bernice chen ketner group

Introducing Bernice Chen: Our Newest Intern

Hello, world!

My name is Bernice Chen, and I’m a senior public relations student at The University of Texas at Austin.

I’m excited to be starting my internship with Ketner Group!

How it all began: landing on public relations

I was born in Taiwan, one of the best places on the planet, but I’ve lived in Austin for around 14 years – which, in case you’re wondering, has not made me more resistant to the current heat.

Attending UT was a natural choice for me in many ways, but majoring in public relations wasn’t as easy of a decision. When I was young, I wanted to pursue computer science. I learned coding languages and everything I could about the tech industry. But in high school, I had the tough realization that programming had lost its spark for me.

Searching for something to pivot to, I landed on public relations.

The truth is, I had always engaged in communication, from student press to debate club. However, it wasn’t until I shifted focus that I recognized my passion for the field. Since then, I’ve been resolved to study PR and use what I learn to weave compelling stories for organizations that are leaving a positive mark on the world.


My (ongoing) college years at UT

The Moody College of Communication is one of the top communication schools in the nation, and I’ve had amazing opportunities there to learn and grow as a PR professional.

Joining The Daily Texan, UT’s student newspaper, gave me hands-on social media experience and a close-knit community of hardworking peers. Since my junior year, I’ve also enjoyed working as a coach for the Moody Writing Support Program, supporting other students with their assignments and writing skills.

I have found a way to feed my love of numbers and research through a certificate in applied statistical modeling. And outside of school, I’ve had incredible internships with BerlinRosen and Dell Technologies that have helped open my eyes to the public relations and communication field. It’s been a fascinating adventure.

Even though I’m all-in on PR, my broader interest in technology has remained. It’s one of the reasons I was drawn to Ketner Group and their specialization in retail tech. As I learned more about the company’s friendly work culture and emphasis on work-life balance, I knew Ketner would be a perfect environment to continue building my storytelling skills. And even though I’ve only just started, I’m so eager to work with and learn from this team.

A peek into my personal interests

When I’m not working or finishing my class assignments, I’m playing video games or reading. I’ve rediscovered a love for science fiction and fantasy books, especially after taking a course about climate fiction in my freshman year. I’m also extremely passionate about sustainability and environmental issues.

I look forward to challenging myself and honing my skills at Ketner Group!

abby nelson - ketner group AC

Get To Know Abby Nelson, Ketner Group’s Newest Account Coordinator

Hello readers! My name is Abby Nelson, and I am a brand new full-time member of Team Awesome. 

Once upon a time, i.e. five months ago, I started my first ever, agency-side internship with Ketner Group. I remember feeling intimidated by the retail technology niche. I was trekking into an unknown world of artificial intelligence and tech jargon. Having no idea what to expect, I was just grateful to have a part-time job that accompanied my last semester as a college student at UT

Somehow Ketner Group made its mark on me, and next thing I knew, I applied for an account coordinator opening. Spoiler alert: I got the job. 

Why did I return to Ketner Group?

Internships can be tough. Sometimes interns sit around in a cubicle waiting to be assigned a task. Sometimes they’re heads down for 40 hours a week without so much as a nod. 

Luckily, Ketner Group was neither of those experiences.

As an intern, I was seen and heard. I was also challenged. My superiors entrusted tasks to me that ultimately led me to feel capable. In a niche like ours, that’s a hard feat to accomplish. From onboarding to offboarding, Ketner Group made every process smooth and clear.

Ultimately, that is why I stayed. I want to continue to be challenged, and I want to be part of the culture that they have built.

Personally, I love to make noise

I love discovering the ins and outs of my city. Austin, Texas is the perfect place to live because it is impossible to get bored; my list of places to try and activities to do grows longer every day. Please feel free to email me recommendations for Italian food, frozen margaritas and scenic walks. I’m all ears!

On a personal note, one of the biggest things to understand about me is that I love to make noise. I talk a lot. I sing even more. If you catch me on a good day, I might even perform an original rap or two. I can’t, however, guarantee I won’t give you secondhand embarrassment.

Professionally, I make noise with PR

Public relations is the ability to make noise on a grand scale. It may not directly be my voice that is heard, but through the relationships I build and the content I write, parts of it always end up shining through.

