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Connie Shepherd, ’87 Communication/Public Relations

Connie ShepherdTitle: President and CEO
Company: Cooper Consulting
Location: Seattle, WA

Connie Shepherd is a recognized, consumer products (CPG) sales and marketing executive holding an impressive brand pedigree with some of the world’s top consumer and retail companies, including Hershey, Kellogg, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks. She has been recruited from one to the next among these industry leaders, due to her ability to consistently exceed revenue, profit, market share and organization development objectives across 27 of the largest consumer product categories and through over 19 different distribution channels. She is known for her ability to commercialize world-wide brands, implementing innovative go-to-market strategies through multiple distribution channels and building high-performance organizations.

Located in Seattle, Connie is currently the President and CEO of Cooper Consulting and recently, the Senior Vice President of North America Channel Business Development for the Starbucks Company.  At Starbucks, she was responsible for developing the long-term vision and strategic plan for Food, Drug, Mass, Club, Food Service and Licensed Store Channels, as well as building out new capabilities to ensure a world-class Customer Business Development organization.  Shepherd was accountable for leading and developing over 200 partners and more than $2 billion in revenue.

Prior to joining Starbucks in early 2012, Connie served as Vice President, Food Channel, for The Hershey Company.  In this role, she was responsible for leading Hershey’s largest segment of business, including the Food, Artisan and Military Channels, totaling more than $1.6 billion in gross sales.  In addition, Connie was accountable for the development of 86 direct sales personnel, as well as a full multi-functional team.

Prior to joining Hershey in September 2009, Connie served as Vice President, Western Region Sales, Morning Foods Division, with Kellogg’s.  From 2004 through early 2007, she led the Channel Business Development Organization as Vice President, Sales, for Kellogg U.S.A. In this capacity, she accelerated profitable sales growth in the Mass, Dollar and Military Channels, and entered new channels of distribution, such as Home Improvement.  Shepherd joined Kellogg’s in 2002, as Senior Director of Customer Marketing, Morning Foods Division, and was responsible for developing the sales plans and priorities, delivering over $150 million in sales growth.

Prior to joining Kellogg Company, Connie worked 15 years in Sales and Marketing at Procter & Gamble (P&G).   In 1987, she began her career as the P&G Beverage Sales Representative for the Florida Market, and subsequently was promoted to a variety of increasingly responsible positions, including Food/Beverage District Field Representative, P&G Company Unit Manager, Business Unit Leader, Channel Development Manager and New Channels Associate Director.  She was instrumental in pioneering P&G’s entry into alternate channels, including Convenience, Drug, Discount, Home Improvement, Auto-Aftermarket and Entertainment.  In addition, Shepherd developed two multi-functional organizations, designed to drive new business, and chartered the first channel-specific products and programs.

Connie holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.

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