Keynote & Breakout Speakers

This year’s conference theme is “Activating Insights for a Dynamic Future” to reflect the proliferation of data and insights in our industry and how to make that data actionable in an ever-changing retail environment. Loyalty card, panel, eCommerce datasets, and more continue to add complexity to the category management process, and our Conference aims to help our members harness that power. With 5 incredible tracks framing our conference, we are excited to provide a mix of keynotes, workshops, breakout sessions and other learning opportunities. The 50,000 sq ft ballroom will be the center for our Tech Expo Hall and the home for all meals and lots of fun networking opportunities.

Catman and Shopper Insights Fundamentals icon

CatMan and Shopper Insights Fundamentals

A series of presentations on category management, shopper insights, and eCommerce fundamentals for novices and newcomers to the industry.

Advanced ecommerce icon

Advanced eCommerce

Now that CatMan 3.0 has been released, sessions move beyond the basics to more advanced eCommerce principles and best practices.

Retail Channel Specific Insights icon

Retail Channel Specific Insights

Deep dive sessions on various retail channels and channel blurring across dollar/value, grocery, natural, and more.

Building the Skillsets of Tomorrow icon

Building the Skillsets of Tomorrow

Resources to develop and advance skillsets, help with career development, managing teams, and more.

Space Planning icon

Space Planning

Retailer members of ARC’s Space Planning Charter share technology agnostic best practices to increase space productivity and maximize space in the omnichannel environment.

Speakers

Patranya Bhoolsuwan headshot

Patranya Bhoolsuwan

Executive Media Coach

PATRANYA MEDIA LLC

Emcee

Patranya Bhoolsuwan is a 3 time Emmy Award winning journalist, public speaker, media trainer & brand strategist. She founded her media consulting agency, Patranya Media LLC, in 2019 after a 20 year career in TV news. As a broadcast journalist, her work was seen on local & national media outlets, including CBS, CNN and CNN Headlines News.

Patranya specializes in media consulting, on-camera performance coaching and storytelling strategies. She has served as emcee & keynote speaker for a variety of businesses & nonprofits. Patranya is also currently a visiting lecturer teaching journalism at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A native of Thailand, Patranya is fluent in Thai and is proud to run a certified minority/woman owned business.

Corliss Collier speaker

Corliss Collier

Head of Product Management Tech

ALEXA SHOPPING

The Future of Integrated Shopper Journeys

Keynote

Corliss serves as the Head of Product Management Tech for Alexa at Amazon. She is an innovative, results-driven leader with 20+ years of experience in marketing measurement, data analytics and consumer/shopper insights with blue chip multinational Consumer Packaged Goods companies. Before Amazon she spent time at Bumble Bee Foods, Hershey, and Danone in a variety of category management, strategy and insights roles.

Andrew Busch

Andy Busch

Economic Futurist

ANDREWBUSCH.COM

Future Economy: Growth Opportunities

Keynote
Andrew Busch is the former 1st Chief Market Intelligence Officer for the US government and economic futurist at AndrewBusch.com. For the CFTC, he was charged with improving and enhancing the government’s understanding of the markets and the economy. His job was to take all the news, information and data on the economy and markets; and filter it into condensed, easily understood research; then communicate it to the government and public. He is author of the book “World Event Trading” covering large crises like infectious disease outbreaks and their impact on the markets. Today, Andy is a consultant and keynote speaker with a wide range of clients including financial services, chemicals, agriculture, energy, real estate, manufacturing and construction.
Phil Lempert speaker

Phil Lempert

SupermarketGURU

Fireside Chat on the Most Pressing Issues in Grocery Retail

Keynote

As one of America’s leading consumer analysts, Phil appears regularly in the media: He is the food trends editor and a correspondent for NBC’s Today; offers weekly product reviews on ABC News Now; is host and executive producer of PBS’ Food Sense; and has been featured in many print publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Newsweek. A new media pioneer, his SupermarketGuru.com website is now one of the internet’s leading food and health resources, reaching more than 9 million people each year. Phil frequently partners with the CMA and SIMA on content and remains one of the highest rated keynote presenters at the associations’ annual conference two years running.

