Inspire and Educate

Our comprehensive programming is carefully curated to offer a variety of learning formats, from inspiring keynote presentations to expert-led discussion groups, ensuring that you get the most out of your time with us. Each day of the conference features thought-leading veterans and unexpected voices who will share insights and strategies for taking advantage of emerging opportunities in technology, new product trends, and the latest approaches to retail and marketing.

This September, join us for three action-packed days featuring groundbreaking presenters, candid share group discussions, and sought-after educational programming designed to help you prioritize and adjust your business strategies for maximum impact.

While our final speaker lineup is still taking shape, we guarantee a roster of industry experts who will provide valuable insights and perspectives. Keep an eye out for the final speaker list, which will be released in the coming months. If you’re a CGA member, be sure to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter, Checkout, for sneak peeks and updates on the conference. 

Rohit Bhargava

Non-Obvious Thinking

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity. Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of nine books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and…

Mark Brand

Social Entrepreneur | Restaurateur

Mark Brand is one of North America’s foremost social entrepreneurs. With 11 businesses under his belt, he is an example of a new form of leadership that encompasses good in every step. Determined to breathe new life into our struggling and disjointed communities through his work in social impact business, Brand shares his message on…

Dena Blizzard

“One Funny Mother”

Dena Blizzard is One Funny Mother. She is a comedian and mother of three who’s risen to fame as a playwright, comedian, inventor, and content creator. You may have seen her LIVE in her Off-Broadway Show “One Funny Mother” or “My Name is NOT Mom” which toured 75 cities in North America in 2021/22. Her…

Michael Klein

Principal, Klein4Retail Consulting

Michael Klein is a global business leader with deep expertise in the technology and consumer industries. Known for authenticity and getting to the heart of the matter, he brings a wealth of experience in marketing, merchandising, technology, customer experience, Ecommerce and digital transformation. As the Global Director of Industry Strategy & Marketing for the Adobe…

Tom Furphy

CEO, Consumer Equity Partners

Tom is CEO and Managing Director of Consumer Equity Partners, a venture firm in Seattle, WA. Within the portfolio, Tom is CEO of Replenium, a SaaS auto-replenishment shopping platform that uses Generative AI and software tools to automate routine shopping, saving customers time and money, while delivering a transformational recurring-revenue model for retailers and brands.…

John Ross

President & CEO, IGA

John Ross, President & CEO IGA Inc., is responsible for domestic and global operations for IGA, the world’s largest independent supermarket network with nearly 6,000 IGA supermarkets in more than 30 countries worldwide. During his career John has served as President, Inmar Promotions network; CEO, IPG Shopper Sciences; and President, IPG Emerging Media Lab. He…

Jason Anderson

36th District Attorney of San Bernardino County

Jason Anderson was elected by the people of San Bernardino County on June 5, 2018, as the 36th District Attorney of San Bernardino County. He has been a member of the California State Bar since 1997. Mr. Anderson served as a deputy district attorney for the County of San Bernardino from 1998 until 2014. In…

Dara Riordan

President and Chief Operating Officer, FaceFirst

Dara Riordan is President and Chief Operating Officer at FaceFirst, a leading computer vision platform for facial recognition and advanced artificial intelligence analytics for retail, casinos, airport, and commercial public spaces. In her role, Riordan leads the strategic direction of the company through pragmatic technology innovation. Riordan oversees operations and the overall vision and strategy…

Louie A. Brown, Jr.

