Elaine Carovilla, Director of Girls Global Toys
Disney Consumer Products
Worth $4 billion in global wholesale sales, Disney Consumer Products' toy division is one of the largest players in the toy industry. As Category Director of Girls Global Toys for DCP, Elaine guides the licensing, product development and marketing of the fastest growing segment of Disney's toy business. She manages all girls' toys bearing the Disney brands including Disney Princesses, Fairies, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Jonas Brothers, Camp Rock, and many more. Prior to joining Disney, Elaine spent more than a decade at Mattel, serving as Senior Marketing Director on the Barbie worldwide brand and has also worked for Tiger Electronics, Fisher-Price, and Learning Curve as well as countless other toy manufacturers through her own consulting practice.
Jim Chambers, President North America
Jim joined Cadbury Schweppes in September 2005 as President and CEO of the Americas region, where he has continued to lead the business to exceptional results. In September 2008, Jim assumed leadership of an important operational role as the head of the newly created Cadbury North America business.
Jim joined Cadbury from Rémy Cointreau USA, where he was President and CEO. Prior to Rémy Cointreau, Jim led three different organizations, enabling him to gain broad leadership experience in manufacturing, retailing, technology and branded businesses. He was CEO of the product development solutions provider Paxonix, President and CEO of Netgrocer.com and group President at Information Resources Inc.
Before joining IRI, Jim built an impressive 17-year career at Nabisco Inc., with leadership roles in sales, marketing and IT, and culminating as president of the Refrigerated Foods operating unit. Jim is a non-executive director of B&G Foods.
He holds a BSE (Civil Engineering) from Princeton University and an MBA (Finance) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Kit D. Dietz, Principal
Dietz Consulting LLC
Kit is the Principal of Dietz Consulting LLC. Dietz Consulting focuses exclusively on improving the efficiency, effectiveness and profitability of convenience industry supply channel. His broad-based experience includes providing the leadership/vision for the convenience industry’s largest supply chain optimization project, C/SCAPE, (sponsored by NACS, AWMA, and major manufacturers across a broad range of categories), which defined the cost to handle and total product margins at item level from the distributor to the checkout counter at retail. A significant portion of his time is dedicated to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the convenience channel, by providing key insights and fostering collaborative improvement opportunities for retailers, distributors and manufacturer partners. Kit also serves as an outside Director of Lorillard, Inc.
Thomas Earley, Executive Vice President
Tom is responsible for ongoing analysis of sweetener, grain and oilseed markets, agricultural and trade policy, and commodity and food ingredient processing industries. He has recently directed studies of e-commerce in food and agriculture, world and US sweetener issues, various food ingredient markets, and the feed industry. He monitors policy developments in many different parts of the agricultural and food sectors, and handles assignments in Latin America and Asia in addition to those in the United States and Canada. Tom was previously vice president of Abel, Daft & Earley and senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He received his BA in Political Science and Economics from Yale University, and an M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics.
Promar International, a food and agriculture consulting firm, is the knowledge leader for all of the issues that challenge organizations serving the global agri-food system. We are a US company with global capabilities providing strategic marketing, business, economic, and policy consulting to agri-food companies, cooperatives, associations, and government agencies. Our expertise has been gained from tracking the changes in the food value chain over the last 30 years. While we are based in the US, our roots are international. We serve our clients through our offices in the US and Mexico, and our affiliates in Japan, China, and the UK. In addition, we work closely with specialized agricultural and food value chain associates in Southeast Asia, Korea, India, and throughout South America. Having highly professional local consultants in key markets allows us to overcome language and cultural barriers, and provide our clients with solutions based on solid research and in-depth market understanding. Our consulting work is focused on understanding the target market place, identifying the main constraints and opportunities for our clients, and developing winning strategies for them. We provide Strategy development and formulation, Evaluative management consulting, Domestic and export market analysis, Market research worldwide, Trade & farm policy research and economic analysis.
Jon Eick, Online Brand Manager
New Media Strategies, Inc.
