Progressive Grocer’s Grocery Impact Event Offered Leadership Strategies for an Industry Undergoing Transformation

Progressive Grocer and Grocery Impact are Produced by EnsembleIQ

CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Grocery industry leaders gathered in Orlando from November 7-9 to share knowledge, connect for future progress and celebrate achievements at Progressive Grocer’s Grocery Impact. Progressive Grocer, the No. 1 grocery industry business intelligence provider, and Grocery Impact are both produced by EnsembleIQ. With a theme of “The Power of People,” the meeting of grocery industry minds offered three days of insightful sessions led by thought leaders and executives across the retail, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and solution provider as well as the annual Top Women in Grocery and GenNext Awards programs.

Progressive Grocer Editor-in-Chief, Gina Acosta said, “Our reinvented event offered an event focused on new leadership strategies for an industry undergoing tremendous transformation. With an outstanding roster of grocery leaders speaking and a schedule full of activities, networking and awards, Grocery Impact provided grocer leaders with the critical information they need as the industry continues to evolve.”

Grocery Impact highlights:

  • In the captivating keynote address, Cultivating a Thriving Company Culture: Unleashing the Power of People, Tammy DeBoer, President, Harris Teeter discussed the significance of company culture and its profound impact on organizational success. She also shared five things that help create a good culture and ensure its success.
  • Whole Foods Market CEO Jason Buechel, introduced by Garry Church, SVP, Enterprise Strategy & Development, Inmar Intelligence, captivated the audience with his presentation, Purpose- and People-Driven. Buechel shared how Whole Food Market is helping support global food systems and is on the cusp of a new era where they collectively extend their commitment to climate-smart agriculture.
  • John Ruane, president, The Giant Co. presented Secrets of a 100-Year-Old Grocer. Ruane discussed the importance of putting the right team together and why successful organizations with longevity are the ones that focus on their legacy and heritage. Ruane also acknowledged the tough position food retailers currently find themselves in following multiple years of inflation, a global pandemic and myriad supply chain woes.
  • Lowes Foods President Tim Lowe, discussed, The Future of Grocery, with Diana Medina, Vice President, Retail Transformation, Inmar Intelligence. Lowe shared messages that were uplifting and practical for grocers and partners as they strive to create inspiring experiences and opportunities. Lowe highlighted the way Lowes Foods transformed itself from “bland” to a destination and how “eatertainment” has distinguished the company.
  • Brookshire Grocery Co. Chief Financial Officer Michael Arnett presented “The Brookshire Way.” Arnett shared how Brookshire’s values have helped the company as it focuses on growth and investment, opening and remodeling stores. Arnett offered advice to leaders to embrace new technology, remain resilient and flexible in the midst of change, keep customer service a top priority, gain cross-knowledge to develop skill sets and serve as a mentor.
  • Kroger’s Chief People Officer Tim Massa discussed how the company creates “people champions” and how to create a framework for both associate and customer experiences during the presentation Building a Workforce for the Future.
  • “Waste is Only Waste if You Waste It’,” with Suzanne Long, chief sustainability and transformation officer at Albertsons Cos. Long and Nicholas Bertram, president and CEO of Flashfood, discussed how grocers are reaching their waste reduction goals and will underscore the power of synergy between driving sustainability and improving business performance.
  • “A New ESG Roadmap for Grocers” was presented by Upshop CEO Shamus Hines, Hy-Vee’s SVP, Government Relations & Corporate Compliance Stacey Johnson, and Save A Lot’s Chief Digital and Information Officer Jennifer Hopper. The trio detailed the hottest ESG trends in grocery now and the most innovative ways to meet those goals in a way that helps ensure long-term business viability.
  • Claire Wyatt, VP Business Strategy & Marketing Science, at Albertsons Media Collective, spoke with Leah Logan, VP and General Manager, Retail Media at Inmar Intelligence to present Harnessing the Power of Retail Media.
  • Pam Dillon, Co-founder and CEO, and Andrew Sussman, Co-founder and CTO at Preferabli presented Using GenAI to Drive Sales in Wine, Spirits and Food.
  • Jenn Hahn, Founder and CEO of J Recruiting Services, talked with Rachel Caruso, Corporate Labor Relations at Wakefern Food Corp about The Power of Future-Focused Recruiting.
  • Mindy Sherwood, President, Global Walmart and Chief Sales Officer at Procter & Gamble presented, Be the Difference Maker – Raising the Bar to Breakthrough in Every Role, during a fireside chat with Progressive Grocer Editor-in-Chief, Gina Acosta.
  • Amanda Trent, Talent Development Strategy & Deployment Leader at The Kroger Co., talked with Emily Henao, Director of Customer Loyalty at Meijer at a Resiliency Roundtable.
  • Three top women in private label: Kasey Sheffer, VP, Own Brands at Giant Eagle; Alison Gregas, Director of Private Brands at Weis Markets; and Catherine Misour, Innovation Manager at Giant Eagle discussed the next frontier in the private label space.
  • Rebecca Torpie, Director of Marketing at BriarPatch Food Co-op, joined by Kathy Scott, Store Director at Balls Food Stores, and Jennifer Enoch, Director of Talant Acquisition at Lowes Foods discussed how to break molds and turn insights into actions in Getting Your Voice Heard.
  • Bernhard Schweitzer, CEO, and Bernhard Heiden, Creative Director, at Interstore Schweitzer presented a case study of best-in-class Irish grocer Dunnes Stores and led a discussion about technology, design and operations during the What U.S. Grocers Can Learn from their European Counterparts presentation.
  • Johanna McLeod, Store Manager at LIDL, took the stage with Evelyn Dewane, District VP at Reasor's offered insights in Secrets of Store Manager Leadership.
  • Stephanie Jordan, Division Asset Protection & Safety Manager at Kroger Co., presented with Christin Berry Asset Protection Manager at The Giant Co. to discuss how to handle adverse events in Dealing with Disaster.
  • LaTonya King, Senior Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Organizational Development and Talent Acquisition at Food Lion, explored DEI in Action with Jordan Aldrich, Director, Team Member Engagement at Meijer
  • A trio of Gen Z college student leaders – Candy Lim, Allison Quick and Lily Zwanka – at Western Michigan University’s acclaimed food marketing program, along with WMU’s Russell Zwanka, head of that program, author and professor presented How Gen Z is Changing Grocery.
  • Hanneke Faber, President, Unilever delivered the presentation Forces for Good in Food.

