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GroceryTech Event Presents Full Slate of Forward-Thinking Speakers

Industry leaders will gather in Cincinnati July 12-14 to share insights, best practices and networking opportunities
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
GroceryTech Teaser
Progressive Grocer and RIS News present the inaugural GroceryTech event, bringing together food retailing and technology executives to scale for the future.

As the grocery industry is at a crossroads, with different intersections emerging during a period of ongoing disruption, technology is opening up new avenues for growth. The inaugural GroceryTech event presented by Progressive Grocer and RIS News brings together the combined community of business and technology leaders to support innovations and shore up critical tech infrastructure.

Executives across the food retailing spectrum will gather in Cincinnati from July 12-14 to gain insights on the overarching topic of Scaling with Personalization. Participants will have the chance to engage with one another in a collaborative setting and glean insights and expert advice from industry heavy hitters through a series of interactive educational sessions.

Highlights of the first-ever event include the following programs:

  • Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of Mercatus, along with Mercatus’ Steve Benteau and Mark Fairhurst, kick off the GroceryTech event on Wednesday with a workshop on “The Key to Digital Growth and Profitability: Connecting E-commerce Strategy, Technology and Operations.” July 12, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
  • Jody Kalmbach, group VP of product experience for The Kroger Co., delivers a keynote address on “Scaling with Personalization,” sharing how grocers can build and modernize their technologies to personally and profitably serve their shoppers. July 13, 8:40-9:40 a.m.
  • Pam Dillon, CEO and co-founder of Preferabli, and David McIntosh, VP and GM of Connected Stores at Instacart, provide pro tips on “Creating Next-Gen Customer Experiences” through technologies and smart software that create truly customer-centric experiences.  July 13, 9:40-10:25 a.m.
  • Larry Liu, CEO of Weee!, and John Burry, Weee!’s chief merchandising officer, explore how the e-grocer is leveraging technologies such as automation, gamification and user-related content to differentiate itself in a session on “Emerging Grocery Technology Driving Transformation." July 13, 10:45-11:15 a.m.
  • John O’Reilly, head of food, drug and mass retail for Google Cloud, leads a session on “Optimizing the Customer Experience with AI or Deploying AI in Your Grocery Ecosystem,” discussing ways that grocers are embracing AI to improve experiences for their shoppers, employees and associates. July 13, 11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Jilea Hemmings, CEO and founder of Nourish + Bloom Market, Jamie Hemmings, president and founder of Nourish + Bloom Market, and Alexa Dash, director of e-commerce for Dash’s Market, headline a session with Elizabeth Lafontaine, chief retail analyst with Retail Leader Pro, on "Shaping the Future of Food By Building an AI/ML Strategy.” Attendees will learn about how AI/ML play into forecasting, real-time inventory management and more, and gain fresh insights on technologies like ChatGPT. July 13, 1:15-1:45 p.m.
  • Inmar Intelligence’s Garry Church, SVP, enterprise sales, and Andy Jump, VP and general manager for incentives and loyalty, weigh in on “Keeping Shoppers at the Center of Personalization Products." July 13, 1:45-2:30 p.m.  
  • R.J. Hottovy, head of analytical research for, toplines the “Key Themes for Grocery in 2023” with a data-driven examination of important trends related to value, private label, localization, warehouse automaton and new sources of competition. July 13, 4:15-5:00 p.m.
  • Michael Criscuolo, VP, infrastructure and operations for Wakefern Food Corp., Rana Schiff, senior director and HR business partner for technology and digital for Kroger, and Victor Vercammen, VP of enterprise safety and healthcare compliance for Giant Eagle, join Progressive Grocer’s Editor-in-Chief Gina Acosta for a panel session spotlighting “Automation, Talent and Recruiting for a Fruitful Future” and sharing concerns that are driving tech decisions. July 13, 5:00-5:30 p.m.
  • Kevin Miller, chief marketing officer for The Fresh Market, opens the Friday sessions by delving into "Live Commerce: The Fresh Market Stakes Its Flag in the Live Shopping Wars.” He will share what The Fresh Market has learned from its live commerce experience, including its audience's interest in the new format and how the retailer is applying its key pillars of success to a shoppable network rivaling the store experience. July 14, 9:30-10:00 a.m.
  • Brendan O’Brien, director, insights solutions for 84.51°, emphasizes the power of collaboration on the subject of “Understanding Customers Together: Retail and CPG Data Partnerships.” He will provide insights on how leading CPGs are bringing their own data to retailers as they collaborate for growth and influence shopper experiences. July 14, 10:20-10:50 a.m.
  • Marcio Ribeiro, chief digital and information officer at Dom’s Kitchen & Market, Andy J. Walter, board director and strategic advisor chief information officer and global shared services executive at AJW Advisory LLC, and Kirk Ball, EVP and chief information officer and chief technology officer at Giant Eagle, pool their expertise to talk about “The New Customer-Centric Grocery Experience.” The panelists will review how to combine tools like AI, analytics, assortment optimization and personalization to win share and drive loyalty.  July 14, 10:50-11:20 a.m.

In addition to learning from a diverse lineup of grocery and technology leaders, grocery executives can take part in share groups focusing on hot topics within the grocery tech space, such as “Accelerating Innovation and Achieving Omnipresence” and “Profitable Fulfillment Strategies and Precise Inventory Execution.” GroceryTech offers other opportunities for leaders to connect and exchange experiences and ideas, too, through dedicated networking breaks, a “Topic Tables” lunch hour discussion, “Power Hour” one-on-one event, cocktail reception, breakfasts and more.  

About GroceryTech

July 12-14 in Cincinnati

GroceryTech aims to answer the question, “How can grocers replicate the ‘small neighborhood grocery store on the corner’ concept, while still operating profitably at scale?” The event will bring together the combined PG and RIS community of business and technology grocery execs who are on the journey to modernize their technology infrastructure to support innovation.

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