Director of Training | ath Power Consulting
EJ Kritz is a seasoned keynote speaker, trainer, and strategist with extensive experience working for some of the finest brands in retail, call center, financial services, franchising, and media. As the director of ath Power Consulting’s training practice, EJ supports organizations of all sizes and various industries to deliver world-class training focused on such critical topics as leadership, management, needs-based sales, employee engagement, customer experience, problem resolution, and more. For more than 15 years, EJ has held various senior positions for some of the top companies in the country.
PANELISTS & MODERATORS
Senior Director of Data Science Innovation | Ulta Beauty
Faris Alqadah leads all data science innovation initiatives at Ulta Beauty leveraging artificial intelligence to understand and engage guests through differentiated, relevant and personalized experiences. Ulta Beauty is the largest specialty beauty retailer in the United States and the only one to provide guests prestige, mass and salon products and services all under one roof. Prior to Ulta Beauty, Faris was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of QM Scientific – a Silicon Valley-based startup that built an AI-powered customer engagement platform for retailers; QM Scientific was acquired by Ulta Beauty in 2018. From 2012-2014 Faris was a senior data scientist at PayPal.
Owner | Abbondanza Vending
Speaker bio coming soon!
Jeremy Neal Blowers
Executive Director | The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum
Jeremy Neal Blowers is the Executive Director of The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum, and the Oshawa Aeronautical, Military and Industrial Museum. Having worked as a volunteer administrator in many museum organizations over the years, he brings a great deal of experience and new direction to the organization. Jeremy’s involvement with military museums began during his Canadian History studies at Trent University when he volunteered for two years at the Oshawa Camp X Museum. His involvement with the Ontario Regiment began in 1995 when he joined the 1913 Ontario Regiment RCAC Cadet Corps and on returning from his formal education he has been involved with the Regimental Museum and Regimental activities ever since.
VP of Editorial | Networld Media Group
Before joining Networld Media Group as Vice President of Editorial, where she oversees Networld Media Group’s nine B2B publications, Cherryh Cansler served as Content Specialist at Barkley ad agency in Kansas City. Throughout her 17-year career as a journalist, she’s written about a variety of topics, ranging from the restaurant industry and technology to health and fitness news. Her byline has appeared in a plethora of newspapers, magazines and websites, including Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine. She also serves as the managing editor for FastCasual.com.
Product Marketing Manager | Entrust
Andy Cease joined the company in 2017 to help develop and bring to market transformative products that make it easier for financial institutions to improve their cardholder experience. Prior to joining Entrust, Andy worked in a variety of product, marketing and operational roles for companies specializing in digital payments, cloud computing, and e-commerce. Andy has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas.
Head of Redbox Media Network | Redbox Automated Retail
Terrence Coles has a wealth of expertise in Mobile and Video Advertising solutions. He is currently working as the Head of Redbox Media Network managing programmatic and direct brand advertising in addition to data monetization and location based advertising solutions for Redbox Automated Retail LLC. He has developed new revenue streams, implemented solutions for multi-platform providers and been responsible for monetization of mobile and video content including mobile media delivery systems for over 20 years. Terrence was most recently GM of Americas for Smaato Inc., a leading global mobile RTB ad exchange helping mobile app developers and publishers increase ad revenues worldwide.
Editor | Digital Signage Today
Bradley Cooper is the editor of DigitalSignageToday. He was previously the editor of KioskMarketplace and BlockchainTechNews. His background is in Information Technology, Advertising, and Writing.
VP of Merchandise & Brand Strategy | The Hudson Group
Ruth Crowley has diverse experience across industries including Experience Design, Retail, Hospitality, Theme Parks, Entertainment, Brand Strategy, Licensing and Consulting. Ruth has worked with iconic brands including Lowe’s Home Improvement, Universal Studios, Harley-Davidson, Nickelodeon, M&M Mars and Host Marriott in the US and Global Markets. Ruth was head of Customer Experience Design at Lowe’s, a Fortune 100 Company. She has held positions across functions including Store Design, Merchandising, Brand Strategy, Product Design, Concept and Portfolio Development, Operations, Marketing and International Business Development. Currently Ruth works with Hudson Group, a Division of Dufry International, the largest travel retailer in the world.
