Speakers

Meet this impressive lineup of speakers who are at the forefront of innovation.

Keynote Speakers

Susan Walsh headshot

Susan Walsh

GM and CTO, US Retail and Consumer Goods, Microsoft

As businesses grapple with an expanding inventory of SKUs, AI emerges as the crucial differentiator, offering tailored solutions to adapt to shifting consumer buying patterns and the rising demand for personalized products. Join Susan Walsh, GM & CTO, and Libby Wright, COO, as they explore the boundless possibilities and responsible applications of AI, propelling category management into a future where every product offering is as unique as the individual it serves.

Susan is responsible for leading the US Retail and Consumer Goods solutions organization. She works with Enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation journey with cloud services that enable them to: empower their people, engage customers, optimize business operations, and transform their products.

Prior to her current role, Susan led high performing teams at Microsoft in various roles including sales, solutions, partner development and customer success. Before joining Microsoft, Susan was with Accenture, leading client business transformation engagements.

Susan holds her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston and her MBA from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. She is actively involved in the local community and resides in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters.

Libby Saylor Wright

Chief of Staff / COO, US Retail and Consumer Goods,
Microsoft

As businesses grapple with an expanding inventory of SKUs, AI emerges as the crucial differentiator, offering tailored solutions to adapt to shifting consumer buying patterns and the rising demand for personalized products. Join Susan Walsh, GM & CTO, and Libby Wright, COO, as they explore the boundless possibilities and responsible applications of AI, propelling category management into a future where every product offering is as unique as the individual it serves.

Libby Saylor Wright is the Chief of Staff / Operations Leader for Microsoft’s US Retail & Consumer Goods Operating Unit, an organization driving over $5B in revenue and shaping the future of retail and consumer goods with game-changing solutions. Libby is responsible for the organization’s strategy, performance management, operations, and people and culture.

Prior to her role at Microsoft, Libby was the Chief Operating Officer of Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), the food industry’s thought leader on gender equity providing research, insights, and solutions to enable some of the world’s most recognized brands to close the workplace gender gap.

Prior to WFF, Libby served in several roles with increasing responsibility during her 13 years with The Coca-Cola Company. With the ever-changing dynamics of the beverage industry, Libby was fortunate to play a leadership role in the development of three new organizations within The Coca-Cola Company: Shopper Marketing, Retail Sales, and Portfolio Innovation.

In addition to her professional experience, Libby is engaged in the community in multiple capacities, including as a member of the board of directors for NextUp, the University of Connecticut’s Women’s Leadership Council and the SOCIALDEVIANT DEIB Board.

Libby is married to Dr. Gary Wright. The couple has one son, Sef, who is a student at Hampton University.

Daryl Hammett headshot

Daryl Hammett

General Manager of Global Demand ML/AI & Operations, AWS

AWS logo
Generative AI (GenAI) has become a driving force behind an organization’s success. However, transitioning to GenAI requires that business data be available, clean, and relevant to the business problem. By ensuring that business data connects to business processes, models can be trained towards the target objective. It’s a critical step towards future-proofing your business, and we’re here to help you take it.

Daryl is currently the General Manager of Global Demand ML/AI & Operations at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and supports other leaders of Amazon Leaders as a Certified Business and Executive Coach (CEC). He employs his executive experience, leadership strategies, and coaching expertise to expand operational excellence. Global Demand ML/AI and Operations supports the sales and marketing teams. It consists of seven global sub-teams, Lead Management & Operations (LMO), Marketing Response Center (MRC), and Localization (LOC) each aligning with its vertical business. Horizontally, there are four functional teams supporting Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Strategy & Analytics, Engineering, Business Operations, and Global Services across the entire Global Demand ML/AI and Operations team.

