November 02, 2021 (All day) to November 04, 2021 (All day)
Park MGM, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Education Sessions

The Cold Chain Essentials Virtual Learning Series aims to deliver essential content for individuals at all levels within all segments of the global cold chain. Education sessions are arranged by tracks listed below. 

Earn Professional Development Hours (PDH) Through RETA for Select Sessions - The Global Cold Chain Alliance is proud to partner with the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA) to offer Professional Development Hours (PDH) which can be used to fulfill RETA certification renewal requirements. Sessions eligible for PDH are noted with (**) in the session title.  Click here to learn more

Owner/Executive/C-Suite Facility Operations
Facility Engineering Supply Chain/Transportation
CEBA Controlled Environment Building

Vendor/Supplier Track

Congreso Latinoamericano   



All sessions will be held online and follow Eastern Time (ET). Please note the times are GMT-04:00 until November 1. After this date, the times are GMT-05:00.

Sessions open to all Virtual Innovation Program attendees unless otherwise noted.


Opening General Session

Wednesday, October 14 | 11:00am – 12:00pm ET

Join organization leadership as they kick off the 2020 Virtual Innovation Program with important news and information about the association and cold chain industry.

  • Brian Beazer, WFLO Chairman, General Manager & CEO, WCS Logistics/Winchester Cold
  • Ron Buford, IARW Chairman, President & CEO, Premier Refrigerated Warehouse
  • Matt Ott, President & CEO, Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA)

Keynote Presentation: Chaos to Confidence During Time of Economic Stress

Wednesday, October 14 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

This keynote presentation offers an in-depth study of the coronavirus from a speaker with a deep understanding of how the markets and the economy are impacted by world events like infectious disease.  Andrew is not only a noted economist, he's an infectious disease expert and author. There are many reasons why he's known as "the great calmer downer" especially during the most difficult times. Andrew offers upbeat solutions combined with real time facts.

  • Andrew Busch, Outside Advisor to the White House & Former U.S. Chief Market Intelligence Officer

Closing General Session

Tuesday, November 10 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Join organization leadership as they close out the 2020 Virtual Innovation Program including the announcement of the CEBA Build by the Best Award recipient.

  • Vince Free, CEBA Chairman, President & CEO, FREEZ Construction
  • Matt Ott, President & CEO, Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA)




Increasing Productivity with Semi-Automated Forklift Technology

Thursday, October 15 | 10:00am – 11:00am ET

Learn how the innovative new warehouse navigation system at the InterChange cold storage facility uses Jungheinrich semi-automated forklifts with embedded RFID chips in the facility floor to track the lift truck's location, both vertically and horizontally, to within millimeters. The system directs the forklift to the exact next pick location with one push of a toggle; the speed and accuracy of the system, eliminating the need to scan barcodes at each location, has increased productivity over a manual system.

  • Chris Thompson, Vice President of Business Development, InterChange Cold Storage
  • Keith VanBenschoten, Chief Operating Officer, InterChange Cold Storage

CEO/Executive/C-Suite Peer to Peer Roundtable

Friday, October 16 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm EDT 

This roundtable session provides attendees a chance to share ideas, ask questions, and solve problems with their peers in a small group. The moderator will guide the participants through the discussion, diving into the subjects that matter most to professionals in the cold chain industry. By invitation only. 

Solving Staffing and Operational Challenges from Within **

Monday, October 26 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

United States Cold Storage (USCS) needed a new approach to helping its facilities improve operations, it turned within, creating the USCS Road Warriors. These seasoned employees from across the U.S. band together temporarily as a traveling training and work crew. Learn how USCS started the Road Warrior program, reduced duplicative employee training, increased employee networking opportunities, and filled labor shortages and gaps from within.

  • Mickey Hoffmann, Vice President of Corporate Development, United States Cold Storage

Government Affairs Update

Wednesday, October 28 | 10:00am – 11:00am ET

This session will focus specifically on U.S. policy issues impacting the cold chain industry.  Hear the latest on COVID related legislation and regulations, as well as recent regulatory developments including FDA’s proposed rule on Food Traceability, new Chemical Safety Board reporting requirements, and improvements to the FSIS meat and poultry export process. 

