Kristin Schoenstein has been a Program Director with Worldwide Business Research since 2010 and has been producing events since 2004. She currently specializes in the retail and eCommerce sector where she heads up the Future Stores portfolio and eTail East. She also successfully launched and grew WBR’s customer experience portfolio. In her role, she is responsible for market research, content creation and speaker faculty management for each event. Prior to WBR, she produced events in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector and got her start organizing educational programming for physicians. In her free time, Kristin heads out to the East end of Long Island where she enjoys boating, fishing and days at the beach with her husband and two daughters.
Scott Emmons is focused on innovation for the Neiman Marcus Group (NMG). He founded and built the NMG innovation lab (iLab) and is responsible for leading the organization in evaluating, designing, testing and piloting cutting-edge technologies and applications for luxury retail. Scott is also working on BYOD initiatives, Wi-Fi/LAN/WAN infrastructure, mobility and digital signage initiatives. Innovation projects include the amazing Memomi Memory Mirror, beautiful 4K touch table look books, IOT Sales Associate communicators, intelligent mobile phone charging stations and gorgeous digital directories for Bergdorf Goodman.
Michael Millonzi is the SVP – Retail for Cornerstone Brands, a division of HSNi. The Cornerstone Brands portfolio includes Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Improvements, and Grandin Road. In his role, Michael is responsible for bringing these businesses to life through brick-and-mortar stores to extend the boudryless reach of the brands in an ever changing retail climate.
During Michael’s 20+ years in retail, he has worked for many best-in-class brands (Victoria’s Secret, Lane Bryant, LensCrafters to name a few), leading initiatives and departments that focus on the customer and bringing the brand to life through an integrated brick-and-mortar channel. As an advocate for customers and stores, Michael brings cross-functional partners together, benchmarking and assessing both qualitative and quantitative benefits, and delivers brand differentiated experiences for the customer in a competitive retail environment.
Michael’s passion for the customer was first ignited at the age of 10 as a “Newspaper Delivery Agent” (aka paperboy), and that journey has taken him from Field to Home Office positions throughout his career. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently resides in St. Petersburg, FL.
EXPERIENCED leader with over 25 years retail and corporate experience. Specifically within Operations and Retail Systems and Infrastructure with responsibility for financial planning and strategic development from the vantage point of the end user. Have implemented many small and large initiatives at Fortune 50 company. Proven coach and developer of team members with a strengths based approach and use of the Enneagram methodology. My goal is and always will be to speak on behalf of the end user through my own personal experience growing up in retail. Hard work and hands on experience is what you get with me. I have been managing teams for over 20 years. Executor at heart!
Phil is currently the VP of Retail for Kenneth Cole Productions. Phil originally joined Kenneth Cole in 2003 and was with the brand for 9 years. Phil left Kenneth Cole for three years and joined Tory Burch as Regional Manager to support the exponential growth of that brand. Phil returned to Kenneth Cole in 2014 as the VP of Retail. Prior to 2003 Phil was a Group Manager at Bloomingdales overseeing women’s footwear. Phil began his career post college at Lancôme USA as an Account Executive.
Marc Fecker is vice president, innovation & integration at FordDirect. In this role, Marc runs the operations of the innovation lab and leads a talented group of change agents in evaluating the automotive market, generating new ideas and opportunities, determining business value and developing strategies to best capture that value.
Marc previously served as director of technical architecture & strategy and vice president of innovation & strategy at FordDirect, where he was responsible for creating innovative marketing and sales solutions, developing new opportunities, and driving incremental value for FordDirect, Ford Motor Company and the dealerships.
Prior to joining FordDirect in 2007, Marc spent many years as a senior IT business consultant working in automotive and across other industries. Marc was able to build a broad set of skills and knowledge by successfully delivering custom software solutions and launching new corporate ventures.
Marc earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
Amber Gadsby’s experience includes nearly 20 years of digital marketing, e-commerce, new product marketing and product management. In her current role as Director of Digital Retail Experiences, she is responsible for managing Domino’s digital innovation strategies for consumer and employee experiences including focus on iOT, kiosks, beacons, and mobile experiences in and around stores.
In her most recent role she led digital marketing activities including search, digital media, email, mobile, social media and other emerging interactive projects to help drive Domino’s to a $2 billion + ecommerce business, with 50%+ online/mobile sales. Those efforts included the digital launch of Cannes Lions and Clio award winning Emoji ordering via text & Tweet.
In past roles she oversaw the brand’s store redesign program that resulted in the global “Pizza Theater” image released in 2012 and the launch of Domino’s Pasta product line in 2009.
