Retail Smarter 2015 Conference


Meet the Featured Presenters

  • Richard M. Ashworth

    President, Pharmacy & Retail Operations
    Walgreen Co.

    Ashworth is the President of Pharmacy and Retail Operations for Walgreens. He is responsible for bringing together all of the company's services in markets and communities across the country.

    Ashworth joined Walgreens in 1992 as a service clerk. He was promoted through store management holding various roles from store manager to district manager from 1999 until 2007.

    In 2007, he became Vice President of Pharmacy Benefit Management Services for Walgreens Health Services (WHS), the company's managed care division. He has also held the roles of Vice President of Pharmacy Operations and Corporate Operations Vice President for the western United States.

    Ashworth received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) from Nova Southeastern University in 1999 and his MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2004.

  • Jennifer Hipskind

    Senior Vice President, Regional Manager – Central Region

    Hipskind joined JCPenney in 1987 as a Merchandise Trainee in Pleasanton, CA. In 2001, she was given her first Store Leader assignment in Newark, CA and shortly after promoted to Dallas to run the flag ship store. In 2004, she received her first corporate and multi-unit assignment where she became the Regional Coordination Manager for the company's West Region. Hipskind was a key team member that implemented the Sephora brand to JCPenney in 2006. In 2008 she directed the company's new store process initiative where many of the programs still exist today. Hipskind became an officer of the company in 2010 as Divisional Vice President ofFine Jewelry Operations. Over the next three years she continued her diverse career before being appointed to her current position of Regional Manager.

    Ms. Hipskind graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California. She and her husband, Steve, have been married for 22 years and have two children, Chris and Amanda.

  • Myrrhanda Jones

    Miss Florida 2013
    President, Comfort for Kids, Inc.

    Jones is a senior at the University of Florida pursuing a degree in Telecommunications with a minor in Non-Profit Organizational Leadership. She held the title of Miss Florida 2013, and finished as 3rd Runner- Up in the 2014 Miss America Pageant last September. She traveled extensively this past year as a goodwill ambassador for multiple organizations including Children's Miracle Network, the Ryan Nece Foundation and the Everglades Foundation.

    Jones plans to attend nursing school after graduation and specialize in Pediatric Intensive Care. She is the president of her own 501c3 non-profit organization called Comfort for Kids, Inc., that was started after the passing of her sister nine years ago.

  • Jimmy Ralph

    SalesMakers, Inc.

    Ralph is an entrepreneur and seasoned executive with multiple startups and growth companies, and has more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications and retail industries. He is the Founder and CEO of SalesMakers, Inc., an outsourced retail management, staffing and training company operating across the North America and Puerto Rico. SalesMakers has leveraged its collective experience, industry relationships and knowhow to become a dynamic and thriving organization, unmatched in its industry. Clients include Microsoft, AT&T, Proctor & Gamble, Sprint, Rosetta Stone, MetroPCS, Samsung, Tracfone, Open Mobile, Vonage, and multiple independent wireless retailers and other industry players.

  • John Rivers

    Chef & Owner
    4R Restaurant Group

    Rivers, restaurant entrepreneur and head chef of the award-winning 4 Rivers Smokehouse, spent two decades traveling the country honing his taste and talent for BBQ. The Jacksonville native and Florida State University business grad ended a 20-year career in healthcare as president of a billion-dollar company to pursue a passion for helping children through his garage-based Barbecue Ministry — a bold switch fueled by faith and supported by family.

    His latest restaurant concept, The COOP, has quickly become a neighborhood favorite, with its fresh take on Southern comfort foods. He recently published his first book, The Southern Cowboy Cookbook and serves on numerous charity and school boards. Rivers lives in Winter Park, Florida, with his wife and two children.

  • Jean-Pierre "JP" Sakey

    President & CEO
    Headway Workforce Solutions, Inc

    Sakey directs Headway, a leading North American workforce solutions provider. Headway is considered a pioneer in Internet-based social media recruitment and high volume hiring, and operates a branchless business model that sources, screens, places and candidates in all 50 states. Sakey has more than 20 years of executive business leadership experience, including work in the human capital, investment banking and private equity sectors.

    Prior to Headway, Sakey was President of's e-Resourcing Americas group. While there he was heavily involved in's business development strategies, including the launching of a successful series of sector specific initiatives. From 1994 to 2000, Sakey was Chairman & CEO of SPEC Group Holdings, a provider of technology outsourcing solutions focused primarily in the energy sector.

