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Presenter Bios
Rich Niemann.jpg

President & Chief Executive Officer

Niemann Foods, Inc

Harvest Market, County Market, and Save-a-Lot Grocery Stores, ACE Hardware Stores, Pet Supplies Plus Stores, Haymakers Convenience Stores, Perk Coffee, Co. and Little Caesar’s Pizza.

Rich joined the Company in 1977, following his graduation from the University of Illinois with a degree in Marketing/Business Administration.  He became General Manager in 1980, was appointed Chief Operating Officer and President in 1990. He was promoted in 2005 to the position of C.E.O.  Rich was recently named the Chairman of the Board.

He is a Past Chairman of the National Grocers Association, based in Washington, and also served as the Chairman of Illinois Food Retailers Association. He has, and currently serves on, numerous boards, including the Niemann Foods Foundation.  Rich served for 2 years on the North American Coca Cola Research Council…dedicated to research to aid retailers in the U.S.

He and his wife, Susie, have five grown children, and sixteen grandchildren. Along with his sons, he owns and works a cattle ranch on 1,500 acres in northeast Missouri where they raise Angus beef.  

Rich Niemann, Jr. is Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Niemann Foods, Inc., a family/associate owned retail business that operates 112 retail stores in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and Indiana.  Store banners include

Rich Niemann, Jr


BI Spatial

Andy Moncla is the President of BI Spatial.  Andy has worked with many of the largest retailers and banks over the past 30 years and specializes in Business Intelligence, Spatial Modeling and Customer Segmentation.   Since 2005, Andy has focused on solving business questions through the use of

Alteryx.  With his pioneering spirit, Andy is the only 5-time Alteryx award winner, including “Best Use of Alteryx for Spatial Analytics” and being designated an Alteryx ACE. Lately, Andy has developed new applications for enriching mobile-device location data to better understand client or competitor locations and customers.

BI Spatial
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Vice President of Sales Strategy & Development

Benjamin Pitman is the Vice President of Sales Strategy and Development at, where he has actively worked on bringing Placer's solution to hundreds of economic development groups across the country. Prior to Placer, Benjamin held senior sales roles at Soci and ion Interactive and holds a BA in Professional Sales and Communication from William Paterson University.

Benjamin Pitman

President Trade Area Systems


Bill is SVP of Location Intelligence at Kalibrate. Previously, he was Director of Market Research for CVS Pharmacy, where he was instrumental in the company’s nationwide expansion. Bill is happiest when he is left alone to code. This hasn’t happened since early 2008. Bill currently lives in Millville, MA, with his wife and two children. His hobbies include mountain biking, hiking, and coding.

Bill Dakai
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Vice President

Matthew P. Casey & Associates

Since 1996, Bob Gorland has been a Vice President in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania office of Matthew P. Casey & Associates, Inc., a Rahway, New Jersey based real estate research consulting firm.  Bob has over forty years of experience in the supermarket industry (11 years in store operations, 30+ years in market analysis).  Prior to joining Casey & Associates, Bob spent eight years directing the Site Selection and Location Research Department for Ahold’s very successful Giant Food Stores of Carlisle, Pennsylvania chain.  Prior to moving to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1988, Bob was a Senior Market Analyst in SuperValu’s Minneapolis area Corporate Office and a Zone Manager in their Fort Wayne, Indiana Division.  He was the youngest Store Manager for A&P (promoted at age 23) in their Detroit Division.  A University of Michigan, Ann Arbor graduate with a degree in Business, Marketing and Journalism, Bob is a regular contributor for various local, regional and national business, and major supermarket publications including Supermarket News and Progressive Grocer.  The past president of a local chapter of Toastmasters International, Bob resides in the Harrisburg area with his wife, Beth.  They have two children.

