Encore Associates is a strategic advisory and solutions firm that helps companies address critical operational, sales and marketing needs in the food and consumer goods industry. We provide clients with access to experts who have developed knowledge, experience and relationships in every facet of the industry. Our advisors have held senior management positions with many of the country’s leading companies and understand the diverse challenges companies face in today’s highly competitive consumer marketplace.

The Encore team includes ExecuForce®, a proprietary network of nationally recognized industry experts; Encore Consumer Capital, a private equity firm investing in consumer products companies; and Encore Solutions, a select group of businesses representing unique value propositions for the industry.


What differentiates us? Our people. Averaging over 25 years of experience in the Food, Drug, Mass, and CPG-related industries, the Advisory Group includes former CEOs, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Directors and a full-range of functional subject matter experts.

Linda Nordgren
Proprietor, CEO & President

Linda Nordgren is a forward-looking marketing and business leader whose innovation in business, B2B and B2C marketing, tech launches, sales and product development have translated into billions of dollars in profitable sales. She excels at defining direction for growth and is a master at change management. She is an experienced international executive and powerful negotiator specializing in strategic sourcing having successfully conducted business in Asia, South America and Europe. Throughout her 28 year career at Safeway, Linda progressed from Director of Marketing Business Processes in Information Technology, to Director of Mergers and Acquisitions, to VP of Supply Chain and Group VP of Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain Strategies. Linda most recently held the position of VP and GM of Home Care and General Merchandise responsible for a+$2.0Billion P&L, merchandising, product development, pricing, Global Sourcing and Omni channel promotions. She leads the Network of Executive Women’s College Outreach committee, is a 2014 Top Women in Grocery honoree and 2015 Grocery Industry Women of Influence honoree.

Gary Smith
Board of Directors

Gary Smith has a distinguished career in grocery marketing, merchandising and retail operations spanning more than 40 years. Prior to founding Encore Associates, Gary served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and officer of the corporation at Safeway where he was credited with the development and implementation of many of Safeway’s industry-leading merchandising and marketing programs during his watch. These include Safeway’s category management process, Safeway’s customer loyalty card and the company’s premium private label Safeway SELECT brands. He was also responsible for the rollout of Safeway’s first computer-assisted forward buying system and the consolidation of Safeway’s corporate advertising, pharmacy merchandising, buying and pricing functions into a single corporate group. In 1998 Gary accepted the Private Label Manufacturers Associates “Retailer of the Year” for his role in the development of the Safeway SELECT brand and private label merchandising strategy. Gary serves as a member of the Board of Directors at Treehouse Foods (THS); Brownie Brittle, LLC; FreshKo; Mesa Foods; Caterina Foods, LLC; and Fantasy Cookie Corp.

Brooke Fan
Principal Supply Chain Practice

Brooke Fan is a Supply Chain Executive with a proven track record of developing and implementing innovative supply chain solutions to achieve significant cost savings, improved service and efficiency. Her experience spans both the retail and healthcare sectors with expertise in forecasting, inventory optimization and replenishment planning, emergency preparedness and supplier collaboration, dual strategy development and scorecarding.

Most recently, Brooke was the Executive Director, Supply Chain Demand Planning and Inventory Management for Kaiser Permanente. She led the multi-year Supply Chain Transformation Initiative which built operational fundamentals through standardized operating procedures, technology implementations and organizational change.

Prior to KP, Brooke was the Vice President of Procurement at Safeway Inc. responsible for the procurement of grocery, GM/HBC, frozen and bakery items. Her team maintained optimal inventory levels across 13 Distribution Centers servicing 1500 stores nation-wide. Prior to becoming VP at Safeway, she held a variety of Director roles partnering with Safeway's top 100 suppliers to joint performance improvement, innovative retail in stock solutions, promotional forecasting and display allocations, supplier scorecarding and logistics efficiencies.

