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Hip, Hip, Hooray For the CIO of the Year

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
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The annual CIO of the Year awards is a labor of love. It takes RIS months to compile the nominations, judge the finalists, and stage the awards ceremony at the Retail Experience Summit.

While the buildup to the event takes significant time, the actual awards presentation goes by in a flash. The event is always well received by those in attendance, but we feel our award winners deserve more than just a few minutes in the spotlight. Which is why we dedicated this month’s cover story to the five award winners and one Hall of Fame inductee that took home the hardware this year. Check out an in-depth examination of the award winners and their innovative projects here.

Below is a quick look at this year’s honorees.

Ben Pivar. The CIO of Carter’s is at the helm of the retailer’s ongoing digital transformation. Our 2018 CIO of the Year has implemented a host of game-changing technology during his four years at the children’s apparel retailer. His team has implemented a new supply chain platform, cloud-based POS and a host of in-store fulfillment options.

Sherri Browning. 99 Cents Only Stores’ director of IT portfolio business planning is our Innovation award winner. She oversaw a massive human capital management project that had immediate impact not only on operations but the retailer’s bottom line.

John Jordan. During his tenure at Total Wine and More the chief customer officer developed an in-store video program designed to build engagement with the retailer and its products. Developing the massive video library and deploying an innovative content distribution tool earned Jordan a Customer Experience award.

Al Lettera. Another Customer Experience award winner, the Tractor Supply Company vice president is integral to the execution of the retailer’s ONETractor strategic vision, helping blur the distinction between digital and physical retailing.

Ed Wong. Our Strategic Impact award winner led a data consolidation project that combined three disparate data stores into one master data file. The CIO at Smart & Final’s data initiative helped the retailer go from 50 individual applications to five integrated platforms.

Bob Graham. Our Hall of Fame inductee has been redefining retail technology for decades. BevMo!’s CIO started his career at NCR before entering the retail side of the house with long stints at Smart & Final and Peek Aren’t You Curious. Currently, he is the CIO of Bevmo!, a position he has held for eight years, a mentor at the Plug and Play Tech Center, and a member of NRF’s CIO Council.

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