Retailing Smarter Symposium

Retail Smarter Conference

June 21 - 22, 2012
Orlando, FL

Each year the David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research at the University of Florida offers an executive continuing education conference specifically designed for retailers. A group of senior retail executives from leading firms are assembled to focus on topics of strategic importance to retailers. The executives candidly share information and ideas that are working to keep their organizations ahead of their competition.

Brochure (pdf)
Agenda (pdf)


**Partial list of speakers

  • E. Ronald Culp

    Public Relations Consultant and Professional Director, Graduate PRAD Program
    DePaul University
    Slides: Going GaGa Over Retail Brand Building

    Ron Culp is Professional Director of the Graduate Program for Public Relations and Advertising (PRAD at DePaul University. Before joining DePaul, Ron was a partner and head of the North American Corporate Practice for Ketchum, a global public relations agency. During his 35-year PR career, he has worked in a wide range of communications activities in government, consumer products, pharmaceuticals and retailing industries.

    Previously, Ron was Senior Vice President, Public Relations and Government Affairs, for Sears, Roebuck and Co., where he managed Sears’ internal and external communications, and supported marketing public relations, government affairs and community relations. He also held senior communications positions at Sara Lee Corporation, Pitney Bowes and Eli Lilly. Just this month, Ron was named Professional of the Year by the Chicago chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and in 2008 was named to the PR News “Hall of Fame”.


    Executive Vice President
    International Sign Association
    Slides: The Economic Value of a Brand

    Rich Gottwald is executive vice president for the International Sign Association (ISA) - a 2,300-member trade association - where he provides leadership on the regulatory, legislative and technology challenges and opportunities facing the on-premise sign industry. Mr. Gottwald also has responsibility for growing ISA's industry training efforts, and for creating partnerships and alliances with the retail sector.

    Prior to joining ISA, Mr. Gottwald held senior management positions in several trade associations including executive vice president for the Association of the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, president of the Plastics Pipe Institute, and executive director of the Society of the Plastics Industry.

    Rich hold a BS in Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and is a Certified Association Executive.


    Chief Executive Officer
    HSN, Inc.

    Mindy Grossman is Chief Executive Officer of HSN, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSNI) and a member of the company's Board of Directors overseeing a $3 billion retail portfolio.

    Ms. Grossman joined IAC Retailing from Nike, Inc., where she served as Global Vice-President. Prior to Nike, Ms. Grossman served as President and CEO of Polo Jeans Company from 1995 to 2000. She has also held senior positions at Tommy Hilfiger and Oxford Industries.

    In 2011, Ms. Grossman was ranked by Forbes as one of the top 100 most powerful women.


    Vice President & Regional Executive
    Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta - Jacksonville Branch
    Slides: Economic and Policy Enviroment

    Christopher L. Oakley is vice president and regional executive of the Jacksonville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He is responsible for the Branch's Board of Directors and the District's Advisory Council on Trade and Transportation, oversees Jacksonville's economic and financial education programs, and provides regional input into the Atlanta Fed's monetary policy process. He reports directly to the Research Director, the senior monetary policy advisor to the Bank's president.


    Chairman and CEO
    Foot Locker, Inc
    Slides: After the Turnaround: Innovating for Growth

    Ken C. Hicks is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Foot Locker, Inc.

    Prior to joining Foot Locker, Inc. Mr. Hicks was President and Chief Merchandising Officer of jcpenney Company, Inc., and was a member of its Board of Directors.

    Previously, Mr. Hicks held executive positions at Payless ShoeSource (President) and the Home Shopping Network (Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager)

    Mr. Hicks graduated from the United States Military Academy and served in the U. S. Army, attaining the rank of captain. He earned an MBA with highest honors from Harvard University.


    Design Director
    Lilly Pulitzer

    Janie Schoenborn is the Design Director at Lilly Pulitzer.

    Ms. Schoenborn leads the creative direction and fashion design of Lilly Pulitzer prints and accessories, which are designed to cater to the lifestyle needs of the affluent-at-ease. Ms. Schoenborn has more than 10 years experience in the fashion and beauty industries including stints at Adrienne Vittadini, Calvin Klein, and Barney's New York.

    Ms. Schoenborn also had her own company Buzz by Jane Fox, a preppy Florida-inspired handbag-turned-accessories company with distribution in major department stores and boutiques nationwide.


    Business Development Director
    OrigAudio, a division of Forty Four Group

    Jason Lucash is the Business Development Director of OrigAudio, which provides an eco-friendly, portable solution for listening to music.

    Mr. Lucash and his business partner, Mike Szymczak, formed the company in 2009. Their first product, Fold N' Play Recycled speakers, was named to Time magazine's "50 Best Inventions of 2009" list and has gone on to sell approximately 1 million units.

    Mr. Lucash starred on Seasons 2 and season 3 of ABC's hit show "Shark Tank," and has products in stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Zumiez, American Eagle and Crate & Barrel.

    He graduated with a degree in managerial economics from UC Davis in 2006.

Concurrent Sessions

JUAN GUERRERO Senior Vice President Supply Chain, Office Depot

Founder and CEO, The Kabachnick Group, Inc.,
What's Love Got to Do With It? Everything!

Values and beliefs are the underpinnings of engagement and motivation. What attitudes, beliefs, values, and competencies are necessary to excel? Why do people with a high energy level, great education, high likeability factor, and great social skills never become truly successful? We'll discuss how important these indicators are to true engagement, talent management, productivity, and retention and share some best practices. Get ready to get smarter about the human side of business!

CHIP LANE, Sealane Marketing

Founder and CEO, Enhanced Retail Solutions LLC
Minding the Store in the 21st Century: Utilizing Business Intelligence

This highly entertaining session showcases the benefits of employing a strategic application of data and technology into the retail or wholesale business. We discuss how it can be used to reduce risk, uncover opportunities that would otherwise go undetected, optimize inventory productivity and increase sales and margin.

STEPHEN M. METIVIER, Managing Director Capital Finance, Wells Fargo Retail Finance Division

DAVID VANDERPOEL, Principal and Social Media Team Lead and GREGG DUNNING, Principal, North Highland Company
Why Marketing Sucks and How to Fix It

Let's get real - if 99% of the cars that rolled off an assembly line were faulty, no manufacturer would call it a success. Why do marketers get to? We'll take a look at how marketing got to this state, what's really going on underneath the poor performance, and how some companies are counting on massive amounts of data to right the ship.

Caribe Royale

Orlando, FL

Hotel Rate: Room price $159.00

Cancellation Policy: Refunds, less an administrative fee of $50.00 will be made for all cancellations received in writing prior to May 5, 2012. No refunds will be made after that date, but substitution of attendees may be made by notifying the Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research.


Office Depot
Naturalizer Body Central Firestone Pinch-A-Penny Brown Shoe Company Tires Plus Wells Fargo Walgreens Dick's Sporting Goods ERS The Home Depot MOHR Retail Purchasing Power YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund