Food Logistics Names Alert Innovation Founder, John Lert a Rock Star of the Supply Chain

This award recognizes influential individuals in the industry whose achievements, hard work and vision have shaped the global cold food supply chain.

BOSTON, MA Founder John Lert of Alert Innovation, a leader in grocery automation and micro fulfillment systems, was named a Food Logistics Rock Star of the Supply Chain for 2022. The annual list recognizes influential individuals in the industry whose achievements, hard work and vision have shaped the global cold food supply chain.

“Behind every great company is an even greater leader. And, the supply chain leaders receiving this award are no exception,” says Marina Mayer, Editor-in-Chief of Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “Within the last 18 months or so, the cold food chain has seen a lot of rock stars rise to the occasion. These rock stars developed platforms, integrated automation and led teams through disruption after disruption. They’ve helped their companies pivot and adapt, and continue to do so with grace, agility, flexibility and resilience. These rock stars are strong in so many ways. Congratulations to the true rock stars of the supply chain, who continue to keep the cold food chain moving.”

In selecting the Lert, Food Logistics highlighted his background as an inventor, entrepreneur and a leading visionary in the areas of robotics, micro fulfillment centers, grocery, retail and wholesale automation.

“I am honored by this recognition by Food Logistics,” said Lert.  “I have been very fortunate to have worked with many talented and dedicated professionals and partners during my career, especially the team at Alert Innovation. My success is the direct result of their hard work and belief in me, and I am deeply grateful to all of them.”

John Lert, CEO Alert Innovations

Recipients of this year’s award will be profiled in Food Logistics’ Jan/Feb 2022 print issue as well as online at www.FoodLogistics.com. Go to https://www.foodlogistics.com/awards to learn more about other Food Logistics’ awards. For more information about Alert Innovation, visit www.alertinnovation.com.

Alert Innovation Adds Retail Veteran Kevin Konkel to Retail Advisory Council

BOSTON Alert Innovation, a leader in grocery automation and micro fulfillment systems, is adding former Raley’s Chief Operations Officer Kevin Konkel to its Retail Advisory Council (RAC) effective immediately.

“The retail grocery industry is facing several critical challenges and opportunities as we emerge from the pandemic. Automation in general and automated micro fulfillment specifically will help address many of these issues head on,” said Konkel. “I’m excited to draw on my decades of experience to help Alert Innovation tailor-fit its solutions to the supermarket pain points and opportunities accelerated during the last two years.”

Konkel spent over 40 years at Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, a supermarket chain operating about 250 locations in California and the Southwest, the last four as Chief Operations Officer. He was previously Senior Vice President of Store Operations and served Raley’s in many other roles during his career.

Kevin Konkel
Kevin Konkel

Kevin will add an important perspective to the RAC, giving Alert Innovation the benefit of all the skills he’s developed during his four decades of success in supermarket retail as an industry leader. We look forward to collaborating with him,” said John Lert, Founder and Executive Chairman of Alert Innovation.

The RAC is an alliance of executives and academics with expertise in grocery, retail, consumer behavior and e-commerce, and was established to influence development efforts at Alert Innovation focused on improving omnichannel grocery experiences. In addition to Konkel, members include:

  • Peter Fader – Professor of Marketing – The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Chris Haimbach – US Head of Sales, Commercial Strategy & Operations, Consumer Health Care – Bayer
  • Ann Raider – Executive, Global Retail – IRI
  • Peter Larkin – Former President & CEO – National Grocers Association
  • Doug Straton – Former Chief Digital Officer at The Hershey Company
  • Venky Shankar – Coleman Chair Professor, Director of Research – Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School, Texas A&M

About Alert Innovation, Inc

Alert Innovation® is a thought leader in Grocery automation, driving innovation that improves lives by transforming how retailers operate and people shop. Alert Innovation is an industry leader in robotic e-grocery fulfillment. The Alphabot® system, designed by the Alert Innovation team is a unique automated fulfillment solution that utilizes patented omnidirectional robots in a temperature-controlled system for fresh, efficient, and high-quality grocery fulfillment. Alert Innovation also designed the Novastore™, a store concept utilizing the Alphabot system, delivering a dynamic and efficient shopping experience. www.alertinnovation.com

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Alert Innovation Appoints Seanna Balfe as New Chief Legal Officer

BOSTON, MA, Alert Innovation, a leader in grocery automation and micro fulfillment systems, announced the appointment of Seanna Balfe as the new Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel.

Balfe joins the Alert Innovation team with over 20 years of legal experience. In her new role, Balfe will manage the legal function and serve as a key member of Alert Innovation’s executive leadership team, playing a critical role in the company’s strategic decision-making. She will also provide operational guidance across a wide array of legal, governance and compliance matters.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Alert team and fortunate to be joining at a time of real growth and opportunity,” said Balfe. “The people and organizational culture are incredible and I’m humbled by their accomplishments. I look forward to working with the whole team to achieve even greater results.”

Balfe started her legal career at Sapient Corporation, a global digital consulting company later acquired by Publicis Groupe. In 2013, she joined inVentiv Health, a global provider of commercial, clinical, communication and patient assistance services to the life sciences, biotech and pharmaceutical industries. inVentiv later merged with INC Research to create Syneos Health, where Balfe spearheaded the labor and employment function for a 21,000-person workforce across 70 countries.

Seanna Balfe
Seanna Balfe

Before joining Alert Innovation, Balfe served as the General Counsel of Cytel, the world’s largest provider of statistical software and advance analytics for clinical trial design and execution. During her tenure at Cytel, she was responsible for the company’s tactical and strategic legal initiatives, including the acquisition of five companies within 18 months and Cytel’s sale to private equity firms Astorg and Nordic Capital.

“Seanna brings a tremendous and diverse amount of expertise in managing strategic and legal governance,” said Fritz Morgan, CEO at Alert Innovation. “She is a veteran leader of global teams and we are excited to strengthen our organization with her skills and leadership.”

Balfe received her BA from Saint Michael’s College and JD from Suffolk University Law School.