Founder & CEO | Sophatar Inc.
Bart DeCanne founded Sophatar with a vision to create a truly novel experience at physical venues by leveraging the various mobile, sensor, video and audio technologies he worked on for 20+ years at chip and OEM electronics companies. Before founding Sophatar, Bart was VP Product Marketing at NASDAQ-listed Audience (since then acquired by Knowles), a leading supplier of voice and audio processors for mobile handsets. Before that, in reverse order, he was business director for Cypress Semiconductor’s touchscreen product line, executive director of business management at Maxim Integrated Products for multiple product lines, product line manager at Silicon Labs for video products, and WW marketing manager for mixed-signal video products at Texas Instruments.
VP of Operations | One Source Office Refreshments
Jared Detwiler is the Vice President of Operations for One Source Office Refreshment, located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania where he is a 14 year veteran. One Source is a leader in providing vending machines, micro markets and office coffee service in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Jared has helped to achieve massive growth within One Source through strategic planning and early adoption of industry technology. Jared serves on the National Automatic Merchandising Association Education Committee and has a BSBA from Shippensburg University.
SVP, Events | Networld Media Group
David Drain has more than 20 years of experience in association management, event planning, writing and speaking. He has served as executive director of the Digital Signage Association (a group he co-founded), the Self-Service & Kiosk Association and the merged organization, Digital Screenmedia Association. Previously he was EVP for the Foodservice Consultants Society International. He currently oversees five summits for Networld Media Group ranging from mobile, interactive customer experience, bank CX, restaurant franchising and fast casual restaurants.
Co-Owner | Daddy’s Chicken Shack
Speaker bio coming soon!
Area Supervisor & Sales Manager | Best Office Coffee Service
Speaker bio coming soon!
Director of Product, Out of Home | Ultraleap
As Director of Product at Ultraleap, Saurabh Gupta has global responsibility for the Out-Of-Home (OOH) market segment. He develops and executes strategies that enable the adoption of Ultraleap’s hand tracking and mid-air haptics technologies within retail, advertising and location-based entertainment environments. Saurabh joined Ultraleap in 2018 after spending eight years at Barco, a global entertainment technology company where he was responsible for launching new products in the OOH space as Director of Commercialization and Strategy. Saurabh earned an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business and has a Masters’ in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Stony Brook University.
Group Vice President | IDC Retail Insights
As Group Vice President for IDC Retail Insights, Leslie Hand manages the retail research team for IDC Retail Insights and conducts research digital and contactless omnichannel retail technologies, given the threats and opportunities now facing the entire retail ecosystem from evolving consumer behaviors. She works with retailers and technology providers on developing best practices and strategies leveraging IDC quantitative and qualitative data sets. Before joining IDC, Leslie spent 28 years in the retail industry. As an analyst, she has been widely acknowledged at the person that coined the term “omni-channel”.
Founder & CEO | 365 Retail Markets
Joe Hessling is the founder and CEO of 365 Retail Markets, the global leader in self-checkout workplace technology. 365 Retail Markets offers the best-in-class platform for micro markets, vending, foodservice and hospitality. Under Joe’s leadership the company has been pioneering innovation since 2009. A serial entrepreneur, Joe has founded, owned and operated several companies in the past 25 years in areas ranging from distribution, managed services, restaurants and other investments. Joe is a member of the National Automatic Merchandising Association Board of Directors.
DOOH Advertising Operations | Coinstar
Speaker bio coming soon!
