2022 Food and Beverage Industry Virtual Engagement Week

2022 Partners


Join us for a dynamic week of interactive learning from Food & Beverage industry leaders from across the industry, including General Mills, Mondelēz International, National Co+Op Grocers (NCG), Starbucks, and US Foods. We will kick off with a C-Suite roundtable on Monday, 11/7, followed by 3 days of programming hosted by General Mills, Mondelēz International, National Co+Op Grocers (NCG), Starbucks, and US Foods.

During the virtual forum, you will:

  • Learn about innovation, sustainability, and other key trends affecting the Food & Beverage industry.
  • Gain knowledge about how to successfully do business with General Mills, Mondelēz International, National Co+Op Grocers (NCG), Starbucks, and US Foods, including insight into their supplier selection process.
  • Engage with Food & Beverage leaders from General Mills, Mondelēz International, National Co+Op Grocers (NCG), Starbucks, US Foods, and other diverse suppliers.

Kick-Off Event | Agenda

1:00 – 1:05

Welcome | Karen Goldner, Managing Director, Established Business Services, WBDC

1:05 – 1:20

Ingredients for Growth Week Opening Remarks | Why D&I Matters to the Food & Beverage Industry

  • Robert Perkins, SVP, Chief Global Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Mondelēz International

1:20 – 1:45

Food & Beverage C-Suite Roundtable | Corporate Social Responsibility in Action in the Food & Beverage Industry

Moderator:  James Hing, Global Category Manager Supplier Diversity, Starbucks Coffee Company


  • Martha Currea, VP Sourcing, General Mills
  • Robert Hargrove, Executive Vice President and Chief Research & Development Officer, Mondelēz International
  • Carri Roman, Vice President, Global Planning & Sourcing, Solutions & Enablement, Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Stephanie Miller, SVP, Associate General Counsel, Corporate, and Corporate Secretary, US Foods

1:45 – 2:00


2:00 – 2:30

Moderated Panel | Food & Beverage Industry: Diverse Supplier Success

Moderator:  Shawni Jackson, Director, Established Business Program and Services, WBDC


  • Kim Gorton, CEO, Slade Gorton & Company, Inc.
  • Chondra Webster Myers, President/CEO, WEBMyers Construction 

2:30 – 2:55

Moderated Panel | Food & Beverage Industry: Supplier Diversity Strategies within the Food & Beverage Industry

Moderator:  Cynthia Johnson, Director, Established Business Services, WBDC


  • Alexandria Linares, Sr. Manager, Source for Good, General Mills
  • Shaun Jones, Global Sr. Director of Economic Inclusion & Supplier Diversity, Mondelēz International
  • Heidi Traore, Supplier Relationship Development Manager, National Co+op Grocers (NCG)
  • Lisa Wehrman, Senior Manager Supplier Diversity, US Foods
  • James Hing, Global Category Manager Supplier Diversity, Starbucks Coffee Company

2:55 – 3:00

Wrap-Up | Karen Goldner, Managing Director, Established Business Services, WBDC

Virtual Engagement Week

Tuesday, November 8th

9:00 – 10:30 AM CT

General Mills | G STANDS for GOOD 

A deeper look into General Mills’ strategies and how they influence Sourcing practices and decisions.  We’ll bring these concepts to life with recent case studies and practical advice to help build an understanding of how to successfully grow business with General Mills.   

Strategic Sourcing Priorities:  Supply chain continuity and resiliency, total value delivery and pipeline, and business community and transparency

Areas of Opportunity:  Construction, facilities services, IT staff augmentation (priority – data scientists), external supply chain/co-packing

Alexandria Linares | Sr. Sourcing Manager, Source for Good General Mills World Headquarters; Minneapolis, MN 

Alexandria Linares is the Senior Sourcing Manager of the Source for Good Team.  Her team is focused on activating General Mills’ Global Impact Initiatives within Sourcing and the supplier base.  The Source for Good team’s scope of accountabilities includes the Supplier Diversity, Responsible Sourcing, and Supplier Greenhouse Gas programs. 

