February 27-March 1, 2023
The Woodlands, TX

The Woodlands Waterway Marriott
Hotel & Convention Center

Education Sessions


Monday, February 27

1:30 pm–3:15 pm Opening Keynote

6 Key Factors for Driving Success & Employee Engagement
Presenter: Shawn Burcham, Founder & CEO, PFSbrands; Founding Partner, GRITT Business Coaching
As constant change in business is the new normal, focusing on this purpose for employees and leaders can become a testament to what makes your business better. PFSbrands’ core purpose is to help others become more successful in work and in life. Shawn Burcham, Founder & CEO of PFSbrands, will help you do the same by exploring six key factors, which are establishing rhythm, the importance of goal setting, execution, open book leadership, team assessments and employee/customer engagement.


  Concurrent Education Sessions

3:30 pm–5:45 pm

The Predictive Index: Understanding Yourself and Others
Presenter: Alexa Lott, Vice President, Talent Optimization, GRITT Business Coaching
Learn how to unleash the potential of leaders and teams through Talent Optimization, which is a framework for understanding yourself, others and teams in relation to the business strategy to make objective decisions while becoming a stronger leader. There’s so much more to this session than just the in-person session. What’s included:

Before Marketplace
• Complete the Predictive Index self-awareness assessment (immediate results include summary and video describing individual’s reference profile)
• Workbook provided at the session
• Pre-register for one-on-one 20-minute meeting with GRITT during the Marketplace trade show

• Attend the Monday session
• Review the Predictive Index workbook (provided at session)
• Attend the one-on-one 20-minute meeting with GRITT during the Marketplace trade show on Tuesday

• One hour in total free coaching with GRITT for attending any of the GRITT sessions

3:30 pm–4:30 pm
Focus on Foodservice: What’s Next in C-store Foodservice
Presenter: Joe Pawlak, Managing Principal, Technomic
This session will use Technomic’s latest data and insights for foodservice professionals to understand and prioritize the opportunities to grow in the c-store foodservice channel. Highlights include a forecast on menus, consumer and operator trends and other opportunities. Don’t miss this update by Technomic, which has been delivering unapparelled information and data on the foodservice industry for more than 50 years.

4:45 pm–5:45 pm
Focus on Foodservice: Foodservice Development from the Retailer's Perspective
Presenter: John Matthews, President & CEO, Gray Cat Enterprises
Retailers face many challenges as well as opportunities when they decide to offer foodservice. John Matthews of Gray Cat Enterprises will offer first-hand experience on how distributors can be an asset to retailers as they launch a foodservice program. Learn from the retailers’ perspective on the many facets of launching a foodservice program from brand development, floorplan layouts, equipment, menu development, vendor management, technology, operations and marketing. Additionally, gain a better understanding of how to be a better partner to your retailers as it relates to the current labor and supply chain challenges.


Tuesday, February 28

8:00 am–9:00 am Business Keynote

Smart Technology Investments for Wholesale Distributors to Drive the Bottom Line
Presenter: Jason Bader, Principal, The Distribution Team
Technology adoption has always been a little slower in the distribution space. We are legacy businesses that rarely skate on the bleeding edge with a tendency to be pragmatic when adopting new technology solutions. Judging by the longevity and stability of our industry, we may not be too foolish in our thinking. The secret to our success is in our adoption of logical technology, not in our need to keep up with the Joneses. In this session, we will explore a few newer technologies from other distribution verticals and discuss how they can be integrated into the convenience distribution market. Furthermore, we will explore how to make data-informed investments in technology on projects that will drive the bottom line.


Wednesday, March 1

8:00 am–9:00 am Industry Keynote

Tobacco: The State of the Industry
Presenter: Tom Briant, Executive Director, National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO)
This session, back by popular demand, provides an update on current federal tobacco regulations and legislation as well as an overview of local, state and federal tobacco issues. Don’t miss this state of the industry update that will answer the latest questions you have on tobacco-related issues.


9:15 am–10:15 am Education Session

Growing Your Business and Financial Literacy
Presenter: Patrick Carpenter, President, GRITT Business Coaching
Understanding how businesses make money and what determines the success of a company can unleash a wave of improvements. There’s so much more to this session than just the in-person session. What’s included:

Before Marketplace
• Take the Financial Literacy survey and receive immediate results

• Discuss your survey results with GRITT during the Marketplace trade show on Tuesday and receive the Financial Literacy workbook
• Attend the Wednesday session

• 30-minute follow-up webinar on Thursday, March 30, 2023


10:30 am–11:30 am Closing Session

Emerging Products (CBD, Kratom, Delta-8 and Other Cannabinoids)
Presenters: Don Burke, Management Science Associates;
and Marc Scheineson, Alston & Bird

CBD products have become big business, and it’s set to get much bigger and more diverse with new products constantly entering the market. This session will offer an overview of the current landscape of products convenience distributors are shipping, as well as the market share where CBD products are being sold, and what is on the horizon. A former associate commissioner of the FDA will shed light on how the FDA is responding and offer suggestions on what wholesale distributors should consider when vetting suppliers.