What makes that even better: I am able to tell the stories of my clients in the process.

abby nelson family
matthew boncosky intern

Introducing Matthew Boncosky: Our Newest Intern

It’s been a little while since I’ve published a piece of writing under my name. By a little while I mean about six months, but those six months have been a welcome reprieve.

That’s because for three and a half of the last four years, I was immersed in the hectic but rewarding world of sports journalism.

I arrived at the University of Texas as a wide-eyed freshman with goals of becoming the next hot-shot, up-and-coming sports journalist, with my path set towards a career writing and talking about sports for a living.

My background in journalism

Attending UT was practically a no-brainer for someone like me who grew up in Texas and wanted to pursue sports journalism.

The J-School in the Moody College of Communication is the best in the state and one of the best in the nation, and Texas boasts one of the most prominent, iconic and successful athletic programs in the country. It was the perfect place to make a name for myself.

Over the next three and a half years, I was blessed to accomplish just about everything that a wide-eyed freshman might set out to do.

I have 150 or so bylines to my name, became an expert (or as close to one as a student journalist can get) on Texas sports and enjoyed a dream internship with Sports Illustrated. I got to cover a fantastically fun volleyball team, experienced the Red River Showdown in all its splendor and placed second in a national writing competition at the 2022 NCAA Men’s Final Four in New Orleans.

I truly had the time of my life.

But over time, I began to realize the cost of such an exciting career – I was incredibly burnt out. Sports journalism is a tiring profession that does not lend itself to a strong work-life balance, at least for a morning person like myself.

That’s why I decided to shift focus my senior year before graduating.

My transition into PR

I wanted to find a place where I could apply the skills I developed as a writer and journalist, learn about new industries and develop new skills. This led me to PR and communications, and I’ve loved each step of my journey so far. I took classes in PR my senior year and got my foot in the door with an Austin PR and communications firm that represents clean energy and technology companies.

I’ve always loved storytelling, and I love how I can continue to do that in PR while developing knowledge and expertise across many industries too.

While I have not closed the door on journalism and sports forever, I am so glad to have found a path that I really enjoy and is more sustainable for me as I begin my professional career.

How I ended up at Ketner Group

As my graduation this May quickly approached, I searched for an opportunity in PR that would not only allow me to continue my professional growth but also put a premium on work environment. I was instantly drawn to how Ketner Group advertised itself as a fun, energetic and joyful place to work.

Over the course of my interviews with members of the Ketner team, I really picked up on how that’s not just lip service here. Ketner Group sounded like just the place I wanted to work and grow as a PR professional (it has some recent recognition to back that up, too). That’s why I was ecstatic when I received an offer to intern with the Austin office, and I couldn’t be happier to be here.

It’s only been a week, but I’ve already felt how committed everyone at Ketner is to each other, their work, and their strong company culture. I can’t wait to continue learning from the incredibly talented and awesome team at Ketner.

Here’s to a great summer!

catherine seeds ceo jeff ketner senior advisor

Ketner Group Names Catherine Seeds CEO As Jeff Ketner Assumes the Role of Senior Advisor

A proven leader with more than 24 years of experience in B2B PR, Seeds will expand on the success Ketner built and continue the agency’s dedication to creating a rock-solid culture

AUSTIN, Texas – May 2, 2023 – Ketner Group Communications, the leading public relations agency for retail technology companies, today announced it named Catherine Seeds president and CEO. Seeds, who has been an integral part of the agency for more than 20 years, succeeds Jeff Ketner, who assumes the role of founder and senior advisor.

The transition reflects Ketner Group’s ongoing dedication to being the leading retail technology PR agency, as well as creating a collaborative, authentic company culture that supports team members for the long term. These strategic goals are further illustrated in Ketner Group being recognized as one of Ragan’s Top Places to Work for the third year in a row last week. The agency is also a finalist for PR Daily’s Top Agencies for 2023.

Seeds brings to the role more than 24 years of experience working in B2B tech PR agencies. She started her career at Springbok Technologies and Bernard Group, providing media relations and content support for high-tech and healthcare tech companies during the “Dot-Com” boom. During her tenure at Ketner Group, Seeds has played a crucial role in every phase of the agency’s success, including overseeing three rebrands, ensuring steady year-over-year revenue growth and team expansion since 2002, opening the agency’s office in New York and growing its remote team.

