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Executive Leadership Forum Challenges Roles of CIO and CTO

Executive leaders from key retail, insight and technology companies — including The Kroger Co., Nielsen, Cisco, SAP America, Brookshire Grocery Company and RangeMe – will delve into prioritizing digital strategies and why and how these companies have put their chief information officers (CIO) and chief technology officers (CTO) at the center of enterprise-wide digital initiatives at the Food Marketing Institute’s Executive Leadership Forum on June 13.

FMI Chief Collaboration Officer, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Mark Baum offered, “Our forum presenters will make the case that the position of the CIO/CTO has transformed into a strategic enabler in today’s retail landscape, a departure from their traditional role as the interpreter of techno-talk or the head of a capital-hungry cost center. The developments will further challenge CEOs and other C-suite executives to co-lead technology discussion and decision in the board room, and subsequently better meet the changing needs of today’s digitally engaged consumer.”

Contributors to the forum include:

  • John D’Anna, Executive Vice President Chief Strategic Officer, Brookshire Grocery Company
  • Annette Franke, Vice President, Kroger Technology (Moderator)
  • Glo Gordon, Vice President, IOT Cloud, Cisco
  • Nicky Jackson, President & Co-Founder, RangeMe
  • Lori Mitchell-Keller, Global General Manager Consumer Industries, SAP
  • Laurie Rains, Group Vice President, U.S. Retail Consumer & Shopper Analytics, Nielsen

A supporting corporate partner for the event, SAP’s Mitchell-Keller noted, “The CIO is the new strategic innovation and information officer – aligned to the CEO, and the enabler of new business processes – because the digital transformation of grocery is the future and is something the entire organization must embark on together.”

SAP will also host roundtable discussions that focus on critical omnichannel infrastructure areas: digital store operations and commerce; digital supply chain; digital marketing and merchandising; and digital fresh. C-level industry participants from major grocery, regional, independent operators and wholesalers will participate and represent companies such as Brookshire Grocery Company, Meijer, Inc., Price Chopper Supermarkets, Publix Super Markets, Inc. and The Kroger Co.

“The industry has changed, retail has changed, and we’ve turned to technology leaders to take us into a new era of intelligence and scalability,” RangeMe’s Jackson said. “I cannot think of a more forward-thinking and appropriate group of leaders to address our new digital reality for the food retail industry.”

Kings Food Markets And Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market Select KeHE

Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market selected KeHE Distributors as a specialty distributor for natural & organic, specialty, and private label items. The agreement is effective immediately. The transition is scheduled to be complete this summer.

“Across the KeHE community, we are energized to put our compelling service, pricing and promotions model to work for Kings and Balducci’s,” said Brandon Barnholt, president and CEO, KeHE. “We are honored to be a part of their distribution network and to help achieve their future growth plans.”

An upscale gourmet food market, Kings is recognized as a pioneer within the specialty food industry. Kings began in 1936 with the humble purpose of finding the freshest available produce, and today Kings provides a unique shopping experience paired with the highest quality foods. Its founders identified the best local farmers and established long-lasting relationships that have grown. Today, it has 25 stores in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut that sell local, national and international specialty food products. Specialty food retailer Balducci’s was started in Brooklyn in 1916 by “Pop” Balducci and has grown to become a gourmet powerhouse, specializing in hand-selected meats and cheeses, restaurant-quality prepared foods, and fresh baked goods with 10 store locations in Maryland, Virginia, New York and Connecticut. Both companies were acquired by KB Holding, Inc. in 2016.

“By choosing KeHE, we have selected a specialty supplier that shares our collective passion for food, which continues to be the enduring foundation of our success,” said Judith Spires, Chairman and CEO, Kings and Balducci’s. “This partnership will continue to grow our business while enhancing our ability to deliver an expertly curated selection of offerings to the communities we serve.”

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