The NGA Show features over 60 educational workshops and sessions, highly specialized and geared towards all members of your team.

2019 Super Breakfast Sessions

Thriving as an Independent

Monday, February 25, 2019
7:00 AM - 8:15 AM
Ballroom 20

A look in the rearview mirror shows just how quickly the industry has changed in the last few years. Technology, a fickle economy, new competitors and ever-changing consumer wants and habits have conspired to make it challenging for retailers to survive – let alone thrive. But many independents have done just that – flourished in a complex environment. Find out why wholesalers are bullish on independents, especially those who are innovative, disciplined, strategic and willing to make tough choices. Industry leaders with a birds-eye view of the marketplace will share their perspectives on the future of the independent retailer and how grocers can flourish in the future.


  • Peter Larkin, President & CEO, National Grocers Assocation
  • John Ross, President & CEO, IGA, Inc.
  • Mike Stigers, Executive Vice President, Wholesale, SUPERVALU/UNFI
  • David Smith, President and CEO, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc.
  • Randy Arceneaux, President & CEO, Affiliated Foods, Inc.

2019 Creative Choice Awards Presentation

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
7:00 AM - 8:45 AM
Ballroom 20

Independent retailers are known for their creativity, passion and flexibility. And it shows in their promotional programs. NGA’s Creative Choice Awards program recognizes marketing and merchandising programs, promotions and community events that have boosted store traffic, increased item or department sales, positively impacted overall store sales or provided a unique benefit to the community. Discover marketing promotions and merchandising events that add an element of fun and excitement to the shopping experience. Best of Show marketing and merchandising programs will be revealed during the Super Breakfast Session.

• Moderator; Michael Sansolo, President, Sansolo Solutions, LLC

Sponsored By:
Kellogg's, Unilever

2019 General Sessions

iRetail: Technology Innovation Reshaping the Grocery Industry

Sunday, February 24
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Room 28 ABC

Education Partner: Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)

Join CART at NGAShow19 in San Diego where we'll be transforming the future of retail! In a special event kicking off the NGA Show 2019, on Sunday afternoon February 24, 2019, we'll be creating the Epicenter of Retail Innovation -- designed to give mid-market regional retailers and progressive independent operators a framework for navigating fast paced innovation while retaining a focus on the importance of people and physical stores as we move into the future.

• A discussion into the world of iRetail featuring industry thought leaders and retail executives sharing experiences and case studies 
• Dive into the five ‘i’ framework to evaluate existing capabilities and incorporate new technologies into your business
• How to develop an innovation culture within your company
• Showcase and demonstrations of the latest technologies transforming retail

Moderated by:

  • Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology
  • Sterling Hawkins, Co-Founder, Operations and Development, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology


  • Ron Bonacci, Vice President, Marketing and Advertising, Weis Markets
  • Chris Leevers, Owner, Leevers Supermarkets
  • Daniel McCarthy, Professor, Emory University and Theta Equity Co-Founder
  • Christie Frazier-Coleman, Vice President, Marketing, Lehi Valley Trading Company
  • John D'Anna, Executive Vice President – Chief Strategic Officer, Brookshire Grocery Company
  • Sylvain Perrier, President and CEO, Mercatus Technologies Inc.

Presented by:


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Data Driven Growth – Bits and Bytes That will Disrupt Your Business

Monday, February 25, 2019
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ballroom 20

Every week we read news articles, tweets or blogs about new technologies that have the potential to disrupt our business and personal lives in profound ways. Many of these new technologies are impacting the CPG industry and dramatically changing the way consumers research and shop for products. These changes are also impacting CPG supply chains and the methods in which manufacturers and retailers get their goods to market. The digital revolution before us presents enormous opportunities and challenges across the end-to-end consumer value chain. 