Director of Global Marketing, Communications & Training | 365 Retail Markets
After many years in the world of advertising agencies, Linde Hutson joined the 365 team in October of 2018 to run Marketing, Communications and Training. She is an adaptable and passionate leader who fuses a background in client service with strong marketing, digital, technical and leadership experience. Linde’s diverse background has brought proven successes in growing and sustaining customer relationships while proactively identifying opportunities that create wins for the client and agency.
President | Semnox Solutions
Enterprise solutions, customer success management, and solutions consulting – with core expertise in these areas, Bepin Jose, President of Semnox Americas, adds value to Semnox’s operations. Under his leadership, Semnox has scaled their presence across the US, Canada, Central and South America. In the past, Bepin served as the Director of Information Technology at Ricoh Americas Corporation.
Strategic Account Manager | Embed
John Keys, Strategic Account Manager, has been with Embed North America for over five years. Prior to joining Embed, John spent more than 28 years in sales, consulting, and account management roles in high-tech companies such as Oracle, MICROS, and NCR. John uses his IT experience and technical IT knowledge to help customers find the best business solution to enable, empower, and ease the business of fun.
President & Co-Founder | KioWare Kiosk System Software
Jim Kruper is President and co-founder of KioWare Kiosk System Software. KioWare has a wealth of experience across many industries and has been providing kiosk software solutions since 2004 for sectors such as education, utility, entertainment, financial, government, health & fitness, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, real estate, retail, transportation, tourism, plus many more.
President | Shikatani Lacroix Design
Jean-Pierre Lacroix is president of immersive experience design firm Shikatani Lacroix Design. A visionary design thinker, author and speaker, JP is driven to produce measurable results through strategic insights. He is committed to transforming the customer experience by designing immersive experiences that compel consumers to buy at the moment of purchase. JP is continually sought after by top brands, industry associations, conferences and publications for his insights on leading packaging, retail, banking and digital trends. His client list includes Cineplex Entertainment, Regions Bank, Toronto Blue Jays, PepsiCo Canada, CZ Bank, The Source and TD Bank Group.
VP, Publisher Solutions | Vistar Media
Eric Lamb is VP of Publisher Solutions at Vistar Media, the leading provider of software solutions for digital signage networks. Eric leads all sales, technical support, and partnership development for Vistar’s digital signage and media owner clients. As part of the early team at Vistar, Eric began as a technical analyst, after which he moved into product management and eventually took over the supply side of Vistar’s business. Prior to joining Vistar, Eric was a Business Technology Analyst for StreetSolutions. Eric holds a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
VP, Franchise Development | Saladworks
Speaker bio coming soon!
Owner | Lêberry Bakery
Founded by Raynard Ivan Ledford III in 2000, Prime Restaurant Group and Qualcomm Investments has been an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives through food, philanthropy, fashion and job creations. With all his experience, he became Vice President at Universal Studios Hollywood where he was recruited to start a restaurant, retail and investment company. Today, in addition to founding Prime Restaurant Group and Qualcomm Investments, he has had the privilege of creating numerous successful businesses such as Ork Capital, No Child Hungry, No Kid Left Behind, LBB LLC, ICL Fertilizers, One World Stem Cell Research LLC, GTI Trucking and many more.
Head of Product | Avanti Markets
Lawrence Lerner is a pioneer in Digital Payments with a history of success in innovation, both within large corporate and startup structures. During his career, he has worked across industries in multiple roles (executive, lead technologist, public board director) to enable digital transformation, scaling up businesses using edge technologies and processes creating $100Ms in new revenue. Lawrence has worked across Retail driving innovation to Costco, HEB, Wal-mart, Safeway Stores and many others to improve the in-store and back office experience. Today Lawrence heads the Product team for Avanti Markets. With his peers he is helping Avanti become the leader in unattended Retail and retail software.
