The RAC is made up of seven ROFDA associates and suppliers. Appointments are confirmed by a combination of ROFDA’s Chairman Randy Arceneaux, president and CEO of Affiliated Foods Inc.; the incoming RAC chairman; and the ROFDA executive staff.
Six serve concurrent two-year terms with the ROFDA chairman. The immediate past chairman continues a final two-year term and serves to provide continuity from the previous council. The purpose of the RAC is to provide ROFDA leadership with input, information and feedback representing the interests of ROFDA’s associates and suppliers in support of ROFDA’s mission.
This year’s appointees are:
Jesse Garcia joined the Malt-O-Meal Co. 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 SVP of sales and chief customer officer. Prior to joining Post Consumer Brands, Garcia held sales and category management positions with Kellogg’s.
Garcia began his career in the DSD business, holding sales and management positions with Dr.Pepper/7Up, Anheiser Busch and Coors Distributors. He is a graduate of Texas A&M at Commerce, holding a bachelor’s of business administration. His affiliations include GMA, FMI, NGA, ROFDA and MGA. Garcia is an active supporter of Enactus, Network of Executive Women (NEW), United Way, Special Olympics and Second Harvest Heartland.
Bret Conard joined Edict Systems in 2015 with more than 20 years of experience in software development, professional services delivery, and sales management in several industries.
During his IT and consulting careers at Levi Strauss, RCM Technologies and United HealthCare, Conard played key roles in implementing and managing global supply chain and compliance initiatives. Conard’s diverse background allows him to function fluently at all levels within the complex world of EDI and enterprises of all sizes, says ROFDA.
Conard holds a BS in information technology from American Intercontinental University.
Stephanie Reid is the EVP of Shelby Publishing Co. Inc., a 50-year-old national media brand covering the food retailing industry, publishing The Shelby Report of the Southeast, Southwest, West, Midwest and The Griffin Report. Shelby’s monthly print and digital issues, along with its daily e-newsletters reach more than 81,000 food retailers, wholesalers and suppliers, the industry’s largest audience.
Reid joined Shelby in January of 2014, but has spent 27 years in business to business trade media, and more than 23 years in the vertical supermarket channel working for such titles as Supermarket News, Grocery Headquarters and Food People.
Reid earned her BS in journalism from Kennesaw State University in 1990, but primarily works on the business side of publishing, involving marketing, advertising and industry relations. In her current role at Shelby, Reid travels the country engaging with retailers, wholesalers and suppliers regarding editorial content and integrated trade communication strategies. She also creates and maintains alliances with the industry’s largest trade associations and holds a seat on the board of directors for the Women Grocers of America.
Keith Swiednicki founded KSI as a global supply chain consultant well known to the grocery industry for more than 35 years. He has successfully provided innovative and actionable supply chain optimization solutions on more than 500 multi-dimensional projects, says ROFDA. His highly specialized and extensive supply chain experience, including the evaluation of automated facilities, have contributed to his reputation as a trustworthy and respected expert in his field today.
Jon Visser joined Navajo Inc. as SVP in 2015. Navajo is the designer, manufacturer and distributor of Piranha Eyewear, Hottips! Electronics Accessories, Pennzoil Automotive Supplies, Salute Barware and also is the largest distributor of trial and travel size health and beauty products in the U.S. Navajo, which operates out of Denver, Colorado, is privately held and has been in business for more than 40 years.
Prior to his time with Navajo, Visser served in the CPG industry, specifically the sports nutrition industry for more than 13 years and the bottled water industry for more than 10 years.
Visser and his wife Elizabeth live in Denver and have two adult children, Lauren and Nicole.
Hunter Winton’s career with C.H. Robinson and Robinson Fresh spans more than two decades. After starting out in a transportation sales role, he transitioned into manager roles. For the last 17 years, he’s been the GM of C.H. Robinson and Robinson Fresh’s offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Mobile, Alabama; and West Region Sourcing offices.
Winton has a knack for connecting with others, whether he’s building relationships with customers and growers, developing and leading high-performing teams, or coaching the young athletes on his sons’ sports teams, says ROFDA.
Mike Ridenour is head of industry relations and sales operations for The Kraft Heinz Co., one of the largest CPG companies in the world. He previously was the customer VP, 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, Illinois.
Ridenour began his career with Kraft Foods in 1985 based out of Atlanta, Georgia, 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 U.S.
Ridenour and his wife Cheryl reside in Chicago, Illinois.
“The whole ROFDA organization is pleased that the group of individuals that have accepted the invitation to participate in the RAC are ready and eager to get things going,” said Arceneaux. “The RAC council was formed to help give us feedback and working with our vendor partners, whether product or services related. You will agree that the past RAC members have done an outstanding job, and I am sure the new RAC will take the task with the same drive. As promised at our last conference, we wanted to fill the RAC team with organizations that not only have supported our mission, but also whose companies are versed or involved in areas that we feel are very critical concerns in our industry. We look forward to working and learning together.”
“We are very proud of our partnership with the ROFDA organization. We take great pride in working with such outstanding industry professionals and leaders at ROFDA, and I am humbled by the invitation to serve as chairman of the advisory council” said Garcia.
“The ROFDA Advisory Council is a critical part of ROFDA,” said Francis Cameron, president and CEO of ROFDA. “Each person appointed to the council provides their unique skills and knowledge for the betterment of our independent grocers. We are very grateful to each of them for accepting to serve in this important role.”