“Catherine is a doer, thoughtful listener, creative thinker, and relationship-builder — all qualities that have become synonymous with Ketner Group because of her leadership,” said Ketner. “Catherine dares to dream big, while always having the best interests of the team at heart, and this agency absolutely wouldn’t be the same without her. I know she’ll continue to raise Ketner Group to new heights, and I look forward to supporting the agency and our clients in my new role as senior advisor.”

Seeds successfully oversees the agency’s business development, partnerships, HR/operations, client success and agency culture initiatives in collaboration with the agency’s top-notch senior leadership team that includes Adrienne Newcomb, VP of operations, and Kirsty Goodlett, VP of marketing.

“Jeff created a special place to work when he founded this agency more than 30 years ago,” said Seeds. “For more than 20 years, I’ve learned so much from Jeff about how to lead from a place of empathy, curiosity and passion. I’m excited to step into the role of CEO, and I can’t wait to keep working with our awesome team as we continue to manifest our vision of being the go-to communications agency for retail tech companies.”

As a result of the foundation created by Ketner, Ketner Group was recently recognized for its commitment to prioritizing the well-being of its employees when it was named one of Ragan’s Top Places to Work: Class of 2023. Ragan Communications is the leading publisher for communications professionals, and Ketner Group has been included in its annual lists since its inaugural class of 2021. Ketner Group stands out for championing work-life harmony, offering flexible work hours, and empowering employees to work in the environment that best suits their personal, creative needs. Since launching its employee-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in 2020, it has implemented programs that encourage greater employee participation and shape the company culture for the better. These include facilitating regular monthly observances, creating company values and completing quarterly anonymous employee surveys.

Interested in being part of the future of Ketner Group? Check out open roles.

About Ketner Group Communications 
For more than 20 years, Ketner Group has helped retail technology companies build brand, drive demand and grow shareholder value through strategic PR programs. We give retail technology clients an edge through our deep retail expertise, extensive network and targeted communication strategies. Our core services include media and analyst relations, content development, PR messaging and strategy, and more. Ketner Group has offices in Austin and New York City, working with clients located in North America, the UK and Europe. For more information, visit

Media Contact: 
Kirsty Goodlett, VP of Marketing 
Ketner Group Communications 
[email protected]

Meet Our New Senior Account Executive: Katherine Bingham

Hi everyone, it’s Katherine. I’m ecstatic to be joining the team as a Senior Account Executive!

My love of words (and how it got me here)

I’ve always had an affinity for words. As a baby, I spoke in whole sentences before I could even stand on two feet. In elementary and middle school, I was a voracious reader, known for carrying a book everywhere I went. In high school, I became the editor-in-chief of our school’s yearbook.

Naturally, when it came to choosing a career path, I stuck to what I knew. For a people person who loves to read and write, what’s better than PR?

My professional experience began at an agency called 10Fold Communications. There, I serviced a variety of clients in the enterprise tech space, including cybersecurity, supply chain and big data verticals.

After that, I ventured to Zilker Media, where I worked alongside authors and entrepreneurs building people-driven brands and helping to bolster their thought leadership.

Now, I’m excited to return to my roots in tech at Ketner Group. Impressed by the agency’s two decades of tenure in the industry, I felt drawn to KG’s core values, domain expertise and bright, welcoming team.

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A few of my favorites: Travel, music and cats

Outside of work, one of my biggest passions is travel; I just love getting lost in new places. Traveling has been such a valuable tool in helping me to better understand myself and the world around me.

So far, I’ve been to 14 different countries and 15 U.S. states, and I plan to keep growing that list. Right now, my dream destination is Japan!

I’m also a huge music fan. Encouraged by my mom who went to Queen and Led Zeppelin concerts back in the day (yes, I’m infinitely jealous), I try to go to as many shows and festivals as possible. Besides that, I enjoy exploring new genres, artists and albums I’ve never heard before. Swapping playlists is for sure one of my love languages.

