Crosset Company Announces Retailer Panel
- by Anne Allen
INDEPENDENCE, KY - How do you know when an event will go from good to great? When you invite fresh produce leaders to speak, of course! At the Crosset 2019 Produce & Floral Conference, the retailer panel will include Greg Corrigan, Senior Director of Produce and Floral for Raley’s; Caitlin Tierney, Senior Director of Produce for 99 Cents Only Stores; Drew Sullivan, Senior Category Manager-Produce for Sprouts Farmers Market; and Mimmo Franzone, Director of Produce and Floral at Longo Brothers Fruit Markets.
“We are thrilled to bring together such a distinguished group of produce industry professionals for our 2019 Produce & Floral Conference,” said Greg Kurkjian, Crosset Company’s Vice President and General Manager. “Each of the retailers represented on this panel have successfully crafted a unique positioning in their marketplace, delivered in large part through their fresh produce offerings. We look forward to a lively discussion that will both challenge and inspire our conference attendees in their ‘Dare to be Different’ journey.”
The roundtable discussion, which will focus on the use of organic, local, and clean foods to support each retailers' differentiation strategies, will be moderated by Steve Lutz, Vice President of Member Engagement for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA).
According to a press release, each panelist brings their own distinctive take on fresh produce in retail, as well as their own brand of passion for fruit and veg.
Greg Corrigan, for example, oversees all produce procurement and merchandising for Raley’s Bel Air, Nob Hill, and Food Source stores in California and Nevada. He is also the current Chairman of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association Board of Directors.
Mimmo Franzone, on the other hand, developed a passion for fresh food and produce while working in the family business. Throughout his 16-year career with Longo’s, Franzone has worked as Produce Manager and Produce Category Manager. He is now the Director of Produce and Floral. His personal mission remains bringing Longo’s shoppers the flavors and experiences that fresh veg and fruit have to offer. Franzone focuses on both quality and unique offerings and works to be a leader in building sustainable relationships.
Over her 14-year career in the produce industry, Caitlin Tierney has gathered a unique perspective on up-and-coming trends, such as e-commerce, grocery delivery, prepared foods, discount retail, and more. Her retail career started as a Produce Category Assistant for Michigan-based Spartan Stores, where she spent several years as a buyer. She then moved on to work for New York-based Fresh Direct as a Senior Produce Buyer. Prior to joining 99 Cents Only Stores, she was the Produce and Floral Purchasing Manager for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and NAFTA Produce Chain Marketing Manager for Bayer CropScience.
Drew Sullivan has nearly 20 years of retail grocery produce experience. He first worked for Safeway, and for the past three years has been with Sprouts Farmers Market. His experience spans produce department management, field merchandising, and regional and national produce category management responsibilities. He brings an innovative, analytical, and creative approach to driving produce growth.
Steve Lutz’s career spans nearly 40 years. Throughout it, he has worked in fresh food marketing and research. His career includes two stints with the Washington Apple Commission, first managing industry-wide marketing programs for the apple growers of Washington State and later serving as President/CEO. He also managed marketing programs for several wineries while at Ogilvy & Mather. He is the Co-Founder of Perishables Group and Vice President of Marketing for CMI Orchards.
Registration is now open for the Crosset Company Produce & Floral Conference, which will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 28, 2019. Retailers, foodservice operators, growers, suppliers, and other industry partners can now register on-line at crosset.com. The day-long event will feature guest speakers and panelists, networking and sales opportunities, and cooking demonstrations and sampling throughout the day.
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