William S. Kies, Jr.
Bill became a student of the food retailing business in 1976 when hired at the newly established Food Marketing Institute. Over the next fourteen years, Bill held various management positions at FMI with the last five as senior vice president responsible for membership, field office operations, marketing, trade-industry-media relations and publications. Bill was instrumental in the formation of the Institute’s sponsored retailer share groups and the National State Association Council in addition to opening six regional field offices resulting in doubling FMI’s membership in three years.
In 1991, Bill was recruited by the Independent Grocers Alliance, Inc. (IGA, INC) as President and COO of the Chicago based international cooperative owned by wholesalers servicing over 4,000 independently owned supermarkets in twenty countries. Bill pioneered many firsts at IGA including a national image/branding campaign on Turner Broadcasting CNN and establishing a national private label broker council. He realigned the management team in conjunction with the president’s advisory board for strategic and procurement objectives.
In 1994, Bill opened his own firm. His practice has grown over the past twenty five years to be one of the premier consulting practices in the food retail industry. His clients include Fortune 100 companies and firms offering national services and programs. In additional to his consultancy, Bill services on the advisory boards of the industry’s trade associations and serves as trusted advisor to their senior executives.
Being responsive to industry’s needs, Bill established the Friends of the Industry Dinner sixteen years ago. Sponsorship funds have generated nearly $1.1 million in charitable contributions to organizations designed by the attending retailers.
In 1997, Bill incorporated Retail Operations & Insights. Known as ROI, this customized supplier-retailer summit format engages senior executives in strategic dialogue and asset alignment for mutual growth. To further service clients’ strategic initiatives he established Strategic Engagement Services, LLC in 2010.
Bill’s accumulation of experience spanning government service, trade association management, wholesaler-retailer operations in addition to advising over 150 clients on strategic and tactical execution has earned him the reputation as one of the most effective and trusted advisors in the supermarket industry.
- President & COO … IGA, INC.
- Senior Vice President … Food Marketing Institute
- Trade Advisor to the Western Associations of Food Chains’ Board of Directors
- Trade Advisory Committee Member at Food Marketing Institute & National Grocers Association
- Executive Management Program PMD 48 … Harvard Business School
- Food Industry Management Program … USC Graduate School of Business
- The Coca-Cola Retailing Research Group of Europe
- Broadening Retail Horizons … Inaugural Class … Fleming Cos.
- PepsiCo’s Retail Operations & Insights Certificate Program
- Corporate & Financial Planning … CIGNA
- Political Appointments in U.S. Congress & The White House
- Principal, Friends of the Industry, LLC Principal, Retail Operations & Insights, LLC Principal, Strategic Engagement Services, LLC