Susan Beardslee, Principal Analyst at ABI Research, provides global intelligent transportation and e-freight research coverage, including commercial vehicle telematics, heavy duty and agriculture equipment technologies and multi-modal service models. She leads research on emerging areas such as analytics, prognostics, and over-the-air (OTA) updates, Freight as a Service (FaaS), gateways and electrification. Susan’s background includes relevant experience in embedded technologies and IoT, advanced automotive, transport, and UAVs. She previously worked for Intel and ON Semiconductor and held a variety of positions with other semiconductor manufacturers and suppliers. She assumed roles in market research, as well as strategy, operations management, competitive analysis, and IT, including cybersecurity management. Susan holds a B.S. in Marketing, as well as an M.B.A with a focus on Supply Chain from Arizona State University.
Executive Vice President Operations
Operations, Andrews Distributing
Current responsibilities: Oversees operations of the distribution center team, logistics team (focusing on intercompany logistics, forecasting and planning team, facility team, and fleet team.
Past positions and responsibilities: Leader with broad, senior-level supply chain experience who has worked in numerous industries including multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 companies in the beverage, automotive, and flooring industries. With a proven track record of driving strategic and operational change initiatives across the entire supply chain that result in a combination of lower costs and service improvements. A supply chain executive that has managed organizations with both domestic and international scope responsibilities. Experience with managing highly talented cross functional teams. Responsible for setting the overall strategic supply chain direction for an organization managing complex, multi-site distribution networks which includes forecasting/planning, purchasing, customer call center and transportation/warehousing operations.
Education: Temple University BBA, Operations Management/Supply Chain Management
Professional and community afflictions:
MillerCoors Distributor Council member
Constellation Distributor Council member
Allen Chamber of Commerce Board
Senior Safety Adviser
National Safety Council
David Consider is a senior workplace safety consultant and trainer at the National Safety Council. He has over 20 years of experience cultivating occupational safety, health and environmental cultures of continuous improvement for companies in various industries, including: materials handling, construction equipment dealerships, manufacturing, automotive, mining, steel, abatement, construction and demolition. At NSC, David is responsible for providing field consulting, auditing and training services geared towards solving a variety of safety and health challenges.
With responsibilities spanning the safety, health and environmental fields, David is a results-oriented leader and consultant who has recommended and implemented safety management programs in all type industries. His experience with ISO 14001 encourages development and implementation of programs and policies that exemplify a best practice approach to safety and health solutions. David is also an authorized NSC Defensive Driving Course instructor and NSC First Aid instructor.
Principal and President
Precision Distribution Consulting, Inc.
Greg Ellis is a Principal and President of Precision Distribution Consulting, Inc. He possesses 28 years of distribution operations and consulting experience. Mr. Ellis has had responsibility for the coordination, execution and management of distribution center design projects including strategic planning, location analysis operations analysis, facility sizing, material handling design, best practice assessment, shop floor management and client training efforts. He has successfully executed projects in 16 countries including the United States, Canada, Guatemala, Russia, Germany, Poland, Italy, France, Ukraine, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Mr. Ellis co-authored a national initiative that details the design, operations, staffing, and productivity improvement for the United States network of 400+ warehouse facilities for a client in the beverage industry. In recent years, Greg and his firm PDC, have successfully executed several national and international facility design and network projects. These projects have included many leading companies of consumer retail goods including over 300 food and beverage distribution center designs.
Mr. Ellis holds a BA in Business Administration from Marietta College. He is a member of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT), and Contributing Editor to Beverage World Magazine and contributor to Modern Material Handling Magazine.
Total Systems Thinking Solutions, LLC
Manages a Supply Chain consulting company focused on distribution optimization, warehouse processes and methodology, sales capabilities, supply chain execution evaluations, and strategic leadership including business process and change management.
Formally Vice President Supply Chain Services and Support; Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated (CCBCC), President Swift Water Logistics
Thirty-five plus years of experience across the US in the food and beverage sales, marketing, and supply chain as well as the transportation industries.
Led sales, marketing, customer management, equipment services, re-manufacturing, and process improvement services in operational management as well as support and oversight.
Helped create and manage a startup subsidiary for Coca Cola around Supply Chain Process Improvement consulting with outside clients on supply chain processes from order generation, warehouse system redesign, delivery and merchandising.
