Lonely Learner Series

The Lonely Learner Series builds community and knowledge sharing for e-commerce professionals during the unprecedented times brought about by COVID-19. These virtual sessions feature strategies and best practices from top thought leaders to help manufacturers thrive in our new, more omnichannel reality.

Check out previous sessions you might have missed or want to watch below.

Reflections on the Holiday Season and the Impact Seasonality Has on Product Content

January 22nd 2021 9:00 AM CST

Description: The 2020 holiday season is one that many of us will always remember, as the pandemic required us to adapt our traditions and celebrate in different, safer ways. But for many CPG brands, it was also a time of adapting their marketing and product strategies to ensure they were meeting their consumers’ needs in a time of changing shopper behaviors.

Join us for another e-commerce roundtable discussion from the Lonely Learner Series where we will chat with professionals who understand the challenges and opportunities tied to seasonal occasions. Gloria DeCoste from Nestle USA, Jamie Murray from Anheuser-Busch, and thought-leader Chris Perry will be our guests as we reflect on the 2020 holiday season and discuss some of the best practices for addressing seasonal opportunities in the coming year.

Gloria DeCoste: Nestle USA

Gloria DeCoste is Director of Omni-channel Strategy and e-commerce Capabilities at Nestle USA, leading e-commerce capabilities for over three years. Previously a Director of Digital Strategy, Gloria has ushered in digitally-focused change management across large enterprises.

Jamie Murray: Anheuser-Busch

Jamie Murray is the Manager of Direct-to-Consumer eCommerce Marketing at Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer. Jamie manages eCommerce brand integration and the digital shelf for the Anheuser-Busch portfolio across all partnered retailers – including their seasonal imagery calendar.

Chris Perry: E-Commerce Thought Leader

Chris Perry is on a mission to help empower Leaders of Change — both people and brands — to win in a digital-commerce-driven world. A CPG digital commerce consultant, thought-leader, keynote speaker and co-founder of FirstMovr, Chris has led e-commerce at Reckitt Benckiser, WellPet and Kellogg’s, as well as executive education at Edge by Ascential.

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How to Start an E-commerce Program from Scratch

November 18th 2020 1:00 CST

Description: Now, more than ever before, organizations both big and small are adding investments in e-commerce. For some CPGs – especially in categories like perishables and bev-alc – this investment is taking them into uncharted territory. Many e-commerce professionals are taking advantage of this momentum by joining organizations where they can build a team or capabilities from the ground up. The opportunities associated with these “ground-breaker” roles are exciting, but the challenges are also plentiful.

Join us for our first e-commerce roundtable discussion from the Lonely Learner Series where we will chat with professionals who have done just that. Will Yen from Pabst Brewing Company, Calvin Lammers from Health-Ade Kombucha, and Jim Morgan from Vita Coco will be our guests and will share their insights and perspectives on what it is like to carve your own path toward e-commerce excellence.

Will Yen: Pabst Brewing Company
As Director, National Accounts – eCommerce at Pabst Brewing Company, Will Yen is responsible for developing the company’s e-commerce sales strategy across current and future customers/channels. Prior to Pabst, Will held e-commerce roles at Kimberly-Clark, Procter & Gamble and more.

Calvin Lammers: Health-Ade Kombucha
A nine-year eCommerce veteran, Calvin Lammers has helped food and beverage disruptor brands find their audience with the help of eCommerce. Before joining Health-Ade, Calvin was director of eCommerce at Spindrift and worked at KIND Snacks, Bai Brands, and Target.

Jim Morgan: Vita Coco
Jim Morgan is currently Head of eCommerce for Vita Coco, the world’s best-selling coconut water, leading eCommerce business and strategy for the Vita Coco, RUNA and Ever & Ever brands. Prior to Vita Coco, Jim held a variety of finance and strategy roles at Heineken, Diageo, SK Energy and Cadbury.

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Neha Mallik: B&G Foods

October 21st 2020 2:00 PM CDT

Description: In this Brand Spotlight session, Neha Mallik from B&G Foods will discuss how brands can marry digital marketing with eCommerce to win with key retailers. You’ll discover the steps to take to win in today’s omnichannel environment, learn about the digital marketing funnel and ecosystem, and hear tips for increasing consumer engagement, driving traffic to retailer websites, and ensuring products show up in search.

Biography: A CPG industry executive of over 20 years, Neha Mallik currently leads the development and overall execution of modern commerce, vision and the roadmap of B&G Foods through strategic initiatives including development, management and implementation for the company’s eCommerce strategy, advancing new capabilities and driving retailer partnerships. Neha has also developed and lead Dean Foods eCommerce strategy as well as Mars Petcare, B&M retailers eCommerce initiatives.