Brooke has a Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics from UC Davis and is a graduate of the USC Food Industry Management

Mariela Oetinger
Principal Strategic Sourcing

Mariela Oetinger is a Principal, Strategic Sourcing Services at Encore Associates. Mariela has a successful history in Food Retail and Global Strategic Sourcing. She is a former Group Director at Albertson’s /Safeway one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America. She led the Strategic Sourcing Department as well as the Corporate Merchandising Sourcing Solutions team. She has extensive strategic sourcing experience in Organic Food products, Manufacturing Raw Materials, Ingredients and Indirect Materials. Mariela launched the Strategic Negotiations Process Strategic Category Optimization Review (SCOR!) for Albertsons/Safeway which focused on delivering strategic long-term supplier relationships while negotiating the best cost value for the company’s shareholders. Mariela’s SCOR! Team delivered over $200 M in cost savings under her leadership. She is a sourcing professional with over 20-years of experience in Private Label Food development and has held other Leadership positions in Target and Guess? Mexico. Mariela is also the Founder of Vaca Jump Brokerage, a Hispanic Women Owned Business that works with innovative Hispanic suppliers in launching their food products in Food Service Distributors and Restaurants.

She has served on several non-profit boards such as: The National Society of Hispanic MBA’s, the Bay Area Latino Network, a network of Corporations’ Affinity Boards, and the Hispanic Advisory Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Mariela Oetinger was born and raised in Mexico. She holds a BA in Textile Design and an MBA in Finance from Philadelphia University. She has leveraged her heritage, creativity and financial acumen to bring to life some of the industry’s finest Private Label Food brands.

Coleen Marchese

Coleen Marchese has more than 15 years experience in the consumer packaged goods industry with a focus on sales, marketing and business development as well as roles in corporate accounting at a manufacturing plant. Her experience includes broker and account management, customer marketing, category management and financial analysis. She’s passionate about leveraging these cross-functional skills in planning, defining and implementing strategic cost-effective business plans.

Most recently, Coleen consulted for Essent, a Bay Area branding, marketing and ideation company for startups. She was the in-house expert for consumer packaged goods projects and coordinated the new product development, marketing and promotional plan for the launch of Indigeny Reserve Organic Hard Apple Cider. Prior to that, Coleen was the Director of Sales and Marketing at CreAgri, a startup that developed organic antioxidant supplements for the Natural Products Industry.

Before joining CreAgri, Coleen was with Kraft/Nabisco for more than 10 years in various roles. She began her career as an accountant at Nabisco’s headquarters in NJ before relocating to San Francisco as the Plant Accounting Supervisor for the Nabisco Fleischmann’s Margarine Plant. She then joined the West Region sales team and progressed through various roles including Category Development Manager, Customer Marketing Manager, Customer Sales Manager and Broker Sales Manager. While at Nabisco, Coleen was recipient of the Broker of the Year Award and also the President’s Achievement Award for leading a cross-functional team that achieved significant cost savings with freight forwarders in the Hawaiian market.

Coleen received her MBA in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in NJ and her BS in Finance from the University of Delaware.

Shaila Garde-Lester
ExecuForce, Consumer Sales & Marketing

Shaila Garde-Lester has over 25 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industrywith a focus in marketing, strategy, innovation and general business management. Her work experience spans branded and private label as well as foodservice and QSR’s. Shaila has extensive experience in new product strategy and development having launched hundreds of products across multiple grocery categories.

Most recently, Shaila held various roles at Jamba Juice including VP of Marketing and Strategy where she managed social, digital, website, paid media, loyalty programs, the app, store merchandising and the in-house design group for the brand. Prior to that Shaila was the VP of Product Marketing where she led product innovation for the 800+ domestic Jamba Juice store portfolio.

Before joining Jamba Juice, Shaila ran her own consulting practice for 16 years providing marketing leadership to a variety of Bay Area companies including consumer packaged goods, foodservice, restaurants, wineries and QSR’s. Her clients included: Safeway, Sunsweet Growers, Del Monte Foods, Specialty Brands, Napa Valley Kitchens, Sutter Home Winery, Jamba Juice, Calio Groves, PacBell, The Learning Company, Bowl ‘a Granola, Tri Valley Growers, Premier Roasters, Mary’s Pizza Shack and Basic American Foods.