Daryl is a seasoned business executive with decades of experience leading teams in global operations, supply chain/procurement, and technology. He recently served as the Vice President of Global Solutions at Coupa Software and as Chief Operations Officer, Chief Technology Officer & General Manager of ConnXus, a supplier relationship software start-up, which Daryl was a major investor, as well as, led the company to a successful exit with Coupa. He previously worked as Senior Vice President and General Manager at Luxottica, a billion-dollar brand. During his time there he led sales, marketing, operations, logistics and product development. He also co-led the growth strategy, customer acquisition, account management, marketing integration into sales process, lead generation, and scalable sales resource planning. He has been recognized as a Top COO by Cincinnati Business Courier. He has partnered with leading procurement organizations to drive Supplier Risk, Supplier Relationship Management and Client Success. He is certified in Supply Chain Management, Third-Party Risk Management, and Intelligent Software Automation.

Among his many accomplishments, he has completed the CEO Academy at Wharton School of Business.

James Ford headshot

James Ford

VP of Category Leadership,
Coca-Cola

Coca-cola logo
Join James Ford, VP of Category Leadership at Coca-Cola, in conversation with John Fimbel, SVP at Mastercard Data & Services, for a conversation around the power of leveraging data and advanced analytics. James and John will explore specific case studies around increasing sales and overall market share through business experimentation – not just understanding the impact of your previous decisions, but also being able to pinpoint exactly how to scale those decisions for the best results.

James was named as Vice President, Category Leadership in October 2016. James is responsible for leading the customer facing category management teams across all categories and routes to market for National Retail Sales customers.

James has been with Coca-Cola for 23 years in various roles including category management, revenue growth management, price strategy and channel strategy/commercialization. He has spent time on both the company side as well as on the bottling side with Coca-Cola Enterprises. James currently sits of the executive leadership board of the Category Management Association where he advises on all aspects of furthering the discipline of category management across the industry. James has past experience with Red Bull where he led Category Management and Shopper Insights. In that role, James was responsible for all aspects of category management, research, data strategy and channel/category insights. Prior to experience at Coca-Cola and Red Bull, James worked at M&M/Mars in both sales and category management.

James graduated from Hobart College with a degree in Computer Science and currently lives in Atlanta with wife, Jean, and daughter, Ciera.

John Fimbel

SVP at Mastercard Data & Services,
Mastercard

Join James Ford, VP of Category Leadership at Coca-Cola, in conversation with John Fimbel, SVP at Mastercard Data & Services, for a conversation around the power of leveraging data and advanced analytics. James and John will explore specific case studies around increasing sales and overall market share through business experimentation – not just understanding the impact of your previous decisions, but also being able to pinpoint exactly how to scale those decisions for the best results.
John Fimbel is a business development professional with 20+ years of experience who is passionate about serving companies, customers, and citizens so they can maximize possibilities, potential, and profitability through leveraging technology and data to take the ambiguity out of decision making.

John currently works at Mastercard as the SVP of Business Development where he leads business development for the Test & Learn platform for North America serving the private and public sector.

Prior to Mastercard, John worked at the start up APT as part of the senior leadership team leading APT’s sales team globally for many years supporting the execution and implementation of APT’s growth aspirations by adhering to the self-made “Make It Happen” management approach. John assisted in growing the company from ~$100K in revenue to over $100M.

John successfully initiated and nurtured relationships with a large percentage of APT’s clients across a wide range of industries, from big box and specialty retailers, to global financial institutions, to leading consumer goods companies.

John initiated and led the partnership with Mastercard which led to Mastercard acquiring APT for $600M in May 2015.

Prior to joining APT, John served as a consultant with Johnston McLamb, a management and IT consulting firm, where he worked on several projects developing custom technology solutions for both the Federal government and private industry.

Prior to Johnston McLamb John was a Research Analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he focused on resource allocation for the Department of Defense.

John is a graduate of George Washington University where he earned an MS of Information Systems Technology, and prior was a graduate of St. Mary’s College with a BS of Economics, Political Science, and Public Policy.

Scott Garvey headshot

Scott Garvey

Senior Director Data and AI, Retail and CPG,
Microsoft

In this session we uncover the science of AI application, and take away actionable insights to apply the right AI use case for your unique business scenario. Join Scott Garvey, Senior Director Data Analytics & AI, as he walks through a practical framework to use as you consider various AI copilots, the build vs. buy dilemma, highlighting the importance of data as the cornerstone of decision-making.

