Ithaca, New York-based Rosie, an online grocery shopping platform for retailers and wholesalers nationwide, has appointed three new hires to lead its data integrations, onboarding and retailer support teams.
In response to the increased demand for e-commerce platforms for independent retailers nationwide, Rosie has hired Bret Conard as SVP of data and integrations, Jonathan Kotenko as head of retailer support and Heather Sandford as head of onboarding, bringing decades of experience in the independent retailer and wholesaler distribution space.
In his new role, Conard will scale Rosie’s proprietary data software along with overseeing the company’s roster of third party integrations. Conard joins Rosie with more than 20 years of experience in software development and professional services delivery in several industries.
During his IT and consulting careers at Levi Strauss, RCM Technologies and United HealthCare, he played key roles in implementing and managing global supply chain and compliance initiatives. His diverse background allows him to function fluently at all levels within the world of data and analytics within enterprises of all sizes. Previously, Conard served on the ROFDA Advisory Council (Retailer Owned Food Distributors and Associates).
With 14-plus years of industry experience, Kotenko joins Rosie from United Natural Foods Inc. A veteran in the grocery wholesaler and retailer space, Kotenko managed technical support teams while at UNFI, Supervalu and Unified Grocers. As head of retailer support, he will oversee a growing team of experienced support specialists who service hundreds of independent retailers representing thousands stores nationwide.
Sandford will lead a team of technical integration specialists and onboarding agents who oversee the launch process for all new retailers signed on to Rosie’s platform. Previously, she owned and operated The Piggery, an artisanal butcher in Ithaca, New York, that grew to become a nationally renowned purveyor of meats. Sandford also has served as a food consultant in wholesaler and distribution space. Her 15 years of operational and project management experience growing a local startup to a national brand will drive efficiencies and enhancements to the Rosie onboarding experience.
“We are so excited for Bret, Heather and Jonathan to join us during this dynamic period of growth,” said Nick Nickitas, CEO and co-founder at Rosie, of the new hires. “Each of these leaders bring diverse and valuable industry experience, elevating our operational capabilities alongside the evolving needs of our partners. Our mission is to help independent retailers win – and these strategic hires enable us to continue to meet and exceed the expectations of our partners as well as accelerate our innovation pipeline.”
In recent months, Rosie has been focused on building out the company’s customer success teams to proactively address industry growth. After seeing a 900 percent increase in stores signed during the pandemic versus pre-COVID, Rosie has more than doubled its employee count and continues to prioritize support and service for its independent retailer partners. The new hires will aid the company in continuing its growth.
Rosie partners with independent grocers and their wholesalers to provide e-commerce, delivery solutions, omni-channel marketing and deep data services. Rosie serves as the preferred e-commerce partner to the nation’s leading wholesalers including Associated Food Stores (AFS), Associated Grocers of New England, Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), Bozzuto’s, Certco, C&S Wholesale Grocers and Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Co.
See story about the company’s recent growth here.