NEW collaborates at WMU Food Marketing Conference
Thursday, March 29, 2012
The Network of Executive
Women's Western Michigan group was front and center at Western Michigan
University's 47th Annual Food Marketing Conference. The conference, held
March 26-27, 2012 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo, featured NEW
members and other speakers from Network sponsor companies.
The program, which
attracted more than 475 students, educators and industry leaders, included
executive panels and educational breakout sessions on food retailing trends,
digital media and selling to the Millennial generation.
"Having such great
collaboration between WMU and NEW resulted in a very successful event for both groups,”
said Joy Nicholas, vice president of business development for Balance
Innovations and chair of the Network’s scholarship committee. "Only positive
opportunities can come from supporting the women and students who represent our
industry in the western Michigan market, and I am very proud to be involved
with both organizations.”
During the conference’s
opening session, John Phillips, senior vice president, customer supply chain
and logistics for PepsiCo Inc., offered 12 trends that will affect society,
shopper behavior, the environment and technology. Among the trends identified
as changing the way consumers shop: increased urbanization, an aging
population, increased spread of wealth, escalated need for technology, a
greater demand for customer service and a heavy focus on health and wellness.
Phillips also focused on a growing concern about sustainability, a shift in
economic power, a scarcity of natural resources, an increase in regulatory
pressure, rapid adoption of supply chain resources and the impact of next
A group of industry
veterans explored the topic further. Panelists Carla Cooper, president and CEO
of Daymon Worldwide; Rob Bartles, president and CEO of Martins Supermarkets;
J.K. Symancyk, executive vice president forMeijer Inc.; Darcey Macken,
senior vice president, customer development for Kellogg Company; and
Monica Hysell, vice president of Abbott Nutrition, offered practical insights,
tips and strategies on how they are managing industry trends to gain a competitive
advantage. The panel was moderated by NEW Board member Trudy Bourgeois, founder
of the Center for Workforce Excellence.
"Every leader will be
impacted by globalization, technology, the aging population, social media, and
increasing spread of wealth,” Bourgeois said. "The leaders who will act now
will be the winners. They will be the ones to help their organizations make the
changes needed to experience breakthrough success and sustainability.”
Morning speakers March 27 included retired U.S. Army Lt. Col.
Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, who offered her experiences in leadership, and
Todd Hale, senior vice president for Consumer & Shopper Insights, who
revealed critical trends as food competition heats up.
featured Kevin Weisberg, chief marketing officer for Lunchbox: Shopper
Engagement Solutions, who addressed the role of digital and social media in
shopper engagement; Craig Rosenblum, a partner at Willard Bishop Consulting,
who offered winning retail strategies; and diversity expert Marilyn Moats
Kennedy, who discussed how the Millennial generation will change food shopping.
"If you don’t highlight
the number of calories in your product, you do not win with the younger
audience,” Moats Kennedy said. "You must be upfront, transparent and completely
honest when you deal with the younger generation.”
A panel of retail
leaders -- Sheila Laing, vice president of human resources for Hy-Vee; Dona
Kotzur, regional director, customer service for H-E-B; Diana Copland, vice
president of operations for Busch's Fresh Food Market; and David Figurelli,
president of ShopRite Supermarkets — engaged in a lively discussion on how to
create great customer experiences. The panel was moderated by Paul Madura, senior
advisor of Endeavor Management.
"We all serve
customers,” Madura said. "Whether daily, weekly or monthly, every interaction
allows us to get a rating with our customers. The customer is in control today
more than ever before. Good news travels fast, bad news even faster.”
highlights included Susan O'Malley, former president of the NBA's Washington
Wizards Sports and Entertainment, who offered advice on connecting with others;
and Bill Dankworth, vice president of grocery merchandising, natural foods
and procurement for The Kroger Company, who gave his insights on engaging
customers in today's marketplace.
NEW Western Michigan Treasurer Erica Plummer of
Abbott Nutrition and NEW Western Michigan Secretary
Amy Goodrow of Colgate-Palmolive participated in the
47th Annual WMU Food Marketing Conference in Kalamazoo.
NEW Western Michigan
committee members (from left) Amy
Goodrow, Jaynee Sherman, Erica
Plummer, Ashleigh Gage and Jody
Hartson join U.S. Army Lt. Col (retired)
Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch.