Retail Tomorrow is an industry initiative powered by GMDC that organizes a community of thought leaders from retailers, brands, innovators, investors and universities dedicated to enhancing the seamless shopper experiences in retail.
We provide a collaborative platform for executives in the retail industry to share insights and learnings to capitalize on the evolution of the shopper experience.
We created this platform to give executives the opportunity to immerse themselves into an innovative mindset to compete and stay relevant in today’s dynamic marketplace. As the consumer gains more accessibility to information through different platforms and marketing tools, the retailers and brands of today need to evolve their consumer engagement strategies throughout the shopper journey – from discovery to loyalty.
Who We Are
We are a community of retailers, brands, service providers and innovators who uncover opportunities in a dynamic retail environment and co-create actionable solutions to meet the changing consumer's needs.
Trey is currently the Principal at The Solutions Network and Propeller Retail. He is the former CEO of Front Flip and Mercury Retail Services. He has over 15 years of experience in retail in leadership, logistics, merchandising, distribution, sales, marketing and IT development.
VP of Innovation - GMDC | Innovation - Procter and Gamble
Mark has been an innovator in retail for years. He was a career P&G guy, holding a variety of management positions in the U.S and abroad. He also led their sales innovation efforts which established a network of Retail Innovation centers in the U.S and internationally.
Executive Vice President Industry Affairs - ACOSTA
More than 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, industry relations and business development, with a demonstrated track record of developing strategies that strengthen market position and enhance revenue growth.
Alison Castillo began her career at Unilever in 2005. She was recruited as an ENACTUS student while attending Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, where she graduated with a degree in Business Marketing. She has since held various positions of escalating responsibility in customer development, trade marketing, and brand planning. With proven success in marketing strategy, sales planning, cross-functional teamwork, and people development, she has been recognized consistently for leadership aptitude both at work and in the community. She is currently pioneering the leadership role of the Director of Industry Relations and Sustainable Living at Unilever. Additionally, demonstrating her passion for diversity in the workforce, Alison has served on the board of the Women's Interactive Network since 2011 driving the growth, satisfaction and success of women at Unilever. In 2014, she also helped to bolster the efforts of the Women Grocers of America by joining the Board of Directors. She and her husband, Alex, reside in the Upper West Side of New York City and are expecting their first child in August of 2015. They love to explore whether it be around their great city or abroad.
Kosta Skoulikaris is currently a Senior Vice President of Nielsen Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab is responsible for the execution of Nielsen’s next generation, person-level ROI tools, including its multi-touch attribution (MTA) solution. MTA is Nielsen’s household-level methodology that provides clients marketing ROI at a granular level (e.g., by creative, by site, by platform, by keyword).
Prior to his current role, Mr. Skoulikaris was the VP-Marketing Effectiveness Practice Lead for Kraft, Miller Coors, and Walgreen; supporting all of Nielsen’s ad effectiveness products being delivered to assess audience reach, brand resonance, and sales reaction.
Vice President Industry Initiatives at Kellogg Company
Mike Carter is the founder and CEO of Optemerge, an M&A and Growth Strategies Advisory Firm. Mike provides a vast array of skills and experience which were developed over the past 25 years as a senior executive and officer of TNG, a division of the Jim Pattison Group. Mike had the unique opportunity to learn the wholesale/retail distribution and consumer goods merchandising industries by starting from the ground up, working in every facet of the business with progressively expanding responsibility. Most recently responsible for leading Corporate Development of the organization. Previous responsibilities included leading all Sales, Marketing, and Business Development efforts. Mike is an entrepreneur at heart and enjoyed building and growing business. Optemerge begins each endeavor with a focus on refining the business growth strategy and then aligning the acquisition plan to ensure a successful long-term overall company growth strategy.
Patrick Spear is the President/CEO of Global Market Development Center (GMDC), an international trade association for GM and HBW connectivity, education and research. He joined the association in 2014, after nearly two decades of involvement with GMDC as a supplier member during his tenure with multiple CPG manufacturers. Patrick has been active in the consumer and office products industry for over 25 years. Beginning his career with BIC Corporation, Patrick gained valuable insights and steady career advancement at BIC, and during his subsequent tenure with Newell Rubbermaid, Mapa Spontex, Identity Group, and Mammoth Office Products. His career experience spans the continuum, from retail sales representative (BIC) to CEO/Managing Director (Identity Group and Mammoth). Born and raised near Pasadena, CA, Patrick holds BA degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a MBA degree from the University of San Diego.
Keith Wypyszynski is Vice President of Business Development and Chief Member Officer (CMO) of GMDC. In this role, he has responsibility for the development of programs and offerings to the members of GMDC in the areas of marketing, education and training, research, business and consumer insights and member resources. Prior to joining the GMDC staff in 2006, Mr. Wypyszynski held increasing management responsibilities with Wyeth, through the divisions of Whitehall Laboratories, A. H. Robins, Lederle Consumer Health, and Wyeth Consumer Healthcare. Keith played instrumental roles in the development of the consumer products segments as Senior Vice President, Trade Development, Senior Vice President, Analgesics Business Unit, and Senior Vice President, Sales. He is a graduate of St. Norbert College, in DePere, Wisconsin.
Director of Research, Industry Insights & Communications
Director of Research, Industry Insights & Communication
Mark Mechelse began his tenure with GMDC in 2011 as Director of Research, Industry Insights & Communications, and provides a voice for retailers, suppliers and shopper perspectives. Mark is responsible for leading the Educational Leadership Council that delivers the latest insights and next-practices with a total "go-to-market" process in the CPG industry. Mark's professional history began in the Advertising and Marketing sector in development of his privately owned ad agency near Toronto, Canada, with a focus on brand invention, corporate promotion and sponsorship acquisition. From there, Mark joined the Social Expressions industry as Creative & Marketing Communications Director of 10 years with the 3rd largest greeting card company, Paramount Cards/Image Craft. Mark has also led custom product and private label development teams to produce successful seasonal and everyday line-offerings for Costco, QVC, Barnes & Noble, Vera Bradley, Thomas Nelson, and Dave Ramsey with AIM Global of Nashville, TN. Mark has a degree in Advertising & Marketing from Sheridan College in Toronto, Canada. Mark, his wife Jody, and their 2 children, Isaiah and Lauryn, live in Colorado Springs.
Additional GMDC Boards that participate in the Retail Tomorrow community
Elisabeth specializes in Facebook advertising, marketing strategies and strategic growth for all industries. Her ability to create ROI for her clients by utilizing Facebook & social media as an advertising channel has earned her the ranking of the TOP 1% of Facebook Advertisers in the world
Accomplished private banker specializing in business banking treasury and cash management, with a comprehensive background in personal private banking. Innovator in enhancing the client experience with a breadth of knowledge and by providing exceptional service.
Ian spent over 13 years at Mars candy working his way from the treasury department to the director of trade for Mars. Ian’s relationships are extensive in the grocery and convenience channel and he brings tremendous experience helping companies navigate the waters in these channels. Ian is currently the VP of Strategic Partnerships for Compass Marketing in Annapolis, Maryland.
Jason brings a resourceful history of managing high-tech businesses with extensive experience as an entrepreneurial company builder. He co-founded a team to build one of the first Internet Hosting facilities (NAP) that was acquired by IXC/Broadwing in the mid-90s. The same team went on to pioneer the CRM Industry developing Customer Management and eCommerce software with the financial support of Austin Ventures, Origin Partners, Goldman Sachs and SAP Ventures. Recognized by Red Herring, Digital South, and KPMG for "Industry Leadership", the company was acquired by i2 Technologies late '99. Jason then co-founded a team that pioneered the Web Services and Portal market and were acquired by iSyndicate in '01. He built a photo/video sharing community in '05 that grew to 1M unique visitors/year and has since been acquired by Scout.com.
George spent 25 years on the retail side of the CPG business, rising through store management, store layout and design to Vice President of GM/HBW. Since 2003 George has led the F&M Merchant Group as Managing Partner/Owner where he recently launched the Skinnygirl® Candy brand, two international grocery category leaders with combined annual sales exceeding $9 billion, and a diverse range of innovative brands in several GM, HBC, Grocery, Snack and Beverage categories. George has facilitated global educational courses across the USA, Australia, Mexico City and Chile for major national brands such as Unilever, Hormel, Pepsi and M&M Mars focused on Category Management, Effective Selling and Retailer Financials. His experience on both sides of the desk provides a unique ability to bring added value to both the retailer and the manufacturer.
