The theme for this year is ‘Skilling Up’ and our mentors have been specially selected based on your feedback to support you to thrive in your career including time management, negotiation, resilience, growing your network and much more.
This event is free to attend but there are limited places to please register early to avoid disappointment. Here’s just some of our mentors…
Meet the Mentors!
Helen Rimmer, National Account Controller, Carlsberg
Topic: Resilience – How to Bounce Back
Helen Rimmer is a leading National Account Controller for Carlsberg UK. Having worked in the licenced retail industry for over 20 years, 15 of which have been in wholesale, she has driven both a regional & national agenda.
Passionate about developing and coaching people in this exciting world of wholesale, she has been an integral part of building strong successful teams throughout her career.
She feels that her networking skills have given her many opportunities over the years. Helen has been able to leverage these skills and believes that the ability to be resilient in challenging times, professionally and personally, is something everyone can learn and a skill that always needs to be encouraged and nurtured.
Helen is well known in the industry for her upbeat personality, she can lift a room, ensuring that people have a good mix of work and fun.
Sarah Whiddet, Head of Insight and Customer Experience, Bidfood
Topic: How to Grow Your Network
Currently Head of Insight & Customer Experience at Bidfood, Sarah is also interim Head of Channel and Customer Marketing and chair of AURA. Sarah is a mentor via the ASPIRE foundation and is heavily supportive of industry bodies such as the FWD and WiW.
Passionate about customer experience, future trends, and transformative strategy, Sarah has over 15 years experience understanding consumer behaviour and needs and translating this into recommendations and strategies that drive tangible differences within businesses.
Well connected, with a growing reputation in the industry, Sarah hopes to provide valuable insight into how to grow your network and use it effectively to achieve your career success. More details can be found on her Linkedin and twitter pages (@sarahwhiddett).
Clare Bocking, Commercial Director, Tulip
Topic: Communicating with confidence
Clare has 25 years of commercial leadership experience, starting her career with Mars as a graduate recruit and leaving Mars as UK Sales Director at Mars Drinks.
She ran the foodservice and wholesale divisions for Britvic Soft Drinks, the convenience and wholesale division for Kerry Foods and the EMEA region as Commercial Director for McCormick. In 2015, Clare qualified as an Executive Coach at the University of Warwick and joined the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.
In 2017, Clare set up Immediate Impact Ltd, offering interim commercial leadership, strategic project support and executive coaching. Clare is currently Commercial Director for Tulip Food Solutions, heading up their non-retail business.
Carol Glover, Executive Coach
Topic: Time Management & Prioritising
Carol is a ginger, punk inspired, Disruptive leader, Speaker and Executive Coach from the Isle of Man, who’s helped Entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide.
She’s held senior leadership roles in world retailing, the public sector, IT, Distribution management, Property development and voluntary organisations, including CEO of Isle of Man TT Races and Head of Stock Management and Head of Buying for Halfords.
Leading in sectors where she’s had little technical knowledge, she’s drawn on strong interpersonal, communication and listening skills alongside innate curiosity, intuition and need for mutual understanding.
Today she helps inventive leaders and founders find clarity, focus, and success from opportunities & challenges.
James Bielby, Chief Executive, Federation of Wholesale Distributors
Topic: Winning in Wholesale
James Bielby is the chief executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, the trade association for food & drink distributors in the UK.
FWD supports and protects members’ business interests through lobbying on policy issues, and building awareness of wholesale among policy-makers and influencers to ensure members are part of the debates that matter and impact on their businesses.
FWD also provides a meeting place for wholesalers and suppliers on non-compete issues. Alongside this, FWD helps people working in wholesale through funding training, providing e-learning and hosting face-to face networking and development events.
