Distribution Solutions Conference

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Attention DSC Direct attendees: Education sessions are now available on-demand to paid registrants. If you’re registered for DSC Direct 2020, you should have received an email on Nov. 3 with a link to access them. If you did not receive the link, email events@ifdaonline.org for information on how to access.

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"

Interested to see who is attending DSC Direct?  Check out the roster below

Attendee Roster

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

Sponsored by  

  12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Expo Hall Open

  12:05 p.m. - 12:35 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

John Walsh, Director of Compliance, Ace Endico

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

Robotic Process Automation: The New Planning Approach for Today’s Food Distributor

Robotic process automation addresses the key challenges to consistently achieving the best route results: 1) make every planner perform like they were the best planner and 2) optimizing 24/7. Robotic Process Automation’s bot structure allows planners to create best practices and automate the planning process. This approach removes the variability that normally occurs across planners, improving route results and allowing planners to focus on exceptions and performance improvement. RPA bots are also tireless workers and can be configured to continually optimize, solve specific planning tasks and be invoked in real-time depending upon the incoming data or other events.

Brian Hodgson, SVP Industry Strategy, Descartes

Sergio Torres, Vice President, Product Management, 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.

DSC Conversations

Managing Through Uncertainty: Share and Learn with Your Peers

This interactive discussion session explores the challenges of leading through uncertainty. Share and learn with your colleagues as you delve into strategies that worked to motivate and sustain yourself, your organization and your clients.

The session will use interactive techniques within Zoom such as raised hands, chat and breakouts. Additionally, the session will use Mentimeter for polling.

Shelley Row, P.E. CSP, ACC, President & CEO, Blue Fjord Leaders

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

Sponsored by                 

  12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Expo Hall Open

  12:05 p.m. - 12:35 p.m.
Innovation Labs

Smart Traceability + Last Mile Delivery = Customer Safety & Competitive Advantage

Join ExtenData, FoodLogiQ, and Quality Custom Distribution for a discussion on innovations during the delivery process for improved customer service, experience, and safety. Speakers will discuss farm-to-fork last mile smart traceability, and the use of QR codes to enable contactless delivery. Plus, hear from Quality Custom Distribution and how they achieved complete delivery visibility and traceability for their famous quick serve chicken sandwich customer.

Food distributors are facing changing FDA regulations, COVID-19 safety measures for staff, and customers demanding traceability. Discover how your business can turn increasing challenges into a competitive advantage that ensures the safety of your customers and theirs.

John McCabe, Director of Business Development, ExtenData Solutions

Julie McGill, Vice President of Supply Chain Strategy and Insights, FoodLogiQ

Tami Niccum, Sr. Information Technology Specialist, Quality Custom Distribution

The Ultimate Guide to Electric Standby: It's on the Horizon; Get Ahead of the Curve

The importance of e-standby for eTRUs is an investment in your employees, your equipment, and your bottom line. Safety, Regulation, Infrastructure, ROI– it’s all connected and how you plug in matters.

Bobby Johns, Vice President of Business Development, SafeConnect Systems

  12:45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Innovation Labs

Innovating Your Fleet in an Increasing On-demand World

Get ahead of the technology curve by joining the Lytx Innovation session where you will find out how powerful technology, coupled with data, can help arm your fleet against future challenge.

Kristin Costas, Director, Product Management, Lytx

Proof of Delivery and Route Sales Mobile Solutions in Food Distribution

Review how mobile devices can be used for POD and Route Sales. Highlight how mobile devices can be used to confirm orders, process returns, capture signatures and photos and process payments.

Joe Scioscia, Vice President of Sales, VAI

  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 

Controlling extreme temperatures is both an art and a science. Cold storage warehouse management requires an intimate knowledge of the industry and the ability to make the best use of materials, equipment and facilities. Learn tips and tools to attract, retain and motivate the right talent to work in this harsh environment, and get insight into promoting and ensuring a safe work environment.

Susan Williams, Director, Talent Acquisition, Lineage

  3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

DSC Conversations

Can We Just Talk About It? Speaking about the Unspoken

This session will focus on “Cultural Conversations in the Workplace” and will include topics such as “Picking up the Pieces following the 2020 Election.”  

