The 2018 GMA Leadership Forum is based on the solid foundation of 110 years of GMA service to member companies and leading change on the major issues. And in a period of tremendous change, the 2018 GMA Leadership Forum is evolving as well in order to find new ways to tackle emerging issues.
This invitation-only event brings together North American and global CEOs, presidents and senior executives from operations, sales, finance, supply chain, legal, science & regulatory, talent development and marketing seize the opportunity to ignite the industry innovation required to compete and win in a time of an unprecedented pace of disruption.
The GMA Leadership Forum brings together the top leaders in the CPG industry to take on the big challenges issues facing the industry – today and tomorrow – and find solutions for manufacturers, retailers and consumers.
This year’s event is hosted at The Broadmoor located in Colorado Springs, Colorado near the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains. Since first opening their doors nearly a century ago, The Broadmoor has offered guests an incredible way to experience the unique beauty of the American West.
Rodney is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve America through food inspiration and uplift customers through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 grocery retail stores under more than a dozen banner names. Kroger also operates 38 U.S. food processing plants and 274 jewelry stores.
Rodney joined Kroger in 1978 as a part-time stock clerk in Lexington, KY. During his career with Kroger, he has served in numerous leadership positions, including Assistant Treasurer, Vice President of Planning and Capital Management, Corporate Controller, Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President, Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman. He was elected to Kroger’s Board of Directors in 2003, to President and Chief Operating Officer in 2009, and to his current position in 2014. Rodney was named Chairman of the Board in 2015.
Rodney is a member of the Board of Directors of Cincinnati Financial Corp., VF Corporation, Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), Cincinnati Business Committee and Consumer Goods Forum. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Xavier University and on the Dean’s Advisory Council of University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics.
Rodney earned bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Finance, and an MBA with an Accounting concentration, all from the University of Kentucky.
Rodney and his wife, Kathy, live in Cincinnati and enjoy traveling and hiking.
Meet the speakers of the 2018 GMA Leadership Forum!
We are excited to bring these experienced speakers to the GMA Leadership Forum this year. Get to know the speakers to the right and their associated topics by clicking on their photo.
Robert Safian is one of the most sought-after speakers, moderators and interviewers in modern business. From leadership positions at Fast Company, Time, Fortune and Money, to incisive analysis across multiple TV networks, podcasts and digital platforms, Safian has been lauded as an unparalleled source of insight on the future of global enterprise. He is not only among the most acclaimed publishing executives in history but has deep relationships across the C-suite in multiple industries, accessing the cutting-edge developments that are reshaping our world.
For decades Safian has chronicled thousands of odds-defying organizations and leaders, uncovering their secrets of success. He synthesizes their lessons into eye-opening and thoroughly entertaining presentations filled with compelling storytelling. He is warm and approachable, and an expert at working with event organizers to personalize his presentations for each audience. Whether assessing a startup in Detroit, the tech scene in Palo Alto or an iconoclast in Shanghai, Safian is constantly translating what is next and new to the mainstream. By presenting stories of the people behind innovative business thinking, he provides hope to millions of talented professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders that meaningful change is possible.
Safian has been propelled by a reputation for near-clairvoyant prediction. He was the first editor to put Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on a magazine cover and covered Airbnb, Netflix and Uber long before they were household names. For nearly twelve years he led the influential, award-winning business magazine Fast Company, turning it into the world’s leading progressive business media brand. He was named Editor of the Year by Adweek, and earned the highly coveted National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year in 2014, beating out rivals including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine and more.
Prior to Fast Company, Safian was the executive editor for Time and Fortune and headed Money as its chief editor for six years. He is a frequent guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and other TV networks.
His latest projects include The Flux Group, an advisory firm that is driving awareness of new business practices to both individual companies and mass-market audiences; The Flux Network, a special invitation-only community of leading thinkers, creative collaborators and idea generators; and a highly-anticipated forthcoming book on the reinvention of business that is identifying how leaders at all levels can best adapt and thrive in today’s high-flux environments and turn disruption to their advantage.
Safian has also built a reputation as one of today’s top interviewers, conducting onstage dialogues with many of the world’s most intriguing leaders including the CEOs of Starbucks, Nike, Target, Ford, Pepsico, Pixar, Walmart.com, Chobani, Under Armour, J Crew, Soulcycle, Casper, Pinterest, Warby Parker and more, plus celebrities including Kate Hudson, Serena Williams, Chelsea Clinton, Princess Reema Bint Bandar of Saudi Arabia, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jordan Spieth, Jared Leto, Alicia Keys and more. He has been a keynote presenter at events ranging from SxSW Interactive to the United Nation’s Global Accelerators Council, the National Retail Federation’s “Big Show” to the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, HSM Brazil to The World Congress on Intelligent Transport.
