2017 Speakers

Retailer Keynote

Dan Funk, EVP, Merchandising & Marketing, AWGdan-funk-headshot
Dan joined AWG in 2012 leading the Valu Merchandisers Company subsidiary focused on Natural, Organic and specialty foods along with the companies GM/HBC and wellness products. In 2015, Dan led the Center store grocery, advertising and marketing teams at AWG. In Dan’s current role he leads all of the merchandising and marketing activities for the member owned cooperative. Prior to AWG, Dan held positions of increasing responsibility within the retail and wholesale business units at SUPERVALU and Nash Finch. With 35 years in the grocery industry, Dan has spent a large part of his career partnering with Independently owned grocery retailers in the merchandising, marketing and grocery retail space. Dan and his family currently reside in Overland Park, KS.


John Crawford, Vice President of Client Insights, West Dairy Divison, IRI
John Crawford currently leads the West Dairy division for IRI as VP of Client Insights. He leads the relationship for a number of IRI’s top Dairy Clients. John and his team have developed an industry-leading Dairy Thought Leadership program.

John joined IRI in 2014 focusing on Protein where he led the Perdue, Hormel, and Smithfield relationships. John is a seasoned CPG marketer with 20+ years of industry experience. John’s career encompasses an extensive combination of marketing leadership, innovation, new product development, market research, client service, and category management. Prior to joining IRI, John led marketing for Crystal Farms, the Retail Division of Michael Foods.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science/Economics from the University of Southern California and an MBA in Marketing from the USC Marshall School of Business. John lives with his wife, Melanie, in California. He has two children, Jack and Maddy.


Lewis Goldstein, Vice President of Brand Marketing, CROPP Cooperative / Organic Valley / Organic Prairie
Lewis Goldstein came to CROPP Cooperative from the east coast in July 2011 and today serves as vice president of brand marketing for the Organic Valley and Organic Prairie brands, overseeing a team of more than 60 marketing professionals. A seasoned marketing communications professional in the consumer packaged goods sector, Goldstein previously served as vice president of marketing at Kiss My Face and held marketing roles at Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and The Boston Beer Company, brewer of Sam Adams beers. He serves on the boards of directors for the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) and Organic Voices/Just Label It.

Todd Hale, Consultant, Nielsen
Todd Hale, former Senior Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Insights with Nielsen, is a frequently sought-after industry and client speaker. Todd shares his insights on consumer shopping, buying and media consumption behaviors and attitudes to provide manufacturers and retailers with strategic visions to facilitate brand, category and retail sales growth.

Todd has more than 38 years of experience in the consumer research industry, including 30 years with Nielsen, where he held various marketing and sales management positions within advertising/product testing, advanced analytics and consumer panel practice areas.

Todd earned an MBA and a BA in Business from Wright State University.

Ken Harris, Managing Partner, kenharrispicCadent Consulting Group, LLC
Ken Harris is a Founder and Managing Partner of Cadent Consulting Group based in the Firm’s Chicago Office. Prior to starting Cadent, Ken served as the CEO of Kantar Retail Americas Consulting and was a founding Partner and owner of Cannondale Associates. Ken is also the retired Chairman of Enjoy Life Foods, the leading producer of Free From foods in the U.S. and Canada that sold to Mondelez in March, 2015.

He is an author and frequent speaker at industry conferences. Ken has line management experience in marketing, trade marketing and sales at Jacobs Suchard and Coca-Cola Foods. He received his BA from The University of Michigan. Ken is actively involved in the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, The USO of Illinois, The Boy Scouts of America and the Dana-Farber Cancer Research Institute in Boston.

karin-kimbraugh-headshotKarin Kimbrough, Head of Investment Strategy, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Karin Kimbrough is Head of the Investment Strategy for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management within Global Wealth & Investment Management {GWIM} division of Bank of America. In this role, she is responsible for providing economic and financial insight, as well as strategic analysis, to enhance and shape the team’s market views and deliver the best investment insights to advisors.

Before joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Karin served as a director in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Markets group, where she founded and led the Financial Stability function. While at the Federal Reserve, she also managed the foreign exchange trading staff and quantitative analytics team. Karin also represented the Federal Reserve on numerous key interagency councils and committees. Prior to the Fed, Karin worked for Morgan Stanley and the World Bank.

She earned a PhD in Economics from the University of Oxford, a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and French and English Literature from Stanford University.


Larry Levin, Executive Vice President, Industry Insights, IRI
Larry Levin has spent his entire career in market research, leading engagements for many of the world’s largest manufacturers and retailers including Pepsi, Coke, Lexus, Porsche, Nissan, Infiniti, Starbucks, Audi, Microsoft, and Disney, just to name a few. The first three decades of his career were spent at Synovate (formerly Market Facts), where he held a number of positions, including head of Global Automotive, executive director of International New Business Development and leader of two global conferences—one in Beijing and one in Cairo.

Following his tenure at Synovate, Levin joined TNS as head of its Consumer Sector. He was quickly elevated to president of Client Services and Relations, where he and Bob Tomei, current president of IRI’s Consumer & Shopper Marketing, co-led its North American business.

In February 2010, Levin joined IRI to lead its Survey Solutions group and was then promoted to run its overall Consumer Insights business. In 2013, he began his new role as executive vice president of Insights and Thought Leadership.

jordan-rost-headshotJordan Rost, VP of Consumer Insight, Nielsen
Jordan’s work explores emerging trends, shifting buying and media consumption behaviors and helps manufacturers and retailers make more informed business decisions. He shares his expert industry insights via thought leadership content, industry talks and with Nielsen’s clients. Prior to his time at Nielsen, Jordan spent nearly a decade at Google, where he last led consumer insights focused on trends and thought leadership. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, and is based in New York where he lives with his family.