Andrew Blachman
Andrew Blachman
COO
Tophatter
Andrew Blachman is COO of Tophatter, the discovery shopping experience for mobile. Prior to Tophatter, Andrew was CEO of GET ME IN!, a European online ticket marketplace acquired by Ticketmaster in 2008. Before GET ME IN!, Andrew was a consultant for Stubhub and earlier was European director and VP Business Development for WideRay. Andrew began his career as an investment banker in Goldman Sachs' high technology group in Silicon Valley and Hong Kong. He is also an early seed investor in several online marketplaces, including SeatGeek, Bridebook, and Outdoorsy. Andrew received a BA in economics and MS in engineering economic systems from Stanford University.

David Borlo
David Borlo
CEO & Managing Director
Salt Flats
David Borlo has been an entrepreneur, startup advisor and investor for 25 years and believes that the path to working faster and smarter to solve the complex problems of our digitally disruptive world requires collective intelligence, lean startup methodologies and a new venture mode. Throughout his career, David has been at the forefront of disruptive technology. As a founder of the digital signage revolution, he accomplished dozens of hospitality industry firsts including the first fully digital menu-board created for McDonald’s eventually disrupting the point of purchase industry. Years later he led business development and strategy for the startup team of DVDPlay which was the technology that became Redbox and aided in the disruption of the retail movie rental industry.

He currently leads a team of innovation specialists that uncover technology opportunities, disruptive or otherwise, that deeply effect the continued economic growth of corporations and then builds prototypes that capitalize on those opportunities.
At the root of it all, David feels that the single most import question we should all ask is: What will your business look like when the good or service you provide is digitally disrupted and fully networked?

Vicki Cantrell
Vicki Cantrell
Former SVP, Communities and Executive Director, Shop.org
National Retail Federation
Vicki Cantrell is a retail strategist, community builder, global executive, former Chief Operations Officer and Chief Information Officer in the retail industry. She most recently served as NRF’s Senior Vice President, Communities and Executive Director, Shop.org. In that role, she was responsible for providing strategic direction and management of Shop.org, NRF’s digital retail division. Additionally, she provided oversight for the NRF communities, including the CIO Council, Digital Council, CMO Council, ARTS and Loss Prevention Council.

Prior to joining NRF, Vicki served as the COO and CIO of Tory Burch during a period of extreme growth and expansion domestically and internationally. As COO, her work centered on the development of process and infrastructure for the transition from initial success to sustained growth. She was also a brand advocate and instrumental in developing ongoing employee and team strategies. During her storied retail career, Vicki has also worked as CIO of Giorgio Armani Corporation and held positions of growing responsibility with Gucci Group, Party City and JCPenney.

Vicki is a respected industry leader and is an active member of the Retail Orphan Initiative as a Donor Trustee since 2010. She also serves on the Influencer Advisory Board (IAB) of Sparks & Honey, an agency model based on cultural relevance.

Tim Cavanagh
Tim Cavanagh
Emcee
When Tim Cavanagh finished school, he took a career aptitude test and based on his verbal ability score, it suggested that he become a mime. Unfortunately, that was the year mimes went on strike for better working conditions (bigger make-believe boxes to be trapped in, a less stiff imaginary wind to run against, etc.). So Tim walked away from the mime world, which was hard. While walking away, he pretended to be pulled along by a big invisible dog.
For the next three years, Tim taught religion at an all-girls Catholic high school. At night, he broke into comedy at Zanies, Chicago’s best comedy club. This dual role, religion teacher by day and comedian by night, began to take its toll. One night, as Tim threatened to call a heckler’s parents, he realized it was time to choose one career.
He picked comedy. Soon his funny songs were being heard nationally on the legendary “Dr. Demento” radio show. With an ever growing collection of fun, witty tunes, Tim was a perfect fit for radio. In spite of an allergy to giraffes that kept him away from a number of Morning Zoos, he has been a frequent and favorite guest on drive-time radio shows across the country. With songs like “I Wanna Kiss Her (But She Won’t Let Me),” “99 Dead Baboons,” and “Get Drunk with Dignity,” Cavanagh has sung his way into the hearts of radio audiences everywhere.
Along the way, Tim has been featured on an ABC-TV prime time comedy special, as well as on Comedy Central, Showtime, and WGN America. Since 1997, Tim has released four comedy CDs. His latest album, “Love, Fish and Sausages,” is a collection of 20 original comedy songs. The 21st song on the CD, “Vehicle Man,” is a parody of the 1970 hit “Vehicle.”
Aside from headlining comedy clubs, concerts and shows on Carnival Cruise Lines, Tim has performed at hundreds of corporate events. He is a professional member of the National Speakers Association, and while that organization is the archenemy of the National Mime Council, Tim still maintains cordial relations with several mimes.


