Every year, hundreds of professionals representing the broad spectrum of California’s grocery industry convene for three days in Palm Springs to collaborate, network and develop new approaches to their businesses. CGA combines the Strategic Conference’s foundational elements with an exciting line-up of speakers that challenges you to think differently and anticipate the changing trends and new directions of the industry. Add in constant opportunities to connect with your most important partners all in one location at one time and you have the gold standard of industry conferences.

The CGA Strategic Conference is proud to offer an event that is not time spent AWAY from business, but rather time INVESTED IN your business.

Ultimately, nothing speaks to the enduring success of the CGA Strategic Conference like the praise of our participants, who affirm that this annual gathering is an ever-renewing source of challenging ideas, perceptive advice, and solid connections to implement and build on in the year ahead.

“The CGA Strategic Conference is exceptional in that there are national and regional decision makers from many of the largest CPG’s. The retailer has the opportunity to network with many of these companies and work at strengthening their relationship. This makes the conference so effective and quite unique; to be able to develop this many relationships all at one venue.”

Kurt Erickson
Vallarta Supermarkets

2016 CGA Strategic Conference Planning Committee

Kevin Konkel (CGA Board Director)
Senior VP, Operations
Raley’s Family of Fine Stores

Diana Godfrey (Committee Chair)
Group VP, Sales & Merchandising
Smart & Final Stores

Raul Aguilar
Sr. Dir., Retail Sales
Anheuser-Busch InBev

Teresa Anaya
Dir., Sales Promotions & Demonstrations
Northgate Gonzalez Markets

Kevin Arceneaux
Regional VP, West Area Sales
Mondelez International, Inc.

Rich Arnold
VP, Sales – Grocery
Oberto Brands

Dennis Belcastro
VP, Industry Affairs & Customer Development
Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Vic Chiono
VP Sales, West USA
Coca-Cola Refreshments

Paul Cooke
VP, Trade & Industry Development
Nestle Purina PetCare

Darrell Costello
Sales Director
Roplast Industries Inc

Brent Cotten
Dir., Customer & Industry Affairs
The Hershey Company

Willie Crocker
Dir., Retail Customers South
Bimbo Bakeries, USA

Dave Dimond
Senior VP, Sales
Milton’s Baking Company

Richard Draeger
Draeger’s Supermarkets, Inc.

Jim French
President, Northern California
Co-Sales Northern California

Arthur D. Jackson, Jr.
VP General Administration
Costco Wholesale

Dave Jones
VP, Industry Initiatives
Kellogg Company

Paul Kamholz
VP, Sales & Marketing
Baswood Corporation

Dave Madden
Regional Chain Director

Mario Mediati
Dir., Sales West
The Clorox Company

Dan Meyer
EVP, Retail Operations
Stater Bros. Markets

Philip Miller
VP West Region
C & S Wholesale Grocers

Hee Sook Nelson
VP, Employee Development & Marketing
Gelson’s Markets

Mark Olejnik
Sales Manager
C&H Sugar Company/ASR Group

Chris Podesto
Executive Director, Marketing
Food4Less/Rancho San Miguel Markets

Veronica Rendon
Dir., Field Marketing
Alta Dena Certified Dairy, LLC

Bob Richardson
Dir., Sales, Customer Development
The Clorox Company

Craig Rosenblum
Willard Bishop Consulting, Ltd.

Julie Sanchez
Executive Assistant
Whole Foods Market

Dennis Spiller
VP, National Sales
Jelly Belly Candy Co.

Jim Van Gorkom
SVP, Sales & Marketing
NuCal Foods

Jim Wallace
VP General Manager, Pavilions
Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions

A note from the 2016 Chairman of the California Grocers Association:

“The CGA conference is an opportunity every company in the California food industry should seize. The ability to connect at a rapid pace with multiple existing and new business relationships is a win for all concerned.”

Kevin Konkel
Senior Vice President, Operations
Raley’s Family of Fine Stores