An alliance of the independent grocery and convenience store industries.

2020 WFIA Connect: Vendor-2-Retailer & Industry Awards Dinner

  • 23 Apr 2020
  • (PDT)
  • 2 sessions
  • 23 Apr 2020, 10:00 AM 2:00 PM (PDT)
  • 23 Apr 2020, 2:30 PM 8:30 PM (PDT)
  • 2211 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121


  • Guests include employees and spouse of Board Members only
  • This option is only for the 20 previously selected featured vendors for the speed networking session.
  • Please complete this form if you are a retailer Connect: Vendor-2-Retailer event and Industry Awards Dinner.
  • Please complete this form if you are a vendor who would like to register to attend our Industry Awards Reception & Dinner.

    ***Only featured showcase vendors allowed to participate in the Connect speed networking from 2:30-4:30pm***


Join us on April 23, 2020 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, WA for a night of networking and celebration! 

Registration closes April 10, 2020
***Cancellations after 04/10/2020 are Non-Refundable!***


Breakout sessions at the Edgewater Hotel, Seattle, WA

10:00am - From Service Providers to Innovation Partners - Diana Medina
11:00am - Opportunities for CBD in Retail: Panel - Scott Riefler, Brent Mann, and Monte Ahlemeyer
12:00pm - Lunch for session attendees
1:00pm - Hiring and Retention in the Industry - Tammie Hetrick

Connect Event at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center

12:30pm - Featured Vendor Table Set-Up (only the 20 selected featured vendors)
2:15pm - Retailer Check-in
2:30pm - Connect Speed Networking (all retailers invited to attend, vendor attendance limited to those who are featured showcase vendors) 
4:30pm - Cocktail Hour and Silent Auction (all Connect attendees welcome)   
5:45pm - Industry Awards Dinner with key note speaker, Kevin Coupe and Live Auction (all Connect attendees welcome)
8:30pm - VIP after-party at the Edgewater Hotel Penthouse (Award winners, featured vendors, speakers, and board members)

Detailed Event Description: 

Year four of our WFIA Connect: Vendor-2-Retailer will follow a similar format as we did in 2019. This year we invite our retailers to attend three breakout sessions, which are included in the regular $75 fee!

From Service Providers to Innovation PartnersAs a group, we will explore examples of third-party services and tools that retailers are leveraging for everyday business operations, as well as for more innovative, long-term initiatives. Diana Medina joined Inmar in September 2017 as the director of e-commerce solutions. She leads the development of innovative e-commerce solutions to help Inmar’s retail partners compete and stay ahead in the digital retail environment.

Opportunities for CBD in Retail: Panel: With the new advances in product and conflicting laws regarding CBD products, CBD is an emerging area for our members. We will have a panel on CBD with several individuals offering insight. Scott Riefler is currently chief science officer for SōRSE Technology, an innovation leader of materials development for edible product forms within the cannabis space. Brent Mann is the owner of New World CBD and will talk about his company's seed to store process. Monte Ahlemeyer is the Chief Revenue Officer at Accelerate 360 and is responsible for growing their diversification efforts across their suite of services; from delivery and logistics to warehousing and merchandising. Join us for a deeper dive into this emerging market, how to responsibly and safely bring hemp extracts into your stores, and current CBD trends in the retail industry.

Hiring and Retention in the IndustryHiring and retention is important for any business, but is particularly hard in retail. Tammie Hetrick, IOM SHRM-CP, offers insights on a wide variety of ways to hire and retain quality employees from working with leadership to develop organizational norms, proactively addressing the impacting of changing demographics and cultural changes, and  assisting with the development to advance team member’s professional and personal development through internal and external coaching and training.

After the breakout sessions, we invite independent retailers to join us at 2:30pm for a round of speed-networking with 20 select vendors offering unique products and services. Retailers will have 4 minutes per vendor table before switching to the next. This is your chance to see the latest and greatest...all in one place! All retailers are welcome to attend this portion of the event, but vendor attendance is limited to those who have been pre-selected to showcase their products. 

Following the speed networking is a Cocktail Hour with a silent auction. Vendors not included in the Connect speed networking are invited to arrive at this time to network and gather with fellow industry leaders prior to the Industry Awards Dinner.

The Industry Awards Dinner will begin at 5:45pm. All are invited to enjoy delicious food, drinks, celebrate innovative retailers, and best of all make new business contacts! 

We want all attendees to have a great time, so we will kickoff the Industry Awards Dinner with a terrific speaker, Kevin Coupe - Why 2020 Vision Isn't Enough! Kevin uses real examples from retailing, e-commerce, and marketing, to chart the connection between disruptive innovation and tangible, durable business growth, and sends audiences home with actionable steps they can take in their businesses.

Perfect strategic and tactical vision isn't enough to guarantee business success anymore. Not by a long shot. To have even a chance of creating an enduring and vibrant business model, one has to be able to see not just what is dead ahead, but around corners, past the horizon, into the nooks and crannies of operations, and out in the vast expanse of innovation and ideas.

For more than 18 years on, and for more than three decades as a writer and speaker, "Content Guy" Kevin Coupe has been entertaining and illuminating audiences by chronicling the most successful customer-facing companies in the world and examining their forward steps, and occasional missteps, in areas of experiential marketing, technology adoption, customer understanding, and their grasp of cultural influences on business.

During dinner we'll be presenting our Industry Awards: The Retailer of the Year Award, Vendor of the Year Award, Community Service Award, and the Excellence in Safety Award. We will also include a live auction for "Connect" packages offering time with CEOs and buyers of prominent retail establishments. Sample packages include golf and dinner with the CEO and COO of Rosauers, a pheasant hunting experience and one night ranch stay with URM, and more!

Hotel Accommodations: 
Edgewater Hotel - (206) 728-7000.
A room block is being held under Washington Food Industry Association.

Booking deadline is March 23, 2020.
Room Booking Link

Overnight Guest Parking at the Edgewater: Valet parking is available for $52

Bell Street Pier Garage #28: Prices vary for day usage. See flyer. Bell Harbor International Conference Center will validate $18/car.

Register early to reserve your seat at this can't-miss event! 

Washington Food Industry Association

P.O. Box 706

1415 Harrison Ave NW, Suite 101

Olympia, WA 98502

Tel: 360-753-5177


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