Jay Chatterjee
Jay Chatterjee
CEO & Co-Founder
Mallmotion Inc.
Jay has been an entrepreneur since he was in college. He started his first company, Chatterjee Consulting when he was 21, and did everything from assembling computers and setting up peer to peer networks, to building websites using pure HTML code written in Notepad. Since then Jay has worked at companies like PeopleSoft, PMI Mortgage Insurance, IBM and most recently at a leading Oracle Cloud Systems Integrator. 

Jay is obsessed with figuring out ways to simplify every day human activities through innovative approaches and solutions. This drive led him to co-found MallMotion, Inc., to simplify and enhance the desire to find deals through the innovative use of mobile and location technologies.  As the CEO of MallMotion, Jay has assembled a group of highly talented individuals to develop and market technologies that simplify communication between businesses and consumers.

Jay attended Georgia Southwestern State University with a focus on computer information systems.


Tim Denman
Tim Denman
Senior Editor
RIS News
Tim Denman is a 13-year publishing veteran and has served as executive editor for RIS News since 2013. In addition to researching and writing feature articles for RIS' print and digital issues a year, Tim also oversees RIS' web-based content, weekly e-newsletter and custom publishing projects. Prior to joining RIS News, Tim covered the pharmaceutical and car care industries and got his start in journalism as a newspaper editor. He holds a bachelor's degree in History from The College of New Jersey and a master's in communication from Montclair State University.

Robert D'Loren
Robert D'Loren
Chairman & CEO
Xcel Brands
Robert W. D’Loren has been an entrepreneur, innovator and pioneer of the media and entertainment and consumer branded products industries for the past 35 years. Today, he serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xcel Brands. Since the company’s founding in 2011, Robert has spearheaded its unique ubiquitous channel platform, connecting the channels of digital, bricks & mortar, social media and interactive television to create a single customer view and brand experience for Xcel’s brands. He has acquired and/or invested in over 35 consumer products and media and entertainment companies and other investments with an aggregate transaction value of over $3 billion. He also serves as Chairman of IPX Capital, LLC and related subsidiaries, a consumer products investment company.

Robert has served on the Board of Directors for Iconix Brand Group, NexCen Brands, Longaberger Company, The Athletes Foot, Bill Blass, Ltd., and others. Also, he serves on the Board of Directors for Achilles International. Robert is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an M.S. from Columbia University and a B.S. from New York University.

Robert Fort
Robert Fort
Board Member
BCBG
Robert Fort is the CIO at BCBG. He is also a Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader with over 30 years of Information Technology development, innovation, and Senior/C-level management experience. He has championed and implemented some of the earliest and most successful ERP, real-time business intelligence, retail kiosk, voice-over-IP (VoIP), system management, and eCommerce/omni-channel implementations. Robert has experience in the entertainment, consumer package goods, hospitality, and retail industries, where he was the CIO for Virgin Megastores, Divisional CIO for Guitar Center, and interim CIO for Wet Seal prior to joining BCBG.

Carol Goman
Carol Goman
President
Kinsey Consulting Services
n/a - Was a speaker in 2017

Bill Gratke
Bill Gratke
Vice President, Supply Chain, Planning and Reporting
Lamps Plus, Inc.
Bill Gratke is the Vice President for Supply Chain, Planning and Reporting for Lamps Plus. In his nearly 30 years in the retail industry, he has worked in various planning, buying, and supply chain capacities for Eddie Bauer, STOR and The Broadway.


Scott Langdoc
Scott Langdoc
Vice President
BRP
Scott Langdoc has 28 years of management and technology experience, including as a retail and hospitality IT executive, store systems vendor technology leader, industry strategy consultant, and global market research analyst. Scott has held retail and non-retail CIO positions, including Raley’s Supermarkets, PDQuick, and USCS International. He was CTO at retail vendors Fujitsu Retail and ParTech, Inc. He ran the retail industry practices at AMR Research (acquired by Gartner) and founded both IDC’s global retail practice and the strategic consultancy firm RetailCENTRIC. He specializes in strategic planning, cloud transitions, N-channel technology architectures, customer-facing systems, food safety, and consumer engagement.