Shaila began her career at Del Monte Foods where she held various roles including innovation and new product development. Shaila received her MBA from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business and her BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Shaila lives in Corte Madera, California with her husband and two daughters.

Howard Befort
ExecuForce, Retail Practice

A 44 year veteran of the retail food industry who is an Accomplished and Results Driven Senior Marketing Executive with a proven record of leadership, strategic vision and sales growth for Safeway, Inc. one of the nation’s largest food retailers and Nash Finch one of the largest Food Wholesalers. Highly effective in mobilizing all levels of the organization to achieve objectives and goals.

A passionate and innovative leader, with extensive experience in category management, merchandising strategies, supply chain, collaboration, utilization of customer loyalty, change management, process re-engineering and strong analytical abilities. Global experience working with RFID and Customer Loyalty platforms

Graduate of Regis College in Denver Colorado

Crystal Butler

Crystal is a passionate and innovative leader with 26 years of experience in the retail and food industry. Most recently with Safeway, she progressed through varied positions providing a unique skill set and extensive knowledge in category management, product development and merchandising, sourcing both international and domestic, establishing strategic vision, trend and competitor research, inventory management, as well as retail store operations. She is passionate about program and assortment planning and product development with specialized knowledge in GM/HBC and Seasonal categories.

Crystal is a results driven individual with a reputation for delivering a strong overall performance in meeting business objectives and sales goals. She influences teamwork and thrives in a cross-functional environment successfully leading teams towards completing set goals within the given timeframe. She is forward thinking, embraces change, and has been instrumental in identifying areas of opportunity and implementing solutions for process improvement throughout her career.

Positions field during her 23 years with Safeway include Category Manager, Manager Corporate Operations –General Merchandising, Safeway.com Operations Manager (online grocery delivery service), Schematic Supervisor, Non-Perishable Field Merchandiser, as well as several years of retail store experience in varying positions.

Marion Martinez

Marion Martinez is an organized and efficient professional providing thorough and skillful administrative support to executives, directors, and managers. She performs assignments of a confidential nature, applying sound judgment and strong attention to detail. She practices self-development by taking professional classes; enhancing skills and performance. She uses knowledge to solve problems and contribute toward achieving team results. She is adaptable in an ever-changing role and values diversity. She sets priorities, coordinates schedules and recommends solutions for routine and complex situations. She’s proactive in dealing with ambiguity by providing clearly-defined responses and results.

She oversees logistics, menus and food services, office supplies, audio visual support, room set-up, event planning, travel arrangements, multi-calendar management, etc.

Education: Associate of Arts in General Education Chabot College, Hayward CA

Laura Hudock

Laura is an experienced Sales leader with more than 30 years of new business development and integrated sales success for Fortune 500 companies in the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry across all channels of trade with a concentration in Grocery.  She is passionate about collaborating to drive aggressive business development initiatives, build new market presence, cultivate business alliances, and develop key account relationships.

Laura started her career at Gerber Product as a Sales Representative and progressed through various Sales positions at Gerber, Rexall Sundown and most recently spent over 13 years at Kimberly-Clark. Her roles include; Team Leader, Customer Operations Manager, National Account Executive, Business Development Manager, and Sales Manager.

Her varied positions have given her many years of experience in Strategy Building, Joint Business Planning, Marketing Event Planning, P&L Management, Cross-Functional Leadership, Category Management and Analytics, Broker Management, Retail Operations, Innovative Problem Solving, Process Design, Recruiting, Coaching, Mentoring and Team building.

