Accomplished Sales & Category Management Executive
A highly accomplished sales and category management leader with 20 years of progressively increasing responsibilities at Fortune 100 companies. Generated and supported $6.9 billion in retail grocery, food service, and merchandise sales that produced $2.5 billion in gross margin.
A conceptual thinker with outstanding skills in the development of thoughtful and innovative strategic customer marketing plans, and category-building solutions that are grounded in consumer research and data. A strong team builder with expertise in consultative sales. Experienced in initiating and leading change. A pragmatic executive with a strong record of successes in leading cross-functional teams in taking ideas from inception to execution.
The Walt Disney Company, Glendale, California 2006-Present
Vice President, Retail Business Development (Consumer Products), Minneapolis, Minnesota
Serve as the Team Leader of Disney’s North American “Sales Team of the Year.” Responsible for $1.1 billion in retail sales and significant profitability with Target Corporation, Disney’s second largest worldwide account. Direct 11 sales, marketing and retail analytics professionals initiating, developing, and implementing unique marketing and merchandising programs that fully leverage Disney’s licensing agreements.
Increased Target’s sales of Disney licensed product by $437 million in two years. Strengthened relationships at Target and improved strategic alignment of programs and products, resulting in increased marketing support, SKU count, and an improved brand statement in the store. In 2008, Disney sales increased by 25% during a period when Target’s total sales increased by 6%.
Negotiated, planned and executed “Camp Rock,” Disney’s largest marketing and merchandising campaign ever at Target. This multi-category, exclusive program sold $50 million in just six months at retail. Program elements included Target’s first ever multi-million dollar marketing investment in a Disney program, cross-development with other divisions, and Jonas Brother’s appearances and recordings.
Increased share of Disney business at Target by 21%. Strengthened the brand at retail by increasing support frequency and broadening the marketing mix to include television, Target.com, print, Channel Red, and direct mail, as well as end cap displays, catalogs, and circulars. Expanded item count from 4,300 to 6,700. Nearly 2% of Target sales are now Disney licensed sales.
Reversed inherited deteriorating rapport with Target. The relationship is expanding to the highest executive levels, resulting in a recent invitation to become a Strategic Collaborative Planning Partner.
Expanded retail analytics to include a wide range of reports, data, and research regarding sales, profitability, trends, and consumer insights that are invaluable for identifying opportunities and a closer relationship with Target.
Sara Lee Corporation, Chicago, Illinois 1995-2006
Vice President of Sales Operations and Trade (Foodservice Division), Cincinnati, Ohio (2006)
Led a team of 77 sales operations and trade staff in the development of strategies to optimize the sales team’s interface between Sara Lee and its customers. Managed $265 million in trade spending, $100 million of equipment assets, continuous process improvement, and reporting on sales of $2 billion.
Integrated the Meat, Bakery, and Coffee Sales Operations Departments into one foodservice group. Designed the food group structure, as well as staffed, energized, and led a newly created team. Increased sales force effectiveness by designing a strategic planning process, simplifying price lists, consolidating reporting, and unifying policies.
Developed and implemented a contract approval process, including a computerized database that warehoused trade spending by customer and product, permitting profitability analysis and ensuring consistency of marketing programs. The new system led to the elimination of $9 million in duplicate trade payments and allowed investments in marketing programs that increased sales by 3.4%.
Led the Sales Department in the creation of a new Sales Operations and Planning (S&OP) process that improved forecasting accuracy from 62% to 75% and order fill improvements from 96% to 98%.
Vice President, Portfolio Planning (Branded Retail Food Division), Cincinnati, Ohio (2004-2005)
Acted as National Sales Manager of a $450 million frozen portfolio (Jimmy Dean/State Fair). Created a long-term vision, annual strategic category plans, and developed key processes that optimized retail grocery shopper’s interface at the shelf, and maximized $50 million in trade marketing spending.
Led the design of strategies and key initiatives that optimized item assortment, shelf placement, and promotional mix. Increased sales and profit by 31% through increasing shopper penetration, conversion, and transactions. Grew shares by 5.8 points to 35.8% nationally. Drove total U.S. category growth by 9.9%. The Frozen Portfolio Department received the Progressive Grocers’ “Best of Class” category leadership award.