Grocery Impact celebrated the individuals and companies making a difference in the grocery industry.

  • The Top Women in Grocery (TWIG), now in its 17th year, brought over 400 winners together to discuss the important issues facing women in the industry, and the Top Women in Grocery Awards Gala is the most prestigious honor for female leaders in the grocery industry. Top Women in Grocery award winners represent all levels in the industry in the retailer and supplier communities. Meet the honorees here.
  • The GenNext Awards program features innovators, disruptors and difference-makers having an impact on their organization, the industry and colleagues. They are young professionals who possess that “it” factor and sets them apart as next-generation industry leaders. Click here to meet all of the emerging leaders.

Acosta added, “Congratulations to the winners of the Top Women in Grocery and GenNext Awards programs. We are impressed by all of your accomplishments and the impact you have had on our industry. We wish you continued success in your careers.”

Grocery Impact sponsors included: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Finlays, Flashfood, Harkins, Hershey, Inmar Intelligence, International Spice, Jordan's Skinny Mixes, J Recruiting Services, Kellogg Company, LaCroix, Nestlé Purina, PepsiCo, Preferabli, Procter & Gamble, Red Bull, Schweitzer, St Pierre, The Coca-Cola Company, The Fish Agency, The USA Bouquet Company, Upshop and Upside

Grocery Impact 2024 will take place Nov. 6-8 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando. For sponsorship opportunities, click here.

About Progressive Grocer
Progressive Grocer is the No. 1 business intelligence brand in the grocery industryconnecting the market’s most important retailers. Through its leading industry reporting, digital platforms, research, relevant and focused events and sophisticated industry database, retailers turn to Progressive Grocer for guidance in navigating the fast-paced, ever-changing industry.

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About EnsembleIQ
EnsembleIQ is the premier resource of actionable insights and connections powering business growth throughout the path to purchase. We help retail, technology, consumer goods, healthcare and hospitality professionals make informed decisions and gain a competitive advantage. EnsembleIQ delivers the most trusted business intelligence from leading industry experts, creative marketing solutions and impactful event experiences that connect best-in-class suppliers and service providers with our vibrant business-building communities. To learn more about EnsembleIQ, visit

Media Contact
Gina Acosta
Progressive Grocer