Laura was designated as the Ambassador for Kimberly-Clark Corporation to the Network of Executive Women and served as Executive Board Member on the Kimberly-Clark Women’s Employee Resource Group. Laura was Committee Lead for Sponsorship for the Network of Executive Women’s Northern California Chapter for several years. Laura has received numerous recognitions over her career including Sales Person of the Year and Vendor of the Year Awards. Laura has a B.A. and M.B.A.  from John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, CA.  She is an adjunct Professor at Ohlone Community College teaching Business Management.

Charles (Chuck) Rodgers

Chuck Rodgers has over 40 years of experience in the retail food industry. He has a passion for bridging and connecting diverse groups to expedite the assessment, creation and implementation of Marketing business solutions that align and drive a company’s strategic goals and objectives. Key attributes include mentoring and managing cross-functional teams to be innovative, embrace change in retail based organization, and execute marketing plans and processes that transform as business and market needs evolve.

Chuck’s most recent position, Manager of Division Operations at Safeway in Northern California, include responsibility for Non-Perishable sales and profits with focus on merchandising solutions. He worked closely with Operations, Marketing and the Vendor community to develop marketing plans both global and specific to Northern California Division. Other key accomplishments include his position as the Corporate Brands Manager, Fuel Station Operations Manager and Category Management. In 1999 Chuck received the prestigious Donald J. Smith Outstanding Achievement Award for his leadership in the rollout of Safeway’s Merchandising End Display Solutions.

John Pollitz

John Pollitz offers a unique set of skills that blends strategy, product and services with expertise in program, product, and operation management for pre & post start-ups and enterprise companies. John has successfully led teams in launching over $2 billion dollars in revenue and hundreds of products while bringing up key suppliers, managing system integrations, and executing on the go-to-market strategies.

John has served in various Operations and Program Management roles and has in-depth knowledge of the product life cycle, marketing and sales, and supply chain and business processes which makes him effective in engaging stakeholders and operational cross-functional teams to launch new products and services into the global market.

Before joining Encore Associates, John managed multiple products and systems which resulted in annual revenues of over $1 billion as Product Manager and New Product Program Manager for Data Domain during the early post-IPO period and after EMC acquisition.   John also has been a Vice President of Operations and Customer Service for Accordion, a start-up company which involved deploying the supply chain and manufacturing, test, quality and support systems. At Alcatel-Lucent (previously Ascend), he was Director of New Product Introduction where he successfully managed the PMO team, and he was Factory Manager at Harmonic. John holds an Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Systems degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and PPM certified.

Greg Sparks
ExecuForce, P.E. & M.A. Practice

Greg leads our Private Equity and Mergers and Acquisitions Practice. His Strategic Leadership, Financial Acumen and deep understanding of Operations is leveraged by PE Firms and Bankers. Greg's illustrative career spans over 30 years in the retail industry. His last three years as Executive Vice President of Store Operations at Dollar General he oversaw the opening of over 2000 new stores and over 2500 remodeled or relocated stores. He had direct responsibility for 12,000 stores and 105,000 retail employees. He implemented a STAR Customer Service Program and led the reengineering of shrink and in-stock processes as well as upgraded operational training programs.

Prior to Dollar General, Greg served 33 years at Safeway with the last eleven years as Division President of the Seattle Division. Greg's tenure at Safeway included multiple positions in Merchandising and Marketing to include Vice President. His accomplishments in Seattle included the successful acquisition and integration of Carrs Supermarkets and the development of a market leading Fuel program. He also had an assignment in Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the company's international operation.

Greg has served in leadership positions on multiple boards and industry associations to include the Western Association of Food Chains and Northwest Grocery Association. He is currently a board member of POP Gourmet Foods.

Cheryl Stark

Cheryl Stark is an innovative thinking Supply Chain Executive and leader with a proven track record in sales, supply chain logistics and people management. With her experience at IBM and Kraft Foods, Cheryl brings a unique skill set with her area of expertise focused on utilizing technology to accelerate sales and reduce costs from finished goods to consumption.

Her experiences include sales at IBM, Customer Service, Shopper Marketing, Supply Cain Strategy and Development at Kraft foods. From sales quotas to operation budgets Cheryl has consistently over delivered results. In 2015, she delivered over $4 million in incremental sales and cost reductions through “customer facing” supply chain collaboration and innovative initiatives.

