4 Huge New Headliners at the 2021 CMA|SIMA Conference.

From NBC to the NFL to the Cutting Edge of AI, Meet our Newest Keynote Speakers.

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve focused in on some manufacturer-specific and retailer-specific sessions at the 2021 CMA|SIMA Annual Conference. Today, we couldn’t be more excited to zoom out and highlight four brand new headline keynote presentations that we’ve just added to the Conference!

Every year we try and bring you a diverse mix of speakers, with varying presentation styles and topics. For our keynotes in particular, we wanted to give you a mix that spans retail expertise, macro trends across the industry and edutainment.

To that end, we’ve gathered several of the biggest names in retail, including 84.51, Kellogg’s, the ‘Supermarket Guru’ Phil Lempert and, back by popular demand, retail consultant Flora Delaney.

On the edutainment side, Jon Dorenbos, former NFL Pro Bowl long snapper, magician and “America’s Got Talent” finalist will surprise, delight and inspire you, while Dr. Natalia Wiechowski will help advise on personal branding and how you can be getting more mileage out of LinkedIn.

Finally, we’re opening and closing the show with some of the world’s foremost experts in the issues that are shaping our industry. Kicking off the event, we have the macroeconomist and former Chief Market Intelligence Officer (CMIO) for the U.S. government, Andy Busch. Andy will give us an overview of the current economic environment and his outlook for consumer confidence and retail demand in the back half of the year. Closing the show, we have just added Yves Boussemart, a leading expert in AI and data science, who will help us wrap up the Conference by giving us a look into the future (more on him below!).

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the 4 headline keynotes we’ve just added for the upcoming 2021 CMA|SIMA Annual Conference:

State of the Retail Industry

Phil Lempert, Consumer Trend Tracker, Food Trends Editor, NBC’s Today Show and Author

Phil Lempert’s uncanny ability to grasp and articulate future trends, coupled with his ability to customize his presentations, helps audiences gain a foothold on the future of retail. Using his expert analysis of consumer behavior, Phil will provide an overview of the retail landscape and a roadmap to hidden opportunities.

Phil’s presentation will include polling results from the 1.2 million monthly visitors to his website on questions related to the retail industry. He will deliver those findings and connect the dots to provide valuable insights on both the US consumer and retail industry.

Overcoming Obstacles and Embracing Change, with a Magic Touch

Jon Dorenbos, Magician and Two-Time Pro Bowler

Growing up through great adversity to carve out a 14-year career as a pro-bowl NFL long-snapper, turned magician, inspirational speaker and 2016 America’s got talent finalist – Jon has a life story like no other.

Known for his great sense of humor and positive outlook on life, Jon will motivate, inspire and astonish with his magic and incredible life lessons. Jon will be speaking on the power of teamwork, overcoming obstacles and embracing change—all with a magic touch.

The Future of Category Management Careers – How COVID Changed Our Industry, and You

Flora Delaney, President of Delaney Consulting

We’re so excited to welcome back one of our favorite speakers from the 2020 CMA|SIMA Conference, author Flora DeLaney. Flora is back with an all-new keynote after the game-changing impacts we saw in retail over the past year.

2020 was a watershed moment for category management and retail partnerships—for suppliers, retailers and their service providers. If you’re savvy, it will change your career for the better. Flora follows up her t 2020 keynote with a session that will help you connect seismic industry changes to changes you can make to build a thriving, adaptable career in category management. This session will be relevant for all functional levels including senior executives, mid-career managers and college students.

The Impact of AI on Retail in 2021 & Beyond

Yves Boussemart, Chief Technology Officer at Xerxes Global

Yves Boussemart is the Chief Technology Officer at Xerxes Global and the former head of Quantum Black, the lead analytics arm for McKinsey & Co. He also happens to have a PhD in Data Science & Visualization and Post Doc focused on Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. Over the course of his 15-year career, Yves has led AI transformations across a wide range of industries and is uniquely suited to paint us a picture of where it might go next in our industry.

In our closing keynote, Yves will explain the key differences between AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), and DL (Deep Learning) and share examples of each in use today. Yves will also identify the key AI trends coming in 2021 and 2022, as well as his action items for those in the retail sector who are looking to implement some automation into their business but don’t know where to start.


Want to learn more about our speakers? The full list of speakers can be found here.

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