Scott Garvey has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry and currently serves as the Senior Director at Microsoft Corporation. He leads a dedicated team of sales and technical professionals, focusing on transforming the business outcomes of Retail and CPG customers through the strategic application of Microsoft’s Data technologies and services. His expertise lies in driving innovation and delivering measurable results, ensuring that Microsoft’s solutions align with customer needs for a competitive edge in the market.

Yves Boussemart, PhD

Chief Technology Officer, XGS.ai

XGS.ai logo

Yves is the Chief Technology Officer at XGS.ai and focuses on driving AI and analytics across the portfolio companies such as EBM, BlueOps Partners, and the CMA.

He holds a Ph.D. from MIT, as well as a Masters and Bachelor in Computer Engineering from McGill University and has over 15 years of experience in data science and visualization. Yves has overseen and spearheaded the delivery of advanced analytics projects across a wide range of industries, including midmarket private equity, airlines, mining, automotive racing, and pharmaceuticals.

Previously, Yves served as the Head of QuantumBlack Canada and an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Co. During his tenure, he established and expanded the Canadian practice of QuantumBlack, a global leader in advanced analytics. He has led numerous projects and teams in the UK, Europe, and North America, as a Director at QuantumBlack UK.

Yves is an active angel investor in AI-focused startups, mentors at the Creative Destruction Lab (Montreal site, AI stream), and is a member of Anges Quebec. He’s passionate about applying AI to solve real-world problems and creating positive impact.

Grigorios Skolidis headshot

Grigorios Skolidis, PhD

VP, Data Science, XGS.ai

XGS.ai logo

Grigorios Skolidis is the Vice President of Data Science at XGS.ai, leading the technical development of ML-powered software modules and data science projects across the portfolio.

With a Ph.D. in Machine Learning from the University of Edinburgh, he brings 10+ years of experience developing Machine Learning solutions in various Industrial settings and has worked across multiple verticals such as Finance and Banking, Construction and Infrastructure, Retail, Mining, Banking, Healthcare, Pharma, and Agriculture.

Dr. Skolidis is recognized for his expertise in machine learning and helping businesses unlock valuable insights and achieve outstanding results. His extensive knowledge and practical experience position him as a valuable asset for organizations navigating today’s data-driven landscape.

Azure OpenAI Hackathon

Sponsored by Microsoft

Unleash your innovation at our exclusive hackathon, where you’ll transform visionary ideas into reality with Microsoft’s leading engineers and architect teams.

Pablo Marin headshot

Pablo Marin

Hackathon Leader
Principal Cloud Solution Architect, Microsoft

Peter Shand headshot

Peter Shand

Principal Cloud Solution Architect, Data & AI,
Microsoft

Technology and business leader with experience integrating technology and business solutions for large enterprises. Excels in defining product, program, and professional services strategies, as well as providing hands-on leadership to project teams throughout envisioning, design, implementation, and execution.

Specialties: Analytics, Data Strategy, Machine Learning, Digital Transformation, Target Operating Model Design, Strategic Planning, International Business Development and Risk Management, Innovation Management, Operational & Financial Management, Industry Experience in Retail, Financial Services, Public Sector, Healthcare, Legal and Hospitality.

Suresh Paulraj headshot

Suresh Paulraj

Principal Cloud Solution Architect, Advanced Analytics & AI, Microsoft

Suresh is working as a Principal Cloud Solution Architect specialized in Data & AI with Microsoft for 9 years. He is passionate solving business problems for large Retail clients in the advanced analytics and artificial intelligence space. Consult clients developing intelligent AI applications responsibly with well architected framework. Enthusiastically mentoring new AI startups through Microsoft for Startups Expert network.
Ananya Chowdhury headshot

Ananya Ghosh Chowdhury

Senior Cloud Solution Architect, Data & AI,
Microsoft

Ananya Ghosh Chowdhury is a Senior Cloud Solution Architect, Data and AI at Microsoft, focusing on the retail and CPG industry. She is a thought leader and a trusted advisor for large-scale enterprises, leading strategies, initiatives and designing solutions that empower businesses to leverage advanced analytical and innovative AI solutions.

She has over 10 years of experience in data science, machine learning, data engineering, software engineering and cloud technologies, working across various domains such as retail, healthcare, and education.