For twenty years, Greg was at Hallmark Cards. Throughout his career as a supplier and retailer (Bi-mart CMO), he understood that the power of a great consumer brand was only as good as the retail partner selling it. With those building blocks of experience from both sides of the desk, Greg applies a unique and balanced perspective to consumer products. Whether launching new products or re-branding existing ones.
Director for the Center of Integrated Design - UT Austin | Strategic Director - SKU
Doreen Lorenzo is a successful leader of global creative firms who has advised Fortune 100 companies on design and innovation issues for decades. The former president of the global design firms, frog and Quirky, she is now a co-founder of the mobile video insights firm Vidlet, a board member and advisor of several startups, and a columnist for Fast Company Co.Design and Medium. A recognized thought leader on business and design issues, Doreen was president of Quirky, where she oversaw product development and operations. Prior to Quirky she worked at frog for 16 years, including seven years as president. While president of frog she drove company strategy, oversaw worldwide operations and delivery, and led the iconic design firm to record growth. As a thought leader on design and innovation, Doreen is a frequent resource to various business publications. She has been featured in ABC News, Bloomberg Radio, Fast Company, Fortune, The New York Times, and many other media. She served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies (2011-2012) and Emerging Multi Nationals (2013-2014).
Founder and President of SKU/Partner - MWR Legal | Founder of Entrepreneurial Bar Association
Shari Wynne Ressler is an Austin-based entrepreneur and attorney passionate about helping people achieve success. Shari is Founder/President of SKU (formerly Incubation Station), a leading consumer products accelerator that rapidly scales market-validated brands, and Founder/President of MWR Legal (www.mwrlegal.com), a full-service law firm representing and connecting innovators, startups and high-growth companies since 1996. In 2015, Shari co-launched the Entrepreneurial Law Bar Association (EBA), founded to bring together business counsel worldwide to inform how to represent clients and foster growth in the new economy. Shari is an avid mentor, investor, active participant in the Austin entrepreneurial ecosystem, a past-president of the Austin chapter of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) and RISE women. She holds a BA from UC Davis and a JD from the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Marcus Whitney is an entrepreneur, actively leading companies that he owns: - Jumpstart Foundry, an early stage healthcare innovation fund. - Health:Further, an inclusive community of people passionate about innovation in Healthcare. - Nashville SC, Nashville's professional soccer club, set to begin play in March 2018. - The Unlikely Company, a public benefit corporation dedicated to inspiring and educating a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Doug is a co-founder and serves as the Chief Revenue Officer of eyeQ, Inc., the leading provider of fully-aware and responsive digital signage technology. Prior to joining eyeQ, Doug helped bring new concepts to market in a variety of industries and company sizes, from startups to Fortune 500. He served as the Chief Growth Officer of the Austin-based management consulting firm Growtheorem and as Area Vice President for the Central Region of Caremark (now CVS Caremark), and was President of the Austin Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. He previously held several leadership, sales, and large account management roles in large national high-growth companies. Doug earned his BA in English from Rice University.
Joined Rutter’s in April, 2013. He has over 20 years of results developing successful brands and businesses into billion dollar plus enterprises. His expertise in marketing, merchandising, advertising, multimedia, digital, mobile, social media, and loyalty programs are key competencies to enabling successful integrated go to market strategies that build lifelong relationships with Rutter’s customers to drive business growth.
Prior to joining Rutter’s, Derek was the SVP of Marketing & Merchandising for Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores, MACS, the largest Exxon Mobil branded wholesaler in the country with 300+ retail and wholesale stores. He helped lead a team to successfully rebrand, re-merchandise, and re-launch 60+ retail locations as part of an exclusive brand developer agreement with Circle K.
Previously, he was Vice President of Marketing for the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS, and drove integrated marketing and communications efforts to provide knowledge, connections, and advocacy to NACS retail and supplier members.
Prior to joining NACS, Derek worked for 8 years as the Director of Marketing for Giant Eagle Inc., the Pittsburgh, PA.-based company that operates more than 220 Giant Eagle grocery stores and 150 GetGo convenience stores. He was instrumental in the brand development of GetGo, fuelperks!, Market District, and Giant Eagle Express stores; and also provided marketing leadership for beer, wine, spirits, video, retail banking, and center store grocery categories.