A writer, humorist and blogger, Jon is the owner and author of the popular blog So Good, where he discusses food and food marketing strategies. Jon has been praised as, "One of the freshest, funniest and most entertaining voices in the food blogosphere." His humorous and analytical approach to writing has won him readers ranging from amateur chefs to VP’s of Fortune 500 companies. So Good’s stories have been reported on by print, radio and television media ranging from The Wall Street Journal, PC World and The Washington Post to CNN, ESPN and ABC News. Jon is credited with breaking the Papa John’s “Crybaby” story which led the national pizza chain to issue a formal apology to basketball star Lebron James and offer $.23 pizzas to the residents of Cleveland, OH.
Jon has worked for New Media Strategies since 2004 and currently serves as an Online Brand Manager. During this time, he has worked with over 80 different clients, spanning the company’s Entertainment, Corporate and Public Affairs practices. He has spearheaded the online strategy for trade, business and issue advocacy groups, legislative & ballot initiatives, as well as a gubernatorial campaign. Prior to joining New Media Strategies, Jon was a member of the internet team for Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential campaign.
Michael Eisner, former Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company
Owner, The Topps Company
For four decades, Michael Eisner has been a leader in the American entertainment industry. He began his career at ABC, where he helped take the network from number three to number one in primetime, daytime and children’s television with such landmark shows as Happy Days, Barney Miller, Rich Man, Poor Man, and Roots. In 1976, he became president of Paramount Pictures, turning out hit films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and Terms of Endearment. This string of critically acclaimed and blockbuster films led the studio to become number one in box office and profitability in both theatrical movies and network television production.
In 1984 Michael assumed the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company and, in the ensuing 21 years, transformed it from a film and theme park company with $1.8 billion in enterprise value into a global media empire valued at $80 billion.
In 2005, Michael began the “next act” of his career, by founding the Tornante Company; a privately held company that makes investments in and incubates companies and opportunities in the media and entertainment space. Through the Tornante Company, he created Vuguru, a new media studio that produces world class content for the internet and emerging digital platforms. Vuguru’s first production, “Prom Queen,” quickly became an internet sensation and was later nominated for a Broadband Emmy. The series was such a huge success it spawned a fifteen episode spin-off series “Prom Queen: Summer Heat” which combined, garnered over 20 million views over the course of its initial run. The Tornante Company holds an ownership stake in Veoh Networks, Inc., an innovative, new independent Internet television broadcasting system and wholly owns Team Baby Entertainment, the premier producer of an award-winning series of officially licensed sports themed children’s DVD’s.
In October 2007, The Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC. acquired The Topps Company, Inc. Topps has been a leading creator and marketer of distinctive confectionery items and sports and entertainment cards for well over 50 years. Under Michael’s vision and leadership, he plans to transform Topps, through filmed entertainment, Internet and television, into a full-fledged sports media company. The latest web-series from Michael’s online production studio Vuguru is a Topps co-production titled Back on Topps, set to launch in the fall of 2008. Michael also intends to help make Topps the world’s most innovative kids confection company. Among other projects, Michael and Topps are presently developing a film featuring the iconic eye-patch wearing comic hero Bazooka Joe. In March 2008, Vuguru launched its second original web series “The All-For-Nots,” a comedy that follows a documentary crew filming a fictional indie rock band as they travel the U.S. on an under-funded and poorly planned tour. In addition, Vuguru announced a ground-breaking partnership with world-renowned author Robin Cook. A 50-episode on-line prequel series accounting for the days leading up to the launch of his new novel, “Foreign Body” debuted in May 2008.
In July 2008, Nickelodeon’s Nick at Nite purchased Glenn Martin DDS, Michael’s first television series he developed through his newly formed division of The Tornante Company – Tornante Animation. The program is expected to debut next summer.
James E. Glassman, Managing Director and Senior Economist
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Jim is a Managing Director and Senior Economist with JPMorgan Chase & Co. He works closely with the firm’s chief investment officer, commercial banking and government relations groups. He publishes independent research on the principal forces shaping the economy and financial markets. Jim’s views are widely cited in the financial media, where he is a frequent commentator on economic policy issues. From 1979 through 1988, he served in a number of areas in the Research and Statistics and Monetary Affairs Divisions at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington D.C. He joined Morgan Guaranty in 1988 and Chemical Bank in 1993, which, through mergers with Chase Manhattan, JPMorgan, and most recently Bank One, is called JPMorgan Chase & Co. Jim earned a bachelors degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Subsequently, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.8 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management, and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its JPMorgan and Chase brands.