  • Lowell Randel, Senior Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs

Liability Issues Post-COVID

Thursday, October 29 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

What new legal liabilities have emerged as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic? What ongoing liability issues are now more important than ever? What is your organizations risk level as you continue to operate your essential business? Join GCCA’s service partner Scopelitis as we explore the top legal issues that are facing the cold chain industry today.

  • Kevin Phillips, Partner, Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.

Innovations in Leadership and Talent Development

Wednesday, November 4 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

Leaders at Burris Logistics and Lineage Logistics will share programs that save you time, money, and effort in developing and retaining good employees. An internal mentorship program developed at Burris Logistics connects new with seasoned leaders, helping develop a robust company culture and ensuring that new employees have the support that they need to succeed. The Lineage Management Program (LMP) at Lineage Logistics formalizes employee career paths to build bench strength. Lineage also has strategies and processes at all organizational levels to find, grow, retain, and develop talent while retaining institutional knowledge and improving skills.

  • Laura McCann, Director of Talent Management, Burris Logistics
  • Sean Vanderelzen, Chief Human Resources Officer, Lineage Logistics


Facility Operations Track


Human Resources in the Time of COVID-19: Recruitment, Retention and Workforce Changes **

Friday, October 16 | 11:00am – 12:00pm ET

Warehouse facilities have faced increased challenges in both the workforce and operational space during the COVID-19 pandemic. How are different facilities implementing pandemic-related best practices such as temperature screening and remote work? What workforce challenges have warehouses faces in retaining employees, onboarding new hires and recruiting potential employees during a pandemic? Join human resources experts Lori Cogit and Ashley Albers as they discuss the challenges and solutions facing operations during the time of Coronavirus.

  • Ashley Albers, Human Resources Manager, Nor-Am Cold Storage, Inc.
  • Lori Cogit, Vice President, Human Resource, RLS Logistics
  • Christine Rees-Zecha, Director of Human Resources for Operations and Sales, Lineage Logistics

Warehouse Automation Advances for a Changing Cold Storage Supply Chain **

Wednesday, October 21 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

As COVID-19 continues to impact global supply chains with unprecedented challenges, companies are looking to automation solutions to increase efficiencies and resiliencies. The presenters will discuss the latest cold storage automation technologies available, including automated storage and retrieval systems, how to determine the level of automation that will enable you to respond quickly and accurately to market conditions or unforeseen disruptions like COVID-19, and where and how to apply automation to get the maximum return from your investment.

  • Craig Keenan, Sales Director, Swisslog Americas
  • Michael Buenger, General Manager, Lineage Logistics

Human Resources (HR) Knowledge Share Roundtable

Thursday, October 22 | 11:00am – 12:00pm ET 

This roundtable session provides attendees a chance to share ideas, ask questions, and solve problems with their peers in a small group. The moderator will guide the participants through the discussion, diving into the subjects that matter most to professionals in the cold chain industry.Warehouse attendees only.

Innovative Energy Usage Allocation Technology Solutions for Multi-Tenant Cold Storage Warehouses **

Friday, October 23 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

In cold storage buildings with multiple tenants, calculating energy usage and billing can be a big operational headache. The advancement of technology in this space makes tracking energy usage much easier, and can streamline operations for all of the tenants in the building. Join members of the Alliance Industrial Refrigeration team as they describe their experience with multi-tenant cold storage software and how it has improved their operations.

  • George Botich, Senior Project Engineer, Alliance Industrial Refrigeration
  • Richard Drones, Vice President of Operations, Alliance Industrial Refrigeration
  • Daniel Karcher, President, Davis Partners

Preparing for the Unexpected **

Monday, November 2 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

A pandemic isn’t the only thing that may disrupt your warehouse’s operations. A natural disaster, fire or other unexpected event can also mean big challenges for your company. Learn how to create or update your emergency response plan and pivot your business if an unexpected event should disrupt your operations.

  • Joe Howard, Senior Vice President, Lockton Companies, LLC
  • Kevin Margeson, President, CWI Logistics

Facility Operations Knowledge Share Roundtable 

Wednesday, November 4 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

This roundtable session provides attendees a chance to share ideas, ask questions, and solve problems with their peers in a small group. The moderator will guide the participants through the discussion, diving into the subjects that matter most to professionals in the cold chain industry. Warehouse attendees only.