His prior experiences include a number of major companies including Nabisco Foods, Goldman Sachs, and Procter & Gamble. He is an experienced brand developer, chief marketer, merchant, and innovator that has launched numerous packaged goods, CRM and retail brands and store formats.
He attended the University of Iowa where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, BBA in 1994. He received his MBA from the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University with concentrations in Finance, Marketing, and Real Estate in 1998.
Steve Birkhold is a 30 year veteran of the Fashion industry. He has an extensive record of effective and multifaceted experience leading globally recognized brands having served as the CEO of BEBE Stores, Lacoste, Diesel and Earl Jeans, along with 10 plus years at VF Corporation working with Lee Jeans and Nautica Jeans. His expertise covers all aspects of the P&L along with merchandising, marketing, retail, wholesale and e-commerce.
Social Council Co-Chair
SVP and Partner Digital Engagement at Fleishman Hillard
I am a storyteller at heart, with over 15 years of integrated marketing experience specializing in social media, content strategy and influencer relationship management.
I am an ad guy and entrepreneur at heart. I love to develop strategy, build teams and execute vision into something powerful for Clients. I'm passionate about social and the opportunity it presents to Brands to create emotional connections with customers that drive brand affinity, engagement, advocacy and ultimately business results. Over the past 11 years I've been fortunate enough to grow my career through amazing experiences, working for BBDO, The Richards Group and FlieshmanHillard on brands like Google, Chevrolet, AT&T Wireless, The Home Depot, Chick-fil-A, The Weather Channel and Michaels.
Specialties: CRM, Strategic Development, Social Business (word-of-mouth), Branding, Marketing Consulting, Competitive Tracking, Photography, Production
CEO, Connection Silicon Valley | Advisor, THNK School of Creative Leadership
Joanne is the CEO of Connection Silicon Valley, an organization that helps companies connect, collaborate, innovate and partner with the Valley's successful startup, investment, and tech ecosystem. Joanne's strengths lie in building strong networks, working with people that are passionate about creating change, and helping executives drive innovative in their organization. She has 20 years experience in both Canada and the U.S. ranging from finance to consulting to business development to events and fundraising. Joanne’s experience is diverse, having worked for startups, corporates, as well as ran several nonprofit organizations. She works with a number of startups, scale ups and corporates — all who come with a deep desire to incorporate the best of Silicon Valley into their growth strategy. Joanne currently focuses on retail, life sciences and women in tech.
A 16-year veteran at Whole Foods Market, Mitch Madoff oversees the company’s private label brands, including Whole Foods Market, 365 Everyday Value, Engine 2 Plant-Strong, Whole Paws and Whole Catch. Madoff discovered his passion for food while attending Tulane University in New Orleans, and he got his first taste of the food industry in Washington, D.C., where he worked behind the meat and seafood counter at a Dean & Deluca store. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Madoff held positions at several New York specialty catering businesses. In 2001 he joined Whole Foods Market as a chef at the Chelsea store, the company’s first Manhattan location. He excelled in the prepared foods department, and then as a specialty foods coordinator for the company’s Northeast Region, and most recently, as regional vice president of purchasing. In 2013, Madoff relocated to the company’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, to oversee Whole Foods Market’s private label brands. Madoff holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and an associate degree from the Culinary Institute of America. When not working, he enjoys hiking, cooking Mediterranean food and foraging for products at farmers markets.
Lisa Pounds serves as Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Green Plate Foods. Ms. Pounds founded GPF in January 2010 and has acted as CEO since inception. Lisa is a mom who is passionate about great tasting nutritious food. GPF was born from the idea that there must be other busy consumers who don’t have the time to prepare nutritious and delicious ready to eat snacks and treats.
Privately held Houston Company, Green Plate Foods manufactures and sells snacks Nationally that are made with the highest quality ingredients and offer great nutrition while maintaining delicious taste. Targeted to retail, hospitality, luxury resorts, healthcare institutions, and schools, GPF products are clean, tasty and affordable and created under the guidance of a registered dietitian and trained chefs. GPF offers snacks that also benefit lower sugar, gluten-free, dairy free and vegetarian diets. GPF products can be found in over 300 locations and growing, found in H-E-B stores statewide, Whole Foods Market Southwest Region, Kroger in Texas, My Fit Foods in the South West, Freshii in Texas and countless hospitals, hotels, resorts and markets.
