Meet the Featured Presenters
KK intl. (Krochet Kids intl.) is an innovative non-profit and lifestyle brand working to empower communities to rise above poverty. Founded in 2007, the organization works in Uganda and Peru providing life-changing jobs, educational curriculum and mentoring programs to vulnerable women and their families. KK intl. products are distributed internationally through their website and retailers such as Nordstrom and Whole Foods.
Kohl is a husband, father, surfer and passionate communicator who has worked for a decade to encourage and inspire a new generation of socially-minded businesses.
Jill is an expert on technology and innovation in the talent space. At Shiftgig she focuses on exceptional service delivery and growing the brand. She has successfully started and evolved many businesses in the quickly changing employment space while working for companies like TMP Worldwide, Monster Worldwide and Gild, Inc. Jill also acts as a strategic advisor to growing companies when she's not feeding her obsession for college football, particularly the Big Ten.
Debbie has overseen all facets of Ron Jon Surf Shop since being promoted to her current position in March of 2008. Prior to March of 2008 Debbie was Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing for the company. In this position she was responsible for the product development of the famous Ron Jon brand, the buying and sourcing of product for the company as well as all marketing of the brand. Debbie joined Ron Jon in 2000 as Director of Merchandise Buying.
Debbie is a seasoned retail executive who started her career at what is now Federated Department Stores after graduating with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Florida. She rose through the ranks from executive trainee to store management to buying. After Federated she joined Bealle's Department store as a Vice President, and then went on to be a Vice President of Apparel at the Home Shopping Network. Immediately prior to joining Ron Jon Debbie was the Vice President of Juniors for Goody's Department Store out of Knoxville Tenn.
In addition to her duties at Ron Jon, Debbie is extensively involved in Community organizations including:
In her spare time she enjoys traveling with her husband, Richard Lane, or just enjoying the beautiful State of Florida.
Read has more than 30 years of experience in retail loss prevention and has worked with the world's top retail organizations.
He is a Director of the industry group Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC), which was founded by 10 major retail chains in 2000 to help them improve their loss prevention results using scientific research. Today, the LPRC includes over 95 major corporate members (45 retail chains) working together with scientists in 11 working groups on significant crime and loss control issues.
Read co-founded the University of Florida's globally-used National Retail Security Survey in 1989 and has conducted over 85 crime control research projects. He is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, 150 magazine articles, and four top-selling books.
Hipskind joined JCPenney in 1987 as a merchandise trainee in Pleasanton, Calif. In 2001 she was given her first store leader assignment in Newark, and shortly after she was promoted to run the flagship store in Dallas. In 2004, Hipskind received her first corporate and multi-unit assignment, and became the regional coordination manager for the Company's West Region. Hipskind quickly gained a solid reputation for strong results and subsequently was charged with helping implement the Sephora inside JCPenney brand in 2006, and directing the Company's new store process initiative in 2008.
In 2010, Hipskind became the divisional vice president of Fine Jewelry Operations. Over the next six years, she held different positions such as regional leader over the central region, and then to her current position of senior vice president, group president in 2016.
Hipskind graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California.
Hutchens began his career with Walgreen Drug Stores in 1972 as a clerk. During his 43-year career at Walgreens, he held 15 different job titles and supervised multiple store operations in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Alabama, Georgia, Puerto Rico and Florida. His last assignment was overseeing a $3+ billion operation based out of Orlando until his retirement in February of 2016.
In March of 2016, Hutchens was named CEO of ISOD Corporation and EVP of SMI Corporation.
Hutchens is a native of St. Cloud, Minn., and currently resides in Orlando, Fla. He received his AA degree in Business from St. Cloud State University and later received his BA in Business Administration from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has a MM in Retailing from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn. Hutchens also holds a Certificate of Strategic Planning and Management from Babson College in Wellesley MA.
Recognizing a trend in 2002 that retailers were increasing their expectations of the supplier base, Jim founded ERS to help improve the retail business acumen of suppliers. Over the last decade, ERS has vastly improved the decision-making capability of retailers, suppliers and licensors, enabling them to increase their sales, profit and inventory productivity.
As a former Buyer at JCPenney, he managed or bought key categories in men's, children's and home textiles throughout his 15-year career. He was honored several times with executive-level projects and sat on varying key company initiative task forces. Jim has been featured in apparel, home textiles and licensing publications, including License!, and has conducted seminars at industry associations and trade shows, including NEECOM, VCF, The Licensing Show and MAGIC.
With over 30 years of retail experience, Dave Massey is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Bealls Inc. a privately held company. Rich in tradition, and founded in 1915, Bealls operates over 500 stores across four brands; Bealls, Bealls Outlet, Burkes Outlet and Bunulu. As Chief Information Officer, Dave oversees all aspects of information technology, providing the direction and vision to support the company's strategic and business objectives. Dave joined Bealls in 2010 to lead the technology transformation and modernization efforts. Before joining Bealls, Dave served in several line of business and technology related roles for Macy's in Atlanta and Cincinnati.
Andy is a Co-Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Scargo Hill Capital, where he is primarily responsible for the overall development and execution of corporate strategy, business development, leadership and the safeguard of all assets under management. Andy is a Commercial Finance and Retail industry veteran, recognized by many as a subject matter expert, as well as by his industry peers for his contributions and creativity in asset-based lending for nearly twenty-five years.
He has held numerous senior executive positions at leading financial institutions and alternative asset managers. He began his career after working in retail finance and co-founded GBFC, Inc. (a division of the Gordon Brothers Companies), recognized by many as one of the first and premier asset-based lenders to the retail industry.
Andy is also an active member of multiple professional organizations and is an admired industry leader, often recognized for building exceptional teams, fostering a passionate, driven corporate culture and a noteworthy commitment toward community, charitable giving and mentorship. In 2014, Andy was honored with the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award for the Financial Services category in the New England Region.