Dave Brewer, VP Omnichannel/Store for Belk. As part of the Belk team, Dave has been with Belk for 28 years. In his current role, Dave is a key member of the Omnichannel leadership team, bringing a stores perspective to complement the digital and technology leaders already engaged in the effort. He has been a part of cross functional Omnichannel initiatives that have the greatest impact on the stores, including new store technology, new POS systems, fulfillment initiatives including ship from store, and driving associate and customer adoption of Belk’s stores Save the Sale programs.
Prior to his current role, Dave has had a multitude of roles in stores and corporate including store manager, division merchandise coordinator, and regional vice president of the Atlanta Region stores. Dave and his team are excited to bring Omnichannel capabilities to their stores and help merge the physical store with the digital store.
Dave was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a graduate of Indiana University.
As Head of Category Marketing for The RealReal, Allison Sommer leads business development and growth of the luxury consignment site’s retail verticals. In this role, she is driving The RealReal’s expansion from online to offline, heading marketing of the brick and mortar business: fine jewelry & watch Valuation Offices. Allison brings with her a wide array of technology and business experience. She began her career working for U.S. Congress, but was lured away by the promise of quick innovation and big results at Google. She worked in a variety of roles across Sales, Product, and Marketing, mastering online advertising along the way. Experience at Chinese internet giant Baidu and New York beauty startup Birchbox cemented her understanding of the global technology landscape and interest in technology driven retail. Allison joined The RealReal to help change the way people shop and think about sustainable consumption. Allison holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Jim Meier is Senior Director of Category Leadership Transformation at PepsiCo, partnering internally and with retailers to delight shoppers through localized assortment, relevant displays, personalized content and marketing overlays. In 2015, Jim’s project team won The PepsiCo Chairman’s Award – the highest honor at PepsiCo – for an cross-function partnership bringing the future of localization to life in stores, today.
Jim has over 20 years of marketing, insight, and strategy experience and has held roles with JC Penney, Walmart and PepsiCo. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University in Bloomington and later attended the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, earning MBAs in Strategy and Brand Management.
Jim, his wife LeAnne, and their two children, Meredith (5) and Darren (3) live in McKinney, Texas. Jim enjoys travel, sports and spending time with family.
Joan represents Retail Strategy & Distribution, primarily focusing on the interaction between physical and digital experiences in retail locations. Joan has worked in telecommunications for her entire career, and has held various roles in digital and social media, mobile point of sale, and most recently, the development of a mobile in-store app utilizing beacon technologies to drive personalized experiences.
A results-driven retail re-inventor with a keen eye for innovative design, Micheline Davies has spent more than a decade helping to shape the vision of the in-store shopping experience for one of Canada’s most iconic brands. As Vice President, Store Design and Merchandising at Canadian Tire, Micheline has overseen the replacement and remerchandising of more than 300 Canadian Tire stores, the reinvention of the Living department across the store network and the creation of more than 200 hunting and fishing pro shops that continue deliver strong results. Micheline’s latest major project was the delivery of the largest and best ever Canadian Tire store. The 140,000 square foot Showcase Store represents the future of Canadian Tire Retail and includes differentiated digital experiences and a modern, impactful store environment.
Heather Bell leads Innovation projects at American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. Through the innovation incubator, AEO launches and scales new ideas using emerging technologies that both solve customer issues and provide delight. Heather's current programs include AEO's emerging bots program, self-checkout, data science projects to help customers find the right item, AI, RFID and others. Heather is always looking to bridge the gap between digital and in-store.
Prior to working on innovation, Heather was on the leadership team for mobile apps and launched a self-checkout pilot for Gift Cards in 2013, connected stores to wearables with a watch app that tied loyalty and location to stores, and oversaw the creation of apps to be used by associates in the selling process.
Ryan Broshar is the Managing Director of Techstars Retail Accelerator in partnership with Target and the Founder and Managing Director of Matchstick Ventures, an early-stage tech VC based in Minneapolis.
Megan Feldman is the North American Senior Director of Real Estate at Kate Spade & Company. She joined the Company in May of 2012 and has worked on a significant number of deals to build and underscore the strength of the Kate Spade & Company portfolio. Megan has supported this growth through applying key internal metrics and industry data to drive a complimentary omni channel approach to the business.
In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities, Megan also serves on the internal community-building committee that focuses on building Kate Spade & Company's culture.
Prior to joining Kate Spade & Company, Megan led the Real Estate & Construction teams at Pret A Manger and was a member of the Senior Management team. Previous to Pret A Manger, she worked at CB Richard Ellis and was focused on the growth of Bank of America in the New York and Philadelphia markets.
