MEET THE SRG TEAM

Burt Flickinger

Widely known and recognized as a leading expert on all aspects of the retailing industry, Burt has worked as a consultant for top retail chains around the globe. His family has been in the wholesale, vertically and horizontally integrated private label production, manufacturing, and branding businesses for four generations since his great grandfather founded S.M. Flickinger Company – the largest supermarket wholesaler/retailer headquartered in the eastern U.S. prior to its acquisition by Metro Group Europe.

 

The Flickingers and FMI, National Association of Wholesale Grocers (NAWGA), and Food Distribution Institute (FDI) had a partnership across four generations in the horizontal and vertical development of Federated Foods (which the Flickinger family founded) full line private label brands. Burt, his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather worked in partnership with the Hannaford, Nash, Finch, Albertsons, and other regional co-op families and corporations.

Prior to founding Strategic Resource Group, Burt’s extensive career included working for S.M. Flickinger in buying, merchandising, marketing, operations, warehousing, transportation, private label development, and real estate. He served at Procter & Gamble, Glendinning Associates, Interpublic, and as Director of Price Waterhouse Coopers/Management Horizons Marketing: Wholesaling, and Retailing Consulting Practice.

 

For years, Burt was a contributing editor and featured monthly “Flickinger File” columnist for Progressive Grocer. He also was a contributing industry editor of both Global Retail Insights and Supermarket Insights.

 

Burt and the Flickinger family, along with Cornell’s Food Industry Management program and Private Label Magazine, co-published The Future of Private Label in North America with Phil Fitzell, editor at Exclusive Brands.

Burt is a frequent executive lecturer on worldwide marketing and retailing at Cornell University’s Dyson School of Business, Food Industry Management Program and Cornell Summer Executive Program. He has also served as an adjunct Professor at St. Joseph’s University’s Center for Food Marketing and Retailing Undergraduate, Graduate, Executive, and M.B.A. Programs. 

A graduate of Vassar College with a B.A. degree, Burt completed his Masters course work at Cornell University, where he studied in the Retail Industry Management and Marketing Program under Dr. Wendell Earle, Dr. Gene German, and Robert Tobin, Professor of Food Marketing.

 

Under Drs. Earle and German, Flickinger worked with international Consumer goods companies and power retailers on long-term issues including brand-building and marketing business and Consumer strategy, new formats, channel strategies and Consumer database marketing.

Gilles Henry Mellet

Henry is SRG’s Senior Director. He joined the company in 2008, and brings more than a decade of experience serving a broad variety of clients on topics ranging from strategy to corporate marketing and sales. He works with food and non-food retailers and wholesalers, as well as manufacturers, unions, law firms, and private equity firms across North and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. His particular focus is on helping companies drive growth and transform operations.

Recent examples of Henry’s client work include:

  • Supporting a major international food retailer through a multiyear transformation program to turn around its private brand. This included a complete overhaul of the company’s private brand strategy, pricing, and merchandising.

  • Helping several publicly-traded companies rethink their organizational approach in response to Consumer demand shifts in the retail landscape, including enhancement of environmental and renewables strategies.

 

To date, SRG has helped its retail clients take advantage of federal and state tax incentives to install a significant amount of solar power across their retail portfolios, resulting in highly profitable project economics for both rooftop and ground mount systems, locked-in utility rates for years to come, enhanced Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores, and improved customer and employee satisfaction rates.

Mr. Mellet is a graduate of the University of Texas and Cornell University’s Retail Management Program.

 

Paul Bauer

Paul is currently on the Board of Directors of the Selective Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SIGI), a $1.6 billion property and casualty insurance underwriter and serves as the Lead Independent Director; he was previously Chairman of the Salary and Benefits Committee and Chair of the Audit Committee. He is also on the Board of Rosina Holdings, a food processor for Rosina and Celentano brands. He was formerly on the Board of Advisors of Ciminelli Development Company, a developer of commercial real estate in the Eastern United States and Canada.

 

Paul was Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy & Financial Officer of Tops Markets, Inc., from 1970-1993. Tops at the time was a $1.2 billion operator and franchisor of retail food supermarkets. His responsibilities included all accounting, SEC and financial areas, including lease negotiations, investor relations, franchisee relations, information services and technology, non-food purchasing and strategic planning for the company. During his tenure, the company was a public company twice, did two management-led buyouts and sold to Royal Ahold in 1991. Paul began his career at KPMG.

Paul is currently a co-founder (1995) and President of the BISON Children’s Scholarship Fund (BisonFund.com), a private scholarship fund that provides financial assistance to economically challenged families so that their children can attend private elementary school instead of failing inner-city and Buffalo area public schools.

 

He is a former trustee of the Foundation of the Diocese of Buffalo, D’Youville College, Canisius High School, Holy Angels Academy, the Catholic Health system and the YMCA . He has received an honorary Doctorate from D’Youville College, the Gaudete Medal from St. Bonaventure University, and is a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher. He graduated from Boston College.

Richard Rehn

Rick has premier executive level retail and wholesale credit management experience, and has served as a financial risk management consultant to leading Fortune 500 companies nationwide. Rick worked for Procter & Gamble (the #1 supplier to U.S. supermarkets, co-ops & wholesalers) for 30 years, where he served as Credit Manager, North America, for P&G’s retail and wholesale customers.

 

He served as Chairman and as a member of numerous Unsecured Creditor Committees (including Furr’s Supermarkets, Appletree Supermarkets, Harvest Food Supermarkets, Revco, Pharmor, etc.). He is Vice Chairman of the National Association of (retail chains) Credit Managers and Director of the Credit (retail) Research Foundation.

Rick has testified as an expert on retail finance in several court cases. Rick had the entire Procter & Gamble credit group report to him. His group analyzed the credit conditions and financial viability of individual family owned and operated stores to Gulf Coast region bankruptcies, e.g., Bruno’s, Jitney Jungle- Delchamp’s, Fleming and Winn Dixie, et al.

 

He is an established expert in analyzing the credit of retailers from a single store, small family-owned and operated supermarket chains, and large publicly held retail chains. Rick holds an MBA in Finance from Xavier University, and he is a graduate of the National Association of Credit Management Graduate School of Credit & Financial Management.

 

Also, Rick is a Certified Credit Expert (CCE) National Association of Credit Management, and he is Certified Expert Witness (CEW) of the National Association of Credit Management. Rick is a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, retired.

Jordan Kravitz

Jordan has worked on various M&A matters and extensive in-depth retail market analyses. He has a broad depth and range of comprehensive research and analytical projects for our clients—-leading Wall St. financial firms, the creditors committees in various supermarket chain bankruptcy restructuring procedures, M&A law firms and their clients, major national and international retail chains, Fortune 500 companies in Consumer products and marketing, as well as for classes at Cornell University’s Dyson School of Business.

Alfred “Butch” Castellani

Butch acquired his expertise in high-volume, multi-format store retailing, as well as supermarket, food, deep discount drug, general merchandise, health care, convenience and fuel retailing as Vice President of Operations for Cub, Ahold, USA, and Tops Friendly Markets. Butch was a co-creator of the highly successful Tops International Store format, widely regarded as higher volume and more successful than Walmart, Wegmans & Giant Eagle stores.

 

Also, Butch was recognized as wine merchant of the year. Butch is a highly successful industry consultant because of his extensive expertise in competitive and Consumer strategies, operations, buying, merchandizing, retail analytics, productivity, and store format development.  Butch has a very successful track record in profitability and productively driving sales.

Isadora Schwinn

Isadora started working for SRG as a summer intern while pursuing her Bachelors degree from Savannah College of Art and Design, where she graduated cum laude. She majored in Jewelry and Design with a focus on prestige and luxury brands, trend and marketing analytics, and luxury brand demographics. Additionally, Isadora has completed master’s program certification in 3D modeling and design.

Isadora has worked across North America as well as analyzed Consumer and brand trends in key countries and markets worldwide. She has made very significant contributions to SRG’s work with leading law firms including Orrick International, Sullivan & Cromwell, Dechert, and others.

 

She has made very important client contributions on SRG’s work over the last five years in analyzing retail and Consumer goods, as well as investments and acquisitions for JANA Partners to Brookfield Asset Management. Isadora has worked in her field lifelong and is an acknowledged young star in the industry going back to her family business S. Shamash & Co., which was the leading silk importer worldwide.

Veronica Perez

Veronica is the producer of United Women’s Sports’ “The Grit,” a podcast tackling post-Title IX issues, including the lack of media coverage in women’s sports. While pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Cornell University, she created and produced audio for online, terrestrial and satellite radios. She also served as president of Cornell Media Guild, an independent multi-media business of 100+ members comprising of three subsidiaries, including WVBR, which was named “Best Commercial Radio Station” by Ithaca Journal and Ithaca Times (2019). 

 

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