Arlington, VA – The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing independent grocery operators and wholesalers, has announced that Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), will address the NGA’s Executive Conference, to be held virtually for the first time Sept. 22-25, 2020.
Yiannas, former vice president of food safety at Walmart Inc., will speak on “The Future of Food Safety and Government Regulation.”
Additionally, Jonathan Mayes, senior vice president of external affairs and chief diversity officer at Albertsons Cos., will join the conference to present “Why Diversity Matters and What You Can Do About It.”
The lineup includes speakers from the arenas of grocery retailing and wholesaling, CPG, technology and consulting. Sessions focus on issues key to doing business in the current marketplace, from ecommerce fulfillment and supply chain to category marketing and health and wellness, to the upcoming U.S. presidential elections and navigating the COVID landscape.
The following are among the education sessions slated for the three-day event:
- Capturing Growth Through Innovation, Pricing, E-Commerce and Insights – Attendees will hear how organizations of all sizes are leveraging four key drivers (innovation, pricing, e-commerce and consumer trends) to navigate an unprecedented complex retail environment and fuel present and future growth. Speakers include Krishnakumar (KK) Davey, president, strategic analytics, IRI; Peri Edelstein and Aman Gupta, managing directors and partners, Boston Consulting Group; and Cara Loeys, principal, growth consulting, IRI.
- Applying the Innovation Process to Online Order Fulfillmen – We will share with attendees a best practice “innovation process” to help retailers identify what’s needed, discover new solutions and capabilities, and prepare your team for growing change. Speakers include Gary Hawkins and Sterling Hawkins, co-founders and co-CEOs, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART).
- Getting the Whole Picture: The Wholesalers Perspective – The team from Deloitte will moderate this discussion with a group of wholesalers to talk about opportunities to help retailers with growth and partnership opportunities for CPG suppliers and solutions partners. Speakers include Leon Bergmann, CEO, Harvest Sherwood Food Distributors; Joe Cavaliere, executive vice president, chief commercial officer, C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc.; Lori Raya, executive vice president and chief merchandising and marketing officer, SpartanNash Company; and David Smith, president and CEO, Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc.
- E-Commerce: Surge Sustaining or Subsiding? – This session is going to focus on how retailers and manufacturers must look ahead and work to adapt their consumers’ new behaviors in order to remain relevant and successful in the long and short term. Speaker: Nicole Collida, senior vice president sales, NA consumer intelligence, Nielsen.
- Supply Chain: Pushing Forward – Discussion will include perspectives and implications on retailer, wholesaler and CPG supply chains and how they will need to adapt to continue to address evolving needs. Speakers include Ashutosh Dekhne, partner, and Manik Aryadi, associate partner, McKinsey & Company.
- Meat Matters – This session will touch on topics including pandemic performance, the importance of claims-based meat, addressing consumers’ questions on animal welfare, the environment and health, and a true view of the plant-based opportunity. Speakers include Anne-Marie Roerink, principal, 210 Analytics LLC ; Matt Byrne, founder and president, SunFed Ranch; Eric Besselman, meat director, Heinen’s Inc.; and Rich Chapman, president, G&C Food Distributors Inc.
- Omnichannel Engagement: The Key to Post-Pandemic Success – The team at Inmar will focus on how independent retailers can go beyond functional and create an exciting, engaging online shopping experience.
- Collaborative Insights: Leveling the Playing Field – The team from Retail Solutions Inc. (RSi) will lead a discussion on how small retailers can harness the power of data and insights to compete with blue-chip retailers, with a fraction of the budget and CPG resources.
- Crystal Ball: Taking a Look Into the Future of Health & Wellness Trends – Join this session to understand the market trends, a comparative look at previous recessionary periods, and discuss how to use this information in planning for our future. Speakers include Melissa Dabrowski, director, retail partners, SPINS LLC; and Ben Nauman, senior director of purchasing, National Co+op Grocers (NCG).
- Demystifying Digital and Data: How to Future– Proof Your Business For the New Economy – KPMG consumer and retail leaders Sanjay Sehgal and Scott Rankin will share insights on the changing landscape and behavior of consumers, and how a digital first approach is a necessity for every grocer and manufacturer going forward.
- A Conversation with the C-Suite – An opportunity to hear from leaders of the NGA community to touch on the various conference topics and get their outlook on future. Speakers include Greg Ferrara, president and CEO, National Grocers Association; John Ross, president and CEO, IGA Inc.; and Mike Stigers, CEO of Cub Foods, United Natural Foods Inc.
- From Capitol Hill to Main Street: How the Election will Impact Independent Grocers – The NGA Government Relations team will take attendees on a deep dive into the issues that are impacting your businesses. Speakers include Chris Jones, NGA’s senior vice president, government relations & counsel; Terence Huie, manager, grassroots and PAC; Molly Pfaffenroth, director, government relations; and Robert Yeakel, director, government relations.
For the full schedule and more information, visit https://www.nationalgrocers.org/executive-conference/
The National Grocers Association (NGA) is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for close to one percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating $131 billion in sales, 944,000 jobs, $30 billion in wages, and $27 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, as well as manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit www.nationalgrocers.org.