2018 Keynote Speakers

Check back as we continue to reveal more speakers! 

“Are you Swimming or Drowning in the ‘Data Moat’?” 

Everyone is chasing data – both internally and externally. Are you swimming through it, or being drowned by it? Join Andrew to hear about some key issues:

  • How data is related to category: don’t be fooled by the difference between data science, analysis and insight.
  • The right right data sources, in the right place at the right time.
  • Tackling the ‘dinosaur mindset’ in an evolving marketplace.
  • Price, price, price…..but what’s beyond that?

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.

“Building Blocks:  Category Collaboration Between Retailers and Suppliers”

Everyone is trying to find the ‘magical approach’ in how to leverage relationships with their partners – from both retailer and supplier perspectives.  In today’s connected world we should be able to do this better than ever before.  Can we?

Together in this session we will address –

  • What defines a great partnership
  • Developing collaborative relationships
  • Lifting dialogue above daily execution
  • Defining and measuring ‘success’
  • Best practices around process and practice to stay on track

Kim James

Senior Director – Global Center of Excellence, Merchandising & Marketing – Circle K Stores

With the endless number of advertising and marketing tools at our disposal, it’s easy to get caught up in trends and lose sight of a marketer’s core purpose: to understand, connect and motivate the customer. From her high school days as a yearbook layout artist to Senior Director – Global Center of Excellence, Merchandising & Marketing of one of the world’s largest convenience store operator, Kim James has been hard at work finding new ways to create indelible connections with people.

Kim saw a career in advertising as a path to exploring the art and science of communication. This emerging passion led her to the advertising program at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. It proved a perfect fit for her love of advertising and curiosity for business.

She got her start via an internship with a drug store retailer which quickly led to a full-time position. The defining moment was a private label cosmetic brand launch that saluted women as being beautiful on the inside and out. It was a huge hit and spurred Kim’s 25+ year career that has taken on her a journey of bridging brand and retail. And, this is where passion turned to obsession.

From here, Kim landed in the convenience retail channel. This is where she has refined her expertise in balancing the pragmatic and the dramatic of retail marketing. Multi-national retail is a fast, bottom line-oriented culture where pennies are optimized. Today, Kim has a deep understanding of the levers and dials that need constant fine-tuning to find the perfect bit of magic. This relentless refinement is how you stay relevant. But in order to gain customer trial and loyalty, Kim fully realizes it goes beyond mechanics.

You have to find a way to relate, connect and inspire customers. That’s a skill you develop by having an interest in people; their personalities, their habits, their behaviors. And what makes Kim special is her ability to bring humanity to a bottom line business.

“Collaborative Business Planning: Partnering for Success”

Have you ever wondered how suppliers and retailers can partner to drive true category growth?  It’s not often easy but starting with customer strategy and basing actions on insights is not only a win for the business but also the shopper.  Coca-Cola and Walgreens will share a process that can be leveraged across many functions to overcome the challenges of today’s market.

James Ford

VP of Category Strategic Advisory – 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.

Liz Picariello

Sr. Category Advisor – Coca-Cola Company

Liz brings over 15 years of experience in the CPG world to her current role as a Sr. Category Advisor for The Coca-Cola Company, where she creates and executes retailer specific category plans. With a background in CPG headquarter roles, field sales and marketing she has demonstrated results in increasing market share, category growth and overall sustainable profit for a wide variety of national and regional retailers in several channels.

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 includes 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.

“The Science Behind Today’s Consumer Mindset: What you need to know to support today’s evolving path to purchase”

As consumers’ lifestyle and shopping habits blend together, your opportunities for growth may come from the most unexpected places. Join Nielsen’s Chris Morley as he shares key takeaways to help manufacturers and retailers:

  • Achieve growth as aisle, channel and platform lines blur
  • Capitalize on the changing role of quality, assortment and value in the path to purchase
  • Support the future of FMCG

Kirsten Londono

SVP, North East Region Leader – Nielsen

Kirsten Londono is a Senior Vice President at Nielsen, working with Fast Moving Consumer Packaged Goods clients to measure performance and improve business outcomes through a deeper understanding of what consumers Buy.

Kirsten currently leads the North East Region for Nielsen’s Manufacturer clients.  More recently Kirsten led the client development efforts for Nielsen’s largest clients and Nielsen’s Growth & Strategy teams focused on priority areas of Health & Wellness, Fresh, Ecommerce, Beauty, Multi-Cultural and Beverage Alcohol.

With 20 years at Nielsen, Kirsten is a certified Master Black Belt of Business Process Improvement and has led Nielsen’s engagement with Unilever North America and East Premier (mid-size East Coast clients).   She has also held leadership roles in Nielsen’s Innovation practice (BASES) in the United States, Mexico and Brazil.