Key to Cheryl’s success is her excellent relationship building skills and the ability to establish and maintain collaborative and profitable relationships with vendors and internal and external customers. Cheryl’s are of expertise is eCommerce focusing on streamlining the supply chain to enable and accelerate sales growth in the eCommerce channel.

She is certified in Change Management and Value Stream Mapping. Cheryl is the former chair of Kraft Foods Women’s Council and current Co-Chair of the Network of Executive Women’s Northern California Chapter. In addition, Cheryl is the 2015 and 2016 Liv (Giant Bikes Women’s Brand) Ambassador, a natural extension of her passion to help develop women and her love of riding (road and mountain).

Tiffany Souders

Tiffany Souders is a Sales and Marketing leader with over 15 years of experience within the CPG industry. Her experience spans across top retailers within key channels including Mass, Drug, Club, Convenience and Grocery.

Tiffany most recently held the position of Team Lead for Hershey’s where she was responsible for developing customer strategy, retail execution and P&L management for the Safeway Business. In her previous roles at Hershey’s, Tiffany was the Global Director of Sales for 7-Eleven where she was instrumental in implementing long-term strategic planning and as a Sr. Marketing Manager, she created and executed innovative marketing plans for the Walmart/Sam’s Club business.

Prior to her time with Hershey’s, Tiffany developed strong brand management expertise during her tenure as a brand and customer marketing manager at Revlon and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Tiffany is a native Texan and resides in Dallas with her husband. She is an active member of Network of Executive Women, most recently serving on the Public Relations committee.

Susan Shields

Susan, CEO Project Juice and Board member of the Organic Center and has over 25 years in Retail and Food Service Marketing and Business Management with positions including General Manager, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Innovation Officer. Her strengths include the ability to create a strategic vision, translate insights into actionable business strategies and tactics, lead and coach teams, bring creativity and innovation to marketing programs and new products, and provide an overall business perspective. Susan has a passion for health & wellness and has focused her career on building and growing natural and organic brands.

Susan is currently a Partner and co-founder at Pluot Consulting, which is focused on helping natural and organic companies grow profitably and sustainably. Prior to this, Susan was with Jamba Juice as SVP and Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Susan also held positions including SVP Innovation and Marketing at Beautifull, Inc., a Venture Capital start-up, Group VP of Innovation for Safeway’s Consumer Brands Division, VP of New Ventures and Marketing at Del Monte Foods and numerous positions within the Quaker Oats Company.

Susan holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she was an Austin Scholar, and she has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College. Susan is a member of the Board of Directors for The Organic Center, the YMCA of the Central Bay Area and Traditional Medicinals, an organic herbal tea company.

Steve Roath
Board of Directors Member

Steve acquired more than 38 years of senior management experience in drug retail and pharmacy operations at California-based Longs Drugs Stores, the company at which he began working as a pharmacist and retired from as CEO. At Longs Drugs, Steve was credited with developing critical information systems to manage the company’s pricing, automating ordering and supply chain initiatives as well as creating a centralized purchase and distribution system of prescription drugs, which has been recognized as the most efficient and effective system in the industry. Steve also has been recognized for his role in automating the retail pharmacy business by developing a highly automated prescription fill center in a joint venture with Bergen Brunswig Drug Company. In addition, he guided Longs Drugs into the e-commerce space with the storewide introduction of Longs.com, an e-mail prescription refill system.

Glynn Phillips
Board of Directors Member

Glynn Phillips is a 40 year veteran of the consumer packaged goods industry. He started his career as a field salesman with Kendall Company where he spent 11 years, the last 4 as a National Sales Manager. The company was acquired by Colgate Palmolive. Glynn joined The Clorox Company after it was divested by Proctor & Gamble and was made Vice President of Sales. He retired from Clorox in 1994 and went to Del Monte Foods as Executive Vice President. Glynn retired from Del Monte in 2000 and worked in an advisory capacity for 2 more years. He has spent the time since 2000 doing various project and board work for Encore Associates, Inc.