Bob Gorland
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Hoffman Strategy Group

Dan Sheridan, J.D., is a Partner of Hoffman Strategy Group.  Mr. Sheridan is nationally recognized for his over 20 years of extensive experience in the shopping center industry, in mixed-use master planning and programing, and in general

redevelopment and repositioning of retail real estate assets. Mr. Sheridan focuses on developing value creation strategies that include asset redevelopment, repositioning and mixed-uses. Previous to Hoffman Strategy Group, Dan was COO of Centennial Real Estate. As President of the Retail Properties Division at the Irvine Company, he was responsible for their Retail Properties portfolio, including Fashion Island in Newport Beach, the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine and the Market Place in Irvine and Tustin, California.  At General Growth Properties (GGP), Dan was their Executive Vice President of Asset Management responsible for overall financial and operational performance, including new development, redevelopment, leasing, marketing and operations of a 50M SF portfolio spread across multiple states.

Hoffman Strategy Group
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Chief Evangelist at BuildCentral, Inc

Co-Founder of Planned Grocery

David Z. Beitz is Co-Founder of Beitz and Daigh Geographics, the company that created Planned Grocery®. Mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and Business Insider, Planned Grocery® was created for commercial real estate organizations looking to better understand where new grocery stores will be built.


In October of 2020, Beitz was accepted into Founder University by the LAUNCH Accelerator. He is also the author of 'Location Analytics for Business: The Research and Marketing Strategic Advantage” and holds certifications from the Urban Land Institute and the Green Building Institute.  In January 2021, Beitz and Daigh Geographics was acquired by Chicago-based BuildCentral, Inc. (owned by BCI Media Group based in Australia). Beitz presently serves as Chief Evangelist at BuildCentral. He recently led the launch of Planned Retail™, a new planned development retail-focused commercial real estate platform that also tracks future retail drivers such as planned schools, residential, hotels, medical, and office developments.  Beitz graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Geology along with a cognate in Geography. He currently resides in Columbia, SC with his wife, two boys, and two dogs.

David Beitz
Doug Shaddle
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Vice President of Data Sales


Results-orientated professional with 20 years’ experience in technical software and data sales. Solid understanding of diverse business applications including marketing, market analysis, management, sales, quality assurance and product management. Proven ability to manage large territories and

complex enterprise clients. High caliber presentation, negotiation and closing skills.

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MTN Retail Advisors, LLC

Doug Munson founded MTN in 2004. He has specialized experience in identifying and validating potential retail location sites, including assessing the overall viability of retail shopping centers. In addition, he has worked extensively with and for a number of key grocery real estate decision makers. 

Doug offers a unique perspective from both the retail side of the industry and the development side.  He began his grocery career in 1986, working at the store level in various capacities. In 1995, Doug was recruited into Smith's Food's Site Location/Real Estate department where he developed skills in locating and validating supermarket locations. In 2000, Doug was recruited by Giant Food Stores as Director of Site Location, where he helped develop real estate strategy in Pennsylvania and Maryland for the Giant banner. In 2003, he then joined Phillips Edison & Company as a Development Director, leveraging his knowledge of real estate strategy from the developer perspective.   Doug holds a Bachelors of Science degree and a Master degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Urban Land Institute and National Grocers Association.

Doug Munson
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Neuvante Solutions, LLC

Dr. Harris is a pioneer in Intellectual Work processes. His expertise is in helping organizations create and sustain cultures which promote successful innovation. He completed both his master's in cognition and his Ph.D. in intellectual work from Brigham Young University.  Over the past 30 years,  

 Dr. Harris has consulted at the C-Suite level with several of the world’s largest multinational corporations including retailers, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, aerospace contractors, and financial services companies. 

Doug Harris

Director of Business Development


Dustin brings over 18 years of experience in real estate strategy working for firms like Family Dollar, Bank of America, and Office Depot. Since joining TAS (now Kalibrate) he has worked with new and existing clients to identify the best

solutions to meet their strategic goals. In his free time, Dustin can be found around a BBQ, running, or on the golf course. Dustin currently lives in Wilson, North Carolina with his wife and two kids.

