2018 Speakers

Check back as we continue to reveal more speakers! 

Andrew Nadin

Chief Marketing Officer – Schnucks Markets

Andrew Nadin serves as Chief Marketing Officer for St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets, Inc. where he oversees the brand marketing, advertising, media, shopper marketing, e-com, omni/multi- channel and consumer insight and research.

Born and raised in Manchester, England, Andrew graduated with honors from Sheffield Hallam University with a bachelor’s in Modern History. In 2014, he relocated to St. Louis from the U.K. where he had been the CEO of the brand marketing firm APN Consultancy.

Prior to that, he was the marketing director for Jordans Ryvita Company Ltd. He also served as European brand director at Mars Inc. working on brands such as Pedigree Petfood and Uncle Ben’s Rice. Before that he held management positions at Scottish & Newcastle, formerly the U.K.’s biggest brewer, and at Aldi Gmbh & Co Kg.

Curtis Zimmerman

Speaker, Author, “Live the Dream”

As a speaker and author, Curtis Zimmerman has impacted over 1 million people around the globe with his life-changing message. He expertly accelerates culture change, energizes organizations and inspires greater accountability to keep companies competitive and focused.

Audiences connect with Curtis through his high energy, interactive style, and approachable manner. He incorporates the skills he gained from over twenty-five years in the entertainment industry into his powerful programs. Zimmerman is a highly sought after speaker among Fortune 500 Companies, the United States Air Force, national trade associations, universities, and non-profits.

He is the author of Life at Performance Level, I Believe…What do you Believe?, Keys to Success in College and Life, and a contributing author to Pillars of Success and Lessons from the Road.

Curtis currently resides in the greater Cincinnati area with his wife and three children.

Art Sebastian

VP, Category Leadership & Shopper Insights – Meijer, Inc.

Art Sebastian is head of digital shopping & eCommerce at Meijer. He and his team have responsibility for understanding consumers and providing them with innovative ways to shop Meijer across the eCommerce and digital landscape. Prior to joining Meijer, Art was vice president, category leadership & shopper insights at Kraft Foods. Art has over 20 years of experience across retail, analytics consulting and consumer packaged goods. Art is an active member of the Western Michigan University Food Marketing Advisory Board. He and his family reside in the Grand Rapids area.

Tom Burkemper

Sr. Director, DMM – Beverages – Walgreens

Tom’s responsibilities include division business unit leadership in support of

Walgreens alcohol & non-alcohol beverage categories which include beer, wine, spirits, energy, soft drinks, waters, sports drinks, juices, coffees, teas, and functional beverages.

Tom’s background includes over 25 years of experience working for leading drug and convenience retailers as well as manufacturer’s across industrial, consumer package good, pharmaceutical, and beverage industries.  He has held positions in merchandising, brand and trade marketing, sales, category management, retail analytics, e‐commerce, and shopper insights.

Tom received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame, MBA and MMR degrees from Southern Illinois University, and Bachelors degrees from Washington University and Maryville University in St. Louis.

Tasha Tandy

Sr. Dir. Category II & Modular Development – Consumables & H&W – Walmart

Walmart helps people save money and live better — anytime and anywhere — in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices.  Operating three primary store formats in the U.S., with 1.2 million associates and net sales of more than $279 billion. Customers choose Walmart for our broad assortment, including national brands and locally relevant merchandise, at every day low prices (EDLP).

In Tasha’s current role as Senior Director of Category and Modular Development for Walmart US, she plays a key role in developing business strategies, assessing customer-focused assortment opportunities and ensures portfolio strategies reflect corporate objectives across  Consumables and Health and Wellness planograms.

Previously, as Director Category & Modular Development for the Home Division, Tasha led a large team of associates responsible for executing category level strategies across 8 depts. In this role, she focused on process improvement and timeline adherence enabling executional excellence at store level.

Tasha began her Walmart career in 2006 as a Buyer’s Assistant supporting the Large Furniture and luggage businesses. Since then, she has held different roles in merchandising, macro space, Store of the Community and process and strategy, but has spent the majority of her time supporting category and modular development for the company.

Tasha is a member of Walmart’s Women in Merchandising resource group, Network of Executive Women and continues to leverage her experiences to personally mentor a number of other future leaders within Walmart.

Chris Morley

President – Nielsen

Chris Morley is President of Nielsen United States, leading the Consumer Packaged Goods manufacturer and retail business in the largest market for the company. He is responsible for helping clients measure outcomes and drive business improvements through a deeper understanding of what consumers buy.

Previously, Chris held a number of leadership roles, including most recently President of 16 Western European markets and prior to that Managing Director, China. In that capacity, he led the growth of Nielsen’s business in industries such as consumer packaged goods, auto, finance, media, telecom and online. He has also served as Managing Director, Vietnam and Director, Australia.

Originally from the U.K., Chris spent eight years in the marketing and research industry in Europe before moving to Asia.

Chris earned a degree in Physics from the Sheffield University, England.

Michael Sansolo

Host and Panel Facilitator, Retail Food Industry Consultant

Countless studies and years of work with some of the world’s most innovative companies gives Michael Sansolo a unique and diverse view of the changing nature of trends impacting shoppers, employees, competition, economics, supply chains and management. A long-time senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute and now a consultant, speaker and author, Sansolo has traveled the globe working with companies on adjusting to new market conditions.
Sansolo is a frequent speaker and moderator at conferences and company meetings in the United States and around the globe, addressing crowds from 20 to 5,000, from college students to CEOs of Fortune 100 organizations. He conducts strategic planning retreats for companies and has designed conferences for a number of trade associations.