Todd Hale, Senior Vice President
Consumer & Shopper Insights
Todd has over 29 years of experience in the area of consumer panel analysis. He has been with Nielsen for over 23 years and has held various marketing and sales management positions. He has been heavily involved in the development of innovative consumer panel applications for both manufacturers and retailers. He prepares topical presentations using consumer shopping/buying behavior and attitudes to provide insight to facilitate brand, category, and retail sales growth. Presentation topics have included Channel Blurring, Profile of a Private Label Consumer, Leaky Bucket Syndrome, The Wal-Mart Customer, The Warehouse Club Consumer, The Fresh Food Consumer, The Dollar Store Consumer, Winning Strategies for Your Most Important Shoppers (a study produced in conjunction with the FMI), Aging U.S. Consumer Opportunities, Fuel Price Impact on U.S. Consumers, Consumers on the Edge – Affluent Consumer Opportunities, U.S. Retailing & Consumer Trends, and Bringing Clarity to Channel Choice. Todd earned an MBA and a BA in Business from Wright State University. Todd has over 29 years of experience in the area of consumer panel analysis. He has been with Nielsen for over 23 years and has held various marketing and sales management positions. He has been heavily involved in the development of innovative consumer panel applications for both manufacturers and retailers. He prepares topical presentations using consumer shopping/buying behavior and attitudes to provide insight to facilitate brand, category, and retail sales growth. Presentation topics have included Channel Blurring, Profile of a Private Label Consumer, Leaky Bucket Syndrome, The Wal-Mart Customer, The Warehouse Club Consumer, The Fresh Food Consumer, The Dollar Store Consumer, Winning Strategies for Your Most Important Shoppers (a study produced in conjunction with the FMI), Aging U.S. Consumer Opportunities, Fuel Price Impact on U.S. Consumers, Consumers on the Edge – Affluent Consumer Opportunities, U.S. Retailing & Consumer Trends, and Bringing Clarity to Channel Choice. Todd earned an MBA and a BA in Business from Wright State University.
Nielsen is the world's leading provider of marketing information, audience measurement, and research services. Their retail and manufacturer clients rely on Nielsen’s information, insight, and analysis for sales and marketing solutions.
John Kennington, Director of National Sales
John joined Ferrero USA in 2004 after working for multiple consumer package goods companies: Life Savers, Nabisco, Con Agra, Nature’s Entree Inc (his own start up business), Chef Solutions and now Ferrero USA. He has held multiple sales and customer marketing leadership positions and has managed many categories in the store; candy, snacks, center store, refrigerated dairy, frozen, natural, deli and bakery.
Throughout his career John has been a leader of high quality professionals who have accomplished success by learning everything they could about their positions, industry and customers. In these leadership positions he has always put training in place for his people, believing they are a company’s most valued resource. John is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, with a degree in Accounting, and has been in the food industry for more than twenty years.
Dr. James B. Maas
Nation's Top Sleep Educator and Award-Winning Professor
Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, Professor and past chairman of the Department of Psychology at Cornell University.
Jim is the nation’s top sleep educator and award-winning professor. He is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program That Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance, published by Random House and HarperCollins, and translated into 10 languages. His most recent book, Remmy and the Brain Train, is an award-winning children's bedtime story about the need for sleep. James makes frequent television appearances on such programs as NBC's TODAY Show, Prime Time Live, Good Morning America, Regis and Kelly, The View, ABC's 20/20, and Oprah.
Jim is also a noted filmmaker who has produced nine national television specials for PBS in this country, for the BBC in England, the CBC in Canada, and for Dutch, Danish and Swedish National Television. His films have won 42 major film festivals. James Maas has held a Fulbright Senior Professorship to Sweden, has been a visiting professor at Stanford University and past-president of the American Psychological Association's Division on Teaching. He received the Clark Award for Distinguished Teaching at Cornell, and is the recipient of the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Teaching Award.