Giorgio Saez headshot

Giorgio Saez

Senior Cloud Solution Architect, Data & AI,
Microsoft

Giorgio is an AI Cloud Solutions Architect at Microsoft with 10+ years of experience in AI and ML projects. Holding a Master’s in Data Science focusing on Natural Language Processing and Predictive Analytics, he is deeply committed and collaborates closely with customers to develop tailored solutions that meet their unique requirements and drive business impact.
Sedhu Krishnamurthy headshot

Sedhu Krishnamurthy

General Manager Data & AI, US Retail & Consumer Goods, Microsoft

Sedhu Krishnamurthy leads the Data & Artificial Intelligence business for U.S. Retail and Consumer Goods at Microsoft. Prior to joining Microsoft, Krishnamurthy served in Technical leadership roles at Allstate Insurance, Insuresoft and Innovex Technology. Sedhu is also on the advisory board of Robochef, a robotics startup focused on building automation platforms for the food service industry. He serves as a Trustee of Quest Academy in Illinois where he helped establish an AI curriculum, perhaps the first for K-8 in the country. He is on the board of Chicago Thrive Scholars, a nonprofit that provides high-achieving students of color from economically under-resourced communities with the opportunities they need to thrive at top colleges and achieve their full career potential.

Sedhu holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Guindy Eng. College, MS in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology and an MBA in Strategy and Finance from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

Learning Lab Workshops

We have several learning workshops for data scientists and business intelligence teams to learn the fundamental retail and CPG business strategies and how to align data science to key stakeholder’s business objectives. These are being put on by two impressive ARC advisors. Most recently the VP of category leadership at PepsiCo and the most recent VP of Retail Commerce Leadership for Tyson Foods.

Sue Toy headshot

Sue Toy

ARC Advisor
Former VP of Retail Commerce Leadership,
Tyson Foods

ARC Advisors

Sue is the Former VP of Retail Commerce Leadership at Tyson Foods, where she led strategic engagements with Tyson’s retail customers through best-in-class e-commerce leadership, commerce (shopper) marketing, shopper insights, and category management initiatives. As an innovative leader, she helped drive growth by creatively leveraging data and insights to build actionable strategies to increase customer experience. She empowered her team to think differently and how to best position customers to meet the needs of their consumers, resulting in collaborative relationships with retailers and setting Tyson apart from its competition.

With over 25 years of experience in the CPG Industry, Sue has had a successful career through various positions in retail, market research, and category management. Prior to joining Tyson, she made significant contributions at leading companies like Walgreens, NielsenIQ, and PepsiCo.

In the fall of 2023, Sue joined ARC Advisors, where she continues to champion and advocate for members of CMA/SIMA.

Mike Gervasio headshot

Mike Gervasio

ARC Advisor
Former VP of Category Leadership,
PepsiCo

ARC Advisors

Mike Gervasio is formerly the Vice President of Category Leadership at PepsiCo where he spent over 20 years practicing, leading, and evolving the CatMan discipline for the industry. He is a highly successful and experienced leader in building and elevating world class strategic insights teams, and is passionate about assisting individuals and leaders in meeting and surpassing their goals. Mike has been a longtime CMA supporter and currently serves as content and training advisor to help reimagine all 80+ training courses.

Mike Finley headshot

Mike Finley

CTO, AnswerRocket

We’ll cover lessons learned and mistakes to avoid when working with LLMs. AnserRocket’s CTO, Mike Finley, will be doing a live demonstration that hits on the points being made, unveiling a functional analytics Copilot during the talk.

Mike’s current work at AnswerRocket focuses on discovering deep insights in business data with AI. His work in intelligent agent technology is built on a foundation of natural language processing, one of AnswerRocket’s core features.

Previously, Mike co-founded Qualia Labs, where he developed recognized innovations in the field of machine learning and big data. In Mike’s early career, he built Radiant Systems and led the engineering, product marketing, and technical sales teams for massive retail transaction systems prior to acquisition by NCR, where he became CTO for SaaS systems, consumer products, and mobile development. A recognized author, speaker, and patented inventor, Mike holds degrees in Physics, Math, and Computer Science from Transylvania University.

