Faculty

Program moderator and instruction is developed and presented by adjunct faculty drawn from industry experts.

Deborah Ginsburg

Deborah Ginsburg
Founder, Executive Marketing and Branding Consultant, Shelf to Stove, LLC

Deborah Ginsburg, MBA, is an executive leader, brand strategist, and creative director known for exceeding brand growth objectives and launching thousands of CPG and private label products and brands in the market. With her innovative thinking and strategic acumen, she drives accelerated revenue growth and fosters unwavering consumer loyalty.

Deborah is a sought-after speaker on retail subject matter, and expert in marketing, branding, and packaging design. She holds an MBA and a Graduate Diploma in Corporate Graphics, and her dynamic presentations provide profound insights into brand development and strategic marketing.
 
In addition to her professional achievements, Deborah is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and expertise with others. She is launching Rocket to Retail™, a comprehensive roadmap and accelerated training program designed to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in successfully bringing their products to market in retail environments, both digital and brick-and-mortar.

Peggy Davies

Peggy Davies
President, PLMA

Peggy Davies is President of the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA). Davies was named President of the association in 2020 after joining PLMA in 2016 as VP Association Relations. Prior to that she served on the PLMA Board of Directors for more than 20 years, including the position of Chair in 2003 and 2004.

Her career includes multiple decades of executive experience in the private-label industry, including positions with Daymon Associates, Comstock Michigan Fruit-Agrilink-Birds Eye and McCain Foods USA, Inc. In 2013, Davies became the first woman to be inducted into the Private Label Hall of Fame and is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Jen LinkeJen Linke
Vice President, Retail, Aramark

Jen Linke started her career in private brands working for Aldi. She was a district manager before she was promoted into their corporate purchasing team where she oversaw a variety of food & non-food categories and managed the advertising & marketing for the company. She was there 14 years before moving to Sears/Kmart.

While managing several areas, including stationery, greeting cards, batteries and more, she also led strategic procurement initiatives for Kmart’s grocery and drug businesses. Jen left Kmart to be the Vice President of Brand Management at Federated Group. Her responsibilities included driving brand and category strategies in private label grocery. She developed new brands, managed the SailPointe Creative business and more. She now works as the Vice President of Retail for Aramark Corrections and has served as the WISE Chair since June 2020.

Sara WilliamsSara Williamson
PhD – Faculty, SUNY College at Old Westbury

Dr. Sara Williamson is an Assistant Professor of Marketing with an expertise in consumer psychology. Her research investigates how choice, consumption, and disposal of packaged goods can be impacted by contextual cues related to product design, labeling, and retailing. Her research has been featured in regional and national media outlets.

And has been awarded by the American Marketing Association for its societal impact. Currently a faculty member at The State University of New York (SUNY), Sara has been teaching undergraduate and MBA marketing courses for 13 years and has previously served as a faculty member for the Haub School of Business Food Marketing Department at Saint Joseph’s University. Sara also offers more than a decade of industry experience in sales and marketing within both private and public sectors, working with stakeholders along the value chain to foster successful relationships among retailers, restaurants, and food suppliers. Sara is a life-long learner and educator who enjoys connecting with others, sharing ideas, and finding solutions. She currently resides in New York City, where you can find her exploring a local park, farmer’s market, grocery store, or restaurant.

Jac RossJac Ross
VP Our Brands, Sprouts Farmers Market

Jac Ross joined Sprouts Farmers Market in May 2021 as Vice President Sprouts Brand where she is focused on bringing exclusive and innovative private label products to the fast-growing grocer’s base of shoppers who are enthusiastic about health and wellness. She has extensive experience within the Private Label industry across product development...

innovation, manufacturing and retailing in the U.S., were she has resided for just over eight years, and 20 years within Europe and the U.K. for retailers including Ahold Delhaize, Unilever, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s.
Jac serves on the Board of Directors for Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence™ (WISE), a non-profit professional development organization that champions the power of diversity and inclusion within the store brands industry. She graduated from University of Reading, United Kingdom with an Honours Degree in Food Technology and has been recognized by a number of industry organizations: Store Brands Game Changer 2023; Senior Executive honoree in Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Top Women in Grocery; Honoree in The Shelby Report / The Griffin Report 2017 Women of Influence in the Food Industry; Rising Star honoree in Progressive Grocer’s 2016 Top Women in Grocery; and R&D/QA Award honoree in the 2015 Top Women in Store Brands (TWISB) recognition program of WISE and Store Brands magazine.