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Aliza Levinsky: GSK

October 14th 2020 2:00 PM CDT

Description: Unlike the physical shelf, which changes just a few times a year, the digital shelf is constantly shifting and evolving, often on a daily basis. To succeed at eCommerce, today’s CPG brands must have a defined, scalable optimization process in place to effectively respond to these changes. In this Brand Spotlight Series, Aliza Levinksy from GlaxoSmithKline will discuss the best ways brands can utilize data to drive ongoing product content optimization based on both internal and external triggers, such as packaging and formula updates, seasonality, ratings and reviews, and search rankings.

Biography: Aliza Levinksy is a seasoned eCommerce leader with a focus in digital capabilities, marketing technology, strategy and innovation supporting domestic and global markets. As Senior eCommerce Manager, Digital Shelf & Analytics at GlaxoSmithKline – Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, she is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to deliver best in class content and engaging online consumer experiences that drive sales and improve conversion to accelerate eCommerce growth. Prior to her role at GSK, Aliza served as Digital Shelf Manager – eCommerce at Mondelez.

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Todd Hassenfelt: Simple Mills

September 30th 2020 2:00 PM CDT

Description: Even with the impact of COVID-19, securing resources for e-commerce can be challenging at all organizations. From competing internal priorities to maximizing impact with external stakeholders, finding effective and efficient ways to allocate the needed resources is critical for success. In this Brand Spotlight session, Todd Hassenfelt from Simple Mills will share ways to secure resources (especially financial) and motivate people to help e-commerce teams deliver winning solutions to their company.

Biography: Combining a 5-year ongoing e-commerce journey with 15 years of selling everything from tobacco to toilet paper at brick and mortar, Todd Hassenfelt brings perspective of how to allocate resources (especially financial) for e-commerce, motivate people, and connect teams. Todd currently leads the omnichannel, pure play, and DTC business at Simple Mills. Due to COVID-19, he has not worked a day in the Simple Mills office and connects with his new teammates via Zoom so he can answer questions about remote onboarding and hiring as well.

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Jim Morgan: Vita Coco

September 23rd 2020 2:00 PM CDT

Description: Though Amazon keeps most of its customer data close to its chest, there are still ways for brands to dive deeper to uncover valuable insights. This webinar will discuss how 3P/Hybrid selling brands can mine available customer data sources in Amazon FBA to better understand, analyze, evaluate, and refine their products—and drive growth to their Amazon business.

We will discuss:

  • Amazon’s various selling models (1P, 3P, Hybrid)
  • How even larger brands can leverage Amazon FBA to collect valuable data insights—and in turn, drive fast, successful product launches
  • Where and how to pull customer data within FBA
  • Plenty of data insight use cases

Biography: Jim Morgan is currently Head of eCommerce for Vita Coco, the world’s best-selling coconut water, where he leads eCommerce (pureplay and omnichannel) business and strategy, managing efforts across Sales, Product, Logistics, Supply Chain, Content, Visibility, and Customer Experience. He also leads eCommerce for sister brand RUNA, the top-selling clean energy drink on Amazon, as well as Ever & Ever, an aluminum-bottled premium enhanced water launching in partnership with Lonely Whale, the non-profit powerhouse that got the world to #stopsucking on plastic straws.

Prior to Vita Coco, Jim has held a variety of finance and strategy roles within Heineken, Diageo, SK Energy, and Cadbury. He received his BS in Finance from The College of New Jersey, which he’d like people to know is “New Jersey’s #1 top school not named Princeton.”

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Jason Eastman: Kimberly-Clark

September 9th 2020 2:30 PM CDT

Description: Driving brand engagement and optimizing the process from end to end can be daunting. Join us as we talk with Jason Eastman, Director of the Commerce IQ Team at Kimberly-Clark, for week six of our Brand Spotlight Series. Jason will discuss the ins and outs of leveraging content management – using data governance, creative development and execution strategies – and best practices for continuous improvement.

Biography: With 20+ years of experience in the CPG industry leading teams and representing iconic brands, Jason Eastman is as a commercial leader specializing in traditional customer, channel and e-commerce leadership roles that have enabled brands to transform their relationships and capabilities driving better engagement with customers and consumers.