Jim received his B.A. from Williams College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell. He teaches introductory psychology to 1,700 students each year in the nation's largest single lecture class, and conducts research on the relationship between sleep and performance.
Gerry Manley, Managing Director of Olam Cocoa
Olam Europe Ltd
Gerry is Managing Director of Olam Cocoa, Olam Europe Ltd. He serves on the Executive Committee of the World Cocoa Foundation. Olam International is a leading global supply chain manager of agricultural products and food ingredients. We offer an end-to-end supply chain solution to our customers. Our distinctive position is based both on the strength of our origination capability and our strong position in the destination markets worldwide. We manage each activity in the supply chain from origination to processing, logistics, marketing and distribution. Our complete integration allows us to add value and manage the various risks along the entire supply chain from the farm gate in the origins or producing countries to the factory gate of our customers in the destination markets. We operate an integrated supply chain for 14 products sourcing from over 40 origin countries and delivering them to over 4,000 customers in 60 destination markets. We are today a global leader in many of these businesses including Cocoa, Coffee, Cashew, Sheanuts, Sesame, Rice and Teak Wood. We are suppliers to many of the world's most prominent brands offering them reliability, consistency, trust, traceability, and other value added services. This has helped us earn a reputation as the "brand behind the brands". Across our worldwide network we seek to create value, at every level, for our customers, shareholders and employees alike. In the course of the past 18 years, we have created significant shareholder value in competitive and challenging markets through our innovative business model. We will continue to pursue profitable growth because, at Olam, we believe creating value is our business. We are committed to supporting the community and protecting the environment in every country in which we operate and are excited about the significant opportunities that exist in our business to concurrently create shareholder and societal value.
Maureen McHale, President, Chief Creative Officer
McHale Design, Inc.
McHale Design is a million-dollar-plus packaging and branding agency focused on the world of youth. Founded in 1986, McHale Design has created exciting and innovative packaging and branding for dozens of toy and kids’ entertainment manufacturers around the world. Maureen’s seasoned team of designers provides a complete portfolio of design services including brand identity, packaging, marketing materials, and website design, for prestigious clients such as Disney, Mattel, Nickelodeon, Playmates Toys, and others.
McHale Design specializes in the creation of innovative packaging and branding targeting for moms of babies and preschoolers, children, tweens, teens, and twenty-somethings. Career highlights include managing the design of hundreds of Disney Fairy and Disney Princess packages for Playmate Toys, Harry Potter product and packaging for Mattel, Cabbage Patch Kids rebranding for Mattel, packaging and DVD wraps for hundreds of Japanese anime releases, packaging for Konami’s Frogger games, and packaging Knowledge Adventure’s John Lithgow’s Books by You.
Maureen has accepted numerous design awards on behalf of McHale Design, including the National Paperboard Award of Excellence, and has been recognized twice by Print Magazine’s Regional Award for Design Excellence. Maureen was also a nominee for the 2008 Wonder Woman of Toys, Entrepreneur category, from Women in Toys.
Maureen grew McHale Design from a start-up, home-based business into the top kids’ design agency in the country. Maureen is a graduate of University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a BFA in Graphic Design.
Kathleen McKnight, Partner
Oxford Consulting Group Ltd.
Kathleen is a management consultant with expertise in sales and marketing management, innovation, sustainability, product development, change management, and process improvement. She is recognized for her ability to help organizations optimize their approach to (and execution of) sales, dramatically improving their top line profitably. Kathleen has been practicing since 1985, serving in management, sales, and consulting capacities. Her management experience ranges from Director of Sales (for an international professional services firm) and Manager of Training, to Brand Manager for one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, Nestlé. Her clients range from small family businesses to multinationals, undertaking roles from sales advisor to acting Client Director Innovation.
As acting Client Director Innovation for Jones Packaging, a world-class packaging converting organization, Kathleen developed internal and client-facing Innovation-based tools and processes such as InnoPAK™, ValuPAK™ and PackET™. From Jones’ multi-national customers’ perspectives, the deployment of these tools rose Jones Packaging to best-in-industry status. A similar status was achieved in sustainability through the launch of SustainaPAK™, The Sustainable Packaging Tool Kit, and a client-focused sustainability conference – all of which were award winners.