Restaurant veteran and diversity pioneer, Gerry Fernandez, will facilitate a round table conversation on the most pressing challenges facing the restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry from a workplace and community perspective. 

Gerry A. Fernandez, President & Founder, Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA)

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

  12:05 p.m. - 12:35 p.m.

Innovation Labs

Improve Driver Safety & Satisfaction While Reducing the Burden on Managers

Talking to drivers about safety performance becomes more complicated when office staff is busy or drivers are on the road. Reclaim your time by leveraging tools to coach, recognize & reward drivers.

Adam Kahn, CTP, President of Commercial Fleets, Netradyne

Gathering Inventory Data through a Fleet of Autonomous Drones

Put your inventory on auto-pilot using autonomous drones by Gather AI. Learn how to monitor your inventory in real-time. We will share the results of our pilot with Ben E Keith and how to get started.

Sankalp Arora, Co-founder and Chief Robotics Engineer,Gather AI

Michael January, Director of Warehousing, Ben E. Keith

  12:45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Innovation Labs

Engineering Smarter Fleets with Forward-Thinking Innovation

Allen Jay explores some of the obstacles fleets have experienced as a result of 2020, and the implications of forward-thinking, agility, and innovation, outlining a formula for success for fleets.

Allen Jay, Regional Sales Manager, Mobileye

Applying Advanced Technologies to Ensure your Drivers and Product Arrive Safely, On Time, and Intact

In this session, Merchants Foodservice will discuss how their company employs technology to improve safety, reduce costs, retain drivers and deliver quality customer service.

William Dowden, Safety Manager, Merchants Foodservice

  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

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

Dan Bromberg is the Senior Manager, Distribution Support and Traceability at Quality Supply Chain Co-op, Inc. 


Phillip Lamb, Director Logistics, Frosty Acres Brands


  2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Conference Closing Remarks and Prize Giveaway



Sankalp Arora

Gather AI

Tom Bené

National Restaurant Association

Dan Bromberg

Quality Supply Chain Co-op, Inc.

Carrie Bruno

Cash-Wa Distributing

Michael Card

Ginsberg’s Foods

Charlie Cook

Cook Political Report

Kyle Cooper

Yale Materials Handling Corporation

Kristin Costas


William Dowden

Merchants Foodservice

Don Durm

PLM Trailer Leasing

Leif Eikevik

Leo A Daly

Gerald “Gerry” A. Fernandez


Luis Garza

Sysco Corporation

Marc Gordon

DLN Integrated Systems, Inc.

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

Michael January

Ben E. Keith

Allen Jay


Bobby Johns

SafeConnect Systems

Adam Kahn


Jim Kramer

Shamrock Foods Company

Phillip Lamb

Frosty Acres Brands

Aidan Madigan-Curtis

Samsara, Inc.

John McCabe

ExtenData Solutions

Julie McGill


Ray Morgenstern

Sysco Corporation

Brandon Munden

Ben E. Keith Foods

Tami Niccum

Quality Custom Distribution

Ruben S. Riggins

Ben E. Keith Foods

Darla Rischar

Kohl Wholesale

Shelley Row

Blue Fjord Leaders

Joe Scioscia


Ken Tolliver

Gordon Food Service

Sergio Torres


John Walsh

Ace Endico

Susan Williams


Bob Whitmore

DLN Integrated Systems, Inc.

Erich Wolters

Wise Systems

Na Ye

Sysco Corporation

Dan Yudchitz

Leo A Daly

Elite Sponsors


Select Sponsors


Innovation Lab Sponsors

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 2021 IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference is headed to Fort Worth, TX, September 12-14. We are excited to return to hosting the DSC in person and hope you can join us!


2020 Exhibitor Listing

Executive Level


ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems

BFC Associates, Inc.

Cooltrax Americas

Descartes Systems (USA) LLC

Mobileye, an Intel Company

ProCat Distribution

Thermo King

Trimble MAPS



48forty Solutions LLC

AFS Technologies

Anteo USA

Belmar Integrated Logistics

CMC Design-Build, Inc.