University of North Carolina – BS Chemistry Major/Physics Minor
The National Beer Wholesalers Association
Lester Jones serves as the Chief Economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Association, a national trade organization that represents the interests of more than 3,000 licensed beer distributors that service every state. He has more than 20 years of experience in research, survey methodology and applied business economics. He most recently served as Chief Economist at the Beer Institute, where he developed and executed significant research initiatives that helped shape America’s beer industry. He also has become a recognized public speaker, offering in-depth technical, analytical and quantitative expertise.
As NBWA Chief Economist, Jones tracks the economic factors that impact the beer distribution industry and alcohol policy decisions at the federal, state and local levels. He evaluates and develops primary industry data, including economic impact, tax impacts, sales and volume data. In addition to his decade of work at the Beer Institute, Jones previously worked for Arbitron Company (Nielsen) in Columbia, Maryland, and the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson State University in Maryland. Jones has a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Delaware and is a Certified Business Economist.
Vice President, Operations
Del Papa Distributing
Eric Joseph began his career with Del Papa Distributing in 1996, starting as one of the company’s original group of college-graduate Trainees. The Trainee program gave Eric a very broad base of understanding about the company and the beer business, as he literally worked in every department, learning virtually every facet of the beer industry. Moving forward, Eric worked in Marketing as a Geographic Marketing Coordinator. He then advanced to a Sales Representative position. Next, he fulfilled the role of the Company’s Revenue Management Coordinator, overseeing all aspects associated with the Company’s pricing process. Following this, Eric worked as a Business Analyst. For two years Eric worked in the Company’s Financial Services department as the Director, Asset Control & Auditing. Eric later assumed the role of Warehouse Operations Manager of the Company’s NE distribution center in Beaumont, TX. In 2010 Eric was named to his current role of Vice President, Operations, where he manages the operation of all three of Del Papa’s facilities and its fleet of over 240 vehicles.
Eric attend Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.
Following graduation from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Eric Joseph started with Del Papa Distributing in 1996 in the company’s Management Trainee program. In this role he received valuable training and practical experience in virtually every facet of the beer business, the Del Papa way!
Upon completion of the program, Eric began his career in the Marketing department as a Geographic Marketing Coordinator. Next, he joined the Sales team as an Advance Sales Representative preselling the product portfolio to his assigned retailers. Eric’s adaptability to change and willingness to learn continued as he accepted the role of Revenue Management Coordinator working in all aspects of the product pricing process while working closely with the Vice-President, Sales & Marketing and the company’s suppliers. He continued in the Sales & Marketing realm as a Business Analyst, then joined the Financial Services team as the company’s Director, Asset Control & Auditing. Continuing to develop himself, Eric moved into the Operations arena overseeing all aspects of warehousing as the Warehouse Operations Manager at Del Papa’s Beaumont, Texas, distribution center. Following all of that, some might say Eric has a hard time holding down a position! But in reality, it was his broad-based knowledge of the business and the company that led to his being named Vice-President, Operations in 2010. With more than 21 years with Del Papa Distributing, as Vice-President, Eric oversees the operation and maintenance of three distribution centers that receive, warehouse, and ship over 10.5 million cases annually to retailers across 17 counties along the Gulf coast of Texas. Eric also has full responsibility for the company’s fleet of more than 240 vehicles and the company’s safety programs.
Chief Supply Chain Officer
Pabst Brewing Co.
Ron Kane joined Pabst as Chief Supply Chain Officer in September 2018. Prior to joining Pabst, he was the VP of Supply Chain & Distribution for Stone Brewing in Escondido, CA. He led the team accountable for all Procurement, Planning, and Logistics for Stone, and also had responsibility for the technical operations of Stone Distributing Co, SoCal’s largest craft focused distributor with 48 craft brands. Prior to Stone, Ron spent 5 years as VP of North American Operations for Monster Energy. He led the group during a period of enormous growth, which included the complete transition of the NA distribution network to the Coca-Cola system, to include CCR’s transition to a franchise system. Ron also spent 20 years with Nestle Waters North America in a series of Logistics and Manufacturing leadership roles, both domestically and internationally.
Ron has lived in SoCal for over 12 years, and now calls Encinitas home with his wife Viki. Their daughter Sydney is a proud Junior at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Silver Eagle Distributors
Julio is a Fleet Supervisor at Silver Eagle Distributors, the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products and the second largest beer distributor in the country. Julio assists and performs diagnostics and repairs of mechanical, electrical and hydraulic malfunctions and performs repairs as needed on all types of company owed vehicles including Gasoline, Diesel, Electric and Propane powered.
