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. As well as retail corporate headquarters: Walgreens, Staples, Family Dollar, Office Depot, Lowe’s, Petco, Target, Supervalu and Best Buy.
Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.
Christopher and his team at My Private Brand specialize in private brand strategy, portfolio rationalization, and optimization, competitive audits, and analysis as well as trend tracking and briefing
Kim Justen is a freelance writer and corporate communications consultant with over 15 years of writing and editing experience. She has drafted messages for Hanes, Liberty Hardware and several non-profits, as well as writing packaging copy for all of Lowe’s Home Improvement’s Private Brands. She is always on the lookout for the next brand, company or author in need of brand communications and strategy. Her work has been seen Our State, the Winston-Salem Journal and Global Retail Brands.
Lynn Celmer formerly served as Managing Editor for Private Label Buyer and oversaw the twice weekly PLBuyer eReport as well as the PLBuyer SuperStore. Her background is in both newspapers and magazines. She has a degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. Some of her favorite retailers to shop for private label products at include Dominick’s, Target, Trader Joe’s and Walgreens.
Founder and managing director of Gyld Collective , a collaborative communications and branding firm, she is also contributing editor to Trends Magazine , a Canadian business publication, where she writes about retail and design innovators. Trained in business and communications, she has worked with many leading lifestyle and fashion brands, innovative manufacturers and retailers in Canada, the US and internationally for over 15 years.