SYRACUSE, NY – CenterState CEO announced new leadership for The Tech Garden. John Liddy Joins CenterState CEO as interim vice president of Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
As the interim vice president of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Liddy is responsible for leading CenterState CEO’s entrepreneurship portfolio and support programming, operated out of its incubator, The Tech Garden, located in downtown Syracuse. Liddy most recently served as entrepreneur-in-residence at The Tech Garden, where he brought his experience with startups, scaling companies and investments to its programs and members. He has also worked for more than a decade to provide business coaching to teams as they look to scale and grow their companies within the region’s tech ecosystem. Liddy has also helped mentor the GENIUS NY cohorts over the last five years. Liddy is an accomplished entrepreneurial executive with more than 30 years of business experience. For over a decade he’s helped people start and grow businesses, primarily by contracting with organizations whose role it is to support entrepreneurs. His clients include educational institutions, government agencies, economic development organizations, accelerators, incubators, and individual entities. The support he provides through this consulting work, incudes immersion programs, accelerator formation, content creation, course delivery, mentorship, workshops, entrepreneur-in-residence, strategic planning, and one on one coaching.
"John comes to us with a breadth of entrepreneurial and ecosystem experience," said Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. "We are incredibly fortunate to have someone with his entrepreneurial expertise and knowledge of The Tech Garden - its programs and clients - work with us as we continue the process of searching for a more permanent replacement."
Liddy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Vermont and a Master of Business Administration, from Syracuse University. He is also the recipient of numerous professional awards. He and his wife, Jen, and their son, Jack, live in Syracuse.
To learn more about CenterState CEO, please visit www.CenterStateCEO.com.
About CenterState CEO
CenterState CEO is an independent and forward-thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. We serve as an advocate and resource for smart business, catalyze and facilitate regional growth, and promote community prosperity through results-driven partnerships, planning and problem-solving. www.centerstateceo.com
Ithaca, NY (June 30, 2022) – Rosie announced today the hiring of Lori Brown to join the team as Senior Vice President of Industry and Customer Development. In this role, Lori will focus on the expansion of Rosie’s industry leading ecommerce service and growth of Rosie’s independent retailer media network, reporting to Chief Revenue Officer Merrick Rosner.
“Lori’s enthusiasm for independent grocers and wholesalers is legendary,” shared Rosie CEO and cofounder Nick Nickitas. “She brings years of experience and a passion for delivering delight to shoppers, retailers, and organizations across the US. She is a tireless champion of our industry and a true servant leader. As Rosie continues its rapid growth, we couldn’t be more excited for Lori to join our team.”
Prior to joining Rosie, Brown was at Post Consumer Brands for 18 years, most recently as Regional Vice President leading Post Consumer Brands in the West Region responsible for major accounts including URM Stores, Associated Food Stores (AFS), CERTCO, Brookshire Brothers, and Stater Bros. Markets. She earned a master’s degree from USC’s Marshall School of Business and serves on several boards including California Grocers Association (CGA), Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA), and The Illuminators. Brown is also acting President, Boy Scouts of America, Pacific Harbors Council.
Lori’s excitement for the opportunity at Rosie was on display when she shared, “I’ve watched Rosie closely over the last few years and have admired the team’s care for locally owned independents and wholesalers. I’ve been able to work directly with them from my previous work at Post and I look forward to bringing my experience, network, and mission to Rosie.” Lori continued, “I grew up in a small town, and the local food center was the heart of our community; completely invested not only in their business, but in the people. Independent grocers have more obstacles to overcome than larger chain accounts, but they figure out a way to get it done. They are scrappy and resourceful. Rosie helps independent grocers differentiate and compete.”
Rosie’s rapid growth over the last few years has been due to a deep focus on independent grocery retailers, their wholesaler partners, and national CPG brands. Today, nearly 300 retailers representing close to a thousand stores, have selected Rosie as their trusted ecommerce and mobile platform. With stores and wholesaler partnerships reaching all 50 states, Rosie is poised for even greater expansion with Brown joining the team in this senior position where she will work closely with retailers, brands, and wholesaler leaders.
Ray Sprinkle, president of URM Stores and current chair of Retailer Owned Food Distributors (ROFDA) and past chair of WFIA, shared, “Lori has spent her career demonstrating her passion for ensuring the success of the Retailer. Combining Rosie’s technology with Lori’s experience and knowledge in the industry, it is the perfect fit for bringing enhanced value to the Independent Retailers we all serve. URM is excited to continue our relationship with her and Rosie.”
In early 2015, Rosie began building partnerships with CPG brands to directly support the ecommerce programs of retailers and to find unique and inventive ways to engage online shoppers with brand driven digital programs. These have expanded over the last 7 years to include campaigns with Kraft-Heinz, Johnson & Johnson, McCormick, Litehouse, and many others. As shoppers shift habits to online shopping, Rosie’s expansive market penetration and merchandising platform make for a one-of-a-kind partnership opportunity for brands, wholesalers, retailers, and their online guests. Brown will oversee Rosie’s growing digital media platform in her newly created position.
Carole Christianson, COO of the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC), said, “Lori Brown is one of the finest industry executives that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Her work ethic, commitment to lifelong education and passion to serve the food industry is greatly admired and appreciated.”
In early 2021, Rosie completed a $10 million round of Series A funding, enabling the team to introduce new tools to enhance the shopper and retailer experience, launch new products to provide a seamless omnichannel journey for shoppers at home, in-store, or on-the-go, further invest in monetization opportunities to increase retailer profitability, and recruit the best and brightest talent to accelerate product development and expansion across the independent grocery space.
Greg McNiff, President of Stater Bros. Markets and WAFC immediate past chair, stated, “Lori is truly a servant leader. I’ve been blessed to know and work with her for several years. She is the first to raise her hand to assist in any industry event (regardless of how busy she is) and always does it with a smile. Lori is a leader who builds trusting relationships which will benefit any organization fortunate enough to land her.”
Rosie is the most trusted, locally-focused ecommerce company, where shoppers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online from local stores. We partner with leading independent grocers and their wholesalers to provide a fully-customizable, branded e-commerce presence, delivery opportunities, omnichannel marketing and deep data services.
Rosie serves as the preferred ecommerce partner to the nation’s leading wholesalers including Associated Food Stores (AFS), Associated Grocers, Inc (AGBR), Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), Bozzuto’s, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Company, and URM Stores.
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