Only Acosta combines critical expertise, technological innovation and extensive reach for seamless solutions with superior results.
Acosta has the talent and technology to construct data-driven strategies; the reach and relationships to execute against those strategies; and the tools to monitor, track and optimize metric-based results for clients and retailers.
Our A-Team is made up of more than 26,000 employees, many of them having worked at prominent consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, leading retailers or marketing agencies. Sharing perspectives across channels and backgrounds, Acosta’s nimble workforce takes a proactive approach to collaborating with clients, driving swift action to grow sales and market share when opportunities arise.
Acosta’s ability to connect real-time data into its comprehensive sales and marketing platform delivers insight that matters to clients. Our retail merchandising employees leverage advanced mobile technology that uses daily point-of-sale data to track, analyze and optimize in-store activities, establishing automation for a variety of complex processes while capturing information to drive faster, more effective decision-making.
Within every sales channel and virtually every retail environment, Acosta leverages its near century of experience, growing international presence and dominance in an array of categories to influence more sales for more clients than any other company.
Many of our relationships originated over 50 years ago and continue to thrive today due to the exceptional value and client service we provide. In addition to having long-standing relationships with high-profile brands such as Campbell’s®, Clorox®, Kellogg’s®, and Microsoft®, we also enjoy partnerships with almost every leading retailer and wholesaler, including Kroger, Walmart, Costco and PetSmart.
Acosta is an investment for its clients, not an expense. As such, we are committed to delivering measurable returns for clients and retailers. In addition to higher sales, improved efficiencies and lower costs, Acosta delivers an average brand share of 3.7 percent to full-service clients, more than 2 percent higher than brands managed by other brokers or in-house teams.
On average, brands we work with have experienced +19% growth from January 2015 to present.
Brands we work with have outperformed brands not working with us by 900 BPS.
The brands we partner with are outperforming S&P substantially.
Change is in the air. You can see it, sense it, but can you manage it? Acosta has discovered four mega trends driving change in the industry today including demographic shifts, channel blur, health and wellness and a digital revolution. Watch how these shifts drive industry change.
Our trusted leaders are among the most experienced and strategic in the industry. Our partners and strategic advisors are committed to Acosta’s success and that of our clients’ brands, as well as retailers, distributors and operators.
Darian Pickett joined Acosta in 1991 as a Business Manager after graduating from the University of North Texas and was appointed CEO in July 2019. Throughout his career, he has contributed to virtually every area of Acosta’s sales business and has held numerous operational positions spanning sales leadership, sales strategy/operations, client services, customer marketing, analytics, business management and retail management functional areas.
His executive leadership roles as Chief Client Officer, President of Sales, President of Strategic Channels and EVP Business Development are a reflection of his responsibility for the total client experience and sales execution across all Acosta lines of business. Darian’s entire Acosta career has provided him broad perspective positioning him for the role of CEO.
Over the years, Darian has consistently led by example in exhibiting a steadfast commitment to operating according to the company’s core values, engaging our associates, building deep and trusting client relationships, and ensuring Acosta’s operating model remains sound so we can deliver continued growth.
He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.
Claudia Sáenz Amlie
Claudia Sáenz Amlie joined Acosta in 2017 as Chief Human Resources Officer.
Amlie brings a wealth of knowledge and key leadership experience from her
prior roles. Most recently, Amlie served as EverBank Financial Corp’s Executive
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. During her tenure, she led
their human resources organization that included talent acquisition, payroll and
benefits, incentives and compensation, employee relations and organizational
Prior to her role at EverBank, Amlie served as lead of the human resources department, Chief Compliance Officer and Deputy General Counsel of Lighthouse Investment Partners LLC, a fund of hedge funds investment manager headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., with offices in New York, Chicago, London and Hong Kong.
Amlie’s early career included various leadership roles at a nationwide printing and office products company, as well as positions with several prestigious law firms prior to focusing on human resources.
Amlie is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and received her law degree from the University of Florida College of Law.
Todd Johnson joined Acosta in 2015 as Chief Legal Officer serving as the principal legal counsel for the company. He is responsible for overseeing all legal affairs. Johnson is experienced in a wide variety of legal and regulatory issues, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate and commercial transactions and corporate governance. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Lender Processing Services. Johnson also held similar roles for two Fortune 500 publicly traded companies and was a partner in the Corporate and Securities practice group of Holland & Knight, LLP. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Association of Corporate Counsel, Society of Governance Professionals and National Association of Corporate Directors. Johnson is a board member of Communities In Schools and serves on the board of advisors for JAXUSA Partnership. He is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2012 and a past member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. A graduate of the Duke University School of Law, Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Steve Kremser is Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer at Acosta, responsible for the planning and execution of Acosta’s overall strategy and corporate development, including steering the company’s transformational initiatives.
