How We’re Laying the Foundation of the Future for the CMA.

Retail is in a state of rapid and continuous evolution. The ways in which consumers are buying are evolving. The channels through which we are able to sell and deliver goods are evolving. And for our industry, the ways in which we measure and understand shopper behavior are evolving. Therefore, it only makes sense for the CMA to evolve, as well.

How do we see our role in this changing world? How are we supporting the people, companies and discipline as a whole? The first step was laying this strategic groundwork for the road ahead. The holistic strategy would focus on serving three key audiences:

  • For You: We provide our members with the tools, the resources and the network to grow their careers.
  • For Your Company: We help member companies build world-class teams through best-in-class content, events and training.
  • For Our Industry:  We must tackle issues both strategic and tactical to help move our industry forward.

With the strategic groundwork in place, it was time for a road map. In late February, at the 2020 CMA+SIMA Annual Conference, the CMA Board approved a new Charter that would serve these key audiences and shape the future of our organization.

The CMA Board is comprised of 15 member companies including: Walmart, Kellogg’s, Redbull, Tyson, Nestle Purina, Walgreens, Lowes, Ace Hardware, Hershey, Coca-Cola, ConAgra Brands, Reynolds Brands, PepsiCo, General Mills and MarsPetcare.

Leaders from these companies ratified a new Charter with three major components. One, a new content agenda focused around the Evolution of Category Management in an Omnichannel World. Two, an approach to include the broader membership in content development (as part of working committees). And three, taking a stronger hand in guiding the industry around major issues and opportunities.

A key cornerstone here is the leadership from our board and our committees. Our intention is to broaden the scope of voices and the body of ideas. We want to ensure that we’re continuously offering leadership and services that are a true reflection of the state of the industry in a rapidly changing time.

As part of this new direction, our board has also named our first official Chairman of the Board, Mike Gervasio, who also serves as VP Category Leadership at PepsiCo. Mike has over 32 years of consumer package goods industry experience, including over 22 years at PepsiCo, and has been a vital member of the CMA for years, most recently serving a critical role on our University board and paving the way for a new generation of CatMan industry talent.

Mr. Gervasio’s diverse experience includes roles in Category Management, Sales, Insights, Corporate Strategy and Finance. As Chairman, he will assist in leading the board and setting the future direction for the CMA.

Mr. Gervasio will be the member representative for the professional association on major issues affecting Category Management and the retail industry at large. The new Chairmanship will be a rotating position, occupied by a sitting executive from one of our 15 board member companies for an 18-month term.

“We could not be more excited to have Mike Gervasio taking the reins as our first Chairman.” says Michael McMahon, President of the CMA+SIMA. “His depth of knowledge and experience, along with our very talented Board members, will give the industry strong leadership as we move into the future.”

Mike Gervasio also expressed optimism and excitement for the role. “I am very excited to help the CMA continue to be the premier resource in identifying industry standards, implementing best practice sharing and a continued source for solution providers as it relates to the category management discipline.” Gervasio said.

We’re very pleased to be unveiling this new direction to our members. We strongly believe that the diversity of voices and experience will bring our members more effective and relevant content faster than ever before.

What do you think about this new direction for the CMA? What industry issues would you like to see addressed in the near future? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Sound off on social media now and join the conversation.