Wednesday, November 9th

8:00 – 10:00 AM CT

Mondelēz International | Spend with Purpose

Mondelēz International is global snack leader with brands that are as diverse and rich in heritage as the more than 150 countries in which we market our products. Creating an inclusive and diverse supply chain is at the center of who Mondelēz International is and the communities we serve. Our Economic Inclusion & Supplier Diversity program supports this philosophy to spend with purpose in creating equitable and inclusive opportunities while driving innovative products and solutions to empower our customers to snack right. Come learn more about all the aspects of how to do business with Mondelēz International.

Shaun Jones | Global Sr. Director of Economic Inclusion & Supplier Diversity, Mondelēz International 

Shaun Jones, CPSM, CPSD is the Global Sr. Director of Economic Inclusion & Supplier Diversity for Mondelēz International. Shaun leads initiatives cultivating, developing and supporting equitable opportunities for diverse suppliers. He is a procurement & supply chain management professional with over 19 years of experience in procurement strategy, cost reduction, quality improvement and risk mitigation.

Wednesday, November 9th

1:00 – 2:30 PM CT

National Co+op Grocers (NCG) | Get to Know National Co+op Grocers (NCG)

National Co+op Grocers (NCG) is a chain of over 200 cooperatively owned grocery stores operating in 38 states throughout the country. In this session we’ll review how NCG partners with CPG brands to introduce new items and coordinate promotions to co-op shoppers in our naturally focused retail stores, while learning more about the unique values that attract co-op consumers. 

Strategic Sourcing Priorities: Quality standards (prioritize organic, Non- GMO, no artificial ingredients, animal welfare), value offerings for shoppers, new and exciting products, diverse suppliers

Areas of Opportunity: Consumer packaged goods: finished natural and organic products in grocery, refrigerated, frozen, body care, and nutrition segments.

Heidi Traore, Supplier Relationship Development Manager, National Co+op Grocers (NCG)

Heidi Traore currently serves as supplier relationship development manager for National Co+op Grocers (NCG), a business services and purchasing co-op, owned by retail food co-ops in the US. As category management lead, Heidi worked with NCG’s business managers to incorporate a fact-based business approach through targeted bi-annual business planning events that have enhanced relationships and created efficiencies for her organization and its partners. Under her leadership, NCG promotional program revenue grew 69% over a four-year period.

Thursday, November 10th

10:00 – 11:30 AM CT

US Foods | Doing Business with US Foods

Do you ever wonder how large food distributors choose suppliers for unique product opportunities?  Or what expectations that they have of their suppliers?   Learn from US Foods leaders from cross-functional teams on what types of procurement needs we have, what expectations we have of our suppliers, and how to best communicate when building a relationship with our company.   

Lisa Wehrman, Senior Manager Supplier Diversity, US Foods 

Lisa has been developing the foundation for the Supplier Diversity program at US Foods since the beginning of 2020.  Leading up to this role, she held Category Management positions in grocery and center-of-the-plate categories for over 5 years.  She also helped to build and execute on the sustainable seafood sourcing strategy.

Thursday, November 10th

1:00 – 2:30 PM CT

Starbucks Coffee Company | How to Successfully Do Business with Starbucks

Learn “How to do business with Starbucks” along with first-hand insight into our buying practices & how to craft your value proposition aligned to Starbucks mission, values & business strategy.

Starbucks Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Program serves as a critical component to our commitment to responsibly source our products and is foundational to our strategic sourcing process!

It takes a distinct supplier mix to help create the Starbucks Experience for our customers.  We are looking for suppliers to support product and service needs across our enterprise including but not limited to: Food & Beverage; Store Development; Logistics, Distribution & Transportation; Facilities Management and our Planet Positive initiatives that reduce the company’s environmental impact to become a resource positive company!

James Hing, Global Category Manager Supplier Diversity, Starbucks Coffee Company

As Starbucks category manager, in Global Sourcing and Supplier Relations, James Hing is responsible for leading and overseeing the Supplier Diversity Program. James champions the Starbucks mission by advocating & developing a robust, diverse supply base that embodies the Starbucks Experience through a balance of relationship sourcing and world class supply chain excellence. He is affectionately known as a “Warrior for Equality” using his expertise as a talent sourcing expert to ensure we have no disproportionate under representation of diverse suppliers in Starbucks supply chain.




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