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Food Industry Alliance joins others in USDA Food Waste Challenge

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched the Food Waste Challenge to encourage people to reduce, recover and recycle food waste.

The Food Waste Reduction Alliance, made up of leading food retail, food manufacturing and foodservice companies, issued the following statement:

“The Food Waste Reduction Alliance is pleased to join the USDA’s Food Waste Challenge as a founding partner. This is a natural extension of FWRA’s mission, which is to reduce the volume of food waste sent to landfill by addressing the root causes of waste within our operations, and securing pathways to donate safe, nutritious food or recycle unavoidable food waste.

“Recognizing our collective opportunity to lead on the issue of food waste reduction, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association announced a cross-industry initiative to address the issue in 2011, now called the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. Today, the FWRA includes more than 30 manufacturing, retailing and foodservice companies, along with expert partners from the anti-hunger community and waste management sector.

“By participating in the USDA Food Waste Challenge, the FWRA can better communicate the industry’s efforts to outside constituencies and work to engage and collaborate throughout the value chain and with other stakeholders. As an added commitment, FWRA will look to provide new platforms to educate and engage the food retail, food manufacturing and restaurant industries on food waste opportunities, challenges and best practices. One example of how the FWRA will achieve this end is by producing a best practices guide and toolkit this fall, which will help individual companies accelerate efforts to reduce food waste. The toolkit will contain examples of efforts already underway, guidelines and checklists.

“Importantly, the FWRA will also research, identify and report on key barriers that inhibit or complicate the industry’s progress in achieving its primary goals — to reduce, recover and recycle food waste — and recommend strategies to overcome these obstacles.

“We look forward to working with the USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and on behalf of the companies and industries we represent, respectfully acknowledge the important work of these agencies and all of the public-private partnerships focused on the common goal of reducing food waste.”

Joining the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Restaurant Association and the Grocery Manufacturers Association are Unilever, General Mills, Feeding America, Rock and Wrap It Up! and Rio Farms.

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Kohl’s renews partnership with Junior Achievement of Wis.

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Kohl’s has renewed its partnership with Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and donated to the organization $1.5 million throughout a three-year period to support and expand the JA Kohl’s Education Center.

The additional funding will allow Junior Achievement to increase the use of technology in the center so local schools and teachers have opportunities to combine classroom learning with real-world situations. Participating Milwaukee-area students in grades 4-12 learn work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

The donation comes from Kohl’s philanthropic program Kohl’s Cares, which sells special merchandise, including plush toys and books, and donates 100% of the net profit to benefit children’s health and education initiatives nationwide.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Junior Achievement and facilitate the growth of the JA Kohl’s Education Center,” said chairman, president and CEO Kevin Mansell. “Kohl’s applauds Junior Achievement’s commitment to providing excellent educational experiences that empower students to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world, and Kohl’s is proud to be in a position to support such a valuable program for local students.”

The center will be able to implement tablet technology to incorporate social media, which will allow students to tweet their thoughts to guided questions in real-time through the simulation. This enhancement will also allow teachers to incorporate these tweets into post-visit classroom discussions. It will also be able to add electronic debit cards to the students’ shopping experience so they can manage their purchases and learn more about the purpose and services of financial institutions. A digital shopping kiosk will introduce students to the e-commerce experience and is reflective of real world purchasing options. With a digital shopping kiosk, students will be able to purchase an item “online,” which will be delivered to the student later in the simulation. Junior Achievement of Wisconsin will be the first program in the country to expand learning through the introduction of kiosk shopping technology into its simulation.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Kohl’s as it will enhance the learning applications offered to local students through the JA Kohl’s Education Center,” said Tim Greinert, Junior Achievement of Wisconsin’s president. “Financial literacy and work readiness are crucial life skills and, through this best-in-class programming in the JA Kohl’s Education Center, we’re able to engage students early on in meaningful and memorable ways to arm them with the skills they need as adults.”

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Ad tech company taps new VP, sales North America

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Sociomantic Labs, digital advertising solutions provider for e-commerce marketers, has hired Charles Pitzer as the company’s VP of sales for North America.

Pitzer has more than 25 years of sales experience, 14 of which have been concentrated in media with a focus on online advertising. He joins Sociomantic from Criteo. Previously Pitzer held positions at Specific Media, Advertising.com and IDG Communications.

At Criteo, he played a leadership role in developing their sales efforts in the U.S. and Canada. At Advertising.com, he helped launch the company’s Canadian presence and helped establish their first Canadian office. Throughout his career, Pitzer has held senior sales leadership roles in Singapore, New York, San Francisco and Toronto.

In 2012, Sociomantic grew from 20 to 119 employees and expects to double headcount again in the next year. The company currently serves customers in more than 50 markets worldwide.

Sociomantic recently brought in former Google executive Robert Bosch as the company’s chief sales officer for EMEA. Another former Google executive, Mahesh Narayanan, launched Sociomantic’s first APAC office in Mumbai.

"Technology-driven companies with a transparent approach will lead the pack when it comes to the future of ad tech," said Pitzer. "I could not be joining a more phenomenal company. Sociomantic has an amazing global culture that puts service first and is at the leading-edge of innovation."

"Charles is a seasoned sales executive who brings keen insights and experience when it comes to staying ahead of the curve in the constantly evolving ad technology landscape," said CEO Jason Kelly. "As we continue to make massive inroads in the U.S. market we continue to add like-minded, talented individuals who are keen to help clients achieve their goals and understand the market in which they are investing in."

"Charlie understands that the RTB media landscape is racing towards transparency," said J. B. Brokaw, North American president for Sociomantic. "Charlie has been seen firsthand the client frustrations with ‘black-box’ solutions and understands that Sociomantic is not only delivering industry-leading results, but also partnering with our clients by actually helping them understand the true market cost of retaining and acquiring new customers through RTB."

Sociomantic Labs delivers one-to-one digital advertising at scale, which enables e-commerce marketers to drive incremental sales and boost customer lifetime value. Sociomantic helps marketers engage new and existing customers with individually personalized display ads by leveraging first-party CRM data, along with advanced advertising solutions, including real-time bidding, stream-based data management, dynamic ad personalization and real-time reporting.

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