For the past three years, Kathleen has been helping her clients, primarily in the packaging industry, create corporate programs to improve their environmental footprint; this has included establishing short and long term reduction goals, launching new products and services, developing marketing and educational tools, implementing green buildings and establishing employee awareness and incentive plans.
Michael E. Moore, Vice President of Merchandising
Michael Moore is responsible for overall strategy development for the Business Reseller member of the Sam’s Club division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. His area of focus includes enhancement of the merchandise experience for Business Candy and Snacks, Beverages and Tobacco in more than 595 locations. Sam’s Club is one of the nation’s largest warehouse chains in the United States serving more than 47 million business owners and consumers nationwide.
Prior to this role, Moore joined McLane Co. in Bentonville in 1991. Michael held various positions with McLane including Buyer, Senior Buyer, Vice President Merchandising McLane Pacific Division, and Director of Sales.
Positions Moore has held at Sam’s Club include Lead Buyer, Divisional Merchandise Manager, Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager and Vice President Specialty Groups. He was promoted to his current role in 2004. Mr. Moore received a BS from Louisiana State University and is a member of the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board.
Tom Morris, Vice President Confection/Convenience
Acosta Sales and Marketing
Tom has held a 30 year career in the Confection Industry. He began his journey with the Hershey Chocolate Company, holding management positions in Northern and Southern California. He has held positions of regional and national responsibility with sales and marketing agencies including Bradshaw Inc., So. and Bromar/Marketing Specialists, and has been a vice president of Acosta’s Confection/Convenience Division for the last nine years.
Tom has served on a number of manufacturer advisory boards, as chairman of the NCWA/AWMA Confection Snacks Steering Committee, as chairman of the NCA Broker Advisory Council, and is currently a member of the NCA All Candy Expo Committee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCLA. Acosta Sales and Marketing Company, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., is a sales and marketing agent for manufacturers of groceries, confection, health and beauty care items, household care products, and general merchandise. Acosta is one of the largest consumer packaged goods sales and marketing agencies in North America, employing 12,000 associates in the U.S. and Canada. The Company provides headquarter selling, retail merchandising, and strategic marketing services to more than 1,000 manufacturers. These services are provided at more than 120,000 retailers and wholesalers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Acosta clients rely on the company to ensure their products are sold and serviced in grocery stores, mass merchandisers/club stores, convenience stores, drug stores, and other specialty stores.
Jeff Neihart, Senior Vice President, Client Development
Jeff Neihart is Senior Vice President, Client Development at CROSSMARK. CROSSMARK is a professional services company, in business for more than 100 years, that helps consumer goods manufacturers and retailers reach their performance objectives focusing on four key areas – headquarter selling, retail merchandising, store marketing, and streamlining trade practices.
In 2001, Jeff joined CROSSMARK as Corporate Vice President, Convection/Convenience. His responsibilities as a Confection Account Executive included Leaf, Inc., Perfetti Van Melle, Storck USA, Brach and Hershey Broker Division.
Prior to CROSSMARK, Jeff’s previous industry experience includes Vice President of Confection/Convenience – Southern Region, and Corporate Vice President Confection/Convenience at Marketing Specialists and Director of Confection/Convenience, Paul Inman Associates.
He has served on multiple confection and snack boards and broker advisory committees. Jeff attended Indiana University in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana.
Alex Petrov, President, Lucerne Foods, Inc.
a Safeway subsidiary
Alex Petrov brings over 20 years of experience launching new businesses and building global consumer brands to his position as president of Lucerne Foods Inc., a subsidiary of Safeway, and as co-founder of the Better Living Brands Alliance. In this role he is responsible for leading the worldwide rollout of the six-company Alliance’s O Organics and Eating Right brands, currently representing over half a billion dollars in annual sales. He has led the team with the vision to help consumers live better lives every day by making multi-category, organic and health & wellness brands more accessible, attractive and affordable.
Alex Petrov has been a marketing executive at Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, where he led the financial turnaround of Chocolate and Dairy Beverage business units significantly growing leading global brands such as Nesquik, Coffee-mate and Nestlé Hot Cocoa.