SVP/Chief Financial & Technology Officer | Pawtucket Red Sox
Matthew Levin currently serves as the Controller and Chief Technology Officer for the Pawtucket Red Sox. He has been with the club since January 2016 and has taken an active role in running the day-to-day operations of the Finance Department as well as developing the technology strategy for the team. A 2014 summa cum laude graudate of Boston University School of Management with a BSBA in Accounting and Management Information Systems, Matthew was hired full-time as a Business Analyst upon graduation with the Boston Red Sox. For the Boston Red Sox, Matthew focused on developing a Customer Relationship Management platform and aided in developing technologies to simplify financial processes.
VP, Global Service Solution Development & Innovation | Pitney Bowes
Michael Mack is Vice President for Pitney Bowes Global Services & Support. Michael is a senior business leader who has over 31 years of managed services experience with Pitney Bowes leading a broad range of business development, operational and consulting initiatives. Mike has built his career around providing comprehensive, strategic and flexible service, delivery and support solutions to grow a client’s business. Utilizing Pitney Bowes’ global technology enabled infrastructure, experienced management and service delivery team all focused on delivering optimal service outcomes and accelerated growth for clients.
President & COO | Coolgreens
Todd Madlener is an industry veteran with over 25 years of leadership experience building passionate teams and brand culture that drives quality and growth. At Coolgreens, Todd is leading the brand into its next phase of growth with culture-first programs like “coolstories” and an enhanced training program. He’s also leading key initiatives for the brand including a new prototype, catering program, and updated technologies all aimed at enabling restaurant teams to elevate the guest experience. Todd previously served as Vice President of Operations at MAD Greens and Senior Director of Operations for Red Robin where he spent over 20 years.
Social Media Director | Lêberry Bakery
Ava Manson is a college student pursuing a degree in Journalism from New York University. Currently living in Los Angeles, she works at Leberry Bakery as a Social Media Director.
Editor | Kiosk Marketplace & Vending Times
Elliot Maras brings a background covering the retail, foodservice and payments industries, having served as the editor of Automatic Merchandiser Magazine for 20 years and as the founding editor of VendingMarketWatch.com. He is a graduate of the National Automatic Merchandising Association/Michigan State University Executive Development Program, a former board member of the International Foodservice Editors Council, and a winner of the Journalism Award of the Office Refreshment Development Foundation.
Co-Owner & VP of Bottling | Nordon
Joe Moffett is Co-Owner and VP of Bottling Sales / Distribution for Nordon Inc. He has been in the equipment business for 30 years. Nordon is a major Food Service and Vending Equipment Distributor located just outside Philadelphia. Their warehouse is 85,000 square feet and fully stocked. They distribute and represent many manufacturers such as Hoshizaki, Imbera, Beverage Air, Crane Payment Systems, etc. They have a fully stocked parts department and Pro-Connect is our Service Arm. Their Sales Team and Client list is extensive and diverse. They service Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, KDP, Got Milk, Canteen, AVI, Aramark, and a whole host of Dealers and Restaurants.
Co-Founder & CCO | Parlevel Systems
Alan Munson has been in the unattended industry for over 30 years. As an operator, Alan ran and sold two different companies with thousands of machines in the South Texas area. After selling his companies, Alan helped found Parlevel Systems, a technology provider for the most productive network of vending, office coffee, and micro market operators around the world. Alan is also the President of TMVA, helping lobby for the vending industry in Texas and providing an avenue for operators to connect with each other and share valuable resources.
C. J. Recher
Vice President, Marketing | Five Star Food Service
C. J. Recher is Vice President of Marketing for Five Star Food Service, a full-line unattended retail and foodservice operator based in Chattanooga, Tennessee serving the Southeast US as a franchisee of Canteen. C. J. leads a team of marketers that build and support revenue growth programs through new business, same store, and customer retention. He is Co-Founder and Business Manager for Feeding the Future, Inc., Five Star’s non-profit foundation aimed at ending childhood hunger in the Southeast via fundraising and local food bank partnerships. C. J. serves as Vice Chair for Tennessee Automatic Merchandisers Association and is former Chair of National Automatic Merchandisers Association’s (NAMA) Emerging Leaders Network.