Brian Gornall

Brian Gornall
President, BWB Consulting

Brian Gornall began his retail career with Albertsons where he worked in Merchandising, and later in the planning and strategy arm of Marketing. He became a leading force in PL consumables during his years with Target and the UP & UP brand, and later became one of the founding leaders to establish Amazon’s launch of several PL Food and Beverage brands.

When he’s not consulting, he’s a YouTube personality with a focus on Business and Personal Finance.

Theo Schweitz

Theo Schweitz
Chief Executive Officer, Drive Wheel Peer Groups

Theo Schweitz is the CEO of Drive Wheel Peer Groups, where he organizes peer groups for Food and Consumer Packaged Goods Leaders. He is driven to create opportunities for: collaboration, benchmarking, networking, and strategizing. These methods give leaders assurance they have the information they need to make confident business decisions.

With 25 peer groups covering all aspects of Sales, Marketing, Logistics, and Management, Theo can offer leaders confidence that when they present a new idea, it is well vetted by the best minds in the industry. Previously, Theo was the Director of Private Brand Food at Target where he oversaw brand positioning, product development, and promotional strategy for Target’s portfolio of brands. He was the VP of Strategy at BBDO advertising agency. An undergraduate from the University of Pennsylvania, he also holds an MBA and Culinary Arts degree.

George Latella

George Latella
Food Marketing Professor, Saint Joseph’s University

George Latella has taught Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University for 30 years. He has received three Teaching Excellence awards and was voted the best Professor in the Haub School of Business in 2016 by students. He has conducted numerous U.S. study tours for International Scholars through the USDA.

 Also, he has led the Senior Leadership of Ferrero Germany on facilitated tours. He has also done seminars for the NASFT regarding selling your products into specialty stores.
He brings 35+ years of Sales/Marketing executive experience with Tastykake & his consulting into the classroom.  Key positions at Tastykake included: Director of Key Accounts, Director of National Sales/New Business Development, Director of Customer Relations/E-Commerce, & Director of Marketing. He developed people, products and programs (consumer & trade), with accounts from Wawa to Wegman’s to WalMart and everyone else in between.
Outside of SJU, he consults for Beacon Marketing Group which provides strategic solutions for companies through planning, marketing communications, direct marketing, E-commerce, and quantitative research. He also does Sales & Marketing consulting through Latella & Associates.
In his “spare” time, he also is a partner in Bria & Latella’s Italian Deli & Kitchen, a family business that has survived & thrived through the Covid pandemic. As part of this, he developed a series of webinars for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on how to start your own food business during the Covid pandemic.
He is a great example of “practicing what he teaches”!

Nofal Asfoura

Nofal Asfoura
Business Manager, Daymon

Nofal Asfoura is a Business Manager for Daymon. He currently live in Jacksonville, Florida, where I have lived for most of my life. He am originally from Syria, and moved to the United States with my Family in 2007. He have been with Daymon for 3.5 years, and was promoted to Business Manager in June of 2022.

He graduated from the University of North Florida in 2020 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. While attending UNF, he was chosen to attend the University Outreach Program at PLMA, which undoubtedly helped jumpstart my career in the Private Brands space.

Danell O’Neill

Danell O’Neill
Executive VP of Brand, Marketing, Human Resources & Corporate Communications, Topco Associates, LLC

Danell O’Neill serves as Executive Vice President of Brand, Marketing, Human Resources and Corporate Communications at Topco Associates, LLC. She is responsible for leading the development and execution of Topco’s own brand, marketing and people strategies...

as well as Topco’s strategic internal and external communications. Prior to joining Topco, O’Neill served as managing partner in a consulting company. She has also held communications roles at Honeywell and Accenture, and has served as Vice President of Communications at Nielsen. Danell attended Illinois State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Public Relations.

Emily Glass

Emily Glass
Director of HR and Talent Acquisition, Topco Associates LLC

As Director of HR and Talent Acquisition at Topco, Emily Glass is a strategic partner and consultant to leadership on Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and people-management practices and policies. She collaborates with various stakeholders to align talent management practices with the overall business objectives.

Since joining Topco, she has revamped and relaunched Topco’s internship program, developed an entry-level rotational program for college graduates, and created the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Rhetorical Studies from Arizona State University.