President and CEO | NACS
Armour is the president and CEO of NACS, having also served as chairman of the association in both 2002 and 2003. He grew up working in his family’s retail businesses, Armour Oil Company, rising to the position of vice president and chief operating officer in 1977. In 1980, Armour joined The Standard Oil Company of Ohio, where he served as manager of development strategies. He later founded West Star Corporation, which grew to include 59 NOW! Convenience stores, truck stops and quick-service restaurants in the Pacific Northwest until he sold the company in 2004. In 1988, Armour founded a second company, Epoch Corporation, which operated retail enterprises in California. Armour earned a B.A. in economics from Stanford University, an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics, and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.
President | BONA DESIGN LAB
Joe purchased the outstanding shares in MoseleyBona Retail in 2016 and re-emerged as BONA DESIGN LAB where he brings a global perspective and extensive store design experience across many retail sectors, from convenience and mass market to drug and luxury. His passion and excitement for uncovering and bringing to life real-world solutions that integrate the science of retail with the art of design spans more than 30 years on six continents, providing him a unique perspective on global trends, as well as the practical knowledge of how to adapt and respond to local markets.
Prior to BONA DESIGN LAB, Joseph was a founding partner and president of the retail design firm GroupRed which was merged with CBX in 2006 and where Bona served as president of the branded environments practice; prior to that he was president of CDI Group where he worked for 21 years.
During his career Bona has directed a wide range of initiatives for such companies as Topaz, PetroChina, MOL, Wawa, Duane Reade, Shinsegae Department Stores and Sak’s Fifth Avenue to name a few. He was previously featured on the Discovery Channel’s Modern Marvel series bringing his expertise on store design to television and, he has been a regular speaker at NACS in the US, Insight/NACS in Europe and has also presented at several other domestic and international trade events including: Global Shop, Euro Shop and IGDS. His work has led to numerous international design awards and many of his projects have been published in publications such as Visual Merchandising and Store Design, Chain Store Age Executive and DDI to name a few.
Founder and CEO | Freshii
Living in New York City and frequenting the many fresh food ‘mom and pop’ delis, Matthew was determined to successfully brand and scale his own. With a vision to help citizen of the world live better and no restaurant experience, 23-year old Matthew started Freshii to add some magic to the fresh food business. Today, Freshii is the fastest-growing restaurant brand in the world.
Matthew is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner, and a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 and Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 under 30. In 2013, he was featured on the hit TV show, Undercover Boss as the youngest CEO in the show’s history. His bold voice, known for his Open Letter to McDonald’s, has since been featured in Fortune Magazine, on Bloomberg television and on CNN. Matthew is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of Invest Toronto, a public board chaired by the Mayor promoting Toronto development. In January 2015, Matthew was awarded the Restaurateur of the Year award by Restaurant News Magazine. Later that year, he joined the cast of Dragon’s Den spinoff show – Next Gen Den – as a dragon. Most recently, Matthew was selected as a 2017 Young Global Leader (YGL), an honour given by the World Economic Forum to recognize the most distinguished worldwide leaders under the age of 40 and celebrate their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to shape the world.
Chief People Officer | Freshii
Ashley Dalziel is the Chief People Officer at Freshii. Before joining Freshii in February 2016, Ashley spent nearly a decade at lululemon athletica, building its global recruitment strategy and promoting employee growth and engagement. With a strong background in recruitment, employment branding, training, talent management and leadership development, Ashley understands how to strategically build leadership capabilities and invest in people, as this is what brings experiences to life in Freshii stores. People Culture is a critical pillar of Freshii’s success, and in 2016 they were awarded Best Workplace Culture, at the Canadian HR Awards. Freshii’s commitment to people and its distinct culture will continue to power the growth of the company – allowing the brand to achieve its mission of helping citizens of the world live better by making healthy food convenient and affordable.
Partner | Fuhrer & Hotz
Over the last 20 years, the graduate economist has gained comprehensive know-how nationally and internationally, in the roles of Marketing Coordinator at Globus Warenhäuser, Marketing Consultant at Nielsen Switzerland, and Trade Marketing Manager and member of the executive board at Barilla Switzerland.
With this background, he is accompanying and consulting renowned retailers, wholesalers and their suppliers as a partner and joint owner of Fuhrer & Hotz – Excellence in Retailing since 2006. His areas of specialization as a consultant are Trade Marketing (POS-Marketing/Category Management) and Customer Journey Optimisation (behavioural research at the POS). Beyond that, Marco Fuhrer has authored various studies and specialist reports, and is a lecturer at a higher education institution.
Region Managing Director & COO | Aramark Northern Europe
Gleeson is the Region managing director of Aramark Northern Europe. He is also the NACS vice chairman of international, a role in which he helps direct the association’s global engagement. Aramark Northern Europe has more than 13,000 employees across 1,000 locations. Its world-class experience and expertise in foodservice, facilities management, convenience retailing, environmental services and property enables the company to provide a fully integrated solution to Irish, UK and EMEA companies.
He began his career in retail as an operations director for O’Brien’s Fine Wines. He later served as vice president of retail for Statoil Ireland. More recently he was retail director for Topaz Energy Group since 2005, where he led the rebranding of the company in 2008 and was responsible for the retail business of more than 340 sites. Gleeson is chairman of Retail Ireland and a council member of Irish employers group IBEC and also chairman of IBEC’s energy policy committee. He is a member of the Irish Directors Institute.
Chairman, Investor/Fundraiser, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist
A veteran of more than 30 years in retail at all levels, including 20 years on the board of ACS (Association of Convenience Stores) representing 33,500 small stores in the UK.