Jennifer is an energetic and savvy retail professional providing years of proven leadership and success at Perry Ellis International. She has expanded and led the Retail Services Division for Perry Ellis International for 19 years. Her retail coordinator team services department stores in both the US and Canada. She also heads up store planning and visual presentation in department stores for multiple brands at PEI.
Patrick Kells is a successful retail leader with a proven, consistent track record of leading high performance merchandising teams to deliver well designed, best-in-class, quality product and experiential retail environments.
Patrick has a solid retail background with 23 years of progressive leadership positions including operations management, category planning, strategic planning, space planning, product development/buying, international licensing, store design & construction and visual merchandising. From big-box mass retail to specialty store, from outlet to full retail, Patrick’s retail experience is extensive and diverse.
Patrick places great importance on working with companies focused on delivering WOW by exceeding both customer and consumer expectations and setting industry standards. Patrick has been fortunate to work high-caliber companies such as Polo Ralph Lauren, The Walt Disney Company and currently The Coca-Cola Company.
Jeff’s passion is the world of retail. Not because he likes to shop (which he does), but because he has a gift for telling stories with space. A brand story. A product story. A customer story. He weaves a tale in three dimensions.
Jeff recently joined Entertainment Retail Enterprises, LLC, a private label supplier and licensee for some of the most successful and recognized brands in the world including Nickelodeon, Mars, Harley Davidson, Disney and other global brands. Jeff is the Vice President, Retail, responsible for all aspects of the store experience for the international expansion of Nickelodeon stores.
Previously, Jeff was Global Store Experience Director for Luxottica (Sunglass Hut), based in Milan, Italy. His work for WONGDOODY, a full service adverting agency based in Seattle, and other world-class brands, including Sprint, LEGO, the National Basketball Association and Universal Studios (where he honed his talent for storytelling), also deserves attention.
Amy DaSilva is the HR Communications & Systems Specialist for QuickChek Corporation. She began her career with QuickChek as a part-time Team Member in 2003 in one of their retail stores before moving to the IT Department as a Systems Specialist in 2009 and most recently transitioning to the HR Department. She has been involved in many aspects of the business and works hand-in-hand with many levels within the corporation. She has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and Marketing from Centenary University, 2 professional certifications from Northampton Community College and has received several QC recognition awards for outstanding performance with store operations.
Alison Embrey Medina is the executive editor of design:retail magazine, a trade publication serving the retail design industry. Through the magazine’s pages, she covers and comments on retail store design, visual merchandising, architecture, marketing and branding, from luxury and specialty to discount and dollar stores. Medina has spoken on store design trends at various conferences and events across the globe, most recently traveling to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Brazil, Germany, Turkey, Canada and Mexico. In her 15 years in the magazine industry, she has been solely focused on covering retail, to include a senior writer position for New York-based Convenience Store News. She holds a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from The University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, and was named one of Folio: magazine’s Top Women in Media for 2016.
Since joining Reflexis in June of 2014, Brett has helped drive record growth for Reflexis. Brett is a well known technology industry leader who has held senior positions at both public and private software companies including i2 Technologies, SAP, Allegro Development, and Infor. Brett is a graduate of The College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Chris Taylor is founder and CEO of Square Root, where he leads the company’s long-term growth strategy. Passionate about empowering companies to optimize operations and make smarter decisions, Chris founded the company in 2006 with the goal of making business data accessible, understandable and actionable. Under his leadership, Square Root developed its store relationship management (SRM) platform, CoEFFICIENT, which helps the world’s leading automotive and retail enterprises align their organizations, increase transparency, encourage collaboration and improve store performance. A testament to Chris’ commitment to culture, Square Root was recognized as the 2015 2nd best small workplace in America by Fortune magazine. Chris has more than 20 years of experience serving in operational and strategic roles for leading technology and automotive companies including Trilogy, CarOrder, TrueCar and Brighthouse. He earned his degree in Mathematics/Computer Science and Cognitive Psychology, graduating Phi Betta Kappa from Carnegie Mellon University.
As President and CEO of Natural Insight, Stefan Midford has over 30 years of experience in information technology, operations, and workforce management. His extensive business background includes leadership roles at major credit, retail and marketing businesses, with assignments at Discover Financial Services, Sears Roebuck & Co., Sears Canada Inc. and Intersections Inc. Mr. Midford’s management experience gives him insight into the strategic challenges facing organizations with specific logistical issues and distributed workforces.
Mike Tippets is vice president of the Hughes Global Media Group, a product and solution division of Hughes. Mr. Tippets assumed this position in January of 2010 and in this capacity he is responsible for the development of managed services, software applications and other solutions based on Hughes digital media products and technologies.