After graduating high school, Julio started his military career in June 2001-June 2006 as an Avionics Technician for all fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft. During his time in service, he was deployed to Japan in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Julio attended the Toyota Technical Education Network training during his employment at Westside Lexus as a Technician, and graduated from the program in 2008. Julio started in 2010 at Silver Eagle Distributors as a Level 1 Technician with duties that consist of preventative maintenance inspections, diagnostics and repairs. He trained under lead fleet technicians and expanded his knowledge on transmission rebuilds and engine in-frame repairs.
In 2012 Julio was promoted to Nightshift Lead Technician in charge of addressing driver concerns reported on their DVIR’s and any repairs that were carried over from the 1st shift. From there he continued to oversee preventative maintenance inspections on a scheduled basis and trained junior technicians to ensure all D.O.T. requirements are met.
In 2014 Julio accepted the position of Fleet Supervisor at the Pasadena Branch. His responsibilities included the care of fleet equipment comprised of automotive, med/heavy duty tractors and trailers, forklifts, pallet jacks and walkie riders at the Pasadena Branch.
Director of Operations
R.H. Barringer Distributing Company
Bob Ogden is the Director of Operations at R.H. Barringer Distributing Company in North Carolina and is responsible for all operations across six locations that distribute over 19 million cases of beer and 5.4 million units of wine annually. Bob has over 14 years of experience in the beer and wine industry and has presented at various events including “best practices” at the AB wholesaler convention. Bob loves the products he works with. He is a Certified Cicerone and is currently studying to become a Sommelier. Bob also has the innate gift of being able to tell if a beer is “delicious” or not!
GG Distributing L.L.C.
Starting full time in 1994 as a delivery driver, Julian has spent the last 24 years working in the beverage industry. Julian worked at Giglio Distributing from 1994 to 1999, where he stayed primarily in the wine and spirits department as a delivery driver, merchandiser, and then as a salesman.
In 1999, Julian went to work for The Gallo Winery in the Louisiana market. There he worked as a salesman before his promotion to district manager. Taking the great training he received at the Gallo Winery, he came back to work for Giglio Distributing in 2001.
Julian has worked on the Red Bull Team as the Sales Manager over both Beaumont and Longview Branches, On-Premise Sales Manager position for Giglio Distributing, and transferred to Tyler to run the newly purchased Palestine branch as the Sales Manager.
Currently, Julian is the Craft Import Sales Manager at the consolidated Tyler facility where he manages over 27 suppliers, which include Constellation, Heineken USA, Gambrinus, Boston Beer, and Mark Anthony to name a few. While managing those suppliers, Julian has spent the last 18 months planning, designing and managing the construction of the new facility.
Silver Eagle Distributors
Richard (Ricky) Shasteen is the IT Manager at Silver Eagle Distributors. With a Cyber Security Degree, and four CompTIA certs in computers, networks, servers and security, Ricky translated tech issues into everyday language that is easily understandable by all business units. His expertise includes all aspects of PC and peripheral lifecycle and the planning and integration of end-to-end security solutions. He oversees the development, deployment and maintenance of the infrastructure and servers. Currently working on a Masters in Cyber Security.
Director of Facility Management
Silver Eagle Distributors
30 years of progressive responsibility at Silver Eagle Distributors LP headquartered in Houston, Texas.
- Largest A/B wholesaler in the country
- 06 warehouses
- 02 depots
- Over 600,000 sq feet of CEW
- Over 200,000 square feet of support areas (office, etc)
- District Sales Manager
- Regional Sales Manger
- Sales/Service Manager (pre-sell drivers)
- Pre-sell Sales Manager
- Warehouse Manager
- Operations Manager
- Corporate Warehouse Manager
- Owner’s representative (new construction)
- Director of Facility Management (current)
- Assisted with implementation of pre-sell system
- Implemented bulk (18 wheeler) delivery system
- Implemented sales/service department (drivers) for pre-sell system
- Instituted an incentive/pay system to award performance and increase retention of warehouse employees
- Implemented a system whereby non – sales personnel were responsible for management of facilities
- Owner’s representative involved with the construction of two new facilities valued at over $60 million
- Responsible for renovations/additions to existing buildings in excess of $25 million
- Established a facility management department to establish corporate service contracts and suppliers promoting cost savings and quality performance
Cory Rellas is a co-founder and CEO of Drizly. Before Drizly, he spent 4 years as an Associate at Bain Capital Credit focusing on high yield and distressed investments within the industrial and metals and mining space. Prior to Bain Capital, Cory worked at the University of Notre Dame Endowment within their private real estate portfolio. Cory graduated from Notre Dame in 2009 with a BBA in Finance where he was also a Captain of the Notre Dame Varsity soccer team. Cory grew up in Plano, Texas and despite spending 9 years in Boston, he maintains his loyalty to Dallas sports teams.
