Velocity Gets Underway With Opening Event

Velocity has entered the acceleration lane.

Private Brand industry professionals from around the world gathered in Charlotte last night for the Velocity Opening Reception. They networked, caught up with colleagues, and shared what they hope to gain from their Velocity experience.

“I’m interested in learning and picking up new trends,” said Jason Bidart, vice president, Private Brand, for Fairway Market, who is slated to speak at the event. “It’s good to have a face-to-face opportunity to hear about what others are doing.”

Jeff Gamsey, vice president of Private Brands at, who is another Velocity speaker, said he has attended all three annual versions of the conference.

“I’m excited to be here,” he said. “It’s great to see it grow. Every year I find it useful to meet great people and come across interesting business opportunities.”

Nancy Frame, partner, Nancy Frame Design, said she’s particularly interested in hearing about “what’s happening in cutting edge private brand design.”

Attendees were gearing up for Tuesday’s presentations — including from Kroger, Food Lion,, and Fairway Market – and for the Vertex Awards celebration event.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.