Crossmark Names Graen to Lead Center for Collaboration

Walmart’s former director of innovation, Mike Graen, has joined Crossmark as VP/managing director for its Center for Collaboration in Bentonville, Ark.

Graen, who has led numerous collaboration initiatives in the consumer goods industry, also previously worked at Procter & Gamble, where he aligned systems with Walmart and developed other innovative solutions.

The Center for Collaboration is currently under construction on a one-acre lot located directly across the street from Walmart’s home office. Scheduled to open in spring 2014, the center will provide Walmart and Crossmark clients with a convenient, state-of-the-art facility to immerse into business opportunities, develop innovative ideas, and create a positive impact on their respective businesses and ultimately, Walmart shoppers.

“The center will be a place where Walmart and its suppliers plan the future,” explained Graen. “I expect it will be the catalyst for unbelievable innovations in the shopping experience. When we exceed the shopper's expectations, both Walmart and the suppliers win. It’s all about the customer."

Joe Crafton, CEO of Plano, Texas-based Crossmark, said Graen’s experience on both the supplier and retail sides of the industry made him the best choice to lead the company’s Center for Collaboration. “Mike knows how to combine collaboration with technology to bring success to manufacturers and retailers,” Crafton said. “The ultimate result will be a great shopping experience for Walmart customers.”

Crossmark is a leading sales and marketing services company in the consumer goods industry, providing growth solutions with exceptional service to manufacturers and retailers. Expertise encompasses the areas of headquarters sales, retail merchandising, retailer solutions, in-store events, experiential marketing, shopper marketing, consumer engagement, in-store data collection and field intelligence, retail analytics, and retail technology solutions. The company employs more than 36,000 associates worldwide with 47 offices throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

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