New Sessions On Merchandising, Creating Value & Differentiation Added To Retail Seafood Sourcing Event

SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE – FirstSource Events announces an addition to its lineup of sourcing sessions at FirstSource: Retail Seafood in Fort Worth, Texas, June 4-6. The added sessions include an optional "Buyer Roundtable" at 1 pm, June 4 and two optional "Ask the Expert" sessions for vendors on the following day. Each session will be led by veteran retailer, Tony Ruccio, who has a wealth of industry experience working in retail sales, procurement, processing and management.

Ruccio is eager to step into his role as FirstSource facilitator, for both buyers and vendors. The optional sessions will focus on improved approaches to operations and creative ideas for merchandising fresh and frozen seafood, creating value and differentiation. "At FirstSource, I hope to help others in increasing sales, controlling costs and waste and addressing sustainability," Ruccio said.

Ruccio experienced FirstSource: Retail Seafood as a buyer for Kings Food Markets in 2011, and said that FirstSource creates, "the development of longstanding industry relationships built on trust, respect and the acknowledgement of a need. At FirstSource buyers and suppliers have quality time together to understand the needs and concerns of both groups, and hopefully, help build the kind of programs that would create a win-win for all."As a result of his long experience as a retail buyer, Ruccio enjoys strong relationships with vendors. He noted, "Understanding that they are the foundation of any successful joint effort, integrity and transparency have always enabled me success in working with suppliers. The importance of respecting the supply side cannot be over emphasized, particularly in the ocean-caught arena."

FirstSource is pleased to provide a platform that highlights Ruccio's experience with retail buyers and vendors. Brian Perkins, FirstSource Event Director said, "For those of you who know Tony, you know he has forgotten more about seafood than most of us have ever known. He is one of the most generous people in the industry with his time, and always willing to share his knowledge. We are delighted he will be joining us at the event."

Ruccio worked his way up the chain of command at Kings Supermarkets from a Seafood Associate filleting fish, to Seafood Manager, Training Manager, Merchandiser and Seafood Sales Manager. In 1996 Ruccio was named Meat Sales Manager, and in 2005 he was promoted to Director of Seafood Sales & Merchandising. Kings was founded in 1936 and currently has more than 24 units, and is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey.

In addition to his time at Kings, Ruccio has 12 years of experience in presenting seafood marketing approaches and merchandising techniques at the Boston Seafood Show, where he has shown skill in facilitating and moderating frank discussions. Ruccio also worked with the US government and industry leaders to develop HACCP standards for seafood and served as the liaison between Kings and the New Jersey Department of Weights and Measures. He was also on the steering committee of the Organic Seafood Council. In 2013, Ruccio retired from Kings and started his own company, TPR Sales & Management. 

About FirstSource: Retail Seafood

FirstSource: Retail Seafood is an innovative sourcing event that brings buyers and vendors together over two and a half days. FirstSource combines buyer-scheduled 20-minute one-on-one meetings, personal introductions, vendor presentations and product tastings. In addition, vendors' products are featured at many of the event's meals and receptions. Hotel, airfare, airport transfers, and meals for invited buyers are covered by the event organizers. A limited number of pre-screened vendors pay a modest fee to take part. Buyers and vendors find tremendous value in FirstSource and can condense months or weeks of work into one FirstSource event.

When: Wednesday, June 4 through Friday June 6, 2014
Where: The Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott in Fort Worth, Texas
Sales Contact: Karen Thomas
+1 (813) 482-4933

Source: FirstSource Events