Distribution Solutions Conference

October 27 - 29, 2020  |  Daily 11:00 am EDT – 4:00 pm EDT

IFDA is Changing Lanes – DSC 2020 Goes Digital!


With the input of many members, IFDA has made the decision to change the 2020 IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference that was to be held in Tampa, FL to a virtual conference format. With all the uncertainties surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic, the move to a virtual setting was unanimously agreed upon by the DSC Planning Council which is made up of 20 individuals from leading foodservice distributors.

We are currently in the planning and design phases of the transition to a virtual conference--DSC Direct. In the meantime, we are excited to announce we will be offering the following features that will provide new directions for the distribution community. You can’t afford to miss our timely and relevant education sessions that will help industry leaders navigate the current environment and plan for future success!

  • Digital Expo
  • Innovation Lab Presentations
  • Education Sessions
  • Virtual Networking

As always, we’ll still have the content to meet the challenges of today including warehouse operations, transportation, talent development and compliance. Everything you would expect from the IFDA DSC.
Need help convincing your boss to attend? Use our "Justify your attendance with a ROI letter"

Agenda At A Glance


Tuesday, October 27
(All times are EDT)

  11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

General Session

Leading Through Adversity: How the Foodservice Community Will Adapt and Thrive in the New Normal

The COVID crisis has changed the world as we know it and its fingerprints will remain for a long time. Consumers have had to alter their lifestyles and the way they think, down to their most basic habits – including where they get their meals. As we adjust to this changing landscape, restaurants will need support from their supply chain partners to get back to pre-pandemic strength.

Tune in to a fireside chat with Tom Bené and Mark Allen, President & CEO of IFDA, to explore how the entire industry – from farmers to distributors to operators – will work together to get back on its feet and build an even better industry.

Prior to assuming his role the National Restaurant Association in June 2020, Tom served as Chairman, President & CEO of Sysco Corp., the world’s largest foodservice distributor, where he had previously served as COO, President of Foodservice Operations, and Chief Commercial Officer.

Tom Bené, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association

  12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Expo Hall Open

  12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Innovation Labs

It’s a Culture - Committing to Temperature Performance

Join us as cold chain subject matter expert Brad Bartlett shares how early adopters are creating a culture of food safety translating to higher quality products and increased market share.

Brad Bartlett, Senior Vice President of Sales, Cooltrax

The Perfect Delivery Experience

Join us as we look at the key ingredients for a perfect delivery: What makes a delivery seamless? What's involved in the process? How can you give your customers the perfect delivery experience?

Erich Wolters, Vice President of Sales, Wise Systems

  12:45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Innovation Labs

A Practical Approach to Robotics Implementation

This session will help demystify some of the questions around robotics implementation and provide practical tools and advice on assessing and preparing for the robots to come to your facility.

Kyle Cooper, Emerging Technology Robotic Solutions Manager, Yale Materials Handling Corporation

Hybrid Routing: The New Planning Approach for Today’s Food Distributor

Food distributors are being challenged by the fundamental changes that have occurred to the industry, need to dramatically increase their distribution productivity and are looking for new ways to plan deliveries. Hybrid route planning meets today’s needs to offer fixed delivery times for key customers but combines dynamic route planning to lower delivery costs and provider greater service flexibility. There are a number of recent technological advances whose timing is perfect to address many of the challenges that food distributors face today.

Brian Hodgson, SVP Industry Strategy, Descartes

James Wee, VP, North American Sales, Descartes

  1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


  1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

The 411 on Driver and Selector Retention

The need for more drivers has been a pressing issue for several years. These jobs are physically demanding and can require long hours and potentially third shifts. Learn new tactics to increase engagement and reduce turnover by improving the employee experience, reducing stress and fatigue, and mitigating stress.

Carrie Bruno, Vice President of Human Resources, Cash-Wa Distributing

Darla Rischar, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Director of Human Resources, Kohl Wholesale


Sara Green-Hamann, Chief Human Resources Officer, Dennis Paper & Food Service

Next-Level Pandemic Business Ideas

Successfully adapting your business to move through the Coronavirus pandemic goes beyond increased sanitation practices and PPE. New technology and progressive warehouse design ideas can help keep your employees and business partners safe, while operating today and into future challenges.

Aidan Madigan-Curtis, GM, VP,  Connected Workforce, Samsara Inc.

Dan Yudchitz, Senior Design Architect, Leo A Daly

Leif Eikevik, Senior Project Manager, Leo A Daly


Don Durm, VP, Customer Solutions, PLM Trailer Leasing

  2:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.


