra Foods

Over 22 years professional experience in the CPG industry with companies such as Kraft Foods, Blistex, and Wrigley before joining ConAgra Foods in 2007.  Responsibilities have primarily included Sales leadership but also includes Trade Marketing and Supply Chain.  Currently, Senior Vice President of Sales East for traditional supermarket accounts.

Dave Bohr

Dir. of Category Management
Bill Murray & Associates

Dave has 30 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket.  He started his career as an ASE certified mechanic.  Dave has worked on both the Retailer and Manufacturer side of the business.  As the Director of Category Management for Bill Murray and Associates, Dave has the responsibility of working with several manufactures helping them with their Category Management needs as it relates to AutoZone.

David C. King

Space Management – Floor Planning and Merchandising
Walgreens Co.

David C. King works on special projects in Space Management at Walgreens. He has over 30 years of CPG experience on the Retailer, Manufacturer, and Solution Provider sides of the business. He is author of the book, Selling with Space Management and is a guest instructor at DePaul University.

David Ray

Director, Strategic Category Planning & Analysis

David has been with Delhaize America for 37 years, starting with Hannaford as a retail manager. Over the past 18 months David has been the leading change agent for Integrated Business Planning  process – delivering a customer engagement process with an emphasis on strategic category planning and joint business planning models. Connecting the category planning and forecasting functions across the Delhaize America enterprise.

Gordon Wade

Chairman of the Best Practices Advisory Board
Category Management Association

Gordon was a founder of category management, and helped start TPG to improve collaboration between retailers and manufacturers. Gordon contributed to the Efficient Item Assortment process for ECR. Gordon has served manufacturer clients globally and facilitated category management projects with retailers and manufacturers on every continent. In 2005 he was asked by the Association of National Advertisers to develop best practice in marketing accountability. Gordon is an alumnus of P&G’s marketing department and a graduate of Harvard.

Jackie Fields

Category Director, Center Store

Jackie received her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Kansas. She has over 20 years of experience in the Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail industries.  Her strengths are in Business Planning, Forecasting, Consumer Insights, Research, Analytics, and Team Building.

John Drake

Managing Director of Best Practices
Category Management Association

John Drake brings 47 years experience in marketing, merchandising and media to the team having been a manufacturer, retailer and consultant.  Co-owner of a consulting company specializing in building category sales and profits at Wal-Mart.  Leading clients include VF Apparel, Masterfoods, Unilever, Castrol, Michelin, Nokia, Pfizer, Russell Athletic Apparel, and Tyson.  Managing Partner in The Partnering Group, where he assisted over 25 leading companies in applying “best practice” category management to their businesses, both in the U.S. and in Europe.  Purchased 34 convenience stores; subsequently expanded this enterprise into a very profitable, 174-unit regional convenience store chain.  Joined The Southland Corporation’s 7-Eleven Stores, with broad marketing responsibilities including all aspects of advertising development, marketing, new product development (including food service) and numerous support functions.  Brand management responsibility for Duncan Hines Baking Mixes in Procter & Gamble’s Food Marketing Department. Duncan Hines achieved record volume and share, in part by introducing new and innovative extensions of the Brand’s product line.  17 years as a member of the Procter & Gamble Media group including supervision of all the leading P&G brands’ media planning and execution, directing the efforts of 10 top Madison and Michigan Avenue advertising agencies.

John S. Phillips

Senior Vice President, Customer Supply Chain & Global GTM

John has been with PepsiCo for over 27 years, starting with the company as a route salesperson with Frito-Lay. Prior to his current role, John led the development and implementation of new DSD delivery systems and the development of the next generation of frontline handheld computers for the DSD sales force.  In his current role, John is responsible for working with PepsiCo’s largest customers on supply chain and collaboration initiatives to drive both effectiveness and efficiency across the shared supply chains.

John attended Western Michigan University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Food Distribution in 1986.

Jon Troy

Marketing Lead, Shopping Insights & Analytics
Church & Dwight Co.

Jon has created the vision for, developed, and deployed Category Management and Shopper Insights capabilities in three different organizations through his 20+ year career.  First with a national food broker, then with The Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) and lastly, Johnson & Johnson.  Jon’s focus has always been on collaborative partnerships that drive insights to action for tangible business results.  He currently leads Shopper Insights and Analytics for the Marketing team at Church & Dwight.