Dustin Stancil
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Vice President of Real Estate Strategy


As Vice President of Real Estate Strategy, Gregg’s focus is to provide enhanced strategic insights into industry trends, market dynamics, and consumer shopping behavior leveraging best-in-class data and analytics. Prior to his current role, Gregg spent 15 years at The Shopping Center

Group creating and implement strategies for organizational structure and human capital, data, analytics, social platforms, website, GIS, mobile technology and branding. Prior roles include 15 years in restaurant operations, consulting, marketing and site selection, including owning and operating a quick-casual restaurant group in Orlando, Florida.  A graduate of Boston University with a degree in Business Management, he received his MBA from the University of Florida (Go Gators!). Gregg, and his wife Elena, are the proud parents of two amazing boys.  

Gregg Katz
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Director of Research & New Product Development

MTN Retail Advisors, LLC

In this role, Jake Johnson will focus his efforts on supporting current tools, reports and processes that assist clients in decisions related to grocery anchored development, acquisitions, and investment. Further, he will also work

directly with MTN's internal team in building real estate strategy for its grocery retailers and strategy for the grocery-anchor investment community. Johnson has 11 years’ experience building real estate strategy for grocery retailers and strategy for the grocery-anchor investment community, previously serving in leadership roles at Target, Southeast Grocers (Winn-Dixie) and BJ's Wholesale. 

Jake Johnson
Jamie Gull
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Salt Realty Advisors

Jamie is founder and Principal of Salt Realty Advisors, a boutique consultancy partnering with retailers, developers, and other industry businesses on strategic planning, project design, analytics, financial analysis, project management, site 

 selection, and transaction execution.  Salt’s clients come from a broad cross-section of the industry including retail, fitness, analytics, mixed-use development, and pop-up retail.  Over the course of his 20+ year career, Jamie has directed thousands of real estate transactions totaling many millions of square feet of space.  Prior to founding Salt, Jamie led multiple dynamic growth programs for iconic, best-in-class retailers including Head of Real Estate for L.L. Bean, Chief Development Officer for CorePower Yoga, and Head of Real Estate for Cabela’s.  Additionally, Jamie has guided significant land development projects totaling thousands of acres including leading Redstone Development as Principal and Chief Development Officer. 


Jamie holds an MBA from the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University and a BS in Political Science from the University of Utah.  Jamie is on the Board of Advisors for thought leading companies such as MTN Retail Advisors and LocateAI.  Jamie is based in Portland, ME where he and his family love to engage in all varieties of outdoor adventure.

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Investment Advisory Consultant

MTN Retail Advisors, LLC

Jim has over thirty years of experience in commercial real estate, including site selection research and working with numerous grocery chains providing sales forecasts and deployment strategies.  He also has experience as a real estate representative and as the Director of Real Estate for The Kroger Company in two marketing areas.  Jim has also worked for a developer building and selling grocery-

anchored shopping centers in the Southeast.  Jim holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree and Master’s degree in Geography.

Jim Cismesia


Gravitec Development

Jim Puffer is the founder and owner of Gravitec development, Inc.  He has been involved in supermarket research for nearly 40 years and has been the author of a variety of professional papers, as well as a guest speaker at

a number of professional groups.  He organized and built the “Store Location Conference”, now called the “Gravisite” Conference. His educational background includes a B.A. in Psychology, and his graduate studies focused on Applied Mathematics, with particular interest in the convergence of non-linear matrices.

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MTN Retail Advisors, LLC

John Tippetts joined MTN’s predecessor company as a Principal in 2005, and was integral in the conversion to MTN Retail Advisors in 2011.  John has been in the grocery industry since 1982 starting as a courtesy clerk with Smith's Food and Drug Centers while attending college.  His knowledge of site location and consumer research 

began in 1998 as a former Senior Site Location Analyst for Kroger.  He was a Store Director for Smith's Food and Drug during his 17 years with the company.  John brings integral retail-grocery specific insights and relationships to the table for MTN's clients.  He has weathered many storms and his expertise in intelligence location and market analysis serves as part of the cornerstone of MTN's offering.

John has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management.  John enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, movies, music and rare opportunities to relax.