Don Schlimme Future Leader Award – Finalist Presentations

Monday, November 9 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

The Don Schlimme Future Leader Award recognizes outstanding young professionals in the North American cold storage industry. The award is named in honor of Donald V. Schlimme, Ph.D, who passed away in 2012 and was a longtime member of the WFLO Scientific Advisory Committee (1983-2012) and a WFLO Staff Advisor for many of those years. He was an expert in food science and cold storage and was committed to sharing his extensive knowledge.


  • Brian Beazer, WFLO Chairman, General Manager & CEO, WCS Logistics


  • Ray Rodriguez, Senior Manager, Business Development, United States Cold Storage
  • Zeshan Hassan, Quality Assurance Advisor, Congebec Inc.
  • Alexander Woolf, VP Research & Development, Lineage Logistics
  • John Long, Senior Engineering Program Manager, Americold Logistics


Facility Engineering Track


Ensuring a Safe and Efficient Industrial Refrigeration Operating Environment

Wednesday, October 21 | 10:00am – 11:00am ET

The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration sets the standard for providing the most up-to-date technical information to the ammonia and natural refrigeration community. IIAR is currently the only organization writing design and operation standards specifically for ammonia refrigeration systems. Join Gary Schrift and Eric Smith of IIAR as they review the IIAR standards and guidance documentation, with an emphasis on changes and updates for 2020 and beyond.

  • Gary Schrift, President, International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR)
  • Eric Smith, Vice President & Technical Director, International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR)

Evaluating and Choosing a Warehouse Refrigeration System **

Wednesday, October 28 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

There are many types of refrigeration systems available today for cold storage warehouses. But how should you evaluate which system is right for you? Join leading engineering and refrigeration experts as they explore the pros and cons of different refrigeration systems, what they look for when choosing a system, and how different systems impact energy efficiency and the bottom line.

  • Walter Teeter, CEO, Republic Refrigeration, Inc.
  • Mike Lynch, Corporate Vice President of Engineering, United States Cold Storage, Inc.

Energy and Energy Excellence

Tuesday, November 3 | 11:00am—12:00pm ET

Warehouse energy usage is the second highest cost in the cold storage industry behind labor and managing energy usage costs is a high priority for temperature-controlled 3PL operators. The GCCA Energy Excellence Recognition Program helps temperature-controlled warehouse operators measure and improve energy efficiency at each of their facilities. Hear from participants in the GCCA Energy Excellence program on how they have implemented energy audits, improved energy usage at their facilities, and increased sustainability in their operations.

  • Ted Royals, Manager of Energy, Americold Logistics

Tales of Global Warehouse Automation **

Thursday, November 5 | 10:00am – 11:00am ET

There are several factors to consider when implementing automation into temperature-controlled logistics. Financial investment, impact on talent, and the commitment of customers are all important aspects to evaluate and may vary based on facility location. Join this session to hear firsthand from NewCold Logistics, leaders in automation, about their implementation process, why they chose to insource automation oversight and expertise, and challenges and triumphs they faced along the way.

  • Jonas Swarttouw, U.S. Country Manager, NewCold Logistics
  • Piet Meijs, VP Business Development, NewCold Logistics


Supply Chain/Transportation Track


Best Practices in the Sanitary and Safe Transportation of Perishable Products

Thursday, October 22 | 11:00am – 12:00pm ET

The global Certified Cold CarrierTM program developed by the Global Cold Chain Alliance provides independent, third-party assurance that your asset-based carrier company is aligned with industry-prescribed best practices for the safe and sanitary transport of food perishables. Hear from association members who have completed the program about how the process helped them to review industry best practices, engage staff on critical temperature control processes, and differentiate them from their competition.

  • Amber Edmondson, President and CEO, Trailiner Corp.
  • Lee Neal, Vice President, Business Development, Great Plains Transport, Inc.
  • Stephen Neel, PhD, Director of Food Safety, Lineage Logistics

Supply Chain Research and Trends

Tuesday, October 27 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

This session will explore the latest research being conducted in the supply chain. Join two members of GCCA’s Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) as they explain innovations in the field and how the latest trends might impact your business. From legal issues to food storage questions, experts on the SAC can help you with your cold chain questions through the GCCA Inquiry Service. Learn more, here.