Josh Brooks

Manager, Merchandising Analysis
Auto Zone

Josh, CPCM, has a decade of merchandising analysis experience with two Fortune 500 retail companies. As Manager, Merchandising Analysis with AutoZone, Josh has responsibility for the category management and category captain processes. He holds a BSBA from the University of Missouri-Columbia and MBA from the University of Memphis.

Kaye Young

SVP Best Practices
Category Management Association

Kaye is one of the premier  developers of Shopper and consumer insights in America. She has used these insights  to re-invent scores of categories at Walmart and other retailers. Her unique approach to insight development includes a structured combination of research tools. Kaye has recently joined the CMA as SR.VP Shopper and Consumer Insights after a 25 year career at  Management Horizons,Kantar Retail, Smart Revenue and Bellomy Research. Kaye is a native of Arkansas and a graduate of the University of Arkansas.

Kyle Swayze

National Category Manager – Private Brands
7-Eleven, Inc.

Joining 7-Eleven in 2011, Kyle has nearly 15 years of CPG experience as both a manufacturer and a retailer. In his current role, Kyle is responsible for product development and continuous improvement of 7-Eleven’s Private Brands for their nearly 8,000 U.S. stores. Kyle attended Babson College where he received a Bachelors in Business Administration – Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Laura Lee Larson

Vice President Global Education & Certification
Category Management Association

Laura Lee has served in several category management leadership and training capacities for large CPG companies including Kraft Foods, Bristol-Myers, Warner-Lambert, SC Johnson, Miller Brewing Company, and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.  She has won several awards, achieved category captaincy partnerships numerous times, and served as a strategic advisor on various retailer advisory boards. Prior to joining the Association, she was the Sr. Sales Training Manager at Wrigley.  As an adjunct professor at DePaul University, she teaches category management and guest teaches in the MBA and sales leadership program. She is a member of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD, and is a sought after speaker for her motivational/educational presentations.

Lorne Cohen

Group Category Manager
Ace Hardware

Lorne has successfully held retail, sales, category management and shopper insight positions at several manufacturers, a retailer and a marketing research/data supplier, including Wegmans, General Foods, Kraft, Information Resources Inc. and O-Cedar/FHP.  He currently leads Ace Hardware Corporation’s Category Management Team.  This function is responsible for department layout, category adjacencies, product assortment, retail pricing strategy and space management recommendations for their 4,000+ stores.

Maggie Argüelles

Director, General Merchandise Pricing

Maggie is responsible for Walmart General Merchandise Pricing.  She leads best practices in pricing and innovates in other areas of Category Management.  She developed a patent-pending approach to pricing that is being implemented globally. Previously, she led teams in Global Customer Insights and Analytics where she conducted an ethnographic study of the path to purchase and shopper experience by custom trip type, developed a unique approach to CRM and contributed to the small format development effort. She has held positions with SUPERVALU, Nielsen, Tyson, and Land O’Lakes. She has an MBA, Marketing and Intl. Business, University of MN, and is a classically trained anthropologist/ethnographer.

Michael McGuire

Sr. Director of Modular Development – General Merchandise

Michael is responsible for planogram analytics and execution for Entertainment, Toys, Seasonal, and Hardlines categories. He has led teams focused on modular training, technology development, retail-side category management, and financial planning of multibillion dollar businesses.  Michael joined Walmart in 2001 and in each position has placed a high priority on talent development and building technology & process solutions that are both cutting edge and practical for business implementation.

Steve Hungsberg

Director of Marketing

Steve Hungsberg is a Director of Marketing at Jarden Home Brands.  He currently oversees the Fresh Preserving category and has increased its Ball® brand mason jar unit sales by +58% over the past two years.  Previously, Mr. Hungsberg managed large national brands for General Mills, Quaker Oats, Beech-Nut, and ConAgra.

Tom Karounos

Category Advisor, Hot Deli and Fresh Pork, Walmart
Tyson Foods

Tom has worked in Sales for 11 years with experience in Category Management, National Account Management, and Trade Marketing.  Tom earned a BSBA at University of Illinois in 1993 and an MBA from the University of Maryland in 2002.

Tony Stallone

VP Merchandising

Tony started his own food consulting firm in 1996 with Scotty’s Home Market (online grocers) as one of his customers, raising a 10 million investment for Scotty’s from Nordstrom. In 1998, Tony went to work for Scotty’s as the Vice President of Merchandising.  In October of 2000, Scotty’s was bought by Peapod a wholly owned subsidiary of Ahold.  At Peapod as Vice President of Merchandising, he has helped Peapod grow into the largest most successful internet grocer in America.