Welcome to a conference that engages ALL of your SENSES. Join us for three action-packed days that will have you networking, brainstorming, and connecting with peers across the broad spectrum of California’s grocery industry.

Here you will binge on the business of grocery. From innovative speaker presentations to stimulating breakout groups, productive private meetings to relaxed social events, the CGA conference is tailored to offer an immersive experience conducive to building long-term strategies and relationships.

Daily Schedule of Events

Sunday, September 23, 2018

8:00 am – 2:00 pm

The Illuminators Golf Tournament

What better way to spend Sunday morning than playing one of Palm Springs’ most notable destination courses? Take a swing at one of the generous tee prizes and enjoy lunch, refreshments, and on-course contests, hosted by The Illuminators. All proceeds benefit The Illuminators Educational Foundation and Scholarship Program.

8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Conference Registration Open

Sponsored by Post Consumer Brands

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Opening Experience

Sponsored by Alta Dena Certified Dairy

The CGA Strategic Conference begins with an opening session that promises to be more of an opening experience. This must-attend kick off is guaranteed to provide you with inspiration for the next two days and will seamlessly blend into the Opening Reception.  Don’t miss it!


Vinh Giang

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Opening Reception

Sponsored by E & J Gallo Winery

Renew acquaintances and make new contacts in the relaxed, social atmosphere of the CGA Opening Reception.  This entertaining evening is a great opportunity to network and build relationships at the single largest gathering of the California grocery industry.

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

After Hours Social

Sunday evening’s networking doesn’t end at the Opening Reception.  Grab your newfound friends and retire to the picturesque setting of the Renaissance Palm Springs Resort pool for a casual after-hours mixer.

Monday, September 24, 2018

6:30 am - 5:00 pm

Conference Registration Open

Sponsored by Post Consumer Brands

6:30 am - 8:00 am


Provided by The Illuminators

7:00 am - 8:30 am

Whiteboard Sessions

Sponsored by the CGA Educational Foundation

To the drawing board! These loose, intimate sessions are designed to get collaboration flowing. In two energizing, back-to-back 45-minute sessions, facilitated by industry veterans, these strategy brainstorming discussions allow you to learn, share and contribute to industry best practices. Bring your insights, experience, questions and energy and participate in your choice of two topics organized by area of industry interest.


Ken Fenyo, Andrew McQuilkin, Sue Toy, Dr. Ricky Volpe, Larry Miller

8:30 am - 10:30 am

Opening Remarks and Conference General Session

CGA’s signature General Session features state-of-the-industry addresses from CGA President & CEO Ronald Fong, CGA Board Chairman Bob Parriott and The Illuminators Headlight Paul Kamholz.  Their remarks will be followed by the conference General Session presentation.


Peter Sheahan

10:30 am - 5:30 pm

Pre-scheduled Business Meetings/Conference Exhibit Hall Open

11:30 am - 1:00 pm


Provided by The Illuminators

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Independent Grocers Forum

Independent operators attending the CGA Strategic Conference are encouraged to gather for this highly informative and tailored session featuring educational content tailored to independent grocers.


Christy Largent

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Loss Prevention Executive Summit

Loss prevention, safety and risk management professionals attending the CGA Strategic Conference gather for a customized educational track featuring a schedule of presentations on emerging issues such as shrink & fraud, technology & cybercrime, and employee safety best practices.


Garrison Wynn, Kevin Bland, Suni Shamapande

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Bourbon ‘n Brews Reception & The Illuminators’ Special Event

After a productive day of meetings, join your colleagues for a sip of bourbon inspired cocktails and craft brews followed by the always entertaining and un-convention-al, Illuminators’ “Special Event”.


Pre-arranged Sponsor/Retailer Dinners

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

6:30 am - 8:00 am


Provided by The Illuminators

8:00 am - 9:00 am

General Session: Brain Food

Back by popular demand, CGA proudly presents three thought-provoking, TED-style presentations by uncommon voices that promise to challenge your thinking about our industry and where things are headed.  These provocative presentations will spark conversations about the disruptions occurring today and the future of the food business.


Josh Domingues, Mike Lee, Brad Oberwager

9:00 am - 11:30 am

Pre-scheduled Business Meetings/Conference Exhibit Hall Open

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Loss Prevention Executive Summit (Day 2)

The loss prevention executive gathering continues. Hear from some of the top practitioners in the discipline, learn new best practices and how to adapting today’s new demands in supermarket loss prevention, safety and risk management.

Gerry Garcia, Shaddi Kamiabipour, Eduardo Ugarte

11:30 am – 12:30 pm


Provided by The Illuminators

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Keynote Luncheon Address

Sponsored by the California Table Grape Commission

After a delicious lunch provided by The Illuminators, get ready for bright ideas and bold strategies from one of the top minds in the game. Our keynote presentation will provide an energizing conclusion to this year’s educational program.


Kindra Hall

1:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Pre-scheduled Business Meetings/Conference Exhibit Hall Open

5:00 pm

Event Concludes

“The relationships formed at the California Grocers show are an invaluable tool to growing business in the California grocery market (and beyond). Thank you CGA for a great show each year!”

Lisa Mendonca

Regional Director | Sales Command Packaging