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Manish Sharma: Kellogg's

August 26th 2020 2:00 PM CDT

Description: The e-commerce journey began later for many CPG manufacturers than it did for businesses from other categories. But the rise of CPG e-commerce – even before the pandemic – has shined a spotlight on the need to build efficient and effective e-commerce organizations. Join us for our fifth brand spotlight as we talk with Manish Sharma from Kellogg’s. Manish will talk about Kellogg’s transformational journey and about the seeds that need to be sowed when building a successful e-commerce organization.

Biography: With 18 years of experience in the CPG industry, Manish Sharma is an e-commerce, marketing, and commercial leader who is currently the Sr. Director of E-commerce Strategy and Business Operations for Kellogg’s North America. Passionate about building businesses, brands, ideas and developing talent, Manish has worked across multiple CPG categories, in local, regional and global assignments.

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Calvin Lammers: Health-Ade Kombucha

August 19th 2020 2:00 PM CDT

Description: The beverage category is an old and hyper-competitive space that can be very challenging for emerging brands to enter. Yet the more democratic nature of eCommerce has enabled these smaller brands to find their position on “the shelf.” Join us for week four of our Brand Spotlight Series, as we talk with Calvin Lammers, VP of eCommerce at Health-Ade Kombucha, about how emerging brands can disrupt the category with eCommerce.

Biography: A nine-year eCommerce veteran, Calvin Lammers has helped food and beverage disruptor brands find their audience with the help of eCommerce. Before joining Health-Ade, Calvin was director of eCommerce at Spindrift and worked at KIND Snacks, Bai Brands, and Target.

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Jennifer Elmashni: BIC

August 12th 2020 2:00 PM CDT

Description: E-commerce is exploding, and brands are challenged with accelerating growth faster than ever before. Join us for week 3 of our brand spotlight series with Jennifer Elmanshi, Vice President, Global eCommerce and Digital Marketing at BIC. Jennifer will share how she’s paving new inroads and accelerating a digital agenda, with her SPARC framework for e-commerce.

Biography: Jen Elmashni is the Vice President of Global eCommerce and Digital Marketing at BIC International, responsible for the development of BIC’s overarching Digital Center of Expertise. She leads a team responsible for deploying strategies and capabilities to scale BIC’s connection to consumers and shoppers through digital channels around the world and leading expansion of BIC’s largest growth engine, eCommerce.

Prior to joining BIC, Jen was the Head of U.S. eCommerce & Digital Sales for Johnson & Johnson, delivering year-over-year growth for all of Health and Beauty categories across social, digital and retail media platforms and achieving +65% point of sales growth.

Jen started her career in management consulting with IBM and Booz & Company and entered her eCommerce journey with Walmart.com just prior to joining J&J. She holds a Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Art degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. Her most notable accomplishment is being a mom to Mazen (6) and Leilani (2), and Casino (furry four-legged 8 year old).

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Alana Joy Feldman: Bayer

August 5th 2020 2:00 PM CDT

Session: E-Commerce Heroes Have the Best Capes: How Category Leaders Approach Their E-Commerce Capabilities

Description: Companies with tight E-commerce capabilities are poised to dominate their categories, yet many brands today struggle to create the infrastructure needed to run a smooth E-commerce operation. In week two of the Lonely Learner Brand Spotlight Series, Alana Joy Feldman, Manager of E-Commerce Operations at Bayer, will share strategies that brands can implement to catapult their companies from E-commerce laggards to E-commerce leaders.

Biography: As manager of eCommerce Operations at Bayer, Alana Joy Feldman has expertise in digital marketing, shopper marketing, operations, and eCommerce. As a leading voice in the industry, she is passionate about building and enabling world-class eCommerce to deliver superior consumer experiences.

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Gloria DeCoste: Nestle USA

July 29th 2020 1:00 PM CDT

Session: The Lean, Mean eContent Machine! (we’re not really mean)

Description: Getting our products to the digital shelf is more important now than ever. With products selling across multiple channels and different categories, the task can be daunting. Layer in limited resources and it seems darn near impossible. But with the right tricks, tips and tools, you can charge ahead and drive meaningful – and measurable – business impact.

Biography: Gloria DeCoste is Director of Omni-channel Strategy and eCommerce Capabilities at Nestle USA, leading eCommerce capabilities for over three years. Previously a Director of Digital Strategy, Gloria has ushered in digitally-focused change management across large enterprise. Prior to joining Nestle USA, Gloria managed brand product development and communications at Nestle Purina for multiple brands.

Gloria lives in DC with her husband and two girls. Off the clock activities include music, yoga, and feeble attempts to knit.

Gloria has presented at several conferences including YouTube VidCon, Sundance, and Videonomics. Gloria holds a MBA from Ross School of Business (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and bachelors in Social Science from Michigan State University.