Crown Equipment Corporation

Diversified Logistics

DLN Integrated Systems, Inc.

Encompass Technologies


ExtenData Solutions

Fleetworthy Solutions

Gather AI

GS1 US, Inc.

Industrial Fleet Management

Integrated Communications


Keiter Advisors


LIDD Consultants Inc.

Manhattan Associates

Netradyne Driveri


Pedigree Technologies

Prime FoodService Software


Safe Fleet

SafeConnect Systems


Save-A-Load By Fleet Engineers, Division of Tramec Sloan

SmartDrive Systems

St. Onge Company

Systems Application Enterprises, Inc. (SAE)

The Chamberlain Group (LiftMaster)

TransForce Group

VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.)

Verizon Connect

Visionet Systems Inc.

Wise Systems

Yale Materials Handling Corporation


* Exhibitor Listing as of 10/29/20

New!  DSC Direct attendees get ready to take part in a leader board style competition, DSC Direct 500. Engagement counts! Earn engagement points when you engage in the following activities during DSC Direct.   All attendees (non-exhibitors) are eligible to play and will be automatically entered.    Points will be automatically earned each time you engage in one of the following activities over the three day period. The game will run until 2:00 pm on Thursday, October 29.

DSC Direct 500 Leaderboard Activities and Point System

  • Visit any Exhibitor Booth: 5 pts
  • Read Exhibit Booth Documents: 5 pts
  • View Exhibitor Videos: 5 pts
  • Attend Expo Ribbon Cutting: 20 pts
  • Participate in Workshop Sessions: 30 pts
  • Attend General Session: 40 pts
  • Participate in DSC Conversations: 40 pts
  • Participate in Innovation Labs: 50 pts
  • Chat with Exhibitors: 75 pts
  • Chat with Executive Level Exhibitors (Food Logistics, Great Dane, Innovia Consulting, Lytx, Omnitracs, Penske, PLM, Refrigiwear): 150 pts

Scavenger Hunt Bonus Points –

  • Find (10) Scavenger Hunt Items strategically placed in conference spaces; you will receive 50 POINTS for locating and clicking on EACH item during the three day event (500 total points). Hint: Be on the lookout for food items that look like food 

Prizes include –

1st Place = A prize package including: a $500 Gift Card + Justin Custom Boots; TX Whiskey compliments of the Ft. Worth CVB and (1) complimentary DSC 2021 Conference Registration            

2nd Place = $350 Gift Card   Sponsored by Omnitracs

3rd Place = $250 Gift Card    Sponsored by Omnitracs

4th Place = $150 Gift Card    Sponsored by Omnitracs

5th Place = $100 Gift Card    Sponsored by Omnitracs

The game will close at 2:00 pm on Thursday, October 29 and winners will be announced at the DSC Direct 500 Winners Circle Event 


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.
Everything on the platform is scheduled in Eastern times.
Login details have be emailed to attendees at the email address provided at registration. Or click on the “Login” button and follow the instructions.
We encourage each person to register to be able to view different sessions.
For best experience, we suggest using a desktop or laptop computer and any internet browser such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox. You will need Zoom to participate in conversations or meetings.
Access to the platform begins on Monday October 26th at 10:00am Eastern time. Login at https://ifdadsc.com, the link is also available on the Know Before You Go email sent to all registered attendees.
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.
Click on the icon in the top right corner of the screen to contact vfairs help desk at ifdadsc@getvfairs.io.
Go to the Lounge and click on the Hall of Fame button to see more information about this year’s inductees.
Enter the Expo Hall from the lobby or thru the navigation bar at the top. Scroll thru the exhibitor listing and click on which exhibitor you want to visit. You can reserve a chat slot to chat with the exhibitor.
Access the sessions through the Sessions Room from the lobby or via the navigation bar at the top of the screen. The center banner brings up the session listings.
You will be able to re-watch a sessions and visit with exhibitors beginning on Monday, November 2 for 60 days after the event end.