I currently live in Austin, Texas with my two perfect cat children: Monkey and Goose. On an average weekend, you can find me thrifting, roller skating, spending time outdoors or watching scary movies.

ketner group solifidies pr leadership

Ketner Group Solidifies Its Communications Leadership in Retail Technology PR

The agency promotes Kirsty Goodlett to VP of marketing and announces key 2022 successes

AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 2, 2023 – Ketner Group Communications, the leading public relations agency for innovative retail technology companies, today announced key 2022 successes that solidify its leadership in retail technology PR. 

Last year, Ketner Group launched the industry’s first-ever retail technology PR handbook, onboarded four new clients in the retail tech ecosystem, and formalized its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee. In addition, the agency promoted Kirsty Goodlett to VP of marketing, marking the agency’s second net new leadership role.

Kirsty Goodlett is promoted to VP of marketing

Although Kirsty has been a full-time Ketner Group team member since 2019, her history with the agency goes back to 2012, when she was a Ketner Group client while managing marketing for a retail tech company. She additionally worked as a contract employee for the agency for nearly three years. In her new role as part of the agency’s senior leadership team, Kirsty will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of Ketner Group marketing, supporting new business and market development, and continuing to contribute to the overall strategic direction of the agency.

“I am so thrilled that Kirsty’s long history with Ketner Group has led her to become a valuable member of our senior leadership team,” said Catherine Seeds, president, Ketner Group. “Not only has she taken our agency marketing to new heights, but her vision has resulted in increased agency awareness and new business success. Kirsty is also an amazing and strategic agency leader and mentor to the team. Through Kirsty’s leadership and focus on marketing, Ketner Group is poised for even more growth in 2023.”

Ketner Group formalizes its first-ever DEI committee 

In 2022, Ketner Group officially formalized its volunteer-based DEI committee, which is led by junior team members and supported by executive leadership. The committee’s goal is to foster a sense of belonging at Ketner Group and ensure that everyone on the team has a voice. The DEI team has launched several initiatives, including: 

  • Updating language around hiring and recruiting processes, to search for new team members that are a “culture add” rather than a “culture fit.”
  • Identifying quarterly initiatives and goals based on anonymous employee surveys.
  • Establishing Ketner Group values, which set expectations for how employees work together as a team, as well as with clients and partners.

Ketner Group launches retail tech PR handbook, and secures key milestones in 2022

Last year, the Ketner Group team launched a premier resource for retail technology companies. The Retail Tech PR Handbook is an all-encompassing resource that shares how retail tech companies can leverage PR to build brand, drive demand and increase shareholder value. As well, the company secured industry awards; Ketner Group was included in the PRNews Agency Elite Top 100 and was named one of Ragan’s Top Places to Work. Part of the agency’s success is attributed to its growth in the retail tech ecosystem. Ketner Group again expanded its portfolio of clients, bringing on five net-new customers including Appriss Retail, Opterus, and Uniform, and continued its partnership with many more retail technology companies.

“Ketner Group knows retail tech PR like no other communications agency,” said Jason Ferrara, chief marketing officer, Searchspring. “Since kicking off our partnership in 2021, that expertise has paid off. Working together, we have doubled our quarterly share of voice against key competitors. This consistent stream of coverage has helped us drive our ‘shopper experience’ brand throughout the ecommerce market, capturing market attention and generating demand.”

Companies completing 2023 communications planning should read Ketner Group’s Retail Tech PR Handbook. To learn more about Ketner Group services and career opportunities, visit

About Ketner Group Communications 
For more than 20 years, Ketner Group has helped retail technology companies build brand, drive demand and grow shareholder value through strategic PR programs. We give retail technology clients an edge through our deep retail expertise, extensive network and targeted communication strategies. Our core services include media and analyst relations, content development, PR messaging and strategy, and more. Ketner Group has offices in Austin and New York City, working with clients located in North America, the UK and Europe. For more information, visit

Media Contact: 
Kirsty Goodlett, VP of Marketing 
Ketner Group Communications 
[email protected]

dan ochwat ketner group blog

Meet Our Senior Content Specialist: Dan Ochwat

Dear readers, just as a note, while “senior” is in my title (and a bit in my knees and ankles), I’m far from the “get off my lawn” stage of my career; although, there has been so much change in retail over the years that I feel a bit senior, too.

My name is Dan Ochwat, and I have been writing about consumer goods retail for two decades, back when shopper marketing was beginning and ecommerce was just an afterthought. There certainly weren’t social commerce opportunities or TikTok livestream shopping events.