Mike also built a global retail/shopper consultancy (him!), is an international speaker, a professional mentor, and a philanthropist… an endurance adventurer, mike has climbed many mountains, walked on burning coals, sailed 6000 miles from London to Rio, ran 6 marathons and cycled long distance endurance challenges.
In 2011/12 Mike starred as one of Channel 4’s Secret Millionaires. Following the programme, which had a great impact on him, he sold his main business and took a three-month sabbatical with the personal challenge to raise £100,000 for 100 charities in 100 days.
Having invested in over 30 businesses in the last 10years Mike now runs an investment platform helping investors find, fund & advise promising early stage and fast growth businesses.
Mike is a certified behavioural profiler, has an Honorary Doctorate in Education (EdD) from ARU, is a Trustee of Peterborough’s 900 year old Cathedral and supports 40 charities within 20miles of his home town of Peterborough. Mike is also an author of ‘Failure Breeds Success.’
Commercial Director | him!
Katie has worked in consumer research for over 11 years and specifically within shopper research for the last six years at him! Over her career she has worked with leading retailers such as Tesco, Coop, Spar & Sainsbury’s but most recently worked with large FMCG companies to help them utilise shopper insights to grow their business within the convenience and wholesale channel. She looks after the commercial team at him! and is always out looking for the next big shopper trend.
Co-founder and Managing Director | SimplyFresh
Kash Khera is the co-founder and MD of SimplyFresh, a UK based Convenience Store Franchise formed in 2009. With a key focus on fresh, FTG, healthy alternatives and store design they have attracted new clients in many sectors.
Before devoting his work fulltime to Simply Fresh, Kash was an independent retailer, having learnt his trade from the bottom up. These stores had always been operated to a very high standard and with a key focus on fresh and chilled, and a great understanding for the local community and demographic they served. This experience was fundamental in the conception of SimplyFresh, and as Kash is now looking at re focusing on company owned stores in London, will be ever more valuable.
Publisher, Die Weltwoche
Roger Köppel was educated in Zurich, Stuttgart and New York. He graduated in political philosophy and economics (M.A.) at Zurich University. He is one of the most prominent journalists of Switzerland. He was chief editor of the weekly Magazine Das Magazin from 1997 to 2001. He gained national stature as chief editor of Switzerland ’s most traditional high brow weekly Die Weltwoche, which was founded in 1933. Leading European intellectuals from Thomas Mann to Winston Churchill and Henry Kissinger wrote for this paper. Köppel’s work drew international attention at Die Weltwoche, as he changed the format of the paper into a magazine and made it highly profitable again. In 2004 he got a call from Germany ’s largest publishing company, Springer Verlag, and took over the post of chief editor at the traditional quality daily Die Welt, located in Berlin. After three years in Berlin, Köppel went back to Switzerland and became publisher of Die Weltwoche (2007), Switzerland’s leading weekly of high standard, which he bought from the former ownership. He still writes articles for the editorial pages of Die Welt.
As a writer, Köppel is one of the leading conservative and free trade journalists of Switzerland. His articles have appeared in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt, The Wall Street Journal and The Spectator of London. Köppel is a regular guest in Swiss and German TV. He won several awards, among them the “Ludwig Erhard Prize” for political and economic journalism in Berlin (2010). He was also “Swiss Journalist of the Year”.
Managing Director | Insight
Munford is an international strategist on convenience and a frequent presenter at international conferences, such as the NACS Show, and the convenience and fuel retailing industry’s own TV station, Retailvision.tv. He has worked in the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, the United States and South America as a strategist for many leading convenience retailers. Insight is the NACS Partner for Europe and assists NACS with executing the Convenience Summit.
Director | Insight Research
Nicholas Scherzer has retail running through his veins, having spent 12 years with SPAR South Africa in a diverse range of roles, from store operations to strategic planning and marketing. He has worked on a number of projects for Insight since 2009, and has presented at international events, workshops and retail study tours. In the last two years he has worked with convenience retailers in the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Austria, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the United States.
Director, Global Charging | Tesla
Jelle Vastert (1977) is Tesla’s Director of Global Charging, a team whose mandate is to make charging infrastructure both a facilitator of growth and a linking pin to renewable energy. Over the last few years he has been leading Tesla’s Charging team in Europe, and most notably the still rapidly expanding Supercharger network to its current 300 sites throughout Europe today, enabling long distance driving for all Model S and X owners. This network enables long distance driving all across Europe, removing any range anxiety, and is changing the perception of an EV as a full on alternative of any other car.
Jelle is also involved in Tesla’s battery solutions, a critical step in the mission to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. A Dutch national, trained as an engineer, he started his career as a project finance banker and a strategy consultant before joining Better Place, a venture backed electric charging service initiative in 2011. After Better Place he was involved in the UK energy market, specifically the creation of flexibility on the demand side. His passion is in exponential technologies – tangible products with the potential to positively impact on a big scale, and specifically to be involved in the highest growth phase. Jelle holds an MSc in Civil Engineering from Delft University of Technology and an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona.
Creative Director & Co-Founder | &ranj
Marcus Vlaar is a long-time industry thought leader in serious gaming and gamification, and the founder and co-owner of &ranj serious games, based in the Netherlands, Germany and Singapore. &ranj (Sanskrit for entertainment of the mind) is dedicated in its mission to “achieve positive behavioral change through play”. Since its founding in 1999, &ranj successfully realized over 400 games, many of them award winning. As creative director Marcus is responsible for the overall didactical and creative concepts of the projects.
CEO | S-Bank Ltd
Pekka is CEO of S-Bank Ltd since 2006. Pekka has lead the bank focusing on growth and digital transformation. Under his lead, S-Bank has made several successful M&As and formed its strategy aiming to become the best digital bank in Finland. He sees huge potential in combining banking with other business areas. Pekka enjoys traveling with his family, many sports and Finnish Sauna.