He has had also extensive start-up experience as the principal and founder of consumer brand strategy and innovation company PNVG, and as the vice president of marketing for Internet start-up MasterKey, a Hummer Winblad Venture Capital portfolio company.
Alex Petrov currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Organic Center, a non-profit organization that leads the advancement of scientific research behind the health and environmental benefits of organic foods, and communicates those benefits to the public. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Media Association (EMA), a non-profit organization that engages the entertainment industry in a global effort to educate people about environmental issues and inspire them into action.
A former NATO paratrooper, Petrov received his MBA from the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his B.S. in International business and Economics from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Kevin Roberts, Chief Executive Officer
Worldwide of Ideas Company Saatchi & Saatchi
Kevin Roberts is the New York-based CEO Worldwide of Ideas Company Saatchi & Saatchi, part of Publicis Groupe. Before joining Saatchi & Saatchi in 1997, Kevin Roberts held leadership positions globally with premier brands, including Gillette, Pepsi, and Procter & Gamble. Under Kevin’s leadership, Saatchi & Saatchi has grown market share for 11 straight years and is consistently in the top three globally awarded creative networks. Clients include Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Lexus, General Mills and Visa.
He is the author of three Saatchi & Saatchi books (Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands; The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in The Consumer Revolution; and Sisomo: The Future On Screen), and is co-author of Peak Performance – Business Lessons From The World’s Top Sports Organizations. Kevin is the inaugural CEO in Residence at Cambridge University’s Judge Institute of Management in the UK and is a member of the Publicis Groupe Management Board.
The Saatchi & Saatchi Inspirational Dream is to be revered as the hothouse for world changing ideas that create sustainable profitable growth for its clients. There are 150 offices in 86 countries, which means there are nearly 7,000 people sharing and living our Inspirational Dream around the world. Saatchi & Saatchi is part of Publicis Groupe, one of the largest communications companies in the world.
James Russo, Vice President Marketing - Food Sector
The Nielsen Company
James’ responsibilities include leading the company’s efforts to support its food and beverage clients by leveraging and customizing Nielsen’s broad array of insights and analytics to enhance its growth strategies. He identifies and develops new products and consumer insights for Nielsen’s food and beverage industry clients. James has over 16 years of experience in marketing, sales, business development and research positions across the retail and manufacturing industries. He has served as General Manager delivering strategic insights and analysis of significant trends impacting retailers and suppliers. He has delivered in excess of 75 client, industry and strategic presentations to business leaders in the CPG sector. James launched “Executive Perspective,” offering unique industry insight and foresight to hundreds of consumer packaged goods executives. He holds a Masters of Business Administration and Bachelors Degree from St. John’s University (Queens, New York, USA).
Nielsen is the world's leading provider of marketing information, audience measurement, and research services. Their retail and manufacturer clients rely on Nielsen’s information, insight, and analysis for sales and marketing solutions.
John Scarinda, Vice President of Merchandising Candy and Snacks
Mr. Scardina has over 18 years experience in the distribution industry. He is currently responsible for managing all confections, cookie, crackers, snacks, nuts, and meat snacks that Eby-Brown distribute. His responsibilities include ordering and inventory management oversight as well as all vendor negotiations, category management, promotional activities and item selections associated with his categories.
Mr. Scardina joined Eby-Brown in January 1990, starting as a candidate in Eby-Brown’s sales training program. Since joining Eby-Brown Mr. Scardina has held a variety of positions including Delivery Driver, Customer Service Representative, Field Merchandiser, Route Sales Person, Buying Administrative Assistant and Buyer for the Candy and Snack categories. In February 1994, Mr. Scardina assumed his current position as Eby-Brown’s Vice President of Merchandising for Candy and Snacks.
Eby-Brown is the largest privately owned tobacco, candy, and convenience distributor in the United States. They are a leading convenience-store supplier and wholesale food distributor for over 100 years. Eby-Brown services 12,000 retail locations through seven distribution centers throughout the eastern half of the United States. Annual sales are in excess of 4.2 billion dollars and the organization has 2200 employee members.