I’m thrilled to join Ketner Group

The good news, no matter who I’m writing for, I really enjoy writing about the retail space, and I’m excited to bring my experiences to Ketner Group as a senior content specialist, writing about retail technology and the incredible pace of change that Ketner’s clients are driving in retail. It’s exciting to get a front-row seat at the engines fueling advancements in grocery and retail.

Prior to Ketner, I worked on the content side for agencies, delivering articles, whitepapers, and content for retail tech companies, but the bulk of my career has been in journalism.

I began my trade career at a magazine called P-O-P Times, which focused solely on the world of point-of-purchase displays inside brick-and-mortar stores. But, as retail began to adapt to shoppers using mobile phones and online shopping, I helped rebrand the publication to Shopper Marketing Magazine. I was the lead editor of the publication for nine years, part of the Path to Purchase Institute. That magazine changed again to take on the Path to Purchase name and for several more years I was a lead writer for the publication, even crafting a monthly column on social, mobile and location-based technologies impacting the CPG space.

Additionally, I have served as the executive editor of Store Brands magazine and have worked as a freelance writer for many other retail publications as well as publications in the health, architecture, and entertainment fields.

I’m a movie buff at heart

Beyond content and journalism, I enjoy creative writing, too, having earned an MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage from Northwestern University. I have written plays, television pilots, and more than a dozen feature screenplays and counting. I’ve optioned a couple of screenplays that never made it to the big or small screen and have made some short films for fun. The collaboration required to make a film with friends in a few days truly keeps me inspired!

When not writing, I’m watching movies, going to concerts at Chicago’s independent venues, and playing “senior” basketball. I live in the Lincoln Square neighborhood with my wife, tween son, and the ruler of the house, Finn, our blind polka-dotted rescue mutt (DNA test forthcoming).

abby nelson ketner group intern

Introducing Abby Nelson: Our Newest Intern

Well, hello there! My name is Abby, and I am happy to report that I am Ketner Group’s Spring 2023 PR intern. I believe an introduction is in order. Here goes!

What makes Abby, Abby?

Here are the basics: I am a senior public relations major and business foundations minor at UT Austin, and I hail from Plano, Texas.

If you saw the recipe of me, energy would make up at least half of the ingredients. I am the world’s most obvious extravert, with the propensity to over-tell jokes and the audacity to perform my pizza raps for strangers. Yes, pizza raps. And yes, strangers.

I love music. You can find me leading worship in the local church, yell-singing Taylor Swift’s “reputation” album in my car, doo-wopping with my a cappella group and even sitting at the piano writing songs of my own. 

In fifth grade, the poetry unit was my favorite. I found joy in placing the perfect rhyme in the perfect spot with the perfect phrasing. At the time, I did not realize that was an indicator of a long-term trend in my life. Writing.

And that is a perfect segue into my next section.

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The creative writer to PR professional pipeline

To be honest, PR as a major was my second choice. But thank goodness, the more classes I took, the more I saw a future in the PR field, where I can both make a difference and be made different. I fell more in love with writing and learned tools that help me bridge the gap between the creative and technical.

There is something to be said of creativity within the field of PR. The bounds of communication are endless. Why tell an audience something when you can show them instead? 

My growing curiosity directed at media and its intersection with writing first took form through leadership positions on campus (hook ‘em!). I served as marketing executive with a campus ministry and ran the social media accounts for my a cappella group.

Those experiences turned into a client-side PR internship in the large corporate setting. Finally, that turned into the realization that to complete the real PR crash course of life, I needed to head agency-side. Enter Ketner Group.

How I landed at Ketner Group

Ketner Group is an interesting agency because of its niche. I mean, come on. What on Earth is retail tech? That was my exact question when Ketner Group showed up on my radar. Of course, any good soon-to-be graduate does her research. So I did mine. 

With my research came the understanding that retail tech is an industry that is growing rapidly. There is great value in gaining a frame of reference with an industry that’s on the up and up. 

Not only that, but every single person I come into contact with at Ketner Group is friendly and on the ball. Starting with the recruitment process, I quickly understood that this is an agency that values efficiency in conjunction with kindness. And after being here a week, that observation holds firm. 