Michael Lehman
Michael Lehman
Fractional CIO
Bentley's Pet Stuff
Michael Lehman is currently the fractional CIO for Bentley’s Pet Stuff, Chicago, through his fractional CIO consultancy, Parachute CIO. Michael was formerly the vice president and chief information officer for Batteries Plus Bulbs for 17 years, and remains on retainer with Batteries Plus in a part-time capacity.

Michael’s educational background includes a Master’s in Business Administration from Marquette University (Milwaukee) plus Bachelor of Science degrees in both Business Administration and Computer Science from Carroll University (Waukesha, Wisconsin). With over 30 years of diverse industry experience, including Manufacturing, Health Care, Grocery Retail, and Specialty Retail, Michael understands the challenges businesses face and delivers cost effective, robust solutions that drive business success.

David Matthews
David Matthews
Managing Director
REVTECH
David Matthews is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist with 25 years of experience in building companies from startup to fruition and investing in software startups. His venture capital funds have deployed over $150M into more than 50 investments during the past 16 years. Successful exits include Green Mountain Energy (sold to NRG), Fiber Systems Int’l (sold to Amphenol), PeopleAnswers (sold to Infor), Spawn Labs (sold to GameStop), and Zaadz (sold to Gaiam). His investments have become increasingly focused on innovative technologies for the retail industry and new retail models.

David founded Trailblazer Capital, a micro-VC fund with a regional focus on Texas and Oklahoma, in 2006. Trailblazer was initially funded with proceeds from the sale of Michaels Stores, a Dallas-based specialty retailer. David and other Michaels’ investors committed 75% of the capital for Trailblazer's first fund. The investment that returned a multiple of that fund's capital was Spawn Labs, a platform that enabled remote participation in console video games. Spawn Labs was acquired by GameStop, a Dallas-based specialty retailer, in 2010. Trailblazer raised a second fund in 2011 that has now deployed nearly $30 million in 10 investments and 5 accelerator funds.

In 2011, David founded REVTECH, a seed capital fund and accelerator program focused on tech innovation for the retail industry. REVTECH has funded 30 companies to date, half of which were able to attract seed funding of $250k or more, and 4 of which have scaled revenue above $1 million annually. Total capital formation into these startups has been over $9 million and over 200 jobs have been created. REVTECH has created an impressive mentor network with over 100 entrepreneurs, investors, and retail industry executives.

Alan  Outlaw
Alan Outlaw
President of North America
TruRating
Alan Outlaw is President of North America at TruRating. Alan has been working with Retailers and Hospitality providers over the past 25 years helping them with their store operations and technology decisions. He most recently was part of the Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions leadership team where he was VP of Commerce Technologies as well as VP of European Sales. He is now excited to be bringing the truth back to ratings with the team at TruRating. Prior to Toshiba, Alan came from IBM and worked with IBM in leadership roles across multiple functional areas including engineering, manufacturing and development roles, and building on that has moved into marketing, sales, and business management.



Edward  Park
Edward Park
Sr. Vice President, Head of Retail, Digital, Allocations, Wholesale Operations (North America)
GUESS? Inc.
Edward Park leads the North American Retail, Digital and Wholesale teams at the GUESS Los Angeles World Headquarters. In this role, Edward has full accountability of the retail business in North America. He ensures that the customer experience online to offline is seamless by aligning the strategies of all three teams.
Edward has a strong knowledge and understanding of global operations, strategy and brand building with over 15 years of retail experience. Since starting his career at Forever 21 in Los Angeles, Edward has held management and executive roles in the US, Spain, China and Japan. Most recently, Edward was the Mainland China Brand Managing Director for Inditex Group holding for 5 years, working closely with Victor Herrero. He had full P&L ownership of multiple brands and led the commercial growth, store operations, ecommerce business and development of the brands in Mainland China.