Previously, Mr. Tippets served as president of Helius, which was acquired by Hughes in 2008 and became fully integrated into the Hughes family in January 2010. As a leading provider of business-class IP video solutions, the former Helius provided solutions for training and learning, digital signage, and corporate
communications to business customers around the world.
Mr. Tippets is a 25-year veteran of the high-tech industry and brings a dynamic and passionate vision of what IP solutions can provide for businesses in the 21st century.
With over 25 years navigating the retail landscape, Tracy’s knowledge of and passion for all things retail makes her the perfect candidate to drive retail strategy and collaboration across the agency. Her global experience in retail marketing - understanding the psychology of the shopper, defining the potential of technology, leveraging the power of the associate and elevating the importance of the environment- has been instrumental in positioning TPN as a thought-leader in today’s dynamic retail space – in store, on line or on the go.
Deb is a seasoned planning professional with 20 years of agency experience across multiple disciplines and industries. A fervid trend spotter with passion for understanding the dynamics of commerce through the customer journey, Deb leads TPN's Planning & Perspectives team in researching mindsets, behaviors and the retail landscape, delivering unique insight and strategic direction, facilitating brainstorms and structuring learning agendas tailored to client needs. Even in her downtime, she's people watching and window-shopping — at a runner's pace.
Ken has been with iQmetrix since 2008, working in product development for the company’s innovative retail solutions. Today, Ken leads development across iQmetrix’s product/platform suite on product build and delivery. He’s passionate about aligning technology with the needs of today’s retailers as well as looking ahead to future trends and new opportunities. Ken is fanatical about modern software development and building great products that can be breakthroughs and disruptors in the industry. Above all, he loves how technology is disrupting traditional industries by creating new avenues for engaging with our world every day. Ken holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science.
Marty Yaskowich is the VP of Retail Customer Development at iQmetrix. In a career that spans more than 20 years, Marty was most recently the EVP, Chief Innovation and Growth Officer for advertising agency DDB – leading the digital division, Tribal Worldwide. For more than 11 years, Marty played a key role in pitching to the C-suite of Clorox, Uber, Canadian Tourism, and McDonald’s, among many others. He was also the lead strategist for the recently-launched online insurance company Sonnet. More than 15 years ago, he worked with an interactive retail company in Windsor, Ont. that developed dealership kiosk and employee training technology for General Motors and Daimler Chrysler US.
Before life in marketing and technology, Marty was a sports and news reporter (and part-time broadcaster) for three daily newspapers in Canada.
Michael Mire is co-founder and CRO of Montreal-based SweetIQ, a local search marketing platform that converts online search into in-store sales, founded in 2010. He is a born and bred entrepreneur, marketer, public speaker and mentor. He brings to SweetIQ over ten years of experience spearheading marketing operations of several Canadian start-up companies including Experience Wifi, Microcap Trade and AdMire Marketing.
As an entrepreneur, Michael saw potential for local search marketing. With his team, he developed a platform to do what other tools could not– drive foot traffic to brick and mortar stores in a measurable and transparent way. Born from this is SweetIQ, a platform that recognizes local search as more than listings management. It’s an innovative tool that helps companies take their business to the next level by providing them with analytics showing ROI on search marketing investments. With his team, Michael built SweetIQ from two to 84 full-time employees in the past six years – making the start-up his proudest accomplishment after his family.
In his spare time, Michael tends to his young family and mentors the future of Montreal’s start-up scene. He loves to ski and is a self-professed motor sports enthusiast.
Perry Kramer is a leader in retail information technology, with more than 20 years of extensive experience across several types of retailers, including department stores and specialty retailers. In addition to VP and leadership positions with retailers, he has held the CIO position with a technology company and was co-chairman of the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) board of directors. Throughout his career, Perry has managed selection and implementation projects within store systems, logistics, finance, HCM, e-commerce and merchandising.
Timothy Anaya is the Head of Customer Experience at Ministry of Supply, a menswear/womenswear brand which designs, creates and sells technically advanced professional clothing. Infusing technology into fabric development and through advanced manufacturing processes, Ministry of Supply is inventing a new category of clothing: performance professional. The company has been featured in the NY Times, Fast Company, Elle Magazine and on the TODAY Show. Timothy works to analyze the expansion of the company and ensure customers, both in-store and online, have a seamless experience. He works alongside an agile retail staff on the expansion into physical retail, and has launched stores in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, D.C., Bethesda, Atlanta and NYC. Timothy is also the head photographer for Ministry of Supply, and is passionate about people dressing smarter so they can do more.