Prior to joining Acosta in 2017, Kremser spent 17 years with the Boston Consulting Group, where he was partner for 10 years, leading the company’s west coast consumer and retail team. His multi-faceted background includes expertise in mergers and acquisitions, growth strategy, sales force transformation, trade spend realignment, digital strategy and consumer insights, as well as experience with private equity funds.
Kremser received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and his Master of Business Administration from UCLA.
Matt Laurie is currently the interim Chief Financial Officer for Acosta. In his previous role as Corporate Controller and Treasurer, he oversaw the company’s treasury, financial planning and analysis, financial reporting and procurement functions. Laurie joined Acosta in 2002 with an extensive background in accounting and finance coupled with experience in total quality and process management.
Previously, Laurie was the Chief Financial Officer for Francis Meyer, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of specialty consumer paper products in Savannah, Ga. He also served in various financial roles with Deloitte.
Laurie is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Florida.
As Executive Vice President, Retail Strategy and Operations, Ned Peverley sets the strategic direction for Acosta’s retail services and works with our clients to maximize their return on retail investment. Ned provides a holistic look across the company’s retail business model to identify opportunities for further optimization and synergies.
Joining Acosta in 2005, Ned has a strong history of making positive, strategic changes in the organization. He served most recently as Executive Vice President, Client Development. He has also served in senior leadership positions within Grocery Sales, Retail Operations and Corporate Strategy.
Prior to his work with Acosta, Ned spent four years as a management consultant with Bain & Company, working with clients on key strategic issues including domestic and international growth, operational performance improvement and mergers and acquisitions. Formerly, Ned served five years as an officer in the U.S. Navy.
Ned has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Duke University.
Ashley Taylor joined Acosta as Chief Customer Officer in 2017. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Taylor is considered a global leader in consumer package goods, fresh food and merchandising operations.
Over her career, Taylor has been a part of the Walmart team in various capacities. Prior to her role with Acosta, Taylor established the Activity Management Office for Walmart International as Vice President. With her role, she and her team led the implementation of a prioritized, sequenced and portfolio approach to provide resources and focus to the most impactful initiatives and markets. She was Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager, where she oversaw all aspects of merchandising, pricing, planning, replenishment and product development for fresh bakery and commercial bread, which led to her role as Regional Vice President of Operations.
In 2016, Taylor was selected as one of 32 global leaders from 13 nations as a Fellow for the International Women’s Forum where she has completed executive education programs at Harvard and INSEAD in France. She remains actively engaged in International Women’s Forum and the Network of Executive Women.
Ashley has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas.
Since joining Acosta in 2000, Don Voss, Executive Vice President, Business Development, has held positions of increasing responsibility. In his current role, Don is responsible for organizational integration and collaboration to grow Acosta’s business with both new and established clients and customers.
Don has held a variety of leadership roles at Acosta including leading Conagra Brands business, Kraft Foods integration with the Acosta Purple Team and overseeing the Client Development Team. He was also Executive Vice President, Acosta Services, leading client activities and connectivity throughout North America.
His career began as a Retail Sales Representative with General Mills and spent the next 14 years at the company in various roles which included account management, region sales management, trade marketing management, business planning management and zone operations management.
Don is the corporate lead for Acosta with the Wounded Warrior Project/Stand for the Brave initiative. Don is involved with the board of directors that oversees activities for The Chicago Jazz Figure Skating Club. Both of Don’s daughters were nationally ranked synchronized figure skaters and members of Team USA.
Morgan Blackwell is a managing member at Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, a global institutional investment management firm, where he co-manages U.S. corporate credit and asset investments. Prior to joining Davidson Kempner in 2002, he was an associate in the restructuring group of Lazard Freres & Co. LLC, where he focused on providing financial advisory services to distressed clients. Mr. Blackwell graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in economics from the Wharton School.
Austin Camporin is a portfolio manager at Elliott Management Corporation, a New York-based investment fund with approximately $40 billion in assets under management. He joined Elliott in 2009, focusing primarily upon public equity and credit opportunities. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Camporin began his career at JPMorgan, first as a high-yield credit analyst and later moving to the distressed debt proprietary trading group. Mr. Camporin has been a member of the board of directors of Affinion Group, Inc. and Affinion Group Holdings, Inc. since July 20, 2017. Camporin is a CFA charterholder and is also co-president and founder of the Good Shepherd of Darien Foundation and co-founder of A Second Chance for Ziva dog rescue. He graduated summa cum laude from the College of William & Mary in 2004 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance.
