4:00 – 7:00 Registration
6:00 – 8:00 Velocity Conference Opening Cocktail Reception
7:30– 8:30 Breakfast
8:30 – 12:30 Presentations
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 4:00 Presentations
4:00 – 5:00 Vertex Awards
5:00 – 8:00 Up On The Roof  –  Cocktail Party & Networking sponsored by MBD
7:00 – 8:30 Breakfast
8:30 – 12:30 Presentations
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 3:30 Presentations



Check back frequently as we announce more presentations.

Rapid Change & the Future of Private Brand Relevance

Jack Pestello, Senior Vice President of Private Brands for Walmart U.S., will speak about the evolution of customer shopping behaviors and how the Private Brand industry must rapidly change to stay relevant.

Jack Pestello, Senior Vice President of Private Brands for Walmart U.S.

Evolution of Our Brands: From “Knock-Offs” to “Knock-Outs”

One of the industry’s most established and highly regarded grocery retailers won’t stop pushing the boundaries to increase its private brands’ competitive edge. Hear Kroger’s VP of Branding, Marketing & Our Brands, Gil Phipps, discuss the series of strategic actions he sees fueling Kroger’s continued growth in Our Brands.

Gil Phipps, VP of Branding, Marketing & Our Brands, Kroger

Velocity Connections: A Conversation with Tim Cox, Director of Creative Services, Publix Super Markets

Tim will sit down with My Private Brand President Christopher Durham to discuss Publix iconic private brands, their history, evolution, and future.

Tim Cox, Director of Creative Services, Publix Super Markets

Private Brand 2.0: The Next Generation of Prince & Spring at

In this thought-provoking presentation, Jeff will discuss the evolution of internet retailer‘s award-winning private brand and provide an inside look at where it came from and where it’s heading.

Jeff Gamsey, VP of Private Brands,

The Extraordinary Rise of Private Brand at Amazon

In this presentation My Private Brand President, Christopher Durham will take a deep dive into the meteoric rise of private brand at online giant Amazon.  Durham will paint a picture of the private brand successes and failures which fuel their continued, aggressive growth. With more than 100 private brands across virtually every category, the Whole Foods portfolio of private brands, and complete control of their ecosystem…the future of Amazon will be defined by private brand.

Christopher Durham, President, My Private Brand

 Wakefern’s Own Brands Journey

In light of the ever-changing consumer and competitive set in the market, a new and refocused division has been put together at Wakefern to relaunch its Own Brand presence in the market.  Through careful evaluation of sourcing partners and an in-depth understanding of our consumer and how she has changed, we look to shift our current Own Brand sales penetration from 12% to 30% within the next several years.

Chris Skyers Vice President of Private Label and Own Brand, Wakefern Food Corp

Laura Kind, Director of Brand Marketing and Packaging, Own Brands, Wakefern Food Corp

Fairway Market:  The Transformation of an Iconic Brand

Since 1933, Fairway Market has been a leading food destination in the Greater New York City metropolitan area.  It’s no secret that through the years and influx of fierce competition, Fairway Market has struggled to keep up with the changing landscape but what has helped it survive is the ‘Like No Other Market’ experience they offer its very loyal customers.  In this sit down interview (or presentation), Jason will discuss Fairway Market’s efforts to leverage its differentiated customer experience and how the use of a revamped private brand program has brought this iconic retailer back to prominence.

Jason Bidart, Vice President of Private Brand Programs, Fairway Market

Private Brand Goes to College

Scott Killian, Senior Vice President of Private Label for Follett Corporation, the operator of more than 1,200 official on-campus stores and one of the nation’s largest retailers of college licensed merchandise, will discuss the launch of their innovative new apparel customization program at its University of California Berkeley store. Marketed under its new private brand Fall Rush the Shirt Bar allows in-store customization of UC Berkeley and Cal Athletics officially licensed apparel with over 20,000 possible design combinations.

Scott Killian, Senior Vice President of Private Label, Follett Corporation

Millennials, Mobile Phones & Private Brand

A look inside the minds, shopping habits and mobile phone usage of the more than 18,000 users that have made Brandefy the ultimate user-driven, private brand comparison tool. Are they brand loyal? What items & categories drive the most engagement? What do they want from store brands?

Meg Pryde, CEO and Founder, Brandefy


Innovation + Diversity + Market Growth = Full Power

brought to you by WISE

The demographics are shifting rapidly in our country and we must be flexible and purposeful about how we drive our business. Innovation + Diversity + Market Growth = Full Power! In the world of Private Brands, you have a great opportunity to design your products to meet the unique and growingly diverse needs of your customers. Come learn how Food Lion has utilized projected buying power, multicultural market data, and their Business Resource Groups to directly impact the bottom line through unique products, advertisement, and customer engagement.


Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence™ (WISE) is a non-profit professional development organization, founded by women, to champion the power of diversity and inclusion which drives profitable growth within the store brands industry.