Owner | Del Norte Snacks
My name is Chris Rodriguez, my wife and I started Del Norte Snacks when we were young (21, 18) nothing extraordinary but desired more than conventional vending. We did our time, grew our business. Through the years I noticed that, maintaining customers happy, meant having to constantly replace equipment right when you were about to turn a profit, retirement seemed impossible. That was the moment I knew I had to take my 20 years experience and make something long lasting and much needed in our industry. An idea that combined conventional as well as modern payment methods without sacrificing the thin gains.
CEO | Agora Brands Group
Stuart Rogers is CEO of Agora Brands Group, a 2019 startup that combines art-infused technologies with artificial intelligence into avatars that promote human-like customer service interaction. Our avatar designs deploy AI-driven technologies along with the latest developments in the language technologies of Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Avatars will be in the forefront of delivering a satisfying interactive customer service experience in the decades to come. Agora Brands Group is developing Avatars as a Service to fill the growing gap in demand for quality customer service support, and to help firms adapt to a world of and after COVID-19 in the food services, retail, eldercare, healthcare and travel and hospitality industries.
President | Chemesis International
Josh Rosenberg, president of Chemesis International, is a 27-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, including experience working with major brands such as Coca-Cola and a number of its global brands and products. Josh has worked at all levels of the Coca-Cola organization, moving his way up from “street to suite” to become a leader in the CPG space. After spending 18 years with the company, he moved outside of CPG when he stepped into ownership at Accent Food Services, a multi-state convenience services company bringing fresh food, snacks, beverages, and convenience items the last mile.
Jeffrey N. Rosenthal
Partner | Blank Rome LLP
Jeffrey Rosenthal is a Partner with Blank Rome LLP, where he serves as Chair of the Firm’s Biometric Privacy Team. He concentrates his complex corporate litigation practice on consumer and privacy class action defense, consumer fraud, data privacy, biometrics, online/telephone marketing, false advertising, and e-commerce. Jeffrey and his team have achieved dozens of dismissals and defeated class certification for major manufacturers, retailers, media companies, healthcare providers, financial companies, sports franchise and technology companies for over ten years. He also counsels clients on biometric compliance. He currently serves as the Cyberlaw columnist for The Legal Intelligencer. Email: Rosenthal-j@BlankRome.com.
Director of Engineering | Farmer’s Fridge
Arne Saupe is the Director of Engineering at Farmer’s Fridge, where he is currently focused on having the team create scalable systems and the foundational architecture to allow Farmer’s Fridge to grow to the next level. Arne has over 25 years of experience as a leader and an engineer working in a wide variety of industries including Commodities, Retail and Insurance. He is passionate about removing the technical barriers and giving the business freedom to thrive. He has learned how to strike the balance between delivering solutions that scale without over engineering the solutions and maintaining the company’s ability to pivot.
Business Development Manager | Bitcoin Depot
Mark Smith is a 20+ year veteran of the ATM industry and has excelled in both the retail and financial sectors to deploy and manage fleets of terminals. Mark began his career with a major ATM manufacturer and has also worked with ATM distributors and ATM remanufacturing companies. He has vast experience with deployments and developing efficient partner relationships for major rollouts, including ATMs, Smart Safes, and Bitcoin Kiosks. His knowledge of the industry and the ability to execute successful programs has awarded him a high level of trust and confidence among peers and colleagues.
Director of Retail Vending | Swire Coca-Cola USA
Speaker bio coming soon!
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives | Ventus
Bill Stutzman, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, is a networking industry change agent helping today’s Omnichannel Financial Institutions solve technology challenges and meet networking demand. Bill’s expertise in marketing and network services has allowed him to support FIs implementing the many transformational changes impacting the omnichannel branch and how it can positively enhance the customer experience. Bill holds an M.B.A from Columbia University and throughout his career, including senior roles at Time, Inc’s Fortune.com, Entertainment Weekly’s EW.com, and Sprint, he has demonstrated a talent for anticipating trends and capturing value at the right time.
