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rofda advisory council (rac)

Purpose

The purpose of the RAC is to provide ROFDA leadership with input, information and feedback representing the interest of ROFDA’s Associates and Suppliers in support of ROFDA’s mission.

ROFDA Advisory Council

Mike Ridenour

Mike Ridenour - RAC Chairman
Head of Industry Relations & Sales Operations
The Kraft Heinz Company

Mike Ridenour is Head of Industry Relations Sales for The Kraft Heinz Company, one of the largest consumer packaged goods companies in North America and the world. He previously was the Customer Vice President, Industry Development for Kraft Foods leading customer collaboration relationships for Sales. He has leadership responsibility for industry initiatives and government affairs for Sales nationally across all formats and is based out of Chicago, IL. Mike began his career with Kraft Foods in 1985 based out of Atlanta, GA and has served in various management and strategic planning positions with leadership responsibility across multiple channels, including national, independent, drug and club retailers throughout the United States. Mike and his wife Cheryl reside in Chicago, IL.

Jon Ambrose

Jon Ambrose
Co-Founder and COO
Rosie

Jon is the Co-Founder and COO of Rosie, the US Grocery Industry’s leading provider of eCommerce and Data Analytics services. Jon leads the company’s supplier engagement programs, partnering with manufacturers and distributors across the US to develop consumer insights, conduct shopper marketing, and drive increased margins throughout the supply chain. Within Rosie, Jon oversees the Sales, Marketing, and Operations teams, focusing on independent grocers and wholesalers. Jon obtained his MBA from Cornell University and conducted his graduate research on digital marketing and data analytics. Prior to Rosie Jon was a management consultant at Gap International, where he worked with executive teams on innovation and leadership development programs. Jon is a Villanova University alumnus and an avid outdoorsman who enjoys playing a variety of sports.

Jesse Garcia

Jesse Garcia
Senior Vice President of Sales & Chief Customer Officer
Post Consumer Brands

Mr. Garcia joined the Malt-O-Meal Company in 1997 as a Regional Sales Manager. He was named National Sales Director in 2006 and was promoted to Chief Customer Officer in 2009. In 2012 he was named Senior Vice President of Sales & Chief Customer Officer.Previous to joining Post Consumer Brands, Mr. Garcia held sales and category management positions with Kellogg’s. He began his career in the D.S.D business holding sales and management positions with Dr. Pepper/7Up, Anheiser Busch, and Coors Distributors.

Mr. Garcia is a graduate of Texas A&M at Commerce, holding a Bachelors of Business Administration degree. His affiliations include GMA, FMI, NGA, ROFDA and MGA. Mr. Garcia is an active supporter of Enactus, Network of Executive Women (NEW), United Way, Special Olympics and Second Harvest Heartland.

Michele Koci

Michele Koci
Director of Sales
First Data

Michele Koci, Director of Sales with First Data, is a 20-year veteran of the grocery payments business. During her time at First Data, Michele has managed sales and relationship teams as well as direct clients in both the national grocery and wholesale grocery space. In her role, Michele is responsible for insuring client satisfaction, helping clients understand and implement innovation in the payments space as well as adding new clients to the First Data family. She also works with industry partners and trade groups. Prior to her time at First Data, she worked at Albertsons in the areas of corporate planning, finance and electronic payments. Michele also spent time at US Bank.

Ric Larsen

Ric Larsen
President/CEO
DeJarnett Sales

Ric Larsen is President and CEO of DeJarnett Sales, America’s leading specialized food broker. Ric joined DeJarnett in 1991 and has held his current position since 1997. He has over 30 years of experience in the food industry, specializing in sales, management, marketing, and finance. Ric is a graduate of Southern Oregon University with a BS Degree in Business. He is an active volunteer in the community, enjoys outdoor recreation, and lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.

Jim Lukens

Jim Lukens
General Manager
Media Solutions Corporation

Jim Lukens began in the grocery business over 40 years ago and served in several roles in the food wholesale and retail business from store operations to senior management. After graduating from The Ohio State University, Jim’s career began with roles as Buyer/Merchandiser, Director of Merchandising, Vice President of Procurement, Marketing and Advertising, Vice President of Store Operations, Executive Vice President and eventually President of food wholesalers and retailers from $1 billion to over $20 billion in annual sales. In 2001 Jim became Chief Operating Officer for DW Green Company in Phoenix, working with regional retailers around the country. In 2011 Jim started up Retail Stores Advocate, Inc. ,a store consulting business and in 2012 started up Media Solutions Corporation (MSC) in Phoenix . MSC works with over 1000 independent grocers around the country providing them with digital solutions including websites, customized store apps, online shopping programs, text messaging promotional programs, in-store digital signage and social media posting services.

Jim has served on the Board of Directors for the National Grocers Association, and the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Grocers and the Oklahoma Grocers Association.

Dennis (Denny) J. Belcastro – Immediate Past Chairman

Dennis (Denny) J. Belcastro – Immediate Past Chairman
Vice Industry and Customer Collaboration
Kimberly Clark North America

With 39+ years of industry experience, Denny joined the leadership team at Kimberly Clark in April 2015 as Vice President, Industry and Customer Collaboration where he is responsible for leading the company’s efforts with business and industry initiatives in developing new business opportunities while building strategic retailer collaborative partnerships.

Most recently, Denny served as Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Industry Collaboration with Hillshire Brands/Tyson Foods since July 2012.

Before joining Hillshire Brands, Denny served the industry as the Executive Vice President, Industry Affairs and Collaboration at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA, based in Washington, DC where he was responsible for GMA’s strategic industry collaboration platforms and key initiatives to best serve the Association’s membership.

Prior to GMA, Denny was Vice President, Customer Development and Industry Affairs for Kraft Foods North America where he was responsible for Kraft’s “First to the Table” integrated focus on customer collaboration and overall industry business relationships. In addition, Denny led Kraft’s engagement with a broad range of corporate-wide strategic initiatives that included areas of focus on customer marketing programs and innovation development, supporting the overall business strategy for C-suite business interactions with Kraft Foods’ top customers. In addition, Denny served for 10 years as the Executive Director and Tournament Chairman of Kraft Nabisco LPGA Championship and led Kraft’s overall industry association along with media and trade publication affiliations.

During his career, Denny has held several field and HQ organizational leadership roles with Nabisco Brands including Senior Vice President, sales, for all industry business segments. Denny began his career in the food industry in 1976 when he joined Standard Brands in Pittsburgh, PA as field sales representative.

Currently, Denny serves on various industry association boards as a director including the California Grocers Association, National Grocers Association, GMDC and ROFDA where most recently he was the Chairman of the ROFDA Advisory Council. In addition, Denny serves as a member on FMI’s Industry Collaboration Council and NACDS Supplier Advisory Council.

A native of Aliquippa, PA, Denny holds a bachelor degree in business communication from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where he majored in media communication and participated in intercollegiate baseball, serving as captain for two years. Denny earned his executive MSC degree in business and organizational communication at Northwestern University School of Management.
Denny and his wife Marsha make their home in a Chicago suburb where they are involved in many community and service related events and charities.