The retail industry is changing more rapidly than ever before. The increasing pressures to adapt and compete in retail is complicated by ever-expanding consumer demands. Focusing on “The Future of Retail,” the 2018 Evolve Conference will unite industry professionals, disruptors, and entrepreneurs for a day-long exploration of the challenges that face the retail industry today.
Chief Marketing Officer of Gap, Inc.
Chief Executive Officer of Windsor Fashions
Senior Product Manager
Amazon Web Services of EC2 Pricing
Babis loves working with cross-functional teams to launch products that delight customers. He has 10 years of Product Management experience with startups and larger companies in areas such as e-commerce, marketplaces, data products, retail analytics, and machine learning. He has been with Amazon for the past 4+ years, holding a number of product roles with Amazon Marketplace, Prime Now, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Babis holds a Bachelor’s in Banking and Financial Management from the University of Piraeus, Greece and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Director of Community Impact and Culture
Director of Community Impact and Culture, Giving Keys
Bentley Coplin specializes in social enterprise, community engagement and organizational leadership. Since graduating Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University, Bentley has spent her entire professional career helping philanthropic organizations reach their highest potential.
In just 7 years, Bentley’s work has left a lasting impact on the lives of chronically ill children (Starlight Children’s Foundation), people in poverty (United Way), and people experiencing homelessness in LA (The Giving Keys) – as well as countless colleagues, event participants and friends she’s met along the way.
Bentley has spent the last several years working as the Director of Community Impact and Culture at the Giving Keys, a social enterprise jewelry company which has been featured in Forbes, PEOPLE, and ABC News as well as sported by celebrities such as Ryan Gosling and Taylor Swift.
In her first two years, Bentley helped to double both annual revenue and employee satisfaction scores. Furthermore, she oversaw the massive expansion of The Giving Keys team as she hired more than 100 new employees and created countless job opportunities for people transitioning out of homelessness. She accredits much of this success to the power of teamwork, shared values and a relentless belief in the ripple effect of good deeds.
Stepping into a consulting role in 2018, Bentley is currently working to enhance the community impact of The Giving Keys by building an employment model other businesses can replicate and creating employment partnerships with traditional employers.
Bentley resides in Los Angeles with her strong community of friends & family who continually seek to improve the lives of those around them through spiritual growth, social activism, and good conversations over coffee, tea and wine.
Colleen Monroe is the founder of the new LA-based apparel company, Untucked Workwear (untuckedworkwear.com), where she designs for the transient lifestyles of creative professional women with flexible working styles. Colleen began her fashion pursuits working in costume design for Emmy and Oscar Award-Winning film and TV in New York and now her home of Los Angeles. In addition to designing, Colleen is currently collaborating with a team of LA city officials, engineers, and sustainability experts at the LA Kretz Innovation Campus to create a more conscious fashion future here in the city of angels. She is focusing on growing Untucked Workwear as a company that manufactures pieces and sources material as close to LA as possible in an effort to create a closed-loop production system to reduce waste, energy consumption, unnecessary transport processes, and packaging. You can follow her on instagram @untuckedworkwear.
Mark Geller is an entrepreneur and technology executive with over twenty years of experience in business and consumer software, operations, and e-commerce. Mark is the COO and co-founder of Happy Returns, an L.A.-based startup that is solving the pain of returning online purchases. Before Happy Returns, Mark was the head of mobile at HauteLook/NordstromRack.com, where he led the mobile effort as it grew from zero to over $300 million in sales per year. Prior to HauteLook, Mark worked in product management and marketing roles at Google, United Online, and several startups. Mark has a B.S./M.S. in biology from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson and serves on the regional advisory board of the non-profit First Place For Youth.
Leslie J. Mayer
Executive Director of Retail Services Cushman Wakefield
Executive Director of Retail Services at Cushman Wakefield
Leslie J. Mayer is an Executive Director of Retail Services for Cushman Wakefield headquartered in Century City. Since joining CW in 2004, she has been a key asset in the considerable growth of the Retail Platform in Southern California and nationally. Prior to joining Cushman Wakefield, Leslie operated her own national retail brokerage firm, The Mayford Group for nearly 15 years. With more than 30 years of commercial real estate experience, Ms. Mayer provides strategic planning and real-estate services to a select group of private and institutional clients, both Landlord and Tenant on regional, national, and international levels and provides leasing, sales and consulting services for restaurants, shopping centers, retail projects, creative office buildings, and new developments. She helps tailor and develop overall market strategies for both tenants and developers and oversees lease/contract negotiations as well as the re-purposing , disposition and acquisition of assets. She has been the exclusive National Master Broker for Skechers Shoes (NYSE: SKX) for over nineteen years.
Scott Kend is Vice President at Balboa Retail Partners, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment company dedicated to pursuing retail opportunities nationwide. Balboa targets investments where it can add value at the asset level thru active leasing, management, and redevelopment. In his role, Mr. Kend is responsible for repositioning various retail shopping centers in Balboa’s portfolio, as well as sourcing new acquisitions for the firm.
