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The IGA Coca-Cola Institute is a people development organization supported by The Coca-Cola Company. The Institute provides online courses, a full service Learning Management System, and the support necessary to accelerate training and development for food retailers worldwide. As an educational organization, it serves more than 10,000 stores with a blended training program that has 250+ industry-specific online courses in English and 100+ courses in Spanish. The courses cover topics from onboarding, compliance, and department/position to specialized series on topics such as leadership and management. The Institute also provides retailers and associations with their own branded online corporate universities and tailored courses.
Paulo Goelzer is the president of the IGA Coca-Cola Institute, where he manages the ongoing production of strategic course curricula and acts as the leadership development facilitator and coach for multiple companies and executives.
Paulo joined IGA in 1994 and focused his attention on international growth, licensee development, and global learning. He began his career in the food industry very early, working in his family’s food business. He was also a senior strategy and consumer package goods industry consultant for a German/Brazilian consulting company, a researcher and consultant for the Brazilian Wholesaler Association (ABAD) and a marketing director for a CPG company.
Paulo a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Business at UNISINOS in Brazil and hold a Ph.D., in Organization Development, M.S., Business, and M.A., Economics.
Learning Solutions Director
Ana Velázquez joined the IGA Coca-Cola Institute in 2006. As the learning solutions director, Ana supports clients and their learning implementations, providing them with the resources and coaching they need to develop their own in-store programs. She also manages the Spanish course development.
Her contributions include the People Development Program, Grocery Start program, Institute Newsletter, and most recently the Resource Center. Past experience includes roles as a television producer, media instructor, IBM and Department of Education consultant, instructional designer, and training and documentation consultant at IRI.
Ana received a Master's in Media Administration and Production from Michigan State University and a Bachelor's of Public Communication, and Radio and TV from the University of Puerto Rico.
Training & Development
Jason King joined the Institute in 2007 and serves as the training and development manager. He is actively involved in the online course development process, manages the Institute’s course development team, and oversees the learning management system. In addition, Jason manages the IGA Assessment and Shopper Feedback programs.
Prior to his current role, Jason worked as a store manager at a local supermarket chain, where he learned the aspects of the food retailing industry.
Jason holds a B.S. in Finance from Northern Illinois University. He lives in Chicago with his wife Maureen and enjoys traveling, running and golf.
Tom Lunzer started working at IGA in 2010 as an e-learning developer with the IGA Coca-Cola Institute.
Tom is an artist and animator who was born and raised in South Dakota. He now resides in the land of beer and cheese, Kenosha Wisconsin.
Bridget Carney joined the Institute in 2019. As an instructional designer, she enjoys recording and editing audio, writing transcripts, designing graphics, and developing courses that assist retailers with on-the-job training and blending learning needs. She works closely with retailers to support and develop courses per their requests. She works in collaboration with the team on building learning materials and courses that better support the goals of the institute.
Bridget has a technical experience in production, specifically in the commercial television and animation fields. She worked as a visual arts instructor for many years. Her passions include technology and education. Her interests are reading, drawing, photography, knitting, and music.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Special Effects and Motions Graphics. She resides in Chicago with her family.
Learning Solutions Coordinator
Christina Watkins joined the Institute in 2016. As a Learning Solutions Coordinator, she enjoys assisting clients navigate the online learning system portal, voices the English Institute videos, and orchestrates team lunches. She works as the first line of interaction with the Institute and sets the precedence for customer service.
She has multiple years in communications experience specifically marketing and sales. Her current interests are learning Korean, holding art exhibitions, drawing/photography, traveling, and studying metaphysics.
Christina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and resides in Chicago with her chihuahuas.
Gustavo Rueda is a Spanish translator, editor, and writer with four years of experience within the Retail Learning Institute and IGA Coca-Cola Institute. He is responsible for translating into Spanish the content created by the Institute’s course development team.
Prior to joining the IGA family, Gustavo worked as a freelance journalist for the Spanish-language newspaper Hoy, covering arts, entertainment, television, museum exhibitions, theater, dance, music, and other cultural activities related to Latino culture in Chicago.
Gustavo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He enjoys writing, reading, yoga, and learning about languages.
The IGA Exclusive Brands Department role is to develop IGA products for our retail members to sell to their customers. IGA products are manufactured to offer our members national brand quality or better at a saving for their customer. The department sources product from manufactures all over the world to offer our members the best products at the best cost. Our products are tested to make sure they meet the high standards of the IGA label. The IGA label offers our members a competitive advantage in that they are able to get quality products at good prices due to the number of stores we have nationally in the U.S. and worldwide. The department does all of the sourcing, label development, quality testing, marketing, and ensuring our products are manufactured to the highest standards associated with the IGA label. Our products now offer a double back money guarantee.
Senior Director IGA Exclusive Brands
Dan Muller joined IGA as the senior director of IGA Exclusive Brands in February 2021. In this role, he will be working with IGA's supplier base, licensed distribution companies, and retailers.
Well-versed in the private label sector, Dan has a proven track record in increasing private label sales during his time in senior-level positions at Dymon and the Federated Group.
He has worked in sales management and new business development for several CPG manufacturers, including Signature Fruit, Sturm Foods, Merisant, and GLG Life Tech, and directly with many of IGA's licensed distribution companies in his career.
Dan is no stranger to IGA and is looks forward to working with LDCs and retailers to grow private label sales.
Manager, Packaging & Exclusive Brand
Ellen Weber joined the IGA team in 1990 and has served many programs, including Brand Packaging, Grocery Equipment Marketing, Store Uniforms, and general inventory. She currently serves as the manager of the Packaging and Exclusive Brands department.