Executive Vice President & General Manager
Gary Thompson is the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Powers Distributing of Michigan. Gary’s background is over 30 years in the beer business beginning on the supplier side with Miller Brewing Company and over 20 years with Powers Distributing. Gary started his career in public accounting prior to transitioning to the beverage business. Gary’s background includes significant work in mergers and acquisitions (both on the supplier and distributor side), systems development and finance. Gary is also a certified Client Facilitator in the FranklinCovey system.
Powers Distributing is an award winning distributor, Michigan’s largest MillerCoors distributor. Powers carries over 100 brands and 2000 sku’s. With over 3000 customers and $100 million in sales, Powers has doubled in size over the past 20 years. Powers runs over 40 route trucks daily and uses over 10,000 gallons per month of diesel fuel.
Senior Consultant, Automotive Advisory Services
As a consultant in IHS Markit’s Automotive Advisory Services Practice, Matthew performs focused and custom analysis within the global automotive marketplace for vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, and governmental agencies. He has experience in the global automotive business, having conducted numerous global studies. He also has experience in analytic services.
Matthew has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Central Michigan University.
Matthew has completed several analytical studies focusing on automotive matters. These include:
- Passenger car and commercial vehicle powertrain technology studie
- Lead automotive analyst on IHS Markit’s “Reinventing the Truck” study
- EPA/NHTSA’s joint rulemaking on fuel economy and GHG
- Medium and Heavy-Duty technology integration studies
- Before joining IHS Markit, Trentacosta worked at The Martec Group for 3 years in their automotive consultancy group.
Chet Willey Associates
Chet Willey has over 30 years of experience in international logistics and transportation. He has managed distribution operations for Procter & Gamble and Miller Brewing Company and worked as an internal consultant for Miller Brewing Company in identifying and implementing logistics improvements for their distributor network.
He currently is the President of Chet Willey Associates, LLC (www.chetwilley.com) and has designed layouts for over 400 beverage and food distribution facilities throughout the United States and Mexico. Other areas of expertise include productivity improvements, delivery analysis, automation and calculating warehouse space requirements for the next 5 to 10 years.
He received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Industrial Engineering from Oklahoma State University and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Beverage World. He frequently is a guest speaker at various national conventions such as National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) and BevOps/Fleet Summit.
President/Chief Safety Adviser
Industrial Safety & Training Services
A senior safety consultant with nearly three decades of professional experience, Gary currently serves as the President/Chief Safety Adviser of Industrial Safety & Training Services (ISTS, Inc.) in Louisville, Kentucky. In this executive capacity, he oversees a staff of 20 safety professionals responsible for aiding 150 clients across USA. In addition, Mr. Yurt teaches corporate safety teams procedural rules and standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Before opening the doors to Industrial Safety & Training Services, Gary Yurt held middle management level safety positions with Borden Chemical, Inc. (now known as Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc.), and General Electric Appliances. Gary has served the three local communities for 34 years as a volunteer and career firefighter holding the rank of Fire Chief. Gary also is also on staff at Eastern Kentucky University, where he has served 9 years instructing is the OSHA training institute. Throughout his career, Gary Yurt has balanced his professional duties with academic advancement. He holds several degrees and certificates, including a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Risk Management and Safety Engineering and a Master’s degree in Loss Prevention and Safety Administration, both of which he earned from Eastern Kentucky University.
Master Lead Technician
Silver Eagle Distributors
Andrew Zak serves as the Master Lead Fleet Technician at Silver Eagle Distributors, the nation's largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products, and the 2nd largest beer distributor in the United States.
After graduating from the Toyota Technical Education Network program in 2006, Andrew began his professional career as a technician at Westside Lexus. There he gained valuable experience allowing him to keep up with today’s ever-changing vehicle market.
He started his career at SED’s Houston branch in 2010 as a level 1 fleet technician performing preventative maintenance inspections and medium/heavy duty vehicle repairs. In 2013 Andrew took on the position of second shift lead technician, gaining responsibility of all evening shop operations and scheduling/executing PMI’s. By late 2015 he advanced to the title of Silver Eagle Master Lead Technician, attaining Master ASE certifications in both automobile and medium/heavy truck. With over 12 years of technical experience, Andrew currently heads various special projects/operations, all while acting as a consultant for advanced diagnostic work, vehicle repairs and procedures.