James has worked at FWD for 10 years
Tanya Pepin, Director, The Whole Sale Co
Topic: Standing Out in Meetings
A well-known face within wholesale, entrepreneur Tanya Pepin has been an innovator within the sector for 20 years. Her inspirational career started when she joined Landmark in 1999 to manage the company’s data insight service. Recognising an untapped opportunity to commercialise wholesale sales data, Tanya and former MD of Landmark Wholesale, Mike McGee, founded JPA, which they grew rapidly and sold – before going on to launch a second, thriving organisation, The Whole Sale Co (TWC).
Promising to ‘make data sing’, TWC specialises in insight technology and consultancy services across Wholesale with current clients that include Unitas, AG Parfett & Son, Country Range Group, Coca Cola European Partners, Boost Drinks, Symington’s and Typhoo.
Tanya is now a familiar figure in wholesalers’ boardrooms but both her businesses started small, so she had to learn how to secure meetings with key people, and then how to be heard in those meetings.
Melanie Hannay, Regional Director, London Commercial Sectors, RBS
Topic: Managing Difficult People & Situations
Melanie works in the Leisure and Financial Services sectors, including 19 years at NatWest in a variety of leadership roles: Finance, Operations, Risk and moving to the frontline to lead a team of bankers who provide Products and Services to our customers. She has professional qualifications in Accountancy and Risk.
Melanie is passionate about equal opportunities for all and the benefits that a diverse workforce delivers. She leads the Diversity and Inclusion agenda for London and the South East Corporate & Commercial business.
She provides support to entrepreneurial businesses as they expand and grow (including Women in Wholesale!). She is a keen mentor and offers career advice to many females and young talent both in and outside of Banking.
Melanie is also a mum to Georgia and Olly, 13 and 9, and an early adopter of flexible working 13 years ago.
Coral Rose, Managing Director,
Country Range Group
Topic: How to Work a Board Room
Coral started her foodservice wholesaling career in 1993 with Brakes, (Watson & Philip), and, after 10 years with the distributor moved on to RHM with responsibility for the marketing and product launches of their many brands into foodservice.
Following the birth of her third son she set up her own business and spent 5 years as a consultant involved with creating marketing and brand strategies for both brand owners and distributors within foodservice.
She joined the Country Range Group in 2010, a disciplined buying group, to progress group marketing activities and strategic development. She took over as Managing Director for the CRG in November 2013.
Stefan Appleby, Trade Consultant, Hanover
Topic: Empowering Your Female Workforce
Stefan has spent more than 10 years in the world of FMCG, working in publishing, digital communications and marketing. He joined Hanover as Trade Consultant in January following ten years with Newtrade, a business-to-business publisher focusing on the convenience sector.
As a senior executive at Newtrade he played a key role in setting strategy, building teams and developing people, many of whom have gone on to obtain senior positions across the industry. His last role before leaving Newtrade was Head of Product.
This followed two years as Head of Digital and three as editor of the market-leading fortnightly newspaper Retail Express. He was also editor-in-chief of Retail Express and Better Wholesaling magazine.
Yulia Goodwin, Head of Trading & Marketing, Sugro UK
Topic: Effective Negotiation
Sugro UK is one of the leading convenience and symbol buying groups in the UK with the annual turnover of £1.1bn. It consists of 78 independent wholesalers who supply to 16,000 independent retail stores.
Yulia has more than 17 years of experience in buying, marketing, retail, wholesale, management and business at international level, having worked in the UK and abroad.
Throughout her career to date she has worked for various companies from small family owned businesses to large, multinational corporate organisations.
She has extensive experience in dealing with customers and suppliers from different channels and categories including convenience and supermarkets. Buying and marketing has always been Yulia’s passion. She enjoys negotiating and building relationship with both suppliers and customers.
Yulia’s key achievement after graduating university in Russia was moving to the UK in 2008 with very little knowledge of English but with a great level of passion, ambition and enthusiasm. With her drive and determination, she has developed her career from an Admin Assistant working for a small jewelers business to the current role of Head of Trading and Marketing at Sugro UK. Yulia has also been recently recognised in the Grocery industry by being awarded The Grocer 2018 Top New Talent Award.