“The Near-Future of Retail”

Understanding social trends is a critical part of your sales process and if you want to thrive – and not just survive – you need to be able to pinpoint exactly why consumers do what they do. In this thrilling presentation, global trends expert Daniel Levine will take you on a deep dive to reveal what shoppers are actually thinking and feeling. You will discover the real values and attitudes behind why they buy, understand tech trends that are quickly changing the consumer landscape, and learn from organizations, brands, and products that are embracing trends and change with spectacular results. Daniel will arm you with powerful tools you can use to ride these same trends, make your category more relevant, and increase sales – in ways your competitors simply can’t. New trends and fresh rules are creating new winners and losers every day. Which will you be?

Daniel Levine

Trends Expert

Daniel Levine (DanielLevine.com) 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.

“My Store – Anyway, Anywhere”

Our shoppers now are completely engaged in new ways, leveraging new technology, new societal impacts, and our reality is that whatever the best experience they had shopping most recently now sets the expectation for everyone. It’s a very interesting time – so as we think about these seamless shopping experiences – anyway I want – anywhere I want – MY STORE is now every store! It’s one of the biggest drivers and we’ve taught consumers to have that expectation!

Microsoft will discuss how we curate these experiences and how seamless shopping, mixed reality and artificial intelligence is becoming embedded into the social context of everyday shopping.

Chris Yamashita

Strategy & Sales Director for the Worldwide Industry division – Microsoft

Christopher Yamashita is the Strategy & Sales Director for the Worldwide Industry division at Microsoft where he leads the development of verticalized strategies and solutions to solve the most complex issues facing modern enterprises.

Mr. Yamashita joined Microsoft in 2008, having spent the previous twelve years at The Procter & Gamble Company.   He began his career in consumer packaged goods working on number of global brands including Tide, Ariel, Pantene and Bounty and held several senior Finance positions in Toronto, Brussels, Fayetteville and Cincinnati.   Most recently, Mr. Yamashita was a Director in Microsoft’s Finance Group and led the financial systems integration of Nokia’s handset business.  Prior to that position he was the Director of Business Development in the company’s Intellectual Property Group, leading a number of strategic initiatives in that space.

Colin Wright

World Wide Industry Solutions Director Consumer Goods – Microsoft

Colin serves on the Global Industry Team for the Retail Commercial Business at Microsoft. He works deeply with customers and partners for their digital transformation to the Cloud and specializes in Advanced Analytics, BI, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence solutions that are highly relevant to the Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods and the Travel and Transport Industries.

Prior to that Colin was responsible for the Global Partner Programs for the Engineering Organization who create the Business Intelligence product suite called Power BI.  He also recently worked as the Director for Market Development for Retail and Consumer Goods, where he was responsible for strategy, partner, sales and solutions delivery for the Retail and CG industry across all business groups for the US.  Before taking this role as Industry Market Develop Manager he began his career, also in Microsoft Engineering, as Principal Program Manager responsible for the Global Big Data Ecosystem.

Colin believes in the power of Consumer-driven Retail Experiences with a global perspective as we transform in a ubiquitously Digital world.  As an “Aussie” he now resides in the US with Wife Maria and his 6-year-old son. Colin is an avid Snowboarder and lifelong Surfer who enjoys great movies, great food and hobbies such as sculpting and 3D animation.  He has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and MBA in International Marketing from the University of Technology – Sydney.

“Living Life at Performance Level” 

Curtis Zimmerman

Speaker, Author

Both as a speaker and author, Curtis Zimmerman has impacted over one million people throughout the nation with his life-changing messages and award winning programs.

Curtis is an expert at transforming organizations by inspiring individuals to live their life at a higher level of performance. Curtis’ unique combination of humor, personal stories and interactive activities impacts an audience like no other. He started his entrepreneurial career at the age of twelve, marketing and self-managing himself as a mime and juggler. He was a nationally recognized mime performing at such notable places as Universal Studio-Hollywood where he won Entertainer of the Year, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and performing arts centers coast to coast. He then took to the seas, performing on numerous cruise ships traveling all over the world.

How would a mime and a juggler become an inspirational speaker? When Curtis settled back on land, his energy shifted to schools- to students and teachers. He became a highly sought out consultant for arts in education, as well as an inspirational speaker for teachers and administrators. Curtis’ performances touched the heart, inspired staff and empowered individuals to see the difference their lives can make to that of a child.