President | Business Travelers Services, Inc.
William Swift is an owner and the president of Business Traveler Services, Inc. (BTS), a minority-owned business and entertainment center development company that was founded in 1994. For more than twenty (20) years, BTS has operated at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport offering such brands as Zoom Systems (vending machines offering Apple; Sony; and, other electronic and business products), FedEx and UPS dropboxes; TracPhone vending machines; pre-paid phonecard dispensers; Travelex and, InMotion branded stores. BTS also has operated at LaGuardia International Airport, JFK International Airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Kansas City International Airport, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, and Augusta Regional Airport.
Director, Global OEM Sales | Zebra Technologies
Richard Thompson is the Global Director of Sales for the OEM business within Zebra Technologies which in turn is part of Zebra’s Global Sales & Services organisation. Richard is responsible for the sales of key component technologies which Zebra manufactures and sells to a hugely diverse range of customers around the world who build these components into their own final products. He has a team of 40 specialist sales and support people around the world. Richard has worked in the IT & Telecommunications Industry for almost 30 years and has held sales, management and senior management rolls in a number of global organisations, including Elcom International, Symbol Technologies, Panasonic Computer Products, General Dynamics and Motorola Solutions.
Director of Retail & Hospitality Solutions EMEA | Zebra Technologies
As Director of Retail Industry Solutions at Zebra Technologies, Mark Thomson works closely with retailers and hospitality businesses to provide input on how to face the challenge of a new digital retail landscape, where customers are often more connected and informed than shop floor staff. Mark helps retailers focus on developing a vision for their retail business that aims to improve customer experience whilst at the same time drive business efficiencies. With over 29 years’ customer focused experience, Mark Thomson has developed in-depth knowledge of the EMEA and global retail market place and regularly speaks at industry events throughout the EMEA region including World Retail Congress, Retail Middle East, RBTE and Euroshop.
CEO | Embed and Booking Boss
Renee Welsh is the CEO of Embed and Booking Boss, which she founded as a start up in 2013 before its acquisition by Helix Leisure in 2017. One-part executive, one-part entrepreneur, Renee’s passion lies in building businesses and transforming industries. A natural innovator, she launched her first tech business when she was 27, and followed this up with stints at prominent start ups across the world, including lastminute.com, wotif, Monster and RedBaIloon. In 2013, Renee launched Booking Boss, an award-winning ticketing and booking management platform dedicated to attractions, tours and entertainment industries. When it was acquired by Helix Leisure in 2017, Renee was appointed CEO to both Booking Boss and sister-company Embed.
General Manager, Retail Innovation Division | Shekel Brainweigh
With more than 25 years in executive positions in retail-tech, fintech and IT, Udi Wiesner is leading Shekel Brainweigh to be an autonomous retail enabler with its Product Aware technology. Providing smart shelves which recognize products by their weight, Shekel enables solutions as Intelligent Micro market coolers and autonomous Micro stores. Udi previously served in several positions, including General Manger – IoT Software in Afcon group, General Manager of VeriFone Israel, Senior Sales Manager at Sun Microsystems and more. He is also a member of the board of directors in several companies. Excited and always happy to talk about innovation.
Payments Industry Executive
With 20 years of experience at technology leaders in the payments eco-system, Brad Winslow advises Sophatar on the development of its payments-related roadmap and go-to market. Most recently Brad was VP of Strategic Partner Development at Elavon, the payment processor subsidiary of US-Bank. Elavon processes over $450B in sales transactions for more than 1M merchants annually. Earlier he was with Silicon Valley Bank, and with World Pay as Director of Sales. From 2008 through 2015 he was Director of Solutions Architecture, and later Director for Global eCommerce Sales, at First Data Corporation where he focused on key technology-driven markets such as digital content, games and mobile.