Randy Edeker

Randy Edeker

Executive Chairman of the Board

Fireside Chat on the Most Pressing Issues in Grocery Retail

Keynote

Randy Edeker is Executive Chairman of the Board for Hy-Vee, Inc., and also served as president from 2012-2021. A 40-year veteran of Hy-Vee, Edeker began his Hy-Vee career in 1981 as a part-time employee at the Hy-Vee store in Chariton, Iowa. He quickly progressed through the ranks at Hy-Vee, before getting his first store director assignment in Columbus, Nebraska, in 1993. In 1999, he joined the southern region as director of operations and later became assistant vice president of operations. Edeker was named vice president of marketing for Hy-Vee in 2004. In 2006, Edeker was promoted to senior vice president of retail operations, and in 2008, he became executive vice president and chief operating officer.

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Robert Bunchek

VP Strategic Planning, Intelligence, and Implementation

Fireside Chat on Competitive Intelligence

Keynote
Robert has been a thought leader in retail for over the past two decades and has developed industry expertise in strategy development, competitive intelligence, category management, market insights, product development, sourcing, brand management, and financial planning. As a VP in Enterprise Strategy, Growth, and Innovation, Robert is responsible for overseeing Target’s strategic planning capabilities which also includes strategy implementation and industry and competitive intelligence in service of Target’s strategic roadmap and Leadership team. Core to his role is establishing a firm understanding of the external landscape which allows him and his team to ensure the right strategic plans are in place to help the enterprise navigate an ever-changing retail environment short, mid, and long-term.
Heather Williams speaker

Heather Willems

Founder & CEO

The Value of Visual Storytelling

Keynote
Heather Willems is a visual strategist, founder of TwoLine Studios: a creative problem-solving agency, and the bestselling co-author of Draw Your Big Idea. Combining her love of fine art and business strategy, she helps top executives, and their teams operate more efficiently through creativity. As a pioneer in the graphic facilitation field, she guides the world’s most influential companies to visualize business strategies. The results are long-lasting understanding and transparent action plans that engage in a memorable way.
Emily Callahan Keynote Speaker

Emily Callahan

President of ARC

Dare, Dream & Engineer

Keynote

As Chief Innovation Officer for Xerxes Global, Emily’s primary responsibility is to lead innovative thinking and digital transformation for a variety of businesses in the Xerxes portfolio including private equity consulting, business analytic software, a full-service production studio, and ARC – The Association for Retail and Consumer Professionals. Emily has been with the Xerxes organization since 2011 in a variety of roles including marketing, operations, product management, and senior leadership. She also currently serves as the President of ARC, parent association for the CMA and SIMA, which she has been intimately involved since 2014 most notably executing the Annual Conference, growing it from a few hundred attendees to over 900 in her stead. Her rich visionary mindset serves as the foundation for ARC’s current mission, goals, and path to becoming the largest professional organization for the retail field in the world.

Mike Rayburn headshot

Mike Rayburn

Edutainment Keynote

Mike Rayburn is a Hall of Fame Speaker and Two-time TED Talk Presenter who inspires a new mindset and real solutions for organizations who want to elevate, innovate and transform. He uses world-class guitar (Carnegie Hall headliner) and humor (Las Vegas headliner) to create a transformational program unlike any in the world, generating real results and conference ROI. Rayburn has performed more than 5,000 presentations in 22+ countries on five continents. His more than 1000 corporate clients include much of the Fortune 100, 500, and most of the Fortune 10 including multiple presentations for groups like Walmart, Exxon, Wells Fargo, PepsiCo, Mattel and hundreds more.