The word spread. Community and college leaders embraced Curtis’ message and began to bring him to their organizations to share his dynamic message. His unique approach and his delivery were unlike others they had seen before.

Audiences connect with Curtis through his interactive style and approachable manner. He incorporates the skills he gained from over twenty-five years in the entertainment industry into his powerful programs, cleverly balancing the connection between education and entertainment.

Curtis is the author of 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. He was honored with the prestigious National Leadership Award for outstanding service from United States Congressman Tom Reynolds, is a member of the National Speakers Association, and an NCAA certified speaker.

His deeply profound insight and perspective coupled with his high energy presentations have made him a highly sought out speaker for more than 14,000 Airmen for the United States Air Force and among such notable companies as Walt Disney Entertainment, Swiss Army Brands, Luxottica Retail and Procter and Gamble.

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

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 www.MorningNewsBeat.com, 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.

2018 Panel Participants

E-commerce Panel
“eCommerce Category Leadership project: Current Learnings & Next Steps”

The panel will bring together the key learnings on-site merchandising, ecommerce analytics, and ecommerce collaboration & people. The panel will talk the 5D process and highlight key next steps in training your organization.

Trey Harshfield

Global Director, eCommerce – Molson Coors

Trey leads Global eCommerce for Molson Coors and is responsible for developing global strategy, building capability, and managing key relationships. He has nearly 10 years experience in eCommerce split between retailer and manufacturer sides across Walmart Inc, Amazon, PepsiCo.

Dana Klion

Senior Category Manager, Produce – Jet.com

Dana is currently the Senior Category Manager for Produce at Jet.com, responsible for product sourcing, merchandising, marketing and financial performance. Her background includes over 10 years in the industry working on both the manufacturer and retailer side, holding positions in Brand Management, Product Development, Marketing, Sales, Shopper Insights and Retail Analytics.

Dana received her B.S. at Cornell University from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Ron Bonacci

Vice President, Advertising and Marketing, Weis Markets

Ron Bonacci is Vice President of Advertising and Marketing for Weis Markets, a Mid-Atlantic food retailer operating 206 stores in seven states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.

As Vice President of Advertising and Marketing, Mr. Bonacci oversees the company’s day-to-day advertising, marketing and public relations activities along with its growing digital and ecommerce programs. He has extensive experience managing cross-functional teams that develop and implement strategies for customer relationship management, marketing, advertising eCommerce, and public relations.

Prior to joining Weis Markets, Mr. Bonacci was senior director of marketing at United Supermarkets in Lubbock, Texas an Albertson division. He also worked in similar positions as Vice President of Advertising and Marketing for Food City and S&H Solutions.  Earlier in his career, he worked for Kroger in store operations, category management, merchandising and loyalty marketing.

Ron lives in Winfield, PA with his wife Shannon and daughter Breanna. He also has two adult daughters, Salena and Shaina.

Peter Leech

Partner and Director of Digital and Ecommerce, The Partnering Group

Peter Leech is the Partner and Director of Digital and Ecommerce for The Partnering Group. Peter has had illustrious career in CPG starting with Procter & Gamble before moving into the ecommerce space with stints at Littlewoods, Chico’s and Online shoes. He has been at TPG for the past 7 years and is an expert on digital and ecommere.

Shopper Insights Panel
“Are you Prepared for the Ever-Changing Shopper?”

Panel participants from Walmart, Lowes and P&G will focus on the changing category management landscape and the increasing need for better shopper insights.

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.

Amy Anthony

Director, Customer Insights & Analytics – Lowes Co.’s Inc.

Amy joined Lowe’s in November 2016 as the Director of Customer Insights & Analytics overseeing the Customer Insight team, Customer Analytics team, Merchandising Insights & Analytics team, and Economic & Trends teams.   Using behavioral science as a foundation, Amy brings her passion for robust consumer understanding and turning insights into action in order to delight our customers in each phase of their home improvement journey.   Amy also serves as a board member for the Home Improvement Research Institute and Duke-IPSOS Research Institute with the goal to bring more advanced research methods to the home improvement space.

Before Lowes’, Amy attended Duke University for her degree in Economics and went on to spend 17 years at Procter & Gamble working across P&G’s largest and most iconic brands such as Tide, Pampers, Charmin and CoverGirl.    While at P&G, Amy focused on delivering best-in-class brand building and winning product experiences.  Living in both the US and Singapore, Amy has focused on winning with customers and retailers in both developed and developing markets around the world.

Amy’s favorite quote is ‘Great leaders choose the harder right over the easier wrong’, and this serves as a guidepost for Amy in her leadership journey.

Stacy Tholking

Director, Category Management & Shopper Insights – Procter & Gamble

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