John S. Phillips, SVP of Customer Supply Chain & Global Go-To-Market for PepsiCo, will share his perspective and insights on some of the technologies that have the greatest potential to drive dramatic change across the CPG consumer value chain. These technologies include augmented reality, smart shelves, autonomous in-store robots, wearables, image recognition, self-driving vehicles, IoT devices, drones and many others.


  • John Phillips, SVP Customer Supply Chain & Global Go-to-Market, PepsiCo 

2019 Super Sessions

WGA Engagement Event: Navigating the Myths of Women in the Workplace

Tuesday, February 26
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Room 25C

Managers, political pundits, and the media consistently use gender and generational stereotypes to make decisions and predictions, presuming to understand the collective tastes, ambitions, values, and work habits of people based on one characteristic. This results in miscommunication among team members, lower productivity, and worse. In this session, learn seven steps to becoming an agent for change to bust stereotypes and work more effectively, plus how interpersonal dynamics contribute the most to business success. After the keynote, we’ll use the remainder of our time to networking and continue the conversation. 


  • Jessica Kriegel, Managing Partner, OE Consulting Group

Rebuilding the Supermarket Experience

Tuesday, February 26
3:15 PM - 4:30 PM
Room 28CD

To successfully compete with emerging e-commerce competitions, traditional retailers need find ways to give shoppers an enhanced experience in stores using products, merchandising, staffers and technology. This new study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council examines how this can be accomplished in a profitable way.


  • Michael Sansolo, President, Sansolo Solutions
  • David Zallie, Owner, Somerset Stores, LLC 
  • Jay Ard, Vice President, Industry Affairs, The Coca Cola Company

Hiring and Retaining Millennials and Multicultural Associates - Highlights From The NGA Student Case Study Competition

Tuesday, February 26
3:15 PM - 4:30 PM
Room 28AB

Education Partner: The NGA Foundation

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest living adult generation in 2019. Millennial growth is largely fueled by immigration, which is adding more numbers to their group than any other. The generation has been the largest in the labor force since 2016 and in a tight employment market, recruiting and retaining across all retailer positions is challenging. Students participating in the case study competition will explore how Independent grocers can encourage Millennials – especially those from diverse backgrounds – to join their ranks? Hear the two finalists present their solutions to a panel of industry judges and see which university will claim the title of 2018 champion.


  • Joe DellaNoce, SVP Sales and OPS, East Region, SUPERVALU Inc. (retired) and NGA Foundation Regent

2019 Workshop Tracks


E-commerce and technology innovations driving retail today and in the future.

Click HERE to view workshops


Prepare for a whole new look of the checkout

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Management and leadership strategies to position the organization for sustained growth. 

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Creative marketing and merchandising ideas for evolving fresh and perimeter departments. 

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Consumer insights from around the world and close to home.

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Creating excitement with events and special categories.

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Best in class in-store execution strategies to meet competitive challenges. 

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2019 NGA Talks


Management and leadership strategies to position the organization for sustained growth. 

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Strengths and weaknesses of competitive formats and ways to regain market share

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Creative marketing and merchandising ideas for evolving fresh and perimeter departments. 

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Industry-wide look at drivers impacting performance 

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Making smart technology and capital budget decisions 

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Appealing to shoppers and the bottom line with energy and waste reduction programs

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Making the most of the wealth of data collected at retail

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Creatively reaching and connecting with shoppers through a variety of media

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Creative concepts for winning with foodservice and prepared foods

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Best practices for getting product to shoppers via home delivery or store pickup

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Increasing traffic and sales in key departments in the store

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Transitioning the business smoothly and profitably

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Using cafés to bring new traffic and sales opportunities to the store

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Thank You To Our 2019 Education Partners

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Global Cold Chair Alliance

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Specialty Food Association

With over 60 specialized educational workshops led by retailers for retailers and more than 400 companies on our EXPO floor showcasing innovative and game-changing products and solutions, The NGA Show provides countless opportunities to learn from your peers and other industry thought leaders. Bring your whole team to The NGA Show and bring home ideas that will drive profitable growth for your company.