Working at the highest levels of business and government, Dr. Newkirk led significant initiatives in the Middle East for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the Far East for the Office of the President, Republic of the Philippines. Dr. Newkirk has also led operational engagements for Southwest Bell, Bank of America and Dell Computers where his projects contributed to Dell's growth in revenues from $1 billion dollars to more than $18 billion in three years.
In 1992, the Chairman of the CNN World Business Development Congress in Washington D.C. invited Dr. Newkirk as a VIP Priority Guest. He has been invited to participate in other international development conferences in Cairo, Egypt and Oxford, England.
For Technology Transfer, Rome, I.B.C. London & Amsterdam & S.I.B.C. Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he conducted seminars and workshops throughout Europe and Saudi Arabia focusing on productivity and performance improvement, leadership, quality, I/T management, and workplace diversity.
Morgan is currently a a student at the University of Florida, majoring in Marketing.
Liegl joined JCPenney in 2012 as a Senior Human Resources Manager responsible for the alignment of business and talent strategy for design, product development, concept, merchandising, planning & allocation and e-commerce. She has since held roles of increasing responsibility including Director of Corporate Talent Acquisition and Director of Human Resources for stores, salon & campus recruitment before stepping into her current role where she supports the southern half of the United States as the key HR Business Partner to SVP of Stores.
Prior to JCPenney, Liegl held multiple leadership roles with Kohl's Department Stores, Ann Taylor LOFT and FAO Schwarz. Her experiences include Recruitment, Associate Relations, Training and Development, University Relations, Store Management and Regional Operations.
Liegl holds a Bachelors of Business Administration with concentration in Human Resources Management from the University of New Mexico. She resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband Steve and two boys Jacob (7) and Joshua (5).
Samantha serves as chief legal counsel to the Florida Retail Federation and its brand divisions. She advises the Board of Directors and Executive Staff on legal matters pertaining to the Federation, including compliance with federal and state regulations. Samantha advocates on behalf of FRF and its members in front of Florida's legislative and executive branches of government. She serves as the Brand Manager for the Beauty Industry Council. Samantha oversees the Sustainability Council and the FRF Emergency Preparedness Network and serves on the Board of Managers for FRF Benefits, LLC.
Prior to joining the FRF Team in 2007, Samantha was a member of the Florida Attorney General's Honors Program. During this two-year program, she practiced in the areas of civil appeals, antitrust, child support and administrative law. She graduated cum laude from the University of Florida College of Law in 2005 and received her BA from Emory University in 2001.
Samantha lives in Tallahassee with her husband Ryan, son Grayson, and daughter Bradley.
Samantha is currently a a student at the University of Florida, majoring in Marketing.
Kristen is a regional vice president for Walgreen Co., the nationwide drugstore chain headquartered in Deerfield, IL. She is responsible for leading Walgreens pharmacy and retail operations for over 300 locations representing 8,500+ team members in the mid-South region, including stores in Georgia, South Carolina and northern Florida.
Kristen began her career at Walgreens in 1996 as an hourly team member in Joplin, Missouri. She worked as a management trainee, executive assistant manager, and was promoted to store manager in a Springfield, Missouri store in 2000. In 2006, she was promoted to district manager of the Austin East district and became district manager of the Chicago Central district in 2011.
In 2012, Kristen was promoted to Director of Drug Store Systems at Walgreens corporate office in Deerfield. In 2013, Kristen was promoted to Senior Director, Retail Renewal, and acted as the department liaison for a transformational supply chain and store inventory systems and process initiative.
Eric White began his career catching shoplifters and unloading trucks for Walmart. In his 17-year career with the world's largest retailer he advanced to run several key security programs, including executive protection, crisis management, global readiness, enterprise risk management, aviation security, and homeland security. Eric worked in a similar capacity at The Home Depot for two years, owned his own consulting firm, and has worked for Tyco in the security and retail performance technology space for almost five years.
Eric has been a law enforcement professional certified in the State of Arkansas and has trained in counter-terrorism and active shooter response. He has served on numerous local and national academic and professional boards. He currently holds a publically elected office on the Bentonville Public School Board of Education in addition to his work for Tyco.
Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from Northern Illinois University and a Graduate Certificate from Georgetown University in Global Security Management. Eric has also completed the Northwestern University Executive Development Course.
Nicole Williams is currently the Director of Pharmacy and Retail Operations – Region Transition Lead for Walgreens in the Mid-Atlantic Region. She works closely with the region team to build future talent, increase sales and Pharmacy growth, improve Beauty penetration within the market and ensure in store execution is occurring, in order to improve the customer and patient experience. She began her career with Walgreens in 2003, in Carol Stream, IL as a Business Management Intern. Nicole's previous leadership positions during her 14 years with Walgreens include District Management, Community Management and Store Management. She serves on the Executive Leadership Teams the American Heart Association, and the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation. Nicole is a member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Board of Directors, the Network of Executive Women (NEW) and the Ellevate Network. She holds a B.S. in Marketing and a B.A. in Psychology from Bradley University. Nicole currently lives in Chantilly, Virginia outside of D.C. with her husband and four year old son.
Magdalena Wyko joined Bealls, Inc. in 2013 and currently serves as the Director of Talent Acquisition & Development. She is responsible for leading the talent and training initiatives for all four corporate business units (Bealls, Inc., Bealls Department Stores, Bealls/Burkes Outlet Stores and Bunulu). Magdalena has over thirteen years of experience working in Human Resources, specifically within the retail sector, which include Target, Republic of Tea and Charlotte Russe. Magdalena earned her Bachelor's Degree in both English and Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her Human Resources Management Degree from the University of California, San Diego.