Coca-Cola's VP of Category Leadership Takes the Stage at the 2024 CMA | SIMA Conference in Dallas, TX

September 12, 2023, CHICAGO, IL – ARC is thrilled to announce James Ford Vice President of Category Leadership for Coca Cola as the emcee for the 2024 CMA | SIMA Annual Conference taking place in Dallas, Texas February 26 to 28th. James is an accomplished leader in the industry with over 20 years of experience in various roles including category management, revenue growth management, price strategy and channel strategy/commercialization. He has spent time on both the company side as well as on the bottling side with Coca-Cola Enterprises. “With a wealth of experience, knowledge and proven leadership in the industry, we could not think of a better emcee for the 2024 CMA | SIMA Annual Conference,” shared Emily Callahan, President of ARC. 

James currently sits on the executive advisory board of the Category Management Association where he advises on all aspects of furthering the discipline of category management across the industry.  His past experiences prior to Coca-Cola include Red Bull where he led Category Management and Shopper Insights, and M&M/Mars in both sales and category management capacities.  James graduated from Hobart College with a degree in Computer Science and currently lives in Atlanta with his wife, Jean, and daughter, Ciera.  

“I have attended each CMA Conference since 2013 for the simple reason that there is no better forum to learn from industry experts on the challenges and opportunities in front of us,” Ford said.  “While the lineup of speakers is always impressive, of equal value is the networking with so many experienced people attending. I love running into old colleagues and making new friends.” 

This year’s conference theme will be “Trailblazing Retail’s Bold Future” as the industry collectively returns to an innovative mindset after a long period of disruption. The COVID pandemic, followed by an unprecedented time of food and consumer goods inflation and more recent volume erosion, has challenged category managers, space planners, and shopper insights professionals.  

Content tracks for the conference will include data-driven storytelling, embracing AI and Machine Learning, cross-functional collaboration, and more. This year’s conference will also feature a variety of reimagined training courses for professionals looking to achieve their CPCA certification. Learn more about the conference here and take advantage of the early bird pricing currently available.

ARC is the master association for the Category Management Association (CMA), Shopper Insights Management Association (SIMA), and newly launched Space Planning Community.