Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President and keen observer of the retail grocery marketplace Leslie Sarasin will guide an engaging dialogue with a distinguished panel of baking industry customers during the March 21 Morning Business Session at the American Bakers Association (ABA) Convention.
The session, “Maximizing the Relevancy of Baking to Power Growth,” features panelists Kerry Robinson, VP – Bakery & Deli for Walmart; Joe Schechinger, VP of Non-Protein Foods for Wendy’s QSCC, and Kevin Davis, President & CEO for Bristol Farms. These industry experts will address the complex and dynamic consumer environment to assist bakers in identifying opportunities to maximize their relevancy and value to ultimately drive growth.
“We are honored to have such a diverse and well-respected group participating on the panel,” said ABA President and CEO Robb MacKie. “This candid and insightful discussion promises to be a highlight of the Convention.”
Leslie Sarasin is the President and CEO of FMI, the association of food retailers and wholesalers, which represents more than 1,500 member companies in the United States and around the world. Under her leadership, FMI has emerged as a member-centered organization helping food retailing venues find new and future-facing ways of feeding families and enriching lives. A committed collaborator, Sarasin has infused FMI with a vision of cooperative action that amplifies the association’s ability to assist its members in addressing critical industry issues of today. Prior to coming to FMI, she was President and CEO of the American Frozen Food Institute. Ms. Sarasin has been named one of the Supermarket News “Power Fifty” for the past six years.
Kerry Robinson joined Walmart in 2011 as Vice President, Private Brands Food and Consumables. In 2012, she moved into her current role as Vice President – Bakery & Deli. Prior to joining Walmart, she worked at United Kingdom-based Tesco Stores, PLC, for 20 years where she held leadership roles across several merchandising areas, including Personal Care, Beauty and Baby, and Frozen Foods. She also led the International Tesco brand strategy and sourcing team from 2008 – 2010 which launched a 2000-line Tesco brand offer in central Europe and a discount-brand offer across all countries.
Joe Schechinger joined Wendy’s Supply Chain Management department, the precursor to QSCC, in February 2003. He transitioned to QSCC when the co-op began operations in January 2010. Mr. Schechinger directed QSCC’s Commodity Risk Management program, which is designed to reduce price volatility, improve price stability, and ensure best cost. He was promoted to VP of Non-Protein Foods in May 2014. Prior to Wendy’s, he served in a variety of supply chain management positions for restaurant chains such as KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. He has worked in supply chain management for food service companies for more than 25 years. His professional memberships include service on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Long Range Planning Committee, the National Pork Board, and the National Restaurant Association’s Executive Study Group Steering Committee.
Kevin Davis joined Bristol Farms in 1996 as Executive Vice President and was promoted to Chairman of the Board, President and CEO in 1997. He started in the food industry in 1970 as a box boy and spent 21 years at Ralphs, holding a variety of positions from Store Manager to Senior Vice President of Marketing. Davis is Past Chairman of the California Grocers Association, President Emeritus of the Western Association of Food Chains, and Past Chairman of Unified Western Grocers. He was named Alumnus of the Year by the USC Food Industry Management Program in 1999 and Executive of the Year in 2011.
The 2016 ABA Convention is taking place March 20 – March 23, at the Arizona Biltmore. As the premier annual gathering of the baking industry, top industry leaders will attend to hear from business and political speakers, learn about the latest trends, connect with industry colleagues, share ideas, and develop solutions on baking issues. More information and registration can be found at www.americanbakers.org/2016ABAConvention. Follow the convention with #PowerofBaking