Jeff Kennedy | President & Co-Founder
Jeff has built his career delivering software solutions for the retail industry. Beginning as one of the principals of Retail Management Systems Corporation (RMS), Jeff was responsible for the development of the company’s sales and marketing team. Under his leadership, RMS was twice listed as one of the United States’ fastest growing privately held companies by Inc. magazine.
In 1992, Retail Management Systems was sold to Telxon Corporation. From 1993 through 1996, Jeff was responsible for the operations of Telxon Corporation’s Retail Technology Group (RTG).
Softechnics acquired the marketing rights to the software produced by Telxon’s Retail Technology Group in June 1996. Jeff joined Softechnics as Vice President of Sales. During his tenure at Softechnics, the company continued to grow at an accelerated rate by signing software license agreements with major supermarket retailers such as Kroger, Safeway, Fred Meyer, American Stores and Publix Supermarkets.
After founding Itasca in 1998, Jeff led the company through a period of successful consulting projects with companies such as Safeway and efficient marketing services. In 2000, he sold Itasca’s software applications to Industri-Matematik International (IMI). Jeff served as Director of Retail Industry Sales for IMI before reacquiring the software from IMI in 2004.
Mike Miller | CTO & Co-Founder
Mike’s information systems career began in 1983 as the founder of an independent consulting company, MicroStats. MicroStats developed turnkey application software for special education agencies in the state of Iowa. At MicroStats, Mike developed distributed database applications for Unix minicomputers and CPM microcomputers to perform statistical analysis and to administer the delivery of special education services.
In 1989, Mike joined Retail Management Systems of Des Moines, IA, which was acquired by Telxon in 1992 and SofTechnics in 1996. With RMS, he was the chief architect in the development of the highly successful ChainTrack product. ChainTrack is a computer application designed to automate the merchandise receiving process at the store location. The application is installed in over 7,000 stores.
During his time at Telxon and Softechnics, Mike was instrumental in the design and development of a computer assisted ordering initiative. Working with major supermarket chain executives, Mike helped develop design specifications for one of the first supermarket inventory management and computer assisted ordering application.
Today, Mike is co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Itasca Retail. He is chief architect of the company’s in-store application, Magic™ and designer of its intelligent retail data model.
Frank Urbaniak | VP Customer Success and Professional Services
Frank was born into a grocery family as his father was an A&P store manager and he pushed carts, swept floors and cleaned bathrooms at the age of 16. He stayed at the store working the night crew to get through college at Lafayette. When his pursuit of a music career came to a dead end and he had one year to go to finish my degree, he answered an ad in the local Easton paper for night crew and finished a mix of PT/FT school in his final two semesters with FT/PT night crew work. They offered a position as a manager trainee upon graduation and it was there he was exposed to the fateful process…order writing. He wrote a good amount of the grocery/dairy/frozen orders, depending on vacations and what position he was training in.
In those days, and all-too-often today, ordering required copying over the average movement from end-of-month to the new order book and ‘twixing’ orders on a teletype machine, and saving the punch tape in case the order did not send using the acoustic phone coupler. He was assigned as an assistant manager in the first new Village ShopRite store in many years in Chester, NJ where they had decided to install these new devices called scanners in 1977, and he had both scanning integrity and the front end under my supervision. Early days meant bad or no bar codes, no price integrity and some really fun opening day experiences. The only other scanning stores in the state were two Pathmarks and one ShopRite. That led to him eventually becoming Director of Store Automation until 1987.
After his considerable and distinguished retail career, he joined consultancy C-Core. While there, Frank developed a methodology to assist retailers in defining system requirements and accelerating the selection and implementation of retail technology like POS, Workforce Management, Fresh Item Management and Store Replenishment. The framework has been used successfully at retailers such as Sobeys, Total Wine and More, Wegmans, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Itasca customers will benefit from the principles at the foundation of these formulas and will experience rapid success as a result.
John Rector | VP of Sales
It’s often in grocery retail we meet people in the industry who started at the front-end of a store and haven’t looked back. John too started his career sacking groceries for Skaggs and Winn Dixie in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. He continued in stores and worked way through college by stocking groceries in the local Winn-Dixie. Incidentally, it was Winn-Dixie who helped him study at the University of North Texas by awarding him a welcomed scholarship. Following graduation, he managed various departments (it’s rare you can visit a store with him without hearing an appropriate story about days in store operations), and ran several stores. His career moved into CPG account management with General Mills working with a variety of retailers and wholesalers including: Kroger, Fleming, Albertsons, Skaggs, Tom Thumb, Winn-Dixie and Furr’s Supermarkets.
Today, and for the last 25 years, John has been in retail technology helping retailers solve real business problems in the areas of Demand Forecasting, Inventory Optimization and Replenishment, Supply Chain, Merchandising, Pricing, Price & Promotion Optimization Modeling and Analytics, End-to-End Promotional Planning and Execution, Shopper Insights, Shopper Segmentation, Workforce Management, Decision Support, ERP and Business Intelligence. That impressive list of technology background combined with real grocery experience means when John has a conversation with a prospect, you can bet he truly understands the problem; he was likely in the exact same chair.
So, when John recommends a solution to whatever is keeping grocers up at night, you can also bet that it will not-only solve the problem, but likely bring significant dollar amounts to their bottom lines.