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Digital Shelf Session 4: Ratings & Reviews

July 9th 2020 2:30 PM CDT

Ratings and reviews are a gold mine of information to help inform manufacturers about customer needs. In our fourth “Audience decides” session, e-commerce thought leader Chris Perry and OneSpace CMO Amanda Wolff will discuss ways to leverage this user-generated content to elevate your e-commerce game. In these unique sessions, attendees will be able to vote through a series of questions to determine in real time what our experts will be teaching.

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Digital Shelf Session 3: Scaling

June 24th 2020 2:30 PM CDT

Almost every manufacturer today — no matter how big or small — is changing the way they approach e-commerce to adapt to new consumer behaviors. Yet, when it comes to pivoting quickly, large manufacturers are often at a disadvantage over challenger brands. In our third “audience decides” session, e-commerce thought leader Chris Perry and OneSpace CMO Amanda Wolff will provide tips to help your brand implement an agile and proactive e-commerce content strategy that will enable you to move more quickly and beat the competition online. This unique session is not your typical webinar. Instead, attendees will be able to vote through a series of questions to determine in real time what our experts will be teaching.

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Digital Shelf Session 2: Conversion

June 17th 2020 2:30 PM CDT

When it comes to e-commerce, search visibility doesn’t automatically equal sales. Once you’ve mastered SEO, the next step is to optimize your product content for conversion. In our second “audience decides” session, e-commerce thought leader Chris Perry and OneSpace CMO Amanda Wolff will provide practical tips your brand can use to drive conversions on the digital shelf. Attendees will help guide the conversation by answering a series of live polls designed to gauge which tactics they want to learn more about.

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Digital Shelf Session 1: SEO

June 10th 2020 2:30 PM CDT

The dust is settling, and it’s time to get tactical! To win in e-commerce, you first have to be found, so search engine optimization is one of the most important skills brands need to master as they shift to an omnichannel strategy. Join e-commerce thoughtleader Chris Perry and Amanda Wolff, OneSpace CMO, for this first-ever “audience decides” session. Attendees will be able to vote through a series of questions to determine in real time what our experts will be teaching about this fundamentally important topic.

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John Carroll

May 27th 2020 2:00pm CDT

Description: We’ve all seen the stats. E-Commerce is booming, which means that CPGs are evolving to be more omnichannel — at a rate faster than any of us imagined just a few short months ago. Join us for Week 9 of the Lonely Learner Series as we chat with John Carroll, an e-commerce and CPG veteran, about what that means for the careers of people currently working in the CPG industry — as well as those who want to enter it.

Bio: John Carroll is a proven senior executive and board member with 30+ years of success in the CPG industry, food & beverage, FMCG, packaging, and manufacturing. John is the founder of a consulting firm, Creative Commerce Solutions, and he has held senior leadership positions at The Coca-Cola Company and Procter & Gamble.

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Yves Le Breton

May 20th, 2020 2:00pm CDT

Description: At a time when customers around the world are isolated but actively engaged in a wide variety of digital activities, it’s more important than ever for brands to have one, clear voice to ensure a consistent message with customers. Yet, it’s often a challenge with exponential demands for content and multiple teams doing production. Join us for Week 8 of the Lonely Learner Series as we speak with Yves Le Breton to talk about some of the best practices brands can use to take control of their digital strategies and messages on a global scale.

Bio: Yves Le Breton has 20+ years of experience helping CPG brands with digital transformation and e-commerce strategy. He spent most of his career working at Estée Lauder, but has also worked for Beiersdorf, American Eagle Outfitters, and Revlon. Having lived and worked on 4 different continents, Yves is well-versed in the challenges traditional CPG brands face when addressing the global, digital economy.

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Brian Dudzinski

May 13th, 2020 2:00pm CDT

Description: With consumers shopping via e-commerce more than ever before due to COVID-19, many manufacturers are trying to bridge the divide between their brick and mortar and e-commerce teams. Join us for week 7 of the Lonely Learner Series as we talk with Brian Dudzinski from KIND Healthy Snacks about the shift toward omnichannel thinking and how e-commerce teams can lead that change. We’ll discuss the need for translating the fundamentals of e-commerce to language brick and mortar colleagues can embrace, the importance of availability and content – both online and offline, and 3p delivery services and the impact they have in an omnichannel world.