I look forward to honing my skills and developing new ones here at Ketner Group. Bring it on.

20 Years at Ketner Group! An Interview with Catherine Seeds

I’m usually not nervous about interviewing someone, but this blog post is a bit different. After all, it’s about my business partner and our agency president, Catherine Seeds, who celebrated her 20th anniversary at Ketner Group earlier this month.

This agency absolutely wouldn’t be the same without her. Catherine dares to dream big, she’s fiercely loyal, and she always, always has the best interests of the team at heart. I’m thankful for her leadership and friendship.

Catherine and I sat down for an interview recently, and we could have talked all morning; this interview is only a part of our conversation. But it sheds a lot of light on what makes Catherine tick (spoiler alert: Walt Disney plays a key role), the challenges and opportunities of running a PR agency, and her vision for the future of Ketner Group.

Here’s to the next 20 years!

20 years working at a PR agency is almost unheard-of these days. What’s inspired you to be part of Ketner Group for all these years? 

One of my inspirations is my dad. He worked at John Deere for 35 years, and after retiring from John Deere Corporate, he worked for them again managing a dealership in Marble Falls. He’s very loyal and steadfast, and I get a lot of that from him. When I met you and Terry (my former agency partner), this felt like a place I could be for a long time.

One of the other things is that Ketner Group has always been open to change, for example, changing from a B2B technology PR agency to focus entirely on retail technology. There is so much innovation in retail, and we’ve had the opportunity to not only work for great people but also be part of an industry that’s fun and exciting.

Our team is a big part of it, of course. They’ve always inspired me to keep doing bigger and better things.


You’ve made so many contributions to Ketner Group, and you’ve continually challenged us to dream big and step outside our comfort zone as an agency. Looking back at your first 20 years, what are you most proud of?

This is a hard one—there are so many things I’m proud of! Opening the New York office was big. But even more important, we’ve started thinking bigger as an agency. Ketner Group used to be thought of as a small Austin agency that catered to startups; we didn’t look at things on a global scale. I’m proud that we’ve been able to slowly change Ketner Group into an agency that’s nationally recognized.

I’m also very proud of our team—past and present. We’ve always brought in the right team members at the right time. It’s been a collaborative effort of so many people over the years, both inside and outside the agency, that have encouraged and helped us to do more than we’ve done before. Our team has grand goals, and they are a huge part in helping us achieve those goals.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?

I can think of over 100 challenges that I have had to overcome in my 20 years at Ketner Group! I keep using the word lucky, but it is so true. I have been so lucky to have an amazing partner in Jeff Ketner and a fabulous leadership team that have all worked together to solve whatever challenges come our way. We will continue to face challenges, but we will do so as a team, just like we always do.

On a personal level, one of the biggest challenges is being a working mom. I am blessed to have a fabulous husband who’s a true partner, and we always do things 50-50. But being a working mom has its challenges. Over the years, there have been plenty of late nights, working on weekends, trips on which I missed things. But these were small sacrifices, and my husband and kids are extremely supportive of me and my work.

As I said in my blog last year about parenthood at KG, Ketner Group has allowed me to have the best of both worlds, and my children get to see first-hand the aftereffects of a family-first and employee-first company. More importantly, they know that it is possible to have a successful career and be there for them no matter what. I have always been so grateful for that.

ketner group team oct 2022

Who inspires you as a leader?

Walt Disney has always inspired me! There are rumblings that he was a micromanager and had a short temper, which is not like me, but he had a grand vision for what he wanted to accomplish. Disney has famously said, “Disneyland will never be completed, as long as there is imagination left in the world.” I just love that quote!

We’ve done a lot of things at Ketner Group that I’m proud of. But there’s so much more we could be doing. I’m always trying to think of what’s next.

I’m also inspired by female leaders! And in Austin, there are plenty of fabulous women to look up to. I love how Elizabeth Christian and Kendra Scott are always giving back and going beyond what’s expected. Their leadership inspires me to do more in my community. I’ve been on the PTSA board at Cedar Park High School (Go, T-Wolves!) for several years now, currently serving as president, and volunteer regularly with my son at the Leander ISD Clothes Closet. I’ve seen firsthand what happens when you participate in something that is bigger than yourself – it is a great feeling!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like the things that are the scariest! I loved the miniseries “The Offer,” about the producers of the original Godfather movie. As the series indicates, making the Godfather movie was riddled with problems—budgeting issues, fights about casting, and the mob! The producer of that film had to constantly deal with challenges, but he never wavered and kept pushing forward.