  2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Improving Company Culture to Increase Your Bottom Line

A company’s culture is not decided by chance. It's shaped by the values, beliefs, and actions of each employee, regardless of title or position. Healthy cultures rally employees in times of scarcity and excite them in times of surplus. Conversely, unhealthy cultures serve as the reason to underperform in the best of situations, and disengage completely in times of need.

Ruben Riggens, Director of Employee Development, Warehouse and Transportation, Ben E. Keith Foods

Inbound Transportation Procurement Process – From Bid through Execution

Understanding how the inbound transportation process can evolve from a decentralized, manual to a more centralized, standardized process is crucial to success. This session will demonstrate the productivity and efficiency improvements that can be gained by digitizing this process.

Luis Garza, Senior Director Transportation Procurement, Sysco Corporation

Na Ye, Senior Manager, Inbound Supply Chain COE, Sysco Corporation


Ray Morgenstern, Senior Director, Inbound Supply Chain COE, Sysco Corporation

  3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Happy Hour

Wednesday, October 28

  11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

General Session and Hall of Fame Awards

Election 2020, A Look At the Upcoming Election and How It Could Change America

Charlie Cook is widely considered to be one of the nation’s most respected and impartial analysts of American politics, elections and political trends.

Called “the man who knows more about politics than anyone else” by Washingtonian and “the Picasso of election analysis” by the Wall Street Journal, Cook will discuss the presidential election and today’s political and legislative environments in a balanced, non-partisan way.

Charlie Cook, Editor and Publisher of the Cook Political Report and Columnist for the National Journal

  12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Expo Hall Open

  12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Innovation Labs

  12:45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Innovation Labs

  1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


  1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Counterintuitive Selection & Retention

In Alchemy, Rory Sutherland proposes “the opposite of a good idea can be a good idea.” Most businesses focus of carefully selecting top talent and cautiously removing underperformers. This presentation explains how hiring managers’ intuitive beliefs drive this conventional approach, and why that leads them down the suboptimal path. The presentation then provides guidance around creating a talent strategy that offers abundance rather than scarcity.

Jim Kramer, Vice President of People Operations, Shamrock Foods Company

Slotting for Success

The saying “A place for everything, and everything in its place” almost sums up the idea behind warehouse slotting and profiling. A more accurate version might be, “An ideal place for everything, and everything in the most efficient place.” During this session, attendees will learn key areas and tactics to achieve effective warehouse slotting practices.

Brandon Munden, Slotting Coordinator, Ben E. Keith Foods

Big Data Shows the Big Picture of Fleet Ops

Leveraging Big Data provides insightful visibility into critical components of a food distribution fleet’s operations. Fleet managers constantly must do more with less - increase efficiencies, save money and meet customer demand, while monitoring and complying with growing regulatory mandates. Business Intelligence technology can help create a visual of your operations.

James Griffin, COO & CTO, Fleet Advantage

  2:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.


  2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Fleet Utilization and Right-Sizing Your Fleet

When it comes to right-sizing a fleet, managers are focused on determining the right number of assets and drivers to meet customer time window and delivery expectations, all while minimizing costs.

Mark Hurd, North American Transportation Development Manager, Gordon Food Service

Taking it to the Extreme (Temperature): Best Practices in Cold Storage 

Description coming soon.

Speaker coming soon

  3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Happy Hour

Thursday, October 29

  11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The Warehouse of the Future

Warehousing jobs are tough to fill and customer expectations continue to increase. Robotics and automation are hot topics in the industry that can help alleviate these challenges and make operations more flexible, efficient, and appealing. From cutting-edge technology to well-tested solutions, this session will allow you to hear strategies that can apply to successful operations today and will allow you to virtually explore a distribution center of the future.

Ken Tolliver, NA COE Warehouse Operations Manager, Gordon Food Service 

Marc Gordon, Director of Sales & Business Development, DLN, Integrated Systems, Inc.

Bob Whitmore, Operations and Automation Advisor, DLN Integrated Systems, Inc. 

  12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Expo Hall Open

  12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Innovation Labs

  12:45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Innovation Labs

  1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


  1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Pandemic in the Rearview Mirror: Lessons Learned so Far

Veteran operational leaders in the foodservice distribution industry share their experiences and key take-aways that have come as a result of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.  From the evolution of team engagement and communications, to financial and payroll management, to equipment and delivery routing, distributors have made changes to the way they do business to become better prepared for future market changes.