Kristin Foster speaker

Kristin Foster

Senior Vice President / Head of Data Science

Scaling Personalization with Data Science

Keynote

As Head of Data Science, Kristin Foster leads a team of more than 250 data scientists focused on researching, developing and deploying customer-first science in grocery retail, insights, customer loyalty and media. Her team creates products and solutions with prescriptive science at the point of decision to drive informed business decisions for The Kroger Co. and its CPG partners. Foster has held many leadership positions at 84.51° over the past 11 years and was named to Progressive Grocer’s “Top Women in Grocery” in 2021.

Natesh Shetty headshot

Natesh Shetty

Group Product Manager of Customer, Personalization, and Loyalty

Scaling Personalization with Data Science

Keynote

As Group Product Manager of Customer, Personalization, and Loyalty at The Kroger Co., Natesh Shetty guides and develops product strategy across multiple domains. He partners with business stakeholders to develop capabilities that deliver scaled value. Natesh was elected to his current role in April 2022 after serving as Director of Product Management for Personalization and Loyalty Strategy at 84.51°, where he delivered value to Kroger’s ecosystem of customer experiences through science as a service and data as a product capability.

His entire career has been within the Kroger family – starting as a financial analyst at the Kroger corporate office before moving on to roles at Fry’s and 84.51° (formerly dunnhumbyUSA). Natesh received his Bachelor of Science from Tulane University and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati.

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Kristin Demel

Associate Director

BOEHRINGER-INGELHEIM

Key Components of a Successful Line Review

CatMan and Shopper Insights Fundamentals

Kristin has lived all sides of retail from Buyer to Vendor including agency and consultant experience as well. Her experience informs her broad range of retail expertise: buying, financial planning, in-store customer experience, pricing, inventory management, space optimization and more. She is currently Senior Associate Director at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health leading the Chewy.com account. Before joining BIAH, Kristin spent time at a marketing agency as a consultant helping brands with retail strategy creation, assortment building, merchandising, pricing and promotions across all channels. Her clients included brands and retailers within grocery, pet, home improvement, discount, and lawn & garden industries. Prior to this, Kristin was Senior Director of Merchandising at PetSmart and Director of Planning and Distribution at Payless ShoeSource.

Anna Stone speaker

Anna Stone

National Category Manager

MARUCHAN

Doing More with Less – Running a Successful but Lean Category Team

CatMan and Shopper Insights Fundamentals

For the last five years, Anna has led the category management department at Maruchan, Inc., the #1 ramen company in the U.S. Prior to Maruchan, Anna worked with Deoleo USA and also spent 13 years at Advantage Solutions, where she provided strategic insights and analytics for dozens of companies such as Del Monte Foods, JM Smucker, Unilever and Tree Top. She estimates that in her nearly 20-year career, she has developed more than a thousand selling stories and reviews, and hundreds of analytical reports.

Steve Miller headshot

Steve Miller

Vice President of Category Management

REIBUS

Key Components of a Successful Line Review

CatMan and Shopper Insights Fundamentals

Steve Miller’s career spans over 25 years with experience in buying, merchandising, planning, and category management. Steve currently serves as the Vice President of Category Management at Reibus International, an industrial materials online marketplace and end-to-end solution revolutionizing a 150-year-old industry. Steve was a pivotal part of Abercrombie & Fitch’s explosive growth and expansion and followed this role in leadership positions at leading retail companies including RG Barry, PetSmart, and Lowe’s. While serving as the Director of Assortment Planning at Lowe’s, Steve built the category management team and was responsible for designing and implementing the current product line review process, in addition to introducing cutting-edge technology solutions significantly increasing their speed to market.

Claire Tassin speaker

Claire Tassin

Retail & E-Commerce Analyst

MORNING CONSULT

The State of Retail & eCommerce: Shifts in Online and In-Store Consumer Behavior

CatMan and Shopper Insights Fundamentals

Claire Tassin is the retail and e-commerce analyst at global decision intelligence company Morning Consult, where she conducts research, authors analyst notes, and advises clients on emerging consumer shopping trends. Prior to joining Morning Consult, she spent 14 years at Gartner, most recently as an analyst covering retail, loyalty programs, and personalization technology. Claire graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Anthropology, and currently resides in Chicago, IL.