Jennifer Prendki
Jennifer Prendki
Sr. Data Science Manager (Search Team)
@WalmartLabs
A former experimental particle physicist turned data scientist, Dr. Jennifer Prendki has worked with big data for more than 10 years, both as an academic and an industrial researcher. Her eclectic experience in various industries including finance, advertising and ecommerce allowed her to develop an extensive understanding of a vast range of machine learning techniques as well as a solid knowledge of statistics and computer science. She currently leads the Metrics and Measurement team within the Search team of @WalmartLabs, and loves to promote mathematical acuteness as a world-class player in the future of big data.

Eugene Roman
Eugene Roman
Chief Technology Officer
Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd.
Eugene Roman was appointed Chief Technology Officer of the Canadian Tire group of companies in 2012.
He has prime responsibility for the evolution and operational support of all digital and interactive technologies of the corporation. His mission is to accelerate the deployment and use of next generation digital platforms to grow the revenue of the corporation and evolve key digital platforms to support the evolving needs of the corporation. He believes that the Canadian Tire team of highly skilled technologists are a major competitive differential in the delivery of systems of engagement which use the best internet technologies available today and into the future. He sees the future of retail as “etail” where smart technologies create new opportunities for innovation and excellence.
Eugene started his career in telecommunications and has worked for Nortel Networks Corporation, Bell Canada Enterprises Inc., and Open Text Corporation. In progressively senior technology and business roles in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K, Eugene was responsible for integrating critical technology and business processes to better deliver innovative programs. He has also led efforts to increase productivity and improve performance in order to deliver current and ‘next generation’ services more efficiently within a large organization.
Eugene received the 2015 ITAC Canadian CIO of the Year Award for the Public Sector and RIS News 2016 CIO of the Year Award in the Customer Experience category.
Eugene holds a Master’s Degree in Administration, Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, is a Certified Management Accountant, and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors program. He is a frequent speaker on “The Future of Digital Content” and was recently appointed as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, where he will continue his outstanding work in advancing innovation in Canada. He is also an industry professor in Design Engineering at McMaster University.


Mike Saint
Mike Saint
CEO
Anquiro Inc.
A thought-leader in global land use politics, a new management consulting discipline he pioneered in the 1980’s. He is co-author of the book, NIMBY Wars – The Politics of Land Use, and has founded of eight companies since 1967.

Andy Serwer
Andy Serwer
Editor-in-Chief
Yahoo Finance at Yahoo
Andy Serwer is the editor in chief for Yahoo Finance, where he oversees all editorial content for Yahoo Finance from breaking news to in-depth stories to original video programming. Yahoo Finance is the number one financial news site, reaching more than 75 million unique users each month.
Serwer is one of the world’s leading business journalists. Since the start of his tenure at Yahoo Finance in early 2015, his experience in the field of financial journalism has attracted such high-profile business leaders as Warren Buffett, Carl Ichan, Charles Koch, Ford CEO Mark Fields, as well as economic policy leaders such as Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Former FDIC Chief Sheila Bair.
For eight years he was the managing editor of Fortune—the longest service of any editor since the 1980s—and worked at Time Inc for 29 years. As Managing editor of FORTUNE Serwer was responsible for overseeing FORTUNE magazine and FORTUNE.com, as well as FORTUNE digital media and FORTUNE’s conferences.
Serwer has been a regular guest on MSNBC’S Morning Joe and CNBC’s Squawkbox and many other TV and radio programs. From 2001 to 2006 he served as the business anchor for CNN’s American Morning. He reported all business news on the network in the morning.
Serwer joined FORTUNE in 1985 as an intern from Columbia Journalism School and went on to cover and edit Wall Street, Washington, investing, information technology and entertainment for the magazine. In 2000, TJFR
Business News Reporter named him Business Journalist of the Year. In a Talk of the Town piece about him, The New Yorker called Serwer “perhaps the nation’s top multimedia talent, successfully juggling the roles of serious
journalist, astute commentator and occasional court jester.” Among his many accomplishments, Serwer oversaw the relaunch and redesign of FORTUNE’s magazine and website and led a major expansion of its
conference division. Under Serwer’s leadership, FORTUNE won numerous Loeb, Deadline Club and SABEW awards, among others.
He holds degrees from Bowdoin College, BA 1981, Emory University, MBA 1984, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, BS 1985. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Bowdoin College. He is an Emory University Goizueta School of Business Presidential Fellow. Serwer received Emory University Goizueta School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award 2014.