Michael Cohen is a founding Partner of Nexus Capital Management. Prior to co-founding Nexus in 2013, Cohen spent 13 years at Apollo Global Management in its private equity group. He currently serves on the board of directors of Acosta and TOMS Shoes. Mr. Cohen previously served on the board of directors of General Nutrition Centers, Smart & Final Inc. and Sprouts Farmers Market. Prior to Apollo, Mr. Cohen was an analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group of Salomon Smith Barney. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University.
Joe Crafton held a variety of leadership positions with Crossmark, Inc., a CPG sales and marketing agency, beginning as a partner in 1988 and retiring as CEO in 2014. During his tenure at the helm of Crossmark, the company became the North American leader in sampling and event marketing and led the industry in retailer solutions and project work. Prior to Crossmark, Mr. Crafton held a variety of sales and management positions with The Procter & Gamble Company. He is currently a principal with Wingshooter Investments, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, College of Business Administration.
Jeremy Grant is an associate portfolio manager at Elliott Management Corporation, a New York-based investment fund with approximately $40 billion in assets under management. He joined Elliott in 2016, focusing primarily on equity and credit opportunities. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Grant worked at Oak Hill Advisors in distressed debt and at Credit Suisse, first as a residential mortgage-backed securities trader and later as a high yield and investment grade credit analyst. He is a CFA charterholder and graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics.
Mark Gross served as CEO of Supervalu from 2016-2018 and co-president, chief financial officer and general counsel of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. from 1997-2006. Under Gross’ direction, Supervalu embarked on a major business restructuring, successfully repositioning the business as America’s largest publicly-traded grocery wholesaler. With more than 20 years as a grocery executive and as a former attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, Mr. Gross now leads Surry Investment Advisors, advising grocery retailers and investors regarding operations, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. He is also the lead director and audit committee chair of Tops Markets, a $2 billion grocery retailer. Mr. Gross earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College where he graduated with highest honors in his major.
Joe Hartsig is currently a senior vice president at Walgreens. Over the past several years, he has had responsibility for the retail products business as chief merchandising officer. In this capacity, he oversaw buying across both stores and e-commerce and managed own brand and merchandising planning. Mr. Hartsig has nearly 30 years of brand marketing experience in technology, retail and CPG companies, having previously served in leadership roles at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Motorola, SC Johnson, Pillsbury and Conagra. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College and a master’s degree in business administration from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.
Grant LaMontagne has more than 40 years of CPG experience, with much of that time spent at The Clorox Company as he rose through the ranks to become senior vice president, chief customer officer. He subsequently served as president, consumer sales/customer development for Kimberly-Clark North America and is currently a senior advisor with McKinsey & Company. From 2005-2011, Mr. LaMontagne served as chairman of the sales committee for the Grocery Manufacturers of America. He is a 1978 graduate from the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management with a Bachelor of Arts in finance.
Dave Miller is an Equity Partner, Senior Portfolio Manager and the Head of U.S. Restructuring at Elliott Management Corporation, a New York-based investment fund with over $40 billion in assets under management, where he is responsible for investments across the capital structure and spanning multiple industries. Mr. Miller joined Elliott in 2003 after working in M&A and financing advisory roles at Peter J. Solomon Company. He is currently a director of Arconic Inc. (f/k/a Alcoa Inc.), a leading provider of metals and engineered products and solutions to the aerospace, automotive and other industries, as well as the Brazilian American Automotive Group, Inc., one of the largest automotive dealership groups in Latin America. Mr. Miller previously served on the boards of JCIM, LLC, an automotive component supply joint-venture affiliated with Johnson Controls, Inc., ISCO International, LLC, a telecommunications equipment manufacturer, and SemGroup Energy Partners GP, the general partner of a publicly traded midstream energy company. He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree, magna cum laude with high honors in field, from Harvard College.
Darian Pickett joined Acosta in 1991 as a business manager and was appointed CEO in July 2019. Throughout his career, he has contributed to virtually every area of Acosta’s sales business and has held numerous operational positions spanning sales leadership, sales strategy/operations, client services, customer marketing, analytics, business management and retail management functional areas. Mr. Pickett’s executive leadership roles as chief client officer, president of sales, president of strategic channels and executive vice president, business development are a reflection of his responsibility for the total client experience and sales execution across all Acosta lines of business. Mr. Pickett graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing management.