John Tippetts

President of Real Estate Services


Soon after attaining his BA in Entrepreneurship from Hofstra University, Josh joined Creditntell in September of 2011. Over the course of the next two years, he utilized his skills to introduce new marketing initiatives and create new product offerings, with a concentration in the retail real estate segment, earning a promotion to Chief Production

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Officer. Through his diligent efforts with key players in this growing customer base he has been able to innovate a new array of services and networking events tailored to meet this diverse industry's specific needs and applications. Equipped with extensive real estate expertise and an expansive network, Josh was appointed President of Real Estate Services and now leads the company's efforts with this major sector.    

Josh Suffin
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Vice President of Investment Advisory Services

MTN Retail Advisors, LLC

Kevin brings tremendous experience to MTN's Shopping Center Investor/REIT services and solutions.  Kevin has spent 17 years in the Research role at Weingarten Realty where he served 7 years as the Director of Research. Kevin has over 30 years’ experience within the

supermarket/shopping center industry.  His experience and insights combined with MTN's arsenal of analytic tools, processes and talented support team, provides our clients an unparalleled view of shopping center assets and long-term viability studies for grocery anchors.  Kevin has a Master’s degree in Geography.

Kevin Bissell
Lauren McGrath.jfif

Vice President of Data Sales


Lauren is Vice President of Data Sales for Near, a data intelligence company focused on the use of human movement data for place-based insights. Lauren has spent the past 8 years in the location intelligence industry, helping retail and real estate enterprises incorporate new 

and innovative data and technology into their decision-making processes. Prior to Near, Lauren worked at UberMedia (acquired by Near),, and Skyhook Wireless. A former alpine ski racer, she currently resides in the mountains of NH. In her spare time, Lauren can be found chasing her two daughters (ages 9 months and 2), skiing with her husband, boating on Lake Winnipesaukee, and traveling as much as possible.

Lauren McGrath
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Executive Vice President

Synergos Technologies

All of Lesley’s prior work experience came together in a powerful way in 2006 when she joined STI. In particular, Lesley brings three areas of expertise to her position at STI — sales of enterprise systems to retailers, sales of accounting software, and customer training. She gained a thorough understanding of the information needs of retail operations while selling enterprise-level systems to restaurants and grocery stores. She has also sold accounting systems, which afforded her a solid background in the significance of processing numbers, a critical skill in data analysis. Lesley has also held positions as a trainer of technology systems: through this experience she developed the ability to explain complex technical topics to clients in simple ways. Today all of Lesley’s past experience provides an ideal foundation for helping a wide range of STI’s clients determine which demographic data products will best meet their market research needs. She also actively contributes insight into the company’s new product development, its sales strategy, and its marketing program. Lesley has a degree in communication from the University of Virginia.

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Vice President of Business Development

SiteSeer Technologies

Sam has helped many companies plan and implement effective research programs during his two decades in Retail Real Estate.  This experience combined with his commitment to customer service helps him build SiteSeer's client relationships and guide those clients toward success.  Prior to 

joining ROIC analytics (SiteSeer's parent company) in 2010, Sam ran the research department at Phillips Edison and Company.  He also worked in operations for Albertsons before moving into corporate roles and becoming a senior analyst for the company.  Sam holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Boise State University and is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Colorado.  He is currently based in Denver, Colorado.

Tracy Benaman
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Vice President, Retail Sales

Deep North

Tracy Benaman has led retail operations for 26 years with 5 different apparel brands including Gap Inc., American Eagle, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ashley Stewart and NY & Company. In addition, Tracy spent two years consulting for Claris Solutions

heading up the store operational practice working with a variety of retailers to improve sales, productivity and ultimately profit. Most recently Tracy led the client engagement team at Alliance Data Card Services working with over 80 clients to improve customer engagement. Tracy is recognized in the industry as a team leader with the ability to identify key behavioral changes that directly impact sales and profit. Tracy’s operational business improvement approach works with all levels of the organization resulting in successful tactical and strategic approaches.

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