Prior to Green Plate Foods, Lisa was in the insurance brokerage and risk management consulting business focused on the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries for 13 years in New York and Houston. Ms. Pounds was responsible for sales, marketing, client management and held several management positions. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a Speech Communication degree.
Lisa was nominated in 2012 as a Top 25 National Foodie Mom for her blog, “Lisa’s Green Plate Blog”. She was honored by the Texas Governor in the 2013 Texas State of the State Address honoring Green Plate as a growing and successful new business in Houston. Lisa was also honored in 2014 by the Houston Business Journal as a Top 40 under 40 award recipient. Lisa is a member of the River Oaks Women’s Breakfast Club, member and past board member of the Bellaire Young Mom’s Club, a member of Houston Culinary Guild and is a regular speaker at on the importance of healthy eating, and is an advocate for women and entrepreneurs in business.
Paul is the founder and CEO of OnQ, which leads the tech industry in large scale category displays and branded retail display ecosystems. He is also the founder of June20.com a start-up dedicated to bringing relevant & intuitive interactive displays to traditional retail.
Adam Simons is the head of Clorox's Emerging Brands group. He has responsibility for leading the strategy, operations, and P&L of a high growth part of the company's portfolio. Prior to this role, Adam worked in Clorox's corporate business development group, and had earlier positions within the Glad Joint Venture (a partnership between Clorox and Procter & Gamble) and in Corporate Innovation.
Adam has marketing, corporate strategy, and general management experience across a variety of industries such as hospitality, technology, health care, financial services, and consumer packaged goods. He’s led work at all levels of strategy from creative campaigns to business growth initiatives to corporate portfolio management.
Monika is an innovator and entrepreneur. She applies creative and business aptitude to develop new products that serve market needs and operating at intersection of business, technology and marketing.
By driving growth and transformation through product innovation, strategy and compelling digital experiences, she launched, grew and led startups that transformed music, payments and commerce, and redefined consumer experiences. She is currently bringing much needed efficiency and thoughtfulness in the $200B gifting market for consumers and retailers.
She is skilled, resourceful and driven leader, motivator and mentor. She loves to write and is a regular speaker on creative business processes, payments, commerce, tech philosophy and women in entrepreneurship.
What We Do
We provide a platform to discover innovative products, services and technologies supported by an executive immersion series designed to share learnings with consumers and executives in the GM and HBW marketplace to transform the shopping experience
We provide thought leadership and collaborative workshops to help grow brands and technologies in the marketplace by focusing on understanding the changing consumer.
We help incubate ideas, concepts, products, services and other solutions with our community of retailers, brands, suppliers, innovators and other thought leaders to improve the overall shopping experience for the consumer.
We have a diverse membership of distributors, brand managers, retail executives, technologists, and innovators that are bolstered by GMDC’s 45+ years of experience and thought leadership in grocery and pharmacy consumer goods and health and wellness.
We work with
Incubators/University Labs:Help us solve problems and identify opportunities in retail
Accelerators: Help their partner companies gain awareness, proof of concept and distribution
Retailers: Help them identify innovative companies and solutions in the marketplace
Suppliers and Service Providers: Help them with R&D, identify opportunities and accelerate their products
GMDC and Plug AND Play have partnered as a result of the GMDC Retail Tomorrow Advisory Board that is focused on delivering innovation for its retailer members. Plug AND Play is a global innovation platform for startups, corporations, and investors that invests in hundreds of companies each year through accelerator programs. Plug AND Play is located in Silicon Valley and helps 300 corporate partners to license, pilot and co-invest. What will you learn? • Know how market disruption is leading to innovation, and vice versa • Innovation matters to GMDC and its entire ecosystem, and keeps your business out in front • Startups are the future today, of what you will experience at the shelf tomorrow
On May 25th, GMDC’s newly formed Advisory Board, Retail Tomorrow, live streamed an innovation platform directly from Silicon Valley to provide its members a total entrepreneurial experience, hosted by Plug and Play. As an accelerator of innovation, this demo day helped connect startups to corporations, investors, and retailers alike. The event hosts a series of entrepreneurs seeking a boost for their future by delivering provocative concepts to a room of business executives and decision-makers.
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