Al Curran
Advisory Board Member

Al Curran has more than 42 years of senior management experience within the consumer packaged goods industry. Prior to joining Encore Associates, Al served as Western Regional Vice President at Keebler Foods. Prior to Keebler, he served as Vice President of Sales at Mothers Cookies.

Stu Brannon
Sr. Advisory Board Member

Stu retired after 32 years in the Consumer Products Grocery Industry as National Director of Trade Relations for the Georgia-Pacific Corporation. Stu held a number of senior sales management positions throughout his career, beginning with Crown Zellerbach, and acted as company spokesman and liaison with the major Trade Industry Associations for James River and Fort James prior to its acquisition by Georgia-Pacific. Stu received a BA in Marketing from the University of Hawaii, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Food Industry Management, has served as the Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of the Asparagus Club since 1995, and has been an Illuminator since 1983.

Lee Merritts
Sr. Advisory Board Member

Lee Merritts began his 32-year career with Procter & Gamble in sales in the St. Louis Paper Products Division. He was promoted through several key leadership positions including Manager of Paper Products Operations, Safeway Team Leader, and Western Food Channel Leader. He represented P&G as leader of Western Industry Affairs, culminating in election as Headlite of the Illuminators. Lee ended his P&G career as Director of North American Diversity Strategy. P&G recognized his contributions by naming a perpetual Diversity Achievement Award in his honor.

Tom DeMott
Sr. Advisory Board Member

Tom DeMott has more than 26 years of experience in the retail food industry focused on marketing, procurement and merchandising of meat, poultry and seafood at major retailers including Safeway, Kroger and Kings Super Market. Prior to joining Encore Associates, Tom served as Vice President of Corporate Meat Merchandising at Safeway where he was recognized as the industry’s first retail executive to apply category management principles to the meat department in its entirety. During his Safeway tenure, Tom consolidated the procurement of all meat and seafood products. He also developed a successful branding strategy, the first club marketing scale tool in the meat case and specific merchandising techniques targeting localized demographics.

Don Reid
Sr. Advisory Board Member

Don Reid’s sales career spans more than 40 years. His experience began at Philip Morris USA and in 1978 he left his management position to pursue the food brokerage industry. Don held senior management positions with Rex Food Brokerage, Bromar and Acosta Sales & Marketing Co., before joining Encore Associates in 2002 as an EVP and Managing Partner. Don retired in 2015—he continues to do some sales consulting, is currently a Sr. Advisory Board Member for Encore Associates, and a team member of Encore Consumer capital.

Richard King
Sr. Advisory Board Member

Richard King has a distinguished career in the retail food industry, including 36-years at Albertsons, where he last served as the grocery retailer's President and COO. In this capacity, King was responsible for a $16 billion operation with nearly 1,000 stores and 100,000 employees. Prior to joining Encore Associates, Dick served as President and CEO of Labor Ready (NYSE: LRW), a leading provider of temporary manual labor. In this role, Dick created a national sales program that improved sales and profit, implemented successful cost control measures and established a strong management team. Dick is a member of the Board of Directors of the Western Association of Food Chains and Trus Joist International.

Patrick Kiernan
Advisory Board Member

Patrick has over 30 years experience in the retail grocery, warehousing and consumer packaged goods industries.  He currently operates his own consulting group focusing on growth strategies and emerging issues with an emphasis on consumer future forces, E-commerce, and trade policy development.

Patrick joined Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) in 1988 as VP of Industry Relations.  He continued on as SVP of Strategy and Emerging Issues and directed GMA's industry re-engineering efforts in both the grocery and foodservice industries.  Patrick continues to serve as GMA's Sr. Counselor for Strategic and Emerging Issues.