This show spoke to my soul, ha! It occurred to me that in my role as president, I’m basically a movie producer. (Minus the mob of course!) Our job as leaders is to keep calm and work with our teams to solve problems one step at a time. I love facing challenges head on, and I especially enjoy mentoring my team through these challenges.


What are your goals for Ketner Group over the next few years?

We have ambitious goals. First, we want to continue branding Ketner Group and establishing ourselves as a nationally recognized firm that is the go-to agency for retail technology. When retail tech companies think of hiring an agency, I want Ketner Group to be top-of-mind.

I also want to figure out the best way to maintain a hybrid work environment. We will always have some remote employees, and we’re investing to make sure we still come together as a team. We’re working hard to find the best ways to continue building a great company culture.

My Three Favorite Quotes From The SKU Retail Brew Summit 2022

I joined Ketner Group as an intern in early 2020. And as you can imagine with that start date, I haven’t had many opportunities to attend in-person retail conferences. So, when my team mentioned the possibility of having me attend the 2022 SKU Retail Brew Summit, I jumped at the opportunity! I couldn’t wait to hear from some of the brilliantly talented people in the retail technology industry.

I can confidently say that the conference lived up to all my expectations. I was able to hear from executives at JCPenney, Crocs, Shipt, Kroger and more. In addition, I had the chance to network with the reporters from Retail Brew while enjoying great food.

For those of you who didn’t make it to New York City for Retail Brew’s conference, I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes and how they apply to the future of retail.

“What you do to get them, you should do to keep them.”

A major topic of discussion at the conference was customer experience. When discussing this all-important aspect of retail, Ciara Anfield, chief member and marketing officer, Sam’s Club explained that the things you do to gain a new customer should be the same things you do to keep them around.

This sentiment can be achieved through added-value strategies like promotions, deals and personalized outreach, or through community-building tactics like authentic collaborations and user-generated content.

Similarly, Kat Cole, president and chief operating officer, Athletic Greens, spoke about authenticity in employee culture. According to Kat, businesses should open clear channels for dialogue with their employees to ensure everyone feels supported from their first day at the company to their last.

“Confidence is earned through experience.”

Melissa Ben-Ishay, co-founder and CEO, Baked by Melissa started her mini cupcake business in 2008 and it has since become a staple bakery chain in New York City. This is an impressive feat in a crowded industry, and it was made possible by her focus and innovation. After explaining her rise to the top, she told the crowd that “confidence is earned through experience.”

This sentiment rang true throughout the event as multiple speakers explained that staying true to core values and the value proposition is critical to success.

They also explained that retailers must be customer-obsessed, dedicated to the quality of their product and open to testing and retesting based on data and customer reactions.

“Be the cockroach.”

Believe it or not, Tyler Williams, head of brand experience, Zappos, used cockroaches as a metaphor for successful retailers. The pest is known for its genetic adaptability, something that should inspire retailers to continue to innovate despite industry challenges. As retailers deal with labor shortages, inflation and an impending recession, adaptability has never been more important.

Speakers throughout the day touched on upcoming innovations. For example, executives from Athletic Greens and Puppyspot expressed interest in adding subscription services for loyal customers and Jing Gao, founder and CEO at Fly By Jing mentioned focusing on seamless omnichannel experiences in 2023.

Innovation is always top-of-mind for our clients at Ketner Group, and hearing so many retailers express their intent to lean on these new technologies is promising for the new year ahead.

There’s always more to learn after the Retail Brew Summit

Every event that brings professionals together is an opportunity to get smarter, craftier, and more excited about what you do – and the 2022 SKU Retail Brew Summit was no exception. I loved hearing from so many brilliant people because it only motivates me to dive deeper into this exciting industry.

The Ketner Group team is looking forward to attending more in-person events both to support our clients and to strengthen our own understanding of the retail technology industry. For example, we’re looking forward to attending NRF Retail’s Big Show, and just last week we enjoyed attending The SEMA Show!

Please reach out if you want to meet us at one of these exciting industry events.