Played a key role in leading the sales launch of a $70 million Jimmy Dean new product line. Redesigned Sara Lee’s new product launch process. Effectively translated insights and research into assortment, shelving, promotion, and pricing tactics, which resulted in eclipsing the company’s speed to shelf record, and exceeding all commodity volume (ACV) distribution goals.
Transformed trade promotion spending to category and brand marketing at retail by investing with “winning” customers, developing insights into promotion impact, and better integrating category planning with the Marketing Department. Realized $4.5 million in trade efficiencies.
Instrumental in designing and implementing a structural re-engineering that unified four separate selling operations into one sales organization, resulting in a clearer linkage of brand with customer strategies and a sharper focus on shoppers. Assessed organization talent, developed best practice processes, designed team structures, and selected people for roles on the Sales and Category Management team.
Director, Trade Marketing (Sara Lee - Jimmy Dean Division), Memphis, Tennessee (2001-2003)
Led the trade marketing function with 11 staff in the management of $75 million in customer marketing support on sales of $470 million to all grocery retailers across the U.S., including Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons, Supervalu, and Food Lion.
Moved $5 million in inefficient trade spending to consumer spending. This reduced trade spending from 20% to 16% of gross sales and resulted in more effective marketing and merchandising to the shopper.
Successfully led the department in a major transition, including changing the focus of the business, function and mission of the department, systems changes and geographic relocation, all while achieving profit and revenue goals.
Developed, established and implemented a national retailer quantity price list. Despite price changes, maintained shelf prices even with adjustments to distributor prices. Maximized company margins while transitioning 15 different regional price lists into one national quantity price list.
Effectively developed and trained a national sales force of 13 company managers in a solution selling process and category management. Instituted a training department and developed a customizable curriculum that addressed the developmental needs of the group and individual sales managers.
Director of Sales, Western United States (Jimmy Dean Division), Memphis, Tennessee (1995-2000)
Managed retail grocery sales in 18 states, overseeing four sales managers and 17 food brokers. Sales were $70 million, producing $11 million in net profit. Personally managed the corporate headquarter relationship at Safeway, Albertsons, Fleming, and Supervalu.
Played a key leadership role in changing the focus of the sales force to take more responsibility for bottom line profit growth as well as top line sales growth.
Achieved Western U.S. profit and volume goals every quarter each year. Won a Jimmy Dean European Trip Incentive every year. All four Sales Managers also won every year as members of the team.
Grew sales while improving effectiveness and efficiency of trade spending. Prudently accepted volume risks by reducing advertising features and increasing temporary price reduction frequency. Increased company market shares to its highest levels.
Kraft Foods, Chicago, Illinois 1989-1994
Category Planning Manager (Oscar Mayer, DiGiorno, and Jell-O), Denver, Colorado (1993-1994)
Managed all aspects of category management and trade programming on brands that represented $40 million in sales. Analyzed syndicated data for market opportunities and competitive threats, and developed action plans that optimized the business.
Exceeded budgeted sales revenue and volume while controlling trade spending every quarter. Designed programs that grew sales by 8% annually, capitalizing on opportunities and anticipating competitor programs.
Exceeded objectives on all new product launches, representing an incremental sales increase of $4.3 million.
Effectively negotiated trade money with brand management that optimized execution against sales and profit objectives.
Territory Sales Manager (Oscar Mayer), Denver, Colorado (1989-1992)
Managed seven account executives and retail accounts, representing $27 million in annual sales. Directed sales and customer relations. Recruited, trained, and developed new account executives.
Exceeded budgeted sales for ten consecutive quarters.
The territory won three major Oscar Mayer National Sales contests during this period.
Three account executives were promoted to larger account responsibility.
United States Naval Officer (Lieutenant), Charleston, South Carolina & Columbia, Missouri 1982-1988
ROTC Instructor, University of Missouri (1985-1988)
Shipboard Division Officer, USS Blakely (1982-1985)
United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
Bachelor of Science, Physical Science, 1982
University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
Master of Business Administration, Finance, 1988