Mr. Scardina is a member of the National Confectioner Association Buyer Advisory Committee, AWMA Warehouse Delivered Snack Committee, the 2005 Professional Candy Buyer of the Year Recipient and AWMA 2007 and 2008 Industry Affairs Co-Chairperson.
Pete Snyder, Founder & Chief Executive Officer
New Media Strategies, Inc.
Pete founded New Media Strategies in 1999, the industry pioneer and market leader in Online Intelligence and Word of Mouth marketing. For the past ten years, New Media Strategies has helped some of the biggest corporations and best known brands in the world listen, learn and engage with consumers in social media. The company was named by Inc Magazine as one of the “Fastest Growing Companies in America” for three years in a row and was also honored as one of the “Best Places to Work” by Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Business Journal. Additionally, Pete was honored by Fortune Small Business for his innovative management-style when they named him “2006 Best Boss.”
Pete has built a blue-chip client base that features some of the best known brands and corporations in the world, including ABC, Boston Beer Company, Burger King Corporation, CBS, Chanel, Coca-Cola, Disney, Dodge, EA, Ford Motor Company, HBO, Jeep, Levi’s, McDonald’s, Northwest Airlines, Paramount Pictures, PepsiCo, RCA Records, Red Bull, Reebok, Revlon, Sci-Fi Channel, Sony, USA Network, and Wyeth. NMS’ record of real results for our clients speaks for itself, for in 2007 NMS helped market twenty-five feature films that hit the top spot at the box office. New Media Strategies, Inc. is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
Robert Taylor, Jr., President
Burdette Beckman, Inc.
Robert Taylor is President of Burdette Beckmann, Inc. (BBI). BBI is a National Sales Agency established more than 50 years ago, that services CPG clients, primarily Confections & Snacks manufacturers. BBI builds and develops business in small & large channels.
During his time at BBI, Robert has worked with his fellow associates and key clients to transform BBI from a Florida based Candy Broker to a National Sales Agency with opportunities in 50 states.
In 1983 Robert joined BBI as an Account Manager. Since then he has been responsible for the development of the following BBI departments: Vend, Special Markets, Dollar Store and Club.
Hans P. Vriens, Chief Innovation Officer
Barry Callebaut AG
In December 2005 Hans was appointed to the newly created position of Chief Innovation Officer and member of The Barry Callebaut AG Management Team. In this capacity he manages global R&D activities, including innovation and “incubation” projects and further oversees the Group’s marketing activities.
Prior to joining Barry Callebaut Hans was active as owner for VF&Co. b.v. in Amsterdam, Netherlands, his own holding company which invests in and develops new consumer brands for itself and for third-party customers. Activities included functional foods consulting for mid-sized, and large multinational companies, a US-based partnership selling an energy drink in a new packaging concept, as well as the production and distribution of a functional dairy product, together with Nestle. He also served as Executive Board Member at EM-TV & Merchandising AG in Munich, Germany. During most of the 1990’s, Hans held various positions with Red Bull Energy Drink GmbH., based in Fuschl am See, Austria. He was responsible for initiating, managing and overseeing the introduction of Red Bull Energy Drink into 24 different countries and later was Managing Director for Red Bull North America in Los Angeles, U.S.A., starting the business from scratch. Before Red Bull, Hans worked with Procter & Gamble in Austria and in Germany. He started his career in the chocolate industry with Mars/Effem in Spain and in the Netherlands after completing post graduate work in the advertising business at Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Hans holds a BBA in Marketing from the Nijenrode Business University in Breukelen, Netherlands and an MBA in Marketing/International Business from the University of Oregon in Eugene, U.S.A. His education further includes executive management education at Stanford University, U.S.A. He is a Dutch national.
Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finished product on the store shelf. With annual sales of more than CHF 4.1 billion for fiscal year 2006/07, the Zurich-based company is present in 25 countries, operates about 40 production facilities and employs some 7,500 people.