  • Sarah Crossman Sullivan


    Crossman Sullivan is a corporate consultant, attorney and entrepreneur with a growing national presence. Featured on NBC, Fox News Network, The Laymen's Lawyer, Entrepreneur, and The Wall Street Journal, Crossman Sullivan's ease in courtrooms and boardrooms resonates. She brings 18 years of experience as a CEO, labor and employment law attorney, prosecutor and healthcare advocate to her current role as Co-Founder and CEO of As a frequent national speaker and writer on leadership, innovation and inspiration, Crossman Sullivan contributes to, Success magazine, Better You Network, BizBuzz and Legal Experts Radio. She is a mother of four children, and provides engaging, practical insights on work, life, faith and family.

Concurrent Session Speakers

Jessica Eberley, University Relations, Newton Consulting

Eberley is a Leader in Newton Consulting's Talent Advisory Services practice where she manages University Relations, Candidate Sourcing, as well as Project and High-Volume Retail Recruiting. Newton Consulting is a leading provider of talent advisory services, business strategy, and information technology consulting for a growing customer base in North America and Europe. Newton Consulting helps find the right people for your business vision by understanding your challenges, using expertise in best practices, and then helping you define the best strategy to align your people capabilities with your company's vision. We make your vision a reality.

Prior to Newton Consulting, Eberley was Director of Human Resources for St. Clair Country Club, a top 100 ranked private country club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she directed HR and recruiting services for the club, including professional and hourly teams. Eberley was previously a University Relations Recruiter for Dick's Sporting Goods and an HR /District Employee Relations Manager for Target. Her experiences includes managing full life-cycle recruitment, university relations, and human resources in fast-paced, high-volume environments.

Heather Lewis, Marketing Director - Ron Jon Surf Shop

Heather Lewis is the Director of Marketing for Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach. She joined the company in 1993 to oversee print advertising, media buying and special events. In 1997 she was promoted to director of marketing and is responsible for the marketing, advertising and public relations efforts nationwide for 11 company-owned store locations. In addition to her work at Ron Jon, she serves on the board of Keep Brevard Beautiful and the Brevard Zoo. She also served as a board member of the Brevard Schools Foundation helping to develop new branding for the foundation, and served as a mentor with the Take Stock in Children scholarship program. She earned a bachelor's degree specializing in Advertising and Public Relations with a Political Science Minor, from the University of Central Florida in 1991.

Sarah Malcolm, Director, Digital Strategy, International Council of Shopping Centers
Twitter: @MrsSarahMalcolm

Sarah Malcolm is the Director of Digital Strategy for the International Council of Shopping Centers, the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Acknowledged as one of the CRE industry-leading social media pioneers, Malcolm has created and executed ICSC's Social and Mobile strategy, winning over 26 awards for ICSC's mobile apps, social media and websites. She also made the Real Estate Forum's Women of Influence list in 2014. Due to her success, ICSC was named by Association TRENDS as a Top 25 Social Media Savvy Association, a Top 25 LinkedIn Savvy Association and the number one Social Media Savvy company in the Services and Retail category. Sarah has also been behind the award winning Social Media Pavilion, #iTechLounge and the ICSC Coca-Cola Happiness Lounge which focuses on educating the Retail Real Estate industry on how a smart, creative social & digital media strategy can breathe new life into every area of business. Sarah also guest authored in the new book, "Social Networking For Shopping Centers," writing on the topics of Effective Tweeting and How Retailers Are Using Facebook. She is an identical twin, married to a super creative Senior Art Director/Photographer and is a proud new Mom!

Lary Sinewitz, Executive Vice President and Assistant Secretary of BrandsMart USA;
Interbond Enterprises Incorporated, Interbond Corporation of America, BrandsMart Service Corporation, and Brandsmart USA of South Dade.

Lary Sinewitz has been with the company since 1981. He sits on the Board of the Florida Retail Federation, and the Georgia Retail Association. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the National Retail Association and the University of Florida's Business School. Furthermore, Lary serves on the President's Advisory Board of St. Thomas University.

He is responsible for establishing the first electronic checking done in the United States, as well as one of the first private label credit card programs.

Among other issues, Lary has testified before the US Senate on behalf of BrandsMart, as well as the National Retail Federation and the Stop Patent Abuse Now (SPAN) Coalition on the issue of Patent Abuse by "patent trolls".

Lary is a graduate of the University of Massachusettes with a degree in TV and Radio communications. He lives in Plantation and has a son, David.