Biography: With a background in data and analytics, as well as e-commerce, Brian Dudzinski is an ROI-minded leader who is widely viewed as one of the top e-commerce pros working for a brand today. As the director of e-commerce for KIND Healthy Snacks, Brian Dudzinski has been recognized as both a “Leader of Change” in e-commerce, as well as a “Who’s Who in E-commerce” from Shopper Marketing Magazine. Before joining KIND, Brian held e-commerce leadership roles at Innocor, a manufacturer and producer of memory foam and memory foam products, and NECA, the National Entertainment Collectibles Association.

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Reid Greenberg

May 6th, 2020 2:00pm CDT

Description: When Reid Greenberg speaks, he does so with intentionality and an authenticity that quietly solidifies his position as one of the leading voices in e-commerce. Join us as we talk to Reid about his predictions of what post-COVID commerce will look like, exploring how moving from an acute state toward a “phasing in of normalcy” will impact consumers, retailers, and brands in various ways.

Biography: An e-commerce, digital and CPG leader, Reid Greenberg is a veteran in the industry and is currently Executive Vice President of Global Digital and Ecommerce at Kantar. Known for bringing vision and clarity to any challenge, Reid has deep experience in growing businesses, building teams and creating digital transformations.

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Stephanie Leffler

April 29th, 2020 2:00pm CDT

Description: In the last month, online grocery has seen a boom, with apps like Instacart experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity. The result is that manufacturers are now looking for ways to maximize the opportunity the platform provides. Join OneSpace CEO, Stephanie Leffler, an e-commerce thought-leader and Instacart expert, as she gives you actionable tips to help you win on Instacart during this time of unprecedented demand.

Biography: Stephanie Leffler is an entrepreneur passionate about e-commerce. Most recently, she co-founded OneSpace, which helps brands build better e-commerce content, using data to inform the creative process at every step. Prior to OneSpace, Leffler founded MonsterCommerce and Juggle.com.

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Don Brett

April 22nd, 2020 2:00pm CDT

Description: If you don’t follow Don Brett on LinkedIn, make it happen, post-haste. His content is always insightful, always fresh, and always data-driven, so this third session of the Lonely Learner Series, featuring Don, is sure to be the same. Join us as we talk in practical terms about how companies should approach shifting resources from their brick and mortar investments to the more holistic, multi-pillar digital program that this situation demands.

Biography: Don has more than 16 years of experience in transformation, new business development, eCommerce, sales, revenue growth management and post-merger integrations. Prior to joining NBG Home, Don worked at Newell Brands and Kimball International. During his tenures, he has held a variety of senior commercial and integration leadership roles.

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Chris Perry

April 15th, 2020 2:00pm CDT

Session: Lessons from #ToiletPaperCrisis

Description: Week three of The Lonely Learner Series features Chris Perry. Chris is one of the most influential voices in e-commerce today, and his passion about the profession is matched only by his humor. Chris will be sharing lessons from the #toiletpapercrisis, talking about how brands from all categories can respond to unplanned demand.

Biography: Chris Perry is the VP of Education at Edge by Ascential on a mission to help empower Leaders of Change — both people and brands — to win in a digital-commerce-driven world. Over his career to-date as a CPG eCommerce practitioner, he has led the eCommerce across Reckitt Benckiser, WellPet and Kellogg’s, generating collectively $350MM+ in sales growth and joint partnerships with over 25+ top global retailers.

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Tim Madigan

April 8th, 2020 2:00pm CDT

Description: Week two of the Lonely Learner Series features Tim Madigan, industry veteran, e-commerce thought leader, and partner working with The Partnering Group (TPG.) In this session, Tim will talk about how you pivot as a company when circumstances change, including a deeper look into what’s happening in food service.

Biography: Tim Madigan is an executive business leader and partner with The Partnering Group. With a strong record of e-commerce leadership, market development, strategy creation, new product development and team leadership, Tim has deep industry experience from his time at Tyson Foods, SC Johnson, and Procter & Gamble.

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Sri Rajagopalan

April 1st, 2020 2:00pm CDT

Session: Is this the tipping point for e-commerce?

Description: In this first session of the Lonely Learner Series, hear from Sri Rajagopalan, thought-leader and e-commerce veteran. “Is COVID-19 the tipping point for e-commerce?” Sri will talk about it, share his predictions for e-commerce, and give his suggestions for how brands should be responding during these unprecedented times.

Biography: Sri Rajagopalan is a 25 year CPG veteran with cross functional leadership across sales, digital marketing, e-commerce, IT & business intelligence. He has started and led e-commerce including Amazon 1P+ 3P, DTC, and Omni channel businesses for Frito-Lay, Johnson & Johnson, and Revlon. In previous roles of leadership he has led IT, customer insights and market research.

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