Michael Card, Director of Transportation, Ginsberg’s Foods

Josh Grapp, Director of Safety & Compliance, Martin Bros

Lee Canon, Director of Operations, US Foods


Ethan Dewall, Vice President, Operations, Martin Bros

Track & Trace Best Practices

Food safety regulations, tracking and tracing, and improved visibility are all important to the food supply chain. How is the foodservice distribution industry managing these processes? Learn best practices and gain a better understanding of the technologies used to track and trace product. 

Don Durm, VP, Customer Solutions, PLM Trailer Leasing

Speaker coming soon


Phillip Lamb, Director Logistics, Frosty Acres Brands


  2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Conference Closing Remarks and Prize Giveaway



Tom Bené

National Restaurant Association

Carrie Bruno

Cash-Wa Distributing

Lee Canon

US Foods

Michael Card

Ginsberg’s Foods

Charlie Cook

Cook Political Report

Kyle Cooper

Yale Materials Handling Corporation

Ethan DeWall

Martin Bros. Distributing Co.

Don Durm

PLM Trailer Leasing

Leif Eikevik

Leo A Daly

Luis Garza

Sysco Corporation

Josh Grapp

Martin Bros. Distributing Co.

Sara Green-Hamann

Dennis Paper & Food Service

James Griffin, CTP

Fleet Advantage

Brian Hodgson


Mark Hurd

Gordon Food Service

Jim Kramer

Shamrock Foods Company

Aidan Madigan-Curtis

Samsara, Inc.

Ray Morgenstern

Sysco Corporation

Brandon Munden

Ben E. Keith Foods

Phillip Lamb

Frosty Acres Brands

Ruben S. Riggins

Ben E. Keith Foods

Darla Rischar

Kohl Wholesale

Ken Tolliver

Gordon Food Service

James Wee


Erich Wolters

Wise Systems

Na Ye

Sysco Corporation

Dan Yudchitz

Leo A Daly


DSC Direct provides THE BEST industry professional development, networking, and technological insights from the comfort of your office – no hotel, no airfare. On top of those savings, given the current economic climate, we’ve decided to reduce our price substantially to reflect tightening budgets – at just $199 (Member)  /  $349 (Non-Member).

Register Now

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Exhibit at DSC Direct

Participate at the 2020 IFDA Virtual Distribution Solutions Conference

If you provide products and/or services to the foodservice and convenience distribution industries, this is the one conference of the year to meet with executives who have purchasing authority for forklifts, transportation assets, other hardware, technology, and services supporting distribution center and transportation operations. This is key opportunity to develop new business relationships, grow your business, and strengthen relationships with some of your most valued customers. The Distribution Solutions Conference virtual platform will provide vast networking opportunities including video chats, product promotion, attendee access, giveaways, brand recognition, video uploads, expo hall data, and much more.

The deadline to register to exhibit is October 9


Exhibitor Listing

Executive Level



ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems

BFC Associates, Inc.

Cooltrax Americas

Descartes Systems (USA) LLC.

Maxon Lift Corporation

ProCat Distribution

Trimble MAPS



Anteo USA

Diversified Logistics

DLN Integrated Systems, Inc.

Encompass Technologies


ExtenData Solutions

Gather AI



Manhattan Associates



Safe Fleet

St. Onge Company

Systems Application Enterprises, Inc. (SAE)


Yale Materials Handling Corporation


* Exhibitor Listing as of 9/15/20

Frequently Asked Questions

A virtual event is essentially an event that you can attend from the comfort and convenience of your home, office, or wherever else you can think of, through your personal computer or mobile device. Think of it as attending an IFDA webinar but with the ability to engage with anyone else that is attending a conference. We are bringing two worlds together for a shared unique experience.
Your login details will be emailed to you a few days ahead of the event. You can use these details to access the online event.
IFDA is working diligently to prepare for this unique experience and will send you the login credentials within a couple days of the event. Make sure that the email address associated with your registration is accurate and up to date so that there is no delay in receiving our communications.
Your virtual conference registration includes access to all educational session recordings after the event concludes. Don’t worry, you can view any sessions you missed out on as soon as the recordings for those sessions are made available. All recorded sessions will be available for you to access at no additional charge.
Absolutely! Like any physical event, we will have an electronic “Briefcase” where you can add all of the content and then email them to yourself or share with colleagues simply by entering their email.
On the morning of the event, you will receive a reminder with logon credentials and links to the event. All attendees enter the lobby and from here you explore the various areas of the virtual event. You can view the agenda and begin your user experience.
The Information Desk is where attendees can go to get technical help for the event. There is also a link on the navigation that will initiate a support request.