A visionary leader with a deep understanding of the economic and social challenges facing Latin America, President Vicente Fox is one of the world’s most important voices on the contemporary geopolitical landscape and the role of business in the developing world. When elected to the presidency of Mexico in 2000, he broke the stranglehold that the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party had held on the State for seven decades. A charismatic reformer, he is credited as playing a vital role in Mexico’s democratization, and with strengthening the country’s economy. After leaving office in 2006, President Fox and his wife founded Centro Fox, a non-profit dedicated to discover, exercise, and harness the leadership qualities we all have inside of us.
From his wildly successful role on ABC’s smash hit, Shark Tank, to his distinguished status as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, Daymond John has become globally recognized for his relentless commitment to promoting and supporting entrepreneurs.
Daymond initially made his mark as the entrepreneur and branding expert behind the groundbreaking lifestyle brand, FUBU, which has eclipsed more than $6 billion in global retail sales. From the streets of Hollis, Queens, Daymond started a global movement from the basement of his mother’s house by capitalizing on the then fledgling hip-hop culture. FUBU was a undoubtedly a key development for the streetwear market, which today is a $20 billion industry.
Since then, Daymond has continued to challenge himself and the business world in which he operates. In 2009, Daymond was tapped by lauded television producer, Mark Burnett, to join the cast of a new business-reality concept, Shark Tank. Now, after 9 seasons, 4 Emmy Awards, multiple Critic’s Choice Awards and millions of dollars in investments, the show has become one of the most successful business reality series of all time. Over the course of the series, Daymond has been a mainstay of the cast of Sharks and is now affectionately referred to as, “The People’s Shark.”
Resolved to share his hard learned lessons – from major successes and failures – Daymond has written four books, and become a ‘New York Times Best-Selling Author’. While his previous books, Display of Power and The Brand Within were national best-sellers, The Power of Broke (2016) and Rise And Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life (2018) are the only New York Times best-selling books from any of the Sharks.
Beyond the brands, the television series and the books, Daymond’s commitment to entrepreneurship has been celebrated on a global level. In 2015, he was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and was part of an exclusive group who joined President Obama at the Global Entrepreneur Summit in Kenya. In March of 2016, Daymond accompanied The President on his historic trip to Cuba, which represented the first time a sitting US president visited the island since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.
One of Daymond’s proudest accomplishments is his continued fight against dyslexia. He has worked with the Yale Center for Dyslexia and he currently sits on the advisory board of Understood.org. Daymond has embraced his affliction allowing it to be a catalyst for his career as a highly sought after public speaker and author.
As a dynamic speaker with more than twenty-five years of proven business experience, Daymond has become one of the most highly sought after speakers in the country. He regularly speaks at Fortune 100 companies, conferences, universities, and independent businesses alike. Whether he’s speaking about entrepreneurship, marketing & branding, financial literacy or goal-setting strategies, Daymond’s high energy presentations give audiences relatable advice and practical takeaways. Daymond has delivered keynote speeches for organizations such as General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Samsung, AT&T, Yale, Georgia State University, Purdue University and dozens more.
A recipient of more than thirty-five awards, including the Brandweek Marketer of the Year and Ernst & Young’s Master Entrepreneur of the Year, Daymond serves as CEO of the brand consultancy, The Shark Group, which specializes in brand strategy and development, artist relations and talent development. Under Daymond’s leadership, The Shark Group has re-written the script on how companies, brands and products can seamlessly work together to yield a sum greater than its parts. The Shark Group works with a wide range of businesses and brands, including Capital One, HSN, Forbes, Miller Lite, Gillette, Shopify and Infusionsoft and superstars such as Muhammad Ali, the Kardashians, Pitbull, Stan Lee, Carlos Santana, Jillian Michaels and others.
Nigel Farage is co-founder and long serving leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). He was the face of the successful campaign to take the UK out of the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment.
Farage has been a Member of the European Parliament for South East England since 1999 and co-chairs the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group. He has been noted for his sometimes controversial speeches in the European Parliament and his strong criticism of the euro currency. He made 7 attempts to be a Member of the UK Parliament but was never elected. In his first General Election in 1995 he received 1.5% of the votes cast, in his most recent attempt in the 2015 General Election, he received 32.4% of the votes.
In September 2016, Farage stepped down as leader of UKIP after 15 years. Writing in The Spectator, the journalist Rod Liddle described Farage as ‘the most important British politician of the last decade and the most successful’.
Farage has become the great “disruptor” of British and European politics and is widely consulted for his views on the changing nature of western politics. He was shortlisted for TIME Magazine’s 2016 Person of the Year, but was beaten by Donald Trump. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Spectator’s 2016 Awards. He has formed a close personal relationship with President Trump having spoken at his election rally in Mississippi. He was ranked second in The Daily Telegraph’s Top 100 most influential right-wingers poll in 2013, behind Prime Minister David Cameron, he was also named “Briton of the Year” by The Times in 2014.
In 2010, Farage published a memoir, entitled Fighting Bull (Flying Free), outlining the founding of UKIP and his personal and political life. A second book, The Purple Revolution: The Year That Changed Everything, was released in 2015.
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