  • Patrick Brecht, Ph.D., President, PEB Commodities, Inc.
  • Brian S. Fugate, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Supply Chain Management, University of Arkansas

Transportation Knowledge Share Roundtable

Tuesday, November 3 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

This roundtable session provides attendees a chance to share ideas, ask questions, and solve problems with their peers in a small group. The moderator will guide the participants through the discussion, diving into the subjects that matter most to professionals in the cold chain industry. Warehouse and IRTA Member attendees only.


Using Blockchain Technology in Cold Storage Operations

Wednesday, November 4 | 10:00am – 11:00am EDT

What is blockchain technology, and how could it help your operation? Anna Johnson, Vice President of Corporate Development and Marketing with United States Cold Storage, will explain blockchain technology and her research surrounding the cold storage industry’s readiness to implement the technology. Hear how blockchain can help to streamline your operation and improve your bottom line.

  • Anna Johnson, DBA, Vice President of Corporate Development and Marketing, United States Cold Storage

Strengthening Relationships Between Drivers and Warehouses

Monday, November 9 | 11:00am – 12:00pm ET

Warehouses and trucks are critical links for all cold chain operations. Simply put, warehouses could not exist if it were not for trucks and truck drivers, and trucking firms would not exist if trucks and drivers did not have a place from which to pick up shipments and make deliveries. However, priorities for warehouse workers and drivers are not always aligned. Join this session to learn new innovations and strategies in strengthening driver and warehouse relationships, from paperless check-in options to driver appreciation activities.

  • Keith Mowery, Vice President, Logistics, United States Cold Storage, Inc.


CEBA Controlled Environment Building


CEBA Built by the Best Sessions

Three CEBA Built by the Best Sessions will be presented during the virtual event, with the Award recipient will be announced during the closing session. 

Fisher Construction Group, Inc. for Lineage Logistics in Oakland, CA

Tuesday, November 3 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

Lineage Logistics Cool Port was built in partnership with Oakland cold storage operator, Dreisbach Enterprises. The Cool Port meets the need in Northern California for cold chain goods which are most efficiently shipped long distances via rail – especially from the American Midwest. As the General Contractor responsible for transforming aspiration to realization, Fisher Construction Group managed many of the innovations behind the project’s success. The success of Lineage Logistics’ Cool Port project required significant innovation long before the first excavator arrived onsite and throughout the project’s entire design-build process. Examples are numerous: innovation was required when future-proofing soupy, methane-pocketed, and seismic-prone land to a suitable building foundation; when devising on-demand market adaptability in the form of interchangeable frozen and chilled storage spaces; when protecting glycol heating lines in the event of seismic activity or settling of muddy land; when maximizing end-to-end cold chain efficiencies within an intermodal system; and when creating competitive advantages for the fifth largest US Port as it opened its first dedicated cold chain facility. Indeed, innovation was a central tenet of the project’s inception, actualization, and diverse stakeholder success.

Primus Builders, Inc. for Americold in Savannah, GA

Thursday, November 5 | 10:00am – 11:00am ET

When the Port of Savannah expanded its space, Americold zeroed in on the opportunity to maximize the benefits of this region as the location was the perfect site for a poultry import/export facility. The new facility will serve as Americold’s flagship and was designed to provide Americold maximum flexibility in their cold storage options (51’ tall, 312,000 SF building). Primus Builders, Inc. installed a -20° QFR quick-freeze system that pulls cold air into every freezer crevice and freezes product faster and more efficiently. This will allow the facility to blast two million pounds of chicken per day once the facility achieves its maximum build. The schedule was set at an aggressive 13 months and Primus Builders, Inc. immediately began implementing Last Planner. This scheduling system relies on input from the project subcontractors to determine the most efficient order of operations during construction. Including subcontractor input in such a meaningful way resulted in their complete buy-in to the schedule. The team were able to absorb 19 days of permitting delays and 40 days of rain and still hit their timeline goals.

A M King for Southern Foods in Greensboro, NC

Thursday, November 5 | 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET

A M King transformed an 88,000-sf vacant shell building in Greensboro, NC into an innovative and fully controlled USDA-grade environment which houses a meat, seafood and cheese processing facility for Southern Foods. It was the goal of both Southern Foods and A M King to use the existing roof and concrete walls and to build what was necessary to meet Southern Foods’ needs for this complex facility. A M King is extremely familiar with the complex nature of food facility design and construction; however, this particular process of adapting existing structures to meet USDA food facility requirements is exceptionally challenging. The adaptation of existing buildings to food grade facilities is becoming more prevalent due to scarcity of land; ample building inventory; reinvention of retail; rising construction costs; labor challenges; new regulations; environmental and schedule benefits; and resource-intensive procurement associated with virgin materials. All of this builds a strong case for adaptive reuse.