Mike Black

Mike Black

CMO

PROFITERO

CatMan’s Role in Translating the 4Ps to Digital

Advanced eCommerce

Mike Black is CMO of Profitero, a leading global ecommerce Intelligence platform helping the world’s most successful brands accelerate their online retail sales and win on the digital shelf. Prior to Profitero, Mike was Vice President of Product Marketing at Nielsen, where he was responsible for launching new analytic products for the company’s retail measurement business. Before that, he was the global head of marketing for Nielsen’s Innovation Practice. Prior to Nielsen, Mike was Vice President of Affinnova, a predictive analytics company that was acquired by Nielsen in 2014. His career started at Staples, where he held roles in both marketing and corporate public relations.

Russ Dieringer Stratably speaker

Russ Dieringer

Founder and CEO

STRATABLY

A Guide to the Analytics Opportunity on Amazon that can Unlock a Competitive Advantage

Advanced eCommerce

As founder of Stratably.com, Russ Dieringer leads all research, coaching and consulting that assists executives as they navigate a dynamic retail landscape upended from algorithms eating the world. Prior to founding Stratably, Russ led the eCommerce practice at Cleveland Research Company from 2015-2021. He is an alum of both the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester and the College of Wooster, and he has passed all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst program. Passionate about studying the market, understanding how the retail value chain is shifting, and inspired by those leading eCommerce initiatives, you’ll often find Russ enthusiastically discussing how lucky we are to be working in the digital commerce industry.

Andrea Leigh headshot

Andrea Leigh

Founder and CEO

ALLUME GROUP

Achieving Mutual Profitability Between Manufacturers and Retailers

Advanced eCommerce
Andrea K. Leigh is an eCommerce educator, advisor, and entrepreneur with over 20 years of eCommerce experience, including 10 years as a senior executive at Amazon. She is Founder and CEO of the Allume Group, the leading educational provider on digital commerce for consumer brands, agencies, and retailers. Andrea is a 10-year former senior Amazon executive and led client strategy at Ideoclick, an Amazon managed services agency. As a Top 100 Retail Influencer™ and e-Commerce industry expert, Andrea is a speaker at national eCommerce and retail conferences, a podcaster with The CPG Guys, a contributing writer, and is frequently quoted in the media.
Kent Rodina speaker

Kent Rodina

Director of Merchandise Presentation

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS

State of Space Planning Panel Discussion

Space Planning

Kent Rodina serves as Director of Merchandise Presentation for O’Reilly Auto Parts. His team is responsible for planogram development and production along with supporting the signs, displays and fixtures for O’Reilly retail showrooms. Over the last 30 plus years, Kent has a variety of retail merchandising, space analytics, and promotional planning experience for both O’Reilly Auto Parts and Best Buy Corporation. Kent gets his strongest excitement and energy from the incredible team he has the pleasure working with each day.

Jenny Tornow speaker

Jenny Tornow

VP of Merchandising Presentation and Execution

WHOLE FOODS

State of Space Planning Panel Discussion

Space Planning
Jenny serves as VP of Merchandising Presentation and Execution for Whole Foods Market, leading strategy and tactics for planogram, floor plan, in-store execution and merchant learning & development. She has been with Whole Foods for the last 6 years, and prior to that spent over 17 years at Kohl’s Department Stores in Store Operations and Merchandising Presentation. Jenny is a proven leader with more than 25 years of experience in fast-paced complex retail organizations with over 100,000 associates.
Willie Dodd KAO speaker

