A Call for Leadership

Albert Guffanti

Retail and Consumer Brand Executives,

As much as our industry has changed over the last five years, I don’t think any of us could have predicted the kind of seismic disruption that has happened in just the last few months.

For many of us, the health crisis has caused us to rethink our businesses in both the near- and longer-term. In the case of CGT and RIS, we have responded by accelerating our plan to build a platform that bridges the retail and consumer goods communities.

It is with this goal in mind that we have decided to refocus the RIS/CGT Executive Council and its mission.  

The mission of the new Executive Council is to create a forum of industry innovators and disruptors from retail and CPG to identify the latest technology and consumer value chain trends across channels. The network will focus on sharing insights and learnings to help drive inspiration, action, and purpose-driven leadership across the industry. These insights will drive the content and coverage of RIS and CGT as well as shape the objectives and agenda of our innovative industry events.

To align with this cross-industry approach, I am extremely pleased to announce three new Executive Council co-chairs, representing the brand, retail, and solution provider communities: John Phillips (PepsiCo), Cheryl Williams (Wakefern), and Michael Forhez (Oracle).  

Our intention is to expand the Executive Council to a 30-person board: 10 from retail, 10 from CPG, and 10 from solution providers.

Together, we will ask the big questions, like: How do we transform our organizations to become more nimble, more streamlined, more innovative, more technology-driven? What does it mean for our corporate culture, operations, new product development, investment strategy and growth plan?

It is clear that one person, or one organization, cannot tackle these questions alone.  In order to usher in meaningful change, Leaders across the industry, across functional areas, and across trading partners must get together, in real time, to work towards collaborative innovation.

Times like these call for Vision, Leadership, and Action.

If you think you’d like to be part of the Executive Council, please reach out direct to me. 

Albert Guffanti
VP, Group Publisher
RIS News & CGT
[email protected]



A Message from the Council Co-Chairs 


It is fair to say that we are “living in interesting times.” The consumer markets are being tested like never before. Retailers and brands are being faced with big and consequential decisions that test and stretch us all on our way to a new future unfolding with rapid speed, not measured in years but months. 

Included among the many lessons is the need for updated core processes and technology, enabling tighter collaboration, particularly on the path to digital transformation. Consumers are seeking, and will soon expect, a real-time, seamless, personalized, frictionless shopping experience. All this, taken together with the “new normal,” will have vast and lasting implications, with opportunities to match, for the bold and the imaginative.

Leaders, on all sides, now have more incentive than ever for hastening these required changes, making it possible to serve our purpose; namely, meeting the varied needs of diverse and dispersed shoppers … wherever they are, whatever they want, whenever they want it.

With senior representatives from retail, consumer goods, consulting and technology, the work of the Executive Council will include, but not be limited to:

  • Crafting and bringing to the RIS/CGT community clear perspectives and compelling points of view for consideration and debate.
  • Fostering new and renewed connections, founded and built on the sharing of acquired knowledge, experience, and best practices.
  • Creating a fresh industry vision that allows us to better serve with steadfast conviction in our various efforts, with our respective teams and within our enterprises.
  • To broaden the base of our community by seeking out and developing the industry’s best and brightest, so each of us might find success and fulfillment in our professional and personal lives.

Your co-chairs and Executive Council pledge to bring our very best in the service of the industry to which we have dedicated our careers.

We look forward to embarking on this journey together!