Kaj Vazales serves as a managing director for Oaktree Capital Management’s Distressed Debt strategy, where he heads the team’s investing efforts across a number of industries in North America and also oversees the group’s North American recruiting efforts. Mr. Vazales is responsible for sourcing, underwriting and executing publicly traded and private investments in the areas of distressed and stressed credit, private equity, leverage finance and equities. During his tenure, Mr. Vazales has had primary coverage responsibility for a significant number of sectors and made investments in the auto, specialty finance, gaming, commercial real estate, retail/consumer and oil and gas industries. Prior to joining Oaktree in 2007, Mr. Vazales worked as an analyst in the Financial Restructuring Group at Houlihan Lokey, advising creditors and distressed companies on strategic alternatives. He graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in economics, cum laude.
What We Believe
Acosta is proud to foster a corporate culture that is inclusive, responsible and empowering.
These values inform our behavior as individuals and as a company.
Showing dignity and respect to all people and embracing different ideas with humility, encouragement and support for others.
Behaving in a respectful manner, delivering as promised, and exhibiting open, honest and timely communication.
Being driven to excel and deliver both superior client service and project results.
Speaking sincerely and honestly in all situations, always having the client’s best interest in mind, and effectively building trusting relationships with clients, retailers and fellow employees.
Performing in an outstanding manner as a team, successfully collaborating and leveraging the strengths of members and supporting one another.
Developing and implementing ideas resulting in a new or improved product, process or service.
Being good corporate citizens by leading in our communities and giving back through volunteer service.
We are a company of exceptional people. Our values represent who we are and shape our interactions with our clients, retailers, the community and each other.
Strength In Diversity
Our rich, diverse talent of different generations, ethnicities, genders, work and life experiences allow us to deliver highly innovative solutions and services. We foster a work environment where employees can bring their whole self to work and fully contribute.
Our Industry Leadership
Acosta influences the purchase of more brands, more often and across more channels because of our proactive leadership. We’re not afraid to take risks and push to give our clients the best possible results.
For almost 90 years, we have conducted business with integrity, care for our communities and respect for our planet. Our ‘Think Before You Ink’ campaign promotes a paperless culture at Acosta, allowing us to save trees and reduce the use of excess plastic. We endeavor to be a responsible corporate steward of the environment, and whenever possible, encourage eco-friendly practices.
We have an impressive track record of industry leadership and growth through expansion, mergers and acquisitions. This is our narrative.
Darian Pickett becomes President and CEO of Acosta.
Alejandro Rodriguez Bas becomes President and CEO of Acosta.
Gary Chartrand, Executive Chairman, becomes interim President and CEO of Acosta.
Acosta enters the foodservice channel in Canada with the acquisition of Summit Marketing. Acosta also acquires Contemporary Foodservice Marketing, Inc. specializing in non-foods in the Midwest.
Acosta adapts to changes in the industry to improve data-driven service offerings by expanding digital partnerships and acquiring ActionLink.
Mosaic acquires Contend, a data-driven premium content company, and creates Mosaic Content, a combined content and digital service offering.
Acosta Strategic Channels offers a new brand-building service with the addition of IGNITE. Manufacturers can create, build and grow a profitable brand with one partner: Acosta.
Acosta’s Fresh footprint expands in the Midwest region with Baldwin & Mattson and Neher Sales & Marketing.
The Acosta non-foods DS&E foodservice platform continues to grow with the acquisition of PacNorth in the Northwest.
Steve Matthesen becomes President and CEO of Acosta.
Robert Hill is named Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Acosta continues to expand its Fresh division with the acquisition of George Food Marketing, Etherton and Lenhart & Associates to help clients drive growth and sales in perimeter categories. With the acquisition of The Pet Firm, Acosta becomes the single-source solution across all pet industry channel.
Mosaic partners with Escalate creating a New York City office and broadening the range of experiential marketing solutions across North America.
Acosta expands Natural/Specialty Sales into Canada with the acquisition of Higgins Cohn Brand Management. LAUNCH!, the leading retail activation agency in Canada, joins Mosaic and increases Mosaic’s retail footprint across North America.
Acosta bolsters the non-foods foodservice platform in Texas and Oklahoma with acquisition of Howard and Associates.
Acosta expands foodservice coverage with acquisition of Southern Sales Solutions serving Louisiana and Mississippi. Acosta strengthens non-foods foodservice platform with the acquisition of The HGA Group, specializing in equipment and supplies in the Midwest region.