Willie Dodd

Team Lead, Category Management

KAO

Partnering with Category Captains to Develop Low Velocity Strategies

Space Planning
Willie Dodd is the Team Lead for the Walmart Category Team for Kao where he drives using data-based decision making to drive strategy and change with retail partners. Having started in adult beverage retail and distribution, he took his working retail knowledge and viewpoint to the category advisership side. In this role, he has co-developed/influenced clustering, high and low velocity strategies, category realignments, and category location on the store level. An advocate for continuing education, Willie believes sharing best-in-class processes and behaviors will drive continued growth and trust.
Graeme McVie Logic speaker

Graeme McVie

Global Managing Director

LOGIC

Space Planning Metrics & Insights

Space Planning
Graeme is an experienced business executive with top-tier consulting, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and analytics (AI/ML) expertise. He has a proven track record of success in sales, business development, marketing and product management, with deep domain knowledge in the CPG/FMCG retail and manufacturing sectors. Graeme has broad-based knowledge of, and hands-on experience managing, international expansions.
Chris DeFinizio Wakefern speaker

Chris DeFinizio

Space Planning Manager

WAKEFERN

State of Space Planning Panel Discussion

Space Planning

Chris DeFinizio is Manager of Store & Space Planning in the Merchandising Support Department at Wakefern Food Corporation, the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative with supermarket banner’s that include ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway. Chris leads the Planning of New Stores/Remodels, Refreshes & Departmental Category Planograms / Reinvention efforts that cover Perishable & Non Perishable Departments throughout the total store to help enhance the consumer shopping experience. Chris joined Wakefern as a Full Service store representative in 1994, and has held various roles in the Merchandising Departments, Store Operations and Procurement.

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Sean Brobston

Vice President Merchandise Presentation

TRACTOR SUPPLY

Space Planning Metrics & Insights

Space Planning

Sean Brobston has held a variety of positions from mid to executive leadership roles over the past 25 years and is currently Vice President for Tractor Supply, where he has been for 21 years. He has experience across Operations, Inventory and Supply Chain, Business Development, Visual Design & Presentation, New Store Build Outs, Retail Services, and Micro & Macro Space Planning. Sean is a visionary that creates transformational long term business road maps and leads teams through the implementation process.

Yelena Idelchik Reckitt speaker

Yelena Idelchik

Director of Shopper Insights & Analytics

RECKITT

Building an Optimal Shopper Insights Team

Building the Skillsets of Tomorrow

Yelena Idelchik is a multi-faceted executive with 25 years of Shopper Insights and Category Management experience across top CPG companies and categories. She started her career in traditional Brand Management with Mondelez and Colgate-Palmolive, and later went on to lead Insights teams at Coty Beauty and Reckitt. As she continues to embrace the cutting-edge resources, while also using innovative and classic research techniques, she has driven actionable insights across Reckitt’s Hygiene and Health categories. She considers herself a navigator of change, believing that if you stay still, you manage, but if you are going somewhere and adapting, you lead. This motivates her to stay curious, creative and committed to the success of her team and her function.

Tim Wilson Bush Bros speaker

Tim Wilson

Customer Insights & Category Mgt

BUSH BROS

Harnessing Data for One Source of Truth

Building the Skillsets of Tomorrow

As Sales Data Expert at Bush Brothers and Company, Tim Wilson works to improve data coverage and efficiency of spend, to increase accuracy across data sets, and to expand the awareness and utilization of syndicated and retailer data for insights throughout the organization. Prior to his time at Bush’s, Tim trained in Category Management at Nabisco and then moved to Pillsbury, where he served in the roles of Category Manager, Region Planning Manager and National Account Manager. With roots in East Tennessee, Tim now gladly calls Knoxville his home.

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Nancy Haboush

Coach

212 DEGREE COACHING

Women in Leadership Luncheon

Building the Skillsets of Tomorrow

Nancy Haboush has experience in multiple executive positions within the retail industry including 20 years with Mister Neat’s Formalwear and 10 years with Tip Top Tux. Nancy’s experience spans 30 years of building, restructuring and leading teams with a focus on sales and operations. Nancy was recognized in 2022 as A Woman of Distinction from BizWest Business Journal in Northern Colorado and is a member of Women Give of Northern Colorado. Nancy has also served on the board for the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County for five years, caring deeply about empowering women in business and mentoring the next generation.