Millette Granville, CDP, Vice President, of Talent, Diversity & Inclusion and Organizational Development, Food Lion LLC, an Ahold Delhaize Company

SPEED TO MARKET – from 0 to 100 in 6 short months

After multiple evolutions, strategic shifts, and difficult times, Dallas based hometown discount retailer, Fred’s is on the road to success. Brent and Maria will tell the story of the re-emergence of Fred’s, led by the retailer’s commitment to private brand. They reveal the exciting road to the reinvention, redesign, and relaunch of Fred’s private brand portfolio.

And yes, it all happened in 6 months!

Brent Tininenko, Vice President, Private Brands, Fred’s

Maria Dubuc, President, Marketing By Design and Vice President, Big Red Rooster


From Value to Values: Metro’s Private Brand Vision

Private brands have increasingly become the key driver of future revenue growth for retailers – and analysts have come to see a strong private brand offering as an indicator of future revenue growth.

In her thought-provoking presentation, Marie Horodecki-Aymes is Director, Design, and Packaging for Metro, the third largest grocer in Canada, presents a look inside the retail group and its private brands. She will also discuss the significant shifts in the Canadian food landscape as well as the key trends driving change.

Marie Horodecki-Aymes is Director, Design, and Packaging, Metro

From Private Label to Private Brand…Key Imperatives for Success

Private Brands are purchased by the great majority of U.S. households and have become indispensable to the strategies of grocery retail organizations. Hear the Food Marketing Institute’s VP of Private Brands, Doug Baker, explore key imperatives for success from FMI’s Power of Private Brands and Private Brands in Health & Wellness research.

Imperatives to be explored:

  • Staying ahead of key category trends
  • Building trust through transparency
  • Embracing new healthcare opportunities at retail
  • Practicing next-generation collaboration
  • Leveraging important lessons from global retailers

Doug Baker, VP of Private Brands, FMI

Retail Disruptors: The Spectacular Rise and Impact of the Hard-Discounters

Professor Jan-Benedict Steenkamp of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School will present a look inside his new book“Retail Disruptors: The Spectacular Rise and Impact of the Hard-Discounters” where he explores the biggest disruption in grocery retailing in 50 years. He analyzes hard discounters from an international perspective to raise awareness of who is under threat and what can be done about it.

Velocity Conference attendees will each receive a copy of the book.

The U.S. grocery market is the biggest in the world and it’s under competitive threat from “hard discounters” like Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and now Lidl.

Hard discounters are the source of the biggest disruption in grocery retailing in half a century. Whenever they enter a market, grocery retail is profoundly and irrevocably changed, and their sites are set on the U.S.

A new book is the first to explore this upheaval: “Retail Disruptors: The Spectacular Rise and Impact of the Hard Discounters” by Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, Knox Massey Distinguished Professor of Marketing at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, and Laurens Sloot, Distinguished Professor of Retail Marketing at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. They are leading authorities in branding, retail strategy, private brand, and hard discounting. Private brand readers may remember Steenkamp’s 2007 book “Private Label Strategy: How to Beat the Store Brand Challenge.”

“Hard discounters are the only players that brought mighty Walmart to its knees, not in one major market but in two: Germany and Great Britain,” said Steenkamp. “Is America next? Aldi is expanding its U.S. network by 60% to 2,500 stores in 2022, second only to Walmart and Kroger. And everywhere Lidl enters a market, prices drop steeply.”

“Underestimating this new threat has led to dramatic decreases in the market share of conventional retailers and brand manufacturers in market after market – first in Germany, followed by France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, the U.K., Italy and Australia,” the authors write. “As part of their aggressive strategy of international expansion, hard discounters have set their sights on the ultimate prize: the U.S.”

Hard discounters are having phenomenal success in many countries, says Steenkamp. “And when it comes to innovation, hard discounting is the biggest in brick-and-mortar retailing in the past 25 years.”

“Retail Disruptors” analyzes the discounters from an international perspective to raise awareness of who is under threat and what they can do about it, says Steenkamp. “We offer a message of hope, but competing is going to be challenging.”

Using data and providing actionable strategies, the authors address:

  • The secrets of hard discounters’ success
  • The business model for profitability at low price points
  • Specific strategies used by Aldi, Lidl and Trader Joe’s
  • The impact on key markets in Germany, the U.K., Australia, Poland, Turkey, and the U.S.
  • How retailers can respond
  • Producing private brands for hard discounters

Professor Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

VELOCITY TALK: Create Your Own Iconic Brand: Multi-Sensory Branding

Michelle Harper, Arylessence Vice President of Scent Design and Technical Services, will unpack the connection between leading lifestyle trends and emotional multi-sensory branding that establishes category leaders. In today’s experiential driven marketplace, multi-sensory touch points are more important than ever.  Successful and iconic brands take a strategic and thoughtful approach to the multiple sensory signals that matter to customers. Discovering how to successfully make these critical connections in the product development process will dramatically elevate your private brand to icon status!

Michelle Harper, Vice President of Scent Design & Technical Services, Arylessence

Vertex Awards Ceremony

This year the Velocity Conference will host the sixth annual Vertex Awards ceremony. With a record number of entries, from 33 countries the winners represent the absolute best in package design from around the globe.

Christopher Durham, President and My Private Brand, Co-founder The Vertex Awards

Phil Russo, Publisher, Global Retail Brands and Co-founder, The Vertex Awards


Insights and inspiration to take private brand to the next level.