Kenneth Silay
Kenneth Silay
Principal
KGS Business Services
Ken is a problem solver and recognized thought leader, skilled at fusing analytic and creative thinking to deliver innovative solutions. He was selected as a 2015 Top Innovator by Retail Touch Points and is considered a trusted business solutions partner with large-scale project management experience developing and implementing technical process improvements . His past experience includes executive positions at Coopers & Lybrand (PWC), Chico’s FAS, Inc., and BT Office Products (Staples). He has BS & MS degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.



Eric Singleton
Eric Singleton
Chief Technology & Digital Officer
Strax

Joseph Skorupa
Joseph Skorupa
Editor at Large
RIS News

John Wilkinson
John Wilkinson
Facilitator
b2b talk
John’s professional network spans more than 25 years in the technology industry, with a focus on business alliances, partnerships and collaboration between both individuals and organizations. Through b2b talk, John takes a grassroots approach to helping business leaders make new industry connections and build their own professional networks by creating 1:1 meetings, knowledge sharing & topical business conversations between participants at industry events and conferences.

Edward Yruma
Edward Yruma
Managing Director, Equity Research
KeyBanc Capital Markets
Edward Yruma is a managing director and equity research analyst with KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc./Pacific Crest Securities. With the Company since fall 2008, his research coverage is focused on e-commerce, retail softlines and apparel companies.
Prior to joining KeyBanc Capital Markets, Yruma spent eight years with J.P. Morgan, first as a technology and telecommunications investment banker in both San Francisco and New York, and most recently as a Vice President and Senior Business and Consumer Services Analyst.
Yruma was a member of the Honors Program and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Michigan.
He also serves as a board member for the Retail Marketing Society. He formerly served as a board member for St. John’s Bread and Life, one of the largest soup kitchens in New York City.
Yruma is a frequent guest on CNBC and Bloomberg, and is regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Barron's and The New York Times.

Gary Zorko
Gary Zorko
CIO
Z Gallerie
Gary Zorko is the CIO for home furnishings retailer Z Gallerie, where he is responsible for corporate infrastructure, ERP and retail systems, omnichannel commerce and digital marketing channels, as well as customer/associate experience and company culture initiatives. His technology and leadership career spans 30 years in the fields of medical, manufacturing, insurance, entertainment, legal services and retail, including fulfillment logistics and e-commerce. In progressive management roles, he has guided technology operations for small, privately-held firms, mid-sized enterprises (Hot Topic, Newegg) and multi-national Fortune 500 companies (Prudential Insurance, The Walt Disney Company).

Mike Zorn
Mike Zorn
Sr. Vice President, Associate and Labor Relations
Macy’s Inc.
Mike Zorn is a seasoned senior human resources executive and labor relations thought leader with more than 30 years of continuous success in leveraging corporate resources to solve customer problems and achieve business goals at the Fortune 100 level. Over the years, Mike has been a much-sought-after mentor to numerous senior executives and leaders of established and startup businesses. Now with his experience as a visionary and creative leader, he brings all his talent and wisdom gained from the executive world and focuses on offering coaching and consulting to help other business leaders solve actual problems and get results.

Mike's career is a story of leading numerous large-scale mergers, acquisitions and consolidations, including consolidating eleven divisions under Macy’s unified brand, a feat of remarkable HR thought leadership and outstanding negotiation and operational management skills. He has unified diverse business functions in nearly a dozen businesses, including scheduling and staffing, engagement, communication, loss prevention, store human resources and labor relations. Known for his ability to define purpose, align structural systems, leverage individual talents, and build collaborative relationships throughout all tiers of a company, his areas of expertise span the entire spectrum of business and HR development, encompassing change management, internal marketing strategy, employee engagement, process mapping and redesign, organizational design and development, performance management and employee retention.

As a thought leader, Mike has been a frequent speaker on associate motivation and engagement, culture and process improvement, strategic planning and labor relations. He gives regular speeches at the National Retail Federation, and he has delivered keynotes at the Kronos World Symposium, the Practicing Law Institute, and the Human Resources Policy Association, as well as at Macy’s leadership conferences. Through SCORE Cincinnati and MORTAR Cincinnati, he has lent his thought leadership to business leaders on how to grow and achieve sustainability. A three-time recipient of Macy’s Make Magic Award for innovation and team work, Mike was recognized as Macy’s Customer Engagement Leader of 2015, and he was selected to participate in the Cincinnati Leaders Program.