Tim Downing headshot

Tim Downing

Category Insights National Team Lead

HORMEL

Articulating the Value of AI and ML to Senior Leadership

Building the Skillsets of Tomorrow

Tim Downing has worked in the CPG industry, primarily in Category Management and Data Analytics, for the past 15 years. Leading Hormel’s Category Management and Sales Strategy team in Cincinnati, Tim is responsible for supporting and developing a best-in-class team that looks for creative analytical solutions to uncover in-market trends and helps influence category strategy while remaining grounded in insights. Prior to his time at Hormel, Tim worked at Kao Brands in a variety of roles including category management, trade strategy and international e-commerce business development.

Michael Quinn Kellogs speaker

Mike Quinn

Sr. Director, Category Management Walmart

KELLOGG’S

Integrating Customer Insights into CatMan Teams

Building the Skillsets of Tomorrow

Mike Quinn has spent the last 19 years with the Kellogg Company including various roles in Category Management, Business Planning, Category Strategy and Retail Sales. Now enjoying his second stint on the Walmart Team, his experience spans a variety of National and Regional customers with stops in New York, Arkansas, Michigan, North Carolina, and Colorado. Quinn’s extreme analytical curiosity has driven strategic focus to processes and driven results throughout his career. He holds a Bachelor of Music and an MBA from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.

Andrew Henkel

Executive Vice President – Retail

SPINS

Learning from Natural Channel Data & Trends to Drive Innovation

Retail Channel Specific Insights

As Executive Vice President of Retail, Andrew Henkel deepens SPINS’ relationships with retailers and leads the Retail team to foster opportunities for collaboration. Andrew ensures that SPINS creates solutions that address retailers’ needs and sets them on a path for continued growth. Prior to joining SPINS, Andrew spent 25 years working with CPG and retail clients at leading organizations including McKinsey, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and Leo Burnett.

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Jimmy Stegall

VP of Merchandising

FORMERLY DOLLAR GENERAL

Identifying Challenges and Opportunities in Small Format

Retail Channel Specific Insights

Jimmy has over 30 years of retail merchandising, buying and operations expertise and recently served as the Vice President/DMM Merchandising at Dollar General for over 5 years. He set the direction for the 18,000+ store retail chain for over 30% of chains business including DSD and warehouse beverages, DSD and warehouse salty snacks, Candy, Front End, Energy, Water, Alcohol and Tobacco. Jimmy is a true merchandising expert leading multiple isle reinventions for beverage, coolers, checkouts and off shelf displays as well as exclusive item and fixture developments for stores including endcaps, product innovation, flavor innovation and multi-year contract programs.

Kristina Vadeikaite headshot

Kristina Vadeikaite

Senior Category and Insights Manager

Daiya Foods Inc

Learning from Natural Channel Data & Trends to Drive Innovation

Retail Channel Specific Insights

Kristina Vadeikaite serves as a senior category manager at Daiya Foods. Kristina is a seasoned category management professional with over 10 years of experience in building category leadership for retailers and food bands. She leads category, consumer, and shopper insights initiatives in her current role, serving as a subject matter expert to deliver strategic insights that inform, guide and influence short and long term business decisions.

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Jim Hachtel

Director of Category Management

CORE-MARK

C-Store Channel Overview & Planogramming Best Practices

Retail Channel Specific Insights

Jim began his retail career in 1982, working for National Convenience Stores, dba Stop-n-Go Markets in a range of functions including Retail Operations, Merchandising, and Food Service. Jim joined ARCO ampm in 1994 as a District Manager, serving 20 years in a variety of roles including Operations Manager, Training Team Leader, National Merchandising Manager, and Senior Category Manager.  In his current role at Core-Mark since 2014, Jim is responsible for working with c-store retailers to understand the competitive landscape and develop customized category management solutions.