In this role, she manages the EB packaging programs and is responsible for the licensing dues of the vendors, design maintenance, product quality control, and vendor and wholesaler contact communications. She is involved in managing different areas of the brand label with regards to state registrations, kosher certifications, the WIC program in all states IGA stores reside, the EB consumer coupons and redemption, and the database for UPC GTINs and vendor contact information.
Prior to coming to IGA, Ellen worked at a wire shelving and carts distributor as a customer service clerk. She attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Mary Kay Lettenberger
Mary Kay Lettenberger joined the Packaging and Exclusive Brands team at IGA in 2012 and now serves as the executive administrator. She is responsible for all data entry and customer interface in the brand department for DSD and inventory order programs, basic vendor maintenance, and A/R collections. She also supports the National Digital Ad.
Before coming to IGA, Mary Kay had worked at Canon USA Inc. as the supervisor of the consumer electronics order department. Mary Kay is married with two adult children.
The Business Partnerships department is responsible for cultivating the relationships between Red Oval partners and IGA’s independent retailers. Additionally, the department brings the opportunity of emerging technology platforms including digital advertising, digital media, eCommerce partnerships and future programs to our Red Oval partners, which delivers value in the independent grocery space. Our goal is to ensure our IGA retailers receive the benefits from national and regional brands and ensure those national and regional brands have one point of contact to access independent retailers. We strive to create data driven, simple-to-execute programs for CPGs while bringing performance-based value.
Vice President, Business Partnerships
Heidi Huff, the vice president of business partnerships, is responsible for creating strategic relationships between consumer product manufacturer brands, technology and service companies and IGA corporate in ultimate service to the IGA retailers and their shoppers.
These relationships allow for investment, analytics, creative promotions, and emerging technology programs that drive local sales and advance IGA’s national presence in the grocery industry.
Heidi is a six year member of WGA Board of Directors, currently serving as vice president of membership, and a member of the NGA Foundation Board of Regents. She has held several marketing and branding management positions throughout her career, including roles as director of marketing for IGA and senior director of Red Oval Partnerships.
Business Partnership Coordinator
Pilar Becerra joined IGA in February 2021 as the business partnerships coordinator. She organizes communications with Red Oval Partners, including the National Digital Ad offer summaries, reports, and shelf signs.
Pilar thrives on thinking outside the box, a skill she has strengthened through experience as the head of store fulfillment at her local Target retailer, language acquisition and PPCD paraprofessional at the Lewisville ISD, and catering coordinator at Corner Bakery Café.
She holds a bachelor's degree in architecture and resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three children.
The Retail Development team serves as the primary liaison between the Licensed Distribution Companies and IGA Corporate. Each LDC is assigned an IGA area director to assist in maximizing IGA programs for the benefit of their IGA retailers. Working with IGA’s support departments and its wholesale partners, the Retail Development Team help retailers take advantage of the many tools available to improve their business.
New store growth is a key objective and the retail team works diligently to expand the IGA brand, services and support to the many independent retailers who need and are looking for ways to differentiate and compete.
Senior Vice President, Retail & Business Development
As IGA’s senior vice president in charge of retail and business development, Doug Fritsch is responsible for U.S. retail operations, new member growth, and more recently is overseeing the IGA Exclusive Brand offering. His passion for improvement has contributed to a new and growing IGA, with the defined purpose of providing programs that create a point of difference and competitive advantage for today’s independent retailer.
Director, Digital and eCommerce Programs
Sarah Rivers is the director of digital and eCommerce programs at IGA, where she leads all digital and eCommerce programs including digital advertising, click and collect, delivery, loyalty programs, websites, and digital coupons. In her role, she educates and helps retailers engage with their shoppers digitally and brings them up to par with the competition in the digital landscape.
Sarah has been working with independent grocers for over 25 years, in the advertising and marketing arena and comes from a wholesale background with extensive experience writing ads and implementing marketing programs as well as digital and eCommerce programs.
Manager, Retail Support Services
Nancy Vicelli, who joined the retail department in 2005, now serves as the manager of licensing and administration retail programs. She is responsible for managing all aspects of the IGA licensing function for IGA USA and the administration of IGA retail programs to include the IGA Five Star Program.
Most recently, Nancy helped launch and oversees the Retailer Engagement Program, which provides support to IGA retailers from the Chicago office team.
Additionally, Nancy handles meeting communication and planning for both the National Retail Advisory Board and the IGA USA Board and works directly with the IGA sales team on recruitment.
When not working, Nancy enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren.
Doug Stone joined IGA in February 2021 as an area director. Doug has a wealth of experience working with independent retailers, most recently serving as director of center store with Northwest Grocers, where he worked closely with IGA retailers and others in assembling their ad circular. Doug replaces Ricky St. John, who recently retired.
Doug serves the following wholesalers:
Contact Doug Stone at email@example.com
Doug Walter joined IGA in 2019, bringing an extensive career in retail and wholesale working with independent retailers. Before joining IGA, Doug worked for UNFI as director of professional services for six years in the retail technology department. Prior to that, the majority of Doug’s career was in advertising and marketing for Sentry Markets Inc. and growing the IGA program at Unified Grocers.
Doug serves the following wholesalers:
Support Services Assistant
Nicole McGreevy, the support services assistant for the retail department, joined IGA in 2016. In her current role, she is responsible for updating client and partner records and billing for retail and the National Digital Ad.
Before coming to IGA, Nicole spent 21 years working in administration for the mortgage, real estate, and construction industries. Nicole is married with three school-aged children.