George F. Will
America's Foremost Political Columnist
George Will is virtually unmatched in political scholarship and insight. He is incisive and influential. He delivers witty, trenchant, always informed commentary on the current American political scene. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and Newsweek essayist George Will is the country’s most widely read political columnist, as well as its foremost conservative voice. His popular syndicated column appears in one out of every four daily newspapers, and he appears regularly on ABC’s This Week. He has gained the respect of Americans for his lucid and witty commentary on issues of national importance—including the 2008 presidential election—which he shares with audiences across the country. Perhaps there’s no political acumen more finely honed than George Will’s. And perhaps no one has more or better insights into the issues and political realities of today. As one of the most respected and sought after political commentators on the national scene, he provides you with an informed and expert view on the issues.
In addition to ABC News political analyst responsibilities, George Will writes a twice-weekly column for The Washington Post syndicate that reaches nearly 500 newspapers throughout the United States and Europe. He is a prolific author with books ranging from The Woven Figure: Conservatism and America’s Fabric to Bunts to his latest, One Man's America (June 2008).
Darcy Winslow,Founder, Designs for a Sustainable World Consulting
and Long-Standing Executive of Nike, Inc.
Darcy is currently on a one year Senior Advisor assignment with the Nike Foundation, which seeks to empower disadvantaged girls ages 10 to 19 years, through poverty alleviation and creating economic livelihood opportunities. She most recently co-led a holistic Business Re-Alignment effort within the Nike Brand.
She has worked at Nike for 20 years and has held many positions within the business, including Biomechanical Researcher; Director of Footwear and Apparel Product Testing; Product Development Manager; core team member of Nike’s Footwear Business Reengineering initiative; Director of Advanced Research and Development; Global Director for Footwear Research, Design and Development; and General Manager of Sustainable Business Strategies, a role focused on developing and implementing more environmental and socially sustainable business strategies across the organization. In 2001 she led the creation of the Women’s Footwear Division as General Manager, and then in 2004 she led the creation of Nike’s Global Women’s Fitness Footwear, Apparel and Equipment business as General Manager.
Darcy received her BS in Exercise Science and MS in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics, and is a 2003 graduate of the Stanford Executive Program. She has served on several boards, including the International Sustainable Development Foundation, the China-US Council on Sustainable Development and the American Heart Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for SOLV, an Oregon non-profit; the Board of Advisors for World Pulse Media/Pulse Wire and the Board of Advisors for Greenopolis. In her spare time, she participates in a variety of sports.
Harold W. Young, Inc.
Harold W. Young Inc. is a regional brokerage company specializing in confectionery and snack sales. Harold W. Young Inc. is a founding member of the Consolidated Sales Network (CSN) which is dedicated to providing national broker representation while focusing on local coverage and support. Andrew has been with the firm for the past 20 years, where his vast experience includes General Management of the company, managing their Convenience and Vending business in New England, managing their New York State brokerage office, managing their Retail Merchandising Operation For Convenience and serving as Account Executive and Key Account Sales Responsibility. Andrew is Trade Show Chairman for the New England Convenience Store Association and serves on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Vending Association. He earned his BA from Brown University in International Relations, conducted his Post Graduate Studies in Economics at Di Tella Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina and earned his MBA from Boston University.
Nancy Zwiers, Chief Executive Officer
Funosophy, Inc. is a full-service kids’ product design and marketing firm working with over 150 of the top kids’ for toys, collectibles and entertainment products industries manufacturers in the country. Founded in 2000, Funosophy has worked with top companies such as Hasbro, Fisher Price, and Disney, as well as over 90 other clients.
Nancy first honed her management skills over a decade in classical packaged goods at Fortune 500 companies, such as Procter & Gamble, Heinz and Tambrands. Subsequently, she has spent the last 16 years in toys, licensing, and kids marketing. She held a variety of executive positions at Mattel during her ten-year tenure there, ultimately rising to Senior Vice President and Division General Manager. As Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Barbie®, she pioneered a host of innovative initiatives, growing the Barbie brand by $700 million in just five years, to its peak sales level of more than $1.8 billion. Nancy was part of the executive team at Mattel, regularly interfacing with the company’s CEO, COO, CFO, and others in top management.
An accomplished and poised public speaker, Nancy was frequently chosen to represent Mattel to the media and she has appeared on TV extensively. She has received numerous industry awards, including being named the toy industry’s Wonder Woman of the Year in 2005.