He currently serves as the research director of the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils of both North and Latin America, working with these groups on emerging business topics such as social networking.

Sansolo recently authored Business Rules! a collection of diverse and useful lessons in business success. Stories are gathered from companies of all sizes and lessons from professional sports, Broadway Theater, a New York City catering company and even pop star Lady Gaga.

Previously, Sansolo co-authored The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies, a book that identifies creative lessons in leadership, marketing and workplace dynamics gleaned from movies as varied as The Godfather and Young Frankenstein. Topics in the book include ethics, brand building, crisis management, outside-the-box thinking and diversity. Sansolo also writes a weekly column on wide-ranging business trends for, a daily blog with nearly 28,000 readers.

He is chairman of the board of The Food Institute, an industry research organization. Sansolo works with students at Western Michigan University, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, George Mason University in Virginia and Portland (Oregon) State University.

In his 13 years as senior vice president at FMI, the biggest food retail association in the United States, Sansolo had oversight over all education, supply chain and research activities. In this position he developed an in-depth perspective of the changing nature of cooking, eating and shopping. Prior to joining FMI, Sansolo was editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer magazine and was a reporter for Gannett Newspapers. In his career he received a number of awards for excellence in writing and reporting.

Daniel Levine

Director of the Avant-Guide Institute, Trends Expert

Daniel Levine ( is one of the world’s best-known trends experts. Hailed as a “genius” by Elle magazine and “the ultimate guru of cool” by CNN, he is the author of over 20 best-selling books and a frequent guest on international television and radio. Daniel is the Director of the Avant-Guide Institute, a New York-based trends consultancy, where he is the leader of a huge team of trend-spotters who track the latest ideas and experiences from around the globe. As a consultant, Daniel works with consumer-oriented businesses around the world to help them be more relevant, innovative and profitable.

James Ford

VP of Category Strategy – Coca-Cola Company

James is currently the VP of Category Strategic Advisory at Coca-Cola where he leads the Category Management initiative in the US across all beverages. He has been at Coca-Cola for 18 years and has past roles at the Company in Category Management, Planning, Price Strategy and Revenue Growth Management. James has also experience at both Red Bull and M&M/Mars in similar functions.

Jesse Rodriguez

Manager of Strategic Space – Andrew’s Distributing Company

“Working Successfully with your Broker Partner to ‘Unlock Mind-Share”

Heather Riedinger

Category Manager- Beech-Nut Nutrition Company

“Making Old New Again; How Building Brand Relevancy Drove Growth”

Corliss Collier

Sr. Dir. Category Development & Insights – Bumble Bee Foods

“CatMan Basics Fed by Insights are Alive and Well”

Jon Troy

Director Category Strategy & Retail Insights – Campbell’s Soup Company

Jean-Paul Desmarais

VP Sales & Marketing – Cantactix Solutions

Mike Avery

Sr. Category & Shopper Insights Manager – Chobani LLC

Dan Strunk

Sr. VP Certification & Education – DePaul University

“Customized Category Solutions to Win the Latino Consumer”

Monty Shalabi

Owner/Operator – El Rio Grande Latin Market

“Dynamic Changes in the Military Channel & Keys to Success”

Dennis Chambers

VP of Marketing- Eurpac Strategic Partners

“Unlocking Shopper Insights: Leveraging Longitudinal Data for Shopper Insights”

Jeff Lynn

VP, Category Management & Business Analytics – Fruit of the Loom

Matt Tablot

CEO and Co-Founder – GoSpotCheck

“Snacking Occasion – What Can Do For Your Business”

Sara Reeves

Sr. Category Development Manager  – General Mills

“Developing the Customer Value Proposition Around Imports & Crafts Category Leadership”

Vikas Satyal

VP of Category Development – Heineken USA

“How Coke & Walgreens Leveraged VR to Visualize and Evaluate Store Resets”

Today’s retailers and manufacturers are no different from those in years past, in that they all want to figure out the right in-store arrangements and assortments that will resonate with shoppers. And they want to find the most efficient way to do it.

What is different today is that we have innovative solutions at our disposal to solve these very challenges. In this session, you’ll hear from representatives on both the category and buyer sides for Coca-Cola and Walgreens as they explain a real-life example of how virtual reality retail simulations from InContext Solutions became an invaluable tool in the planning and execution of a category reset.

You’ll learn how they leveraged VR to work faster, visualize new ideas and gain better insights all before investing in any physical store changes—mitigating risk and improving collaboration and communication between merchant, vendor and space management teams.

Melissa Jurgens

GVP Customer Success – InContext Solutions

Liz Picariello

Sr. Category Advisor – Coca-Cola

Emily Miller

Sr. Category Manager, All Non-Regulated Beverages and Milk – Walgreens

Linda Coleman

Associate Director, Category Management Biscuit – Mondelez International

Megan Taves

Director of Customer Solutions – Pernod Ricard USA, LLC

Ken Cassar

VP Principal Analyst – Slice Intelligence

Richard Garcia

Head of Global Strategy, Convenience Retail – Shell International

“Frozen Re-Imagined: A Vision for the Future State of Frozen Foods at Retail”

Amanda Rengo

Director Category Leadership-West and Specialty Channels – Tyson Foods

Kathy Miller

Shopper Insights Manager – Tyson Foods

Ed Sheedy

Director – Category Analysis, Promotional Income & Retail Strategies – Weis Markets, Inc.

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