Before GMA, he spent 18 years at Safeway; 7 years as the Corporate Division Mgr. of Industrial Engineering.  Early in Patrick's career, he gained experience as a buyer and industrial engineer with both Kenworth Motor Truck Co. and the Boeing Co.

Joe Benites
Advisory Board Member

More than 25 years of experience in retail sector and CPG company management.  Some of his leadership experiences includes the following roles:  National Sales Manager of Nabisco-Gamesa, President of Next Generation Marketing Associates (Hispanic Marketing Company), Executive Vice President of Pacific Star Corporation (Cuetera Cookies from Spain).  Executive Director of the Mexican American Grocers Association (MAGA).

Currently, President of The Benites Group, Inc., a sales and promotion based marketing  and consulting agency impacting the national Hispanic market, and founder of Action Demos, the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned and managed  in-store-demo, merchandising and event management company, Joe has designed and executed sales and promotion programs for manufacturers such as Schering-Plough Healthcare (Dr. Scholls), Nestle Nesquik, Disney, Univision, Pfizer, Avandia, Tampico, Bush’s Beans, Johnson & Johnson, McNeil Pharmaceutical, Cerveceria Centro Americana , San Miguel Beer. Six years at the Adolph Coors Brewing Company in Golden Colorado working as an Assistant to President.

As an expert on the Hispanic marketing and the Hispanic consumer, Joe has been a keynote speaker at numerous U.S. and international events sponsored by industry associations and Fortune 500 Companies.

Dan Nelson
Advisory Board Member

Dan has 33 year distinguished career with major Fortune 500 Companies including Hanes, Schering Plough, Dowbrands and the Dial Corporation where he served as Corporate Vice President and President through 2004. His recent role has been with GMDC, a CPG Industry Trade Association where he served as Senior Vice President of Marketing & Chief Operating Officer focused on membership that includes over 200 chain retailers and 700 suppliers working to develop Health, Beauty, Wellness, Natural Products and General Merchandise categories.

Dan has extensive experience in leading teams and organizational change, strategic planning, and business acquisition/integration as well as, extensive background with U.S. and Global retailers in building successful business development plans. He served on the E.F. Board of Directors at GMDC and has been involved with a number of committees in the CPG Industry during his industry tenure.

Peter Larkin
Advisory Board Member

Peter has over 30 years of experience in public affairs, government relations, and environmental affairs for the food industry. He is currently President & CEO of the National Grocers Association (N.G.A.) in Washington, D.C.

Prior to his current position, he established his own consulting firm in 2008, Larkin Public Affairs, representing food industry clients and provides services including government relations, issues management, communications, community relations, environmental affairs and industry relations.

Prior to establishing his own firm, Peter was the President & CEO of California grocers Association (CGA), a non-profit, statewide food industry association that provides legislative, regulatory, communications, educational and industry relations support for its members. He also served as the President of the CGA Educational Foundation and is an officer of the California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corporation.

Prior to CGA, Peter was the Vice President of State Government Relations and Environmental Affairs for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in Washington, D.C. Peter has also managed government and media relations programs for The Kroger Co., and held similar positions with the Tobacco Institute and Philip Morris U.S.A. He has been an active participant on numerous association, non-profit and government advisory boards and committees such as: a Board Member for the Western Institute for Food Safety & Security; the Chairman of the Board of the Food Industry Association Executives; the Chairman of the Board for the Sacramento/Sierra Chapter of the American Red Cross; and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Sacramento Waldorf School.

Glenn Habern
Advisory Board Member

Glenn has over 35 years experience in the retail and consumer products business. He recently retired from Wal*Mart after 20 years of service. The last 10 years Glenn served as Senior Vice President of New Business Development for the U.S. Division of Wal*Mart. He has served on numerous industry committees including the early days of the UPC and EDI initiatives. In addition, Glenn has testified before U.S. Congress on the standards for EDI.

Previous to Wal*Mart, he held executive positions with Tyson Foods, H.E.B., Fingerhut and was National Director of the Retail and Consumer Products consulting practice at Ernst and Young.