Partner, Kahn Soares & Conway, LLC

Louie A. Brown Jr. is a partner in the firm of Kahn, Soares & Conway, LLP. He manages the firm’s Sacramento office and the Government Relations Group, representing clients before the California State Legislature and various state administrative agencies. Louie specializes in providing clients with expert advice in maneuvering through California’s complex legislative and regulatory…

Andrew Henkel

EVP of Retail, SPINS

As Executive Vice President of Retail, Andrew Henkel deepens SPINS’ relationships with retailers and leads the Retail team to foster opportunities for collaboration. Andrew ensures that SPINS creates solutions that address retailers’ needs and sets them on a path for continued growth. Prior to joining SPINS, Andrew spent 25 years working with CPG and retail…

Ricky Volpe & Agribusiness Students

Professor, Cal Poly Agribusiness Department

Dr. Volpe was born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts. After finishing his Ph.D., he spent four years working as an economist at the USDA Economic Research Service in Washington DC. While there he researched a variety of topics, including food price formation, competitiveness in the food industry, and the healthiness of grocery purchases in the…

Caroline Wu

Director of Research, Placer.ai

Caroline Wu is the Director of Research at Placer.ai. Caroline is an experienced insights and intelligence professional who combines brand and business strategy to achieve market leadership.  Specializing in retail, CRE, entertainment, media, CPG, and tourism, she takes a multi-disciplinary approach to synthesize broad datasets into actionable recommendations for growth.  She has held various senior positions…

Meghan Phillips

CEO & Founder, Honey Agency

As a grocer’s daughter, Meghan Phillips pioneers a distinctive approach to brand strategy—bringing food and beverage marketing and design under one undivided roof at Honey. Meghan leds a talented team in Sacramento, that works with brands to think about bold, comprehensive, collaborative strategies that elevates the consumer and retailer relationship.  Inspired by her 20-plus years…

Anastasia Telesetsky

Professor of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences, CalPoly

After completing a JD at UC Berkeley Law School with an Environmental Law Certificate, Professor Telesetsky practiced  environmental law in Seattle and San Francisco for 9 years. With a passion for crafting environmental policy, she completed an LLM masters thesis at the University of British Columbia on the potential of climate change insurance to support mitigation…

Dennis Darling

Owner, Foods Etc.; Chair, CGA Board of Directors

For 25 years Dennis Darling, alongside his wife Ruth, has been operating Foods Etc. in Clearlake and Susanville. A leader in the independent grocery community, Darling as instrumental in the merger between California Grocers Association and the California Independent Grocers Association in 2014. He is the current CGA Board Chair.

Ronald Fong

President & CEO, California Grocers Association; President, CGA Educational Foundation

Ronald Fong assumed the reigns of the California Grocers Association (CGA) as President and Chief Executive Officer on March 31, 2008. Ron joined CGA after 12 years with the California Credit Union League (CCUL) where he was Vice President of State Government Affairs. He was responsible for the League’s 10-person Sacramento office and directed its…

Michel LeClerc

Chief Financial Officer, North State Grocery, Inc.

Michel LeClerc is Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary and General Counsel for North State Grocery, Inc., a Northern California, employee-owned grocery chain, where he oversees finance, corporate governance, legal, compliance, fiduciary and risk management matters. Currently, he is also serving on the Board of Directors of the California Grocer’s Association as well as the Association’s…

Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh

Representing the 23rd Senate District

Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh is a native Californian and the daughter of Mexican immigrants and credits her family with teaching her personal responsibility, the value of an education and hard work, and that home ownership is the cornerstone of the American Dream. Ochoa Bogh is a graduate of San Bernardino High School and the University of…

Assemblymember Blanca Pacheo

Representing the 64th Assembly District

Assemblymember Blanca Pacheco was elected to the California State Assembly in November of 2022 to represent the 64th Assembly District. Assemblymember Pacheco was elected to serve to the Downey City Council in 2016, and served two terms as Mayor, in 2020 and 2022. She previously served as President of the League of California Cities Los Angeles…

Greg Siegel

Regional Sales Director, West, Idahoan Foods, LLC

Greg Siegel is the Regional Sales Director, West for Idahoan Foods, LLC and is the 94th Illuminator Headlite. He has a B.S. in Business from Eastern Illinois University and resides in Arvada, Colorado with his wife Mary. They have 2 children, Allie and Will, and enjoy the outdoors and spending time and traveling with their family.