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HUMARKETING: A Conference for a Cause

On Monday, September 26, The American College of Greece was honored to host HUMARKETING, a conference by industry specialists, for a great cause: to support one of their own, Thodoris Tsemperoulis, after he suffered a heart attack. All of the proceedings from the conference tickets, as well as company and individual donations, are to be donated to the Filoktitis Medical Center to cover a portion of the rehabilitation costs, in hope of helping their colleague keep fighting.

The event run with the theme of “Marketing as it should be. Human” and was organized by DIRECTION BUSINESS NETWORK in collaboration with the Greek Association of Branded Product Manufacturers (ESVEP), and Hellas Efficient Consumer Response (ECR).

The Pierce Theater was filled with a bubbling crowd from the fields of marketing and advertising, sales and customer service, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and more.

The introductory remarks were given by Vaggelis Papalios, DIRECTION BUSINESS NETWORK publisher, who thanked ACG and said, “Though our industry might seem like a battlefield at times, today I’m reminded that there it has a human face.” Indeed, the event received the support of 14 statutory bodies, a first for Greece, setting an important precedent for the future. “Marketing must be, above all, human” said Papalios, adding that the theme of the conference was greatly inspired by Tsemperoulis, “a marketer who never stopped being human.”

Nikos Karageorgiou, ESVEP President, briefly added to Papalios’ remarks saying, “I am proud. We are proud, because this conference is an extremely important and symbolic event.”

Claudia Carydis, VP for Public Affairs at ACG, congratulated the conference organizers and warmly welcomed the attendees to our campus, saying, “It also gives us great pleasure to see so many familiar alumni faces in the crowd!” VP Carydis briefly introduced the audience to the giving legacy of ACG, adding that, “We are grateful to be able to offer this space and, in so doing so, help today’s cause.”

The conference began with a presentation by Marc Croonen, Chief Sustainability, Transformation & Communication at Ahold Delhaize, an international food retail group with over 375,000 associates and a leading retailer in CSR. Exploring the concept of sustainable retail as “the pathway to human connection” Croonen began by saying, “I am lucky to be here on behalf of an organization that wants to go beyond profit; that wants to make things happen for people.”

Croonen discussed the group’s efforts to actively embrace several of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adding that most of the global goals are relevant to food retailers as well, and provide a much needed framework and starting point. “From then on, you focus on what you do best; we can’t change the whole world, but we each can take our responsibility,” Croonen said.

Andreas Athanasopoulos, Managing Director & Vice Chairman at Dixons SouthEast Europe – Kotsovolos, shared his insight on the crucial differences between “human marketing” and “marketing to humans.”

The conference speakers further included Panagiotis Boretos, Commercial Director and Deputy Managing Director at IRI Hellas, Dimitris A. Mavros, Managing Director at MRH Hellas SA and President of the Association of Greek Market & Opinion Research Companies (SEDEA), as well as Konstantinos Macheritsas, President of the Institute of Retail Consumer Goods – GR (IELKA).