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Walmart COO Gisel Ruiz to headline Executive Leaders Forum

Monday, April 02, 2012  
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Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president and COO of Walmart U.S. and one of the highest ranking women in the consumer products and retail industry, will share her personal insights at the sixth annual Network of Executive Leaders Forum July 31-Aug. 2 at the Terranea Resort near Los Angeles. More than 200 senior-level leaders from the cpg/retail industry are expected to attend the three-day, invitation-only event.

The theme of the three-day Forum is "Creating and Living your Legacy.” Senior executives from across the industry will learn how to "break through daily demands to make a lasting mark on their organizations, create a life plan to accomplish cherished goals and help develop women leaders to build a living legacy."

"Opportunities to make a lasting impact are all around, and women leaders are uniquely positioned to impact their colleagues and organizations by promoting sustainability, creating a culture of opportunity and opening the door for the next generation," according to the Network. "While there are still not enough female role models in American business, history is rich with bold women leaders, from Sacagawea to Susan B. Anthony, from Harriet Tubman to Melinda Gates. These women created lasting legacies and so can you."

LIF Group CEO Blythe McGarvie, the former CFO of BIC and author of Shaking the Globe: Courageous Decision-Makers in a Changing World, will be the Forum’s opening keynote speaker. She will share her experiences as a leader in the Fortune 500 and discuss how women can "stop playing it safe and lead change around the world." Ruiz will explore what it means to be a pioneer and role model for other women and outline what the world’s largest retailer is doing to advance women.

The program will include a special address by Janice Madden, a professor of regional science, sociology and real estate at the University of Pennsylvania and author of five books. Madden will examine the cultural, social and economic changes needed to advance women and what senior cpg/retail leaders can do to create change.

A panel of industry experts will continue the conversation by offering their experiences as advocates for women in the industry. Lynn Marmer, chief compliance officer for The Kroger Co.; Nancy Croitoru, president and CEO of Food & Consumer Products of Canada; David Williams, CEO of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP; and Kelly Semrau, senior vice president, global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability for SC Johnson, will share the strategies they’ve employed for retaining and promoting female leaders.

Featured speaker Laree Renda, Safeway Inc.’s executive vice president and president of the Safeway Health Company, will speak on the Forum's closing day, August 2. The food industry executive will share her career journey and offer advice for staying on task and how to blaze a trail for others.

Influence, sustainability and diversity

The NEW Executive Leaders Forum will feature three 90-minute workshops on influence, sustainability and diversity. During "Influence: Expand Your Influence, Create Your Legacy,” industry veterans Angela Joyner, vice president of ConAgra Foods; Donna Giordano, president of the Kroger Co.’s Ralphs division; and Roz Hudnell, CDO and global director of education and external relations for Intel Corp., will lead exercises designed to help leaders align their strengths with their aspirations.

"Sustainability: Building a Lasting Legacy at Your Organization” will feature Kellie McElhaney, an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business; Christy Consler, vice president of sustainability for Safeway Inc.; and Bruce Karas, vice president, environment and sustainability for Coca-Cola Refreshments. The panel of sustainability experts will look at what it takes to be a responsible steward for your company and community.

"Diversity: Becoming a Powerful Champion for Other Women," will feature Robin Ely, senior associate dean for culture and community for Harvard Business School; Jenna Dudevoir, director of marketing for Kalypso; Sandra Finley, president of the League of Black Women; and Lisbeth McNabb, CEO and founder of w2wlink. The panel will address ways women can support other women in the workplace.

Networking opportunities will include peer learning, two dinners and receptions, a Forum luncheon and breakfasts and breaks. For the second consecutive year, the Forum will be held at the 102-acre Terranea Resort on the Palo Verdes peninsula, 16 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport.

Attendance at the Forum is limited and capped by company. For information on how you can attend, contact your Network Ambassador.

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