Prabhath Nanisetty

Prabhath Nanisetty

Industry Principal, Retail Data and Quick Commerce,
Snowflake

Learn how data-driven brands such as Ritual and Sunday seamlessly integrate data from retailers and distributors into their Snowflake data cloud, leveraging daily insights across D2C and brick-and-mortar to reduce out of stocks, optimize product assortments, and avoid countless hours of retail data ingestion. Technology leaders from Snowflake and Crisp will demonstrate how brands can integrate retail, first-party, 3PL, and advertising data to unlock meaningful insights.
Prabhath Nanisetty currently leads industry strategy for Retail Data and Technology at Snowflake – the Data Cloud that powers many of the world’s largest retailers, brands, and data companies. Prior to his current role, he has 20 years of experience leading Product Management & Analytics at a number of technology start-ups and large consumer brands.
Dag Liodden

Dag Liodden

Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder,
Crisp

Learn how data-driven brands such as Ritual and Sunday seamlessly integrate data from retailers and distributors into their Snowflake data cloud, leveraging daily insights across D2C and brick-and-mortar to reduce out of stocks, optimize product assortments, and avoid countless hours of retail data ingestion. Technology leaders from Snowflake and Crisp will demonstrate how brands can integrate retail, first-party, 3PL, and advertising data to unlock meaningful insights.
Dag is the Co-Founder and CPO of Crisp. Before co-founding Crisp, Dag also co-founded Tapad, where he served as CTO. Dag oversaw Tapad’s notable breakthroughs in delivering targeted advertising across platforms. Prior to Tapad, Dag was co-founder and CTO of Giant Leap Technologies AS, the premier business mobility solutions provider in the Nordic region. Dag began programming at 6-years-old and has a Master’s Degree in Science, Industrial Economics and Technology Management from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Rich Scamehorn

Chief Data Officer, Managing Director, AI, Board Member and Co-Founder, Incontext Solutions

Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the retail industry by storm in lots of exciting ways, thanks to a plethora of nearly infinite amounts of data. At InContext, we’ve created an AI model specific to our massive data lake of observed sales behavioral data from over 2 million virtual shopping trips. Join us for a hands-on learning experience into how our AI model projects performance based on specific circumstances from analyzing observed behavioral data, and go through a blinded case study to compare results to our traditional research.
Rich pioneered efforts to bring virtual reality to retail store simulations as early as 2007. He co-founded InContext in 2009, and has over 20 years of market research experience, converting quantitative data to consumer insights for major research brands.

Matthew Adam Smith

Founder & CEO, MAS Commerce

No more trade-offs between profitability and sustainability–AI and Advanced Tech are smashing that notion, allowing Commerce Leaders to make choices that rock for Profit, People, and Planet. Come learn how the most epic tech shift in history will arm Retailers, Brands and Platforms to amp up efficiency, cut waste, and light up a path to creating shared value for business and society.
Matthew Adam Smith is Founder and CEO of MAS Commerce—the world’s first Consultancy guiding Retailers, Brands and Platforms to simultaneously increase Profitability and Sustainability through AI and Advanced Tech. He drives Commercialization as board advisor for multiple tech start-ups, has been named a “Top Retail Expert” by RETHINK Retail, and is a founding member of both the Retail AI Council and the CoreSight Research AI Council. Passionate about social justice, Matthew founded CommerceCares—a non-profit uniting professionals within Retail, Marketing and Technology to drive positive change for our workforces, communities and society at large.

From 2019-23, Matthew drove Walmart’s Commercial Transformation as a launch leader of their top B2B innovations—Walmart Connect and Walmart Marketplace—and as creator of their eCommerce Community strategy. Within the world’s largest company, he helped stand up 10-figure businesses that are leveraging AI to scale the quantity and quality of products available to Customers, and their experience across the Purchase Funnel.

Prior to Walmart, Matthew was an Advertising and Marketing leader of iconic media brands including Men’s Health, WIRED, Fast Company, Dr. Oz and Hornet Networks, and co-creator of the first-ever LGBTQ+ marketing campaigns from HBO, Target, Wells Fargo and Mercedes-Benz USA.