2021 FIAE ANNUAL CONVENTION SPEAKERS
Graham Corporate Communications
BILL GRAHAM says there is nothing naturally likable about him … at all. This is ironic, because his communication programs help professionals in every field to be their most comfortable … personable … and, okay … likable selves. Storytelling and messaging are also core communication skills that attendees appreciate when working with Bill. He spent over a decade as Director of Creative Affairs for Procter and Gamble Productions, training writers and giving the daily story notes for 7,000 hours of their soap operas: Guiding Light, As the World Turns, and Another World. Writers he developed won “Best Writing” Emmy Awards 5 of his last 7 years at P&G.
Prior to working in television, he spent 12 years as the producing director of Olney Theatre, a professional Equity theatre outside of Washington, DC. He serves on the faculty of the Council of State Government’s Leadership Training programs for state legislators. Legislators from over half of the 50 States, Canada and Mexico receive annual training from Bill. He is a faculty member of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management, and he has served on the faculties of New York University’s Tisch School for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management and Seton Hall University’s Leadership Communication program.
In the past few years, Bill has delivered face-to-face training to professionals in 40 states, plus Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, India, China, UAE, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Global Market Development Center/Retail Tomorrow
PATRICK SPEAR is the President/CEO of GMDC|Retail Tomorrow, a Colorado Springs-based non-profit trade association. GMDC|Retail Tomorrow connects people and companies to opportunities for growth in the retail and CPG industries. Patrick has been active in the CPG and association industry for over 30 years.
Beginning his career with Bic Corporation, Patrick delivered consistent results, gained valuable insights and experienced steady career advancement during his tenure with Bic, Newell Rubbermaid, Mapa Spontex, Identity Group, and as the Founding Partner/Managing Director of Mammoth Office Products.
His career experience spans the continuum, from Retail Sales Representative (Bic) to CEO/Managing Director (Identity Group, Mammoth, and GMDC|Retail Tomorrow) in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Patrick has significant experience with private equity and venture capital, having served as CEO in a private equity setting and as an advisor to two Nashville-based venture funds prior to joining GMDC|Retail Tomorrow as President in November 2014. He assumed CEO responsibilities for the organization in June 2015.
Patrick serves as a board member for the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence, and is the board chair for BrainSavers, an organization focused on cognitive health and wellness. He holds BA degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, an MBA degree from the University of San Diego, and is a graduate of the Colorado Outward Bound School. Patrick is also an Eagle Scout, and mentored over 90 Eagle Scout candidates as the Life-to-Eagle coordinator for Troop 31 in Nashville, TN.
He and his wife Lisa have three grown children, and reside in Nashville, TN.
Castle Retail Group, Memphis
Richard K. “Rick” James, owner of Castle Retail Group, LLC, a Memphis, Tennessee-based company which includes 4 area supermarkets, 3 under the Cash Saver name and one High Point Grocery with 300 associates.
Rick was born in Cabool, Missouri on August 23, 1956. His father was a shoe manufacturing plant manager and mother was a homemaker and part-time supermarket employee. He moved frequently to his father’s new assignments, including towns in Missouri, Illinois, Canada and eventually Kentucky where he graduated High School at age 16. He returned to Missouri for two years of college at Evangel College in Springfield, MO, and completed his college education in 1976 at Morehead State University with a degree in Accounting and Management.
Rick entered the Kroger Company training program in Lexington, KY in 1977 and was promoted to store manager in 1978. At age 22, he was the youngest store manager in the company at that time. He came to Memphis in 1987 as a retail consultant with Malone & Hyde, later adding the duties of Assistant Advertising Director. In 1990, with the merger of two major Malone & Hyde customers, Baker Brothers and Sewell-Allen, he returned to retail as Director of Marketing for the newly merged company’s Piggly Wiggly stores.
In 1992, he was named President and in 2001, and became a partner along with Lex Sewell and Dan Allen. In 2000, at the peak of the company’s growth, they had 15 stores, over 1,200 employees and $160 Million in retail sales. With the passing of Lex Sewell and the retirement of Dan Allen, Rick purchased four former Sewell-Allen store locations in 2004. Rick, and his wife, Cathy currently own three Cash Saver stores, one neighborhood store called High Point Grocery, all within the city limits of Memphis, TN.
Among his numerous accomplishments and activities, Rick was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Morehead State College of Business in 1998, was awarded the Spirit of America Award from the National Grcoers Associations in 1999, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Mid-South Food Bank, and serves on the Board of The Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association (Chairman 2019-2021).
Rick is married to the former Cathy A. Hamilton in 1987 and have five children - Sarah (39), Erick (36), Taylor (29), Adelyn (26), and Lauren (23). Taylor, Lauren and Addie are all active in the family grocery business.
Kevin Paul Scott
Kevin Paul Scott has traveled to six continents and spoken to leaders from more than 100 countries. Kevin co-founded the leadership consultancy ADDO, which is Latin for "Inspire." For the last two years, ADDO was #1 on the Best Places to Work list in Atlanta. ADDO developed the national Chick-fil-A Leader Academy program, the Baltimore Ravens Leadership Institute, and helps companies attract and develop top talent.
Kevin is the author of three books, including his latest The Lens. Kevin is a frequent guest on numerous media outlets, including Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.