Industry Updates & Design Changes Post COVID

Thursday, November 5 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

This panel discussion will focus on the results of the recent COVID related survey sent to all CEBA Members. The results will be shared and the discussion will focus on the state of controlled environment construction industry, latest innovations, lessons learned during the pandemic and what are the impacts/trends that will affect the design/build and construction of facilities moving forward.


Construction Knowledge Share Roundtable

Monday, November 9 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

This roundtable session provides attendees a chance to share ideas, ask questions, and solve problems with their peers in a small group. The moderator will guide the participants through the discussion, diving into the subjects that matter most to professionals in the cold chain industry.


Congreso Latinoamericano 


Panel de Discusión: Afrontando retos en la industria de cadena de frío

Thursday, October 15  | 1:00pm- 2:00pm ET

A partir del inicio de la pandemia, la industria de logística de productos controlados ha sufrido grandes retos y cambios operativos y financieros que a través de  un conversatorio exploraremos cómo   líderes en la industria 3Pl exponen sobre la  resiliencia necesaria en la industria ante crisis disruptiva  por pandemia


Aplicación de Tecnología Para Ahorro Energético en Bodegas Frías

Thursday, October 22 | 1:00pm- 2:00pm ET

Presentación de caso exitoso de 3PL Colombia y certificación LEED con líderes en diseño ahorro energético y cuidado ambiental


Aceleración del Comercio Electrónico y su Impacto en la Industria 3PL

Tuesday, October 27 | 1:00pm- 2:00pm ET


Perspectivas Economías en Latinoamérica en Respuesta a Pandemia

Thursday, October 29 | 1:00pm- 2:00pm ET


Logística y Cadena de Frío en Transporte de Carga

Tuesday, November 3 | 1:00pm- 2:00pm ET

Exposición de impacto, cambios y adaptación de logística, comercio de productos refrigerados y congelados.


Optimización Organización en Industria 3PL

Thursday, November 5 | 1:00pm- 2:00pm ET

Discusión de claves importantes para obtener rentabilidad y reducción de costos operativos para enfrentar nueva normalidad operativa en industrias 3PL


Vendor/Supplier Track

Sessions open to vendors/suppliers only.

A Conversation with RLS Logistics

Friday, October 16 | 11:00am – 12:00pm ET

  • Tony Leo, CEO and President, RLS Logistics

A Conversation with United States Cold Storage

Tuesday, October 27 | 4:00pm – 5:00pm ET

  • Larry Alderfer, President and CEO, United States Cold Storage
  • Mickey Hoffmann, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development,United States Cold Storage

A Conversation with Lineage Logistics

Monday, November 2 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

  • Adam Forste, Co-Chairman, Lineage Logistics

A Conversation with Hanson Logistics

Wednesday, November 4 | 10:00am – 11:00am ET

  • Ken Whah. President and CEO, Hanson Logistics

A Conversation with Americold Logistics

Monday, November 9 | 11:00am – 12:00pm ET

  • Fred Boehler, President and CEO, Americold Logistics


Earn Professional Development Hours (PDH) Through RETA for Select Sessions - The Global Cold Chain Alliance is proud to partner with the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA) to offer Professional Development Hours (PDH) which can be used to fulfill RETA certification renewal requirements. Sessions eligible for PDH are noted with (**) in the session title on the virtual platform, in the Event Guide and on To earn RETA Professional Development Hours, follow the instructions below:

  1. Locate the approved session recordings in the “Sessions On Demand” section of the virtual platform. Recordings are organized by track. Note that Knowledge Share Roundtable sessions were not recorded. You must have joined these sessions live to earn PDH for them.
  2. View the recording in its entirety.
  3. Click the link in the session description to request RETA Professional Development Hours.*

*Per RETA guidelines, attendees seeking PDH credit from session recordings will need to answer several multiple-choice quiz questions to demonstrate that they've watched the recording in its entirety.​

GCCA staff will generate digital certificates on or after December 10, 2020. Certificates will be sent via email. For questions regarding the process for earning RETA professional development hours, please contact