Acosta acquires Anderson Daymon Worldwide (ADW), the premier sales and marketing agency that exclusively serves Costco Wholesale.
Acosta continues its expansion in the foodservice channel in the U.S. from coast to coast through several strategic acquisitions.
Acosta bolsters foodservice offering in the Northeast through the acquisition of Market Access Culinary Group, an agency with operations from Maine to Virginia.
Acosta continues foodservice expansion with acquisitions in the Southwest including Lott Marketing, with operations in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico; LaFond Food Brokers, with operations in Arizona and Nevada; and Kirkpatrick Brokerage Company, with operations in Colorado.
Acosta’s foodservice division now spans most of the country with the acquisitions of Bay Brokerage Company, with operations in Nevada and northern California; and Encore Sales & Marketing, with operations in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii.
Acosta Mosaic Group (AMG) acquired Hunter Straker, Canada’s only Purchase DesignTM agency. Hunter Straker has a proven track record for implementing consistent design across all in-store touchpoints from package and brand design to shopper marketing and promotions.
Acosta extends foodservice coverage throughout the Southeast with acquisitions of United Foodservice Sales, with operations in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle; Innovative Foodservice Marketing, with operations in Mississippi; Premier Sales Associates with operations in Tennessee; and Joyner Brokerage Company with operations in Arkansas.
Acosta acquires Mosaic Sales Solutions, one of the fastest growing agencies in North America specializing in connecting brands with consumers in non-traditional ways, including retail events, community experiences, assisted selling, and online social media extensions.
Acosta acquires Quality Sales & Marketing, the leading foodservice agency serving North and South Carolina.
Acosta enters the foodservice channel with the acquisition of Venture Sales Group. Acosta continues foodservice expansion in the West with two southern California agencies: Foodservice Associates and Dennis-Biernat & Associates.
Acosta acquires Griffin Strategic Advisors, a comprehensive strategy and operations management consulting firm specializing in helping organizations improve profitability and accelerate growth. Griffin combines with Acosta’s Marketing Group (AMG) to form AMG Strategic Advisors.
Acosta Marketing Group (AMG) is formed to offer enhanced integrated marketing services.
Acosta acquires FrontLine Marketing, a national leader for in-store advertising and shopper marketing, to expand in-store activation services.
Robert Hill becomes Acosta’s fifth President and CEO; Gary Chartrand is named Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and celebrates 25 years with Acosta.
2002-2008. Acosta grows throughout the mid-West, West, Southwest and Canada (2002), and expands coverage into the Natural/Specialty Sales, Fresh Foods (2004), Drug (2008), Military (2008) and Marketing/Promotions (2009) channels.
Acosta Inc. is created and Acosta goes national. Four major companies joined forces in 1999 to create Acosta Inc. were Acosta Sales Co., PMI-Eisenhart, Kelley-Clarke and The MAI Companies. Acosta receives an appointment from Minute Maid for national representation.
Gary Chartrand is elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Gary Chartrand becomes CEO of Acosta.
Gary Chartrand becomes President of Acosta.
1989 - 1990s: Acosta continues extending its reach through acquisitions in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Louisiana; the 1990s brought mass consolidation of food retailers and manufacturers and centralization of procurement centers.
Pete Jones becomes President of Acosta.
1977-1983. Acosta becomes a regional agency, opening offices in Alabama (1977) and Georgia (1983). Acosta opens its Miami office in 1981, offering Florida statewide service.
Hy Albritton retires. Del Dallas becomes President and initiates an expansion plan. Acosta Sales Co. opens an office in Tampa, FL. and Acosta becomes one of the first companies to offer manufacturer representation in more than one geographic area.
L.T. Acosta retires and Hy Albritton becomes President and CEO of L.T. Acosta Co.
Louis Acosta persuades Robert H. (Hy) Albritton, President and owner of Common & Co. Food Brokers, to merge with L.T. Acosta Co.
Louis (L.T.) Acosta opens a family-run, single-market food broker, servicing the Jacksonville, FL, area. The company is known as L.T. Acosta Company, Inc.
Celebrating Our Values
The Chairman’s Award is the highest honor an associate can receive from Acosta, and it’s a great honor to be nominated. We give associates, clients and customers the opportunity to submit nominations each year. The program celebrates the most outstanding accomplishments across our company and is rooted in our core values of People, Integrity, Results, Trust, Teamwork, Innovation and Balance. Winners receive companywide recognition and a financial reward.
Nominations are expected to open June 1, 2020.