He joined Balboa from Combined Properties, where he oversaw the acquisition, repositioning and/or redevelopment of several assets, including a 175,000 SF community shopping center in Rancho Palos Verdes anchored by an LA Fitness, Marshalls, and Trader Joes, and a 65,000 SF grocery-anchored shopping center in La Verne anchored by a Sprouts. He also oversaw the ground-up development of a 48-unit mixed-use project in West Hollywood, and a 125,000 SF mixed-use project in Culver City.
Mr. Kend holds a B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he was designated a Carter Fellow. He was a United States Fulbright Scholar in Mexico City, Mexico.
AJ is a double Bruin and brings an expertise in leadership, operations, strategy, and program management through his work at UCLA and an analytical thought process from his dissections of the human brain, (metaphorically and literally) through his Neuroscience degree. He has studied global entrepreneurship in Israel, Peru, and Finland, and is connected to the Los Angeles’ startup ecosystem through his tenure managing the UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator with the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Analyst work with the Tech Coast Angels, and as a Fellow with the Kairos Society. AJ is a serial entrepreneur; co-founding both an eco-friendly gift wrap venture, a cosmetics technology company, and serving as a mentor and Advisory Board member for an academic, professional, and mentorship resource startup for female engineers.
Alison Wallace is a consumer products executive specializing in entertainment licensing. She most recently served as the Vice President of Licensing for Hot Topic, Inc., where she established and ran day-to-day operations for their in-house licensing division. She represented each of their retail brands, including Hot Topic, BoxLunch, Torrid and Her Universe. Their licensing roster included Disney, Marvel, Lucas, Warner Brothers, along with several other gaming, entertainment and fashion brands.
Prior to Hot Topic, Alison spent over twenty years in entertainment merchandising, serving in licensing and merchandise roles at Twentieth Century Fox, Saban Brands and Universal Studios. She has worked across all product categories, with specialization in apparel and accessories.
Alison is married to a Clint Wallace, an Art Director for motion pictures and a licensed architect. They live in the Hollywood Hills with their two sons and extremely affectionate cat. They also co-own and manage Six Spirits, a craft distillery located in Seattle, Washington.
Anndrea Nelson, or "Dre", is the Chief Creative Officer at AllOfUs Cosmetics and a Fully-Employed MBA Candidate at UCLA Anderson emphasizing in Social Impact. Anndrea is from Mountain View, CA, and previously earned her B.A. in Art Studio at UC Santa Barbara. Anndrea is a vegan cat mom of two, enjoys volunteering with School on Wheels and the Beauty Bus Foundation, and is active in politics, sustainability and animal welfare.
Anna Schork is a marketing manager for Kate Somerville Skincare, a subsidiary of Unilever Prestige. In this capacity, she is responsible for brand and trade marketing initiatives including go-to market plans for new product launches. She manages brand franchises ExfoliKate® and Wrinkle Warrior™ and value sets category. She also oversees the company’s largest retailer, Sephora, which continues to drive the business with double-digit growth. Since joining the company in 2015, she has produced 20+ videos, working directly with the brand founder to create both promotional and educational content.
Anna has a demonstrated history of experience in the prestige cosmetics industry with a passion for beauty. Prior to her current role, she lived in New York City and held positions at Lancöme USA and Philosophy Inc. She holds a B.A. in Design Management from Arizona State University.
Founder & Creative Director of Jouer Cosmetics, proud mom of two, and advocate for empowering women and girls in the developing world, Christina Zilber has a passion for fashion and beauty. She learned the art of makeup from her model mother, obsesses over creating cosmetic formulations that are also good for your skin, stocks her drawer with peachy-pink lip gloss, and believes that every woman can look and feel beautiful with a healthy dose of self-acceptance and the right arsenal of beauty tools.
Most of all, Christina believes in love, grace, gratitude, making mistakes, forgiving yourself, and the pursuit of happiness. Launched in 2008, Christina designed Jouer to provide a fresh, editorial take on makeup that compliments a woman’s individual sense of style. From natural washes of color, to intensely pigmented, full-coverage formulas, Jouer offers supreme wearability, unmatched quality, and award-winning packaging for the modern woman.
Beyond the world of beauty, Christina works with UNICEF to help create opportunities for women around the world. Christina currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Elizabeth Mullan is a Marketing Manager at Smashbox Cosmetics, an Estée Lauder Company (her dream job!). She has been involved in the beauty industry for 6+ years and has worked in skincare, haircare, and most recently, cosmetics. She is currently focused on the Sephora business in North America, working to develop 360 degree strategy plans for in-store sales and promotional efforts across digital and social media in tandem with the Smashbox cross-functional teams.
Elizabeth is a 2019 FEMBA student at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University.
Co-founder, Co-CEO at Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Operations
Jane has a passion for driving change within and operating businesses. For her first job, she chose McKinsey & Co. to pursue this passion and put her skills to work across a variety of businesses. After 2 years, she diverged from the consultant track to work on internal strategy projects within McKinsey in order to have a more hands-on operating role. There she was able to also pursue her desire to help empower women in the workplace by taking a leading role within Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In initiative. More recently, she worked alongside the operating team at Providence Equity Partners in New York to further hone her skills. Jane received her B.A. from Emory University and her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
So why Harper Wilde and why now? For Jane, the only thing better than helping drive change at another company, is actually doing it within her own. Her personal frustration with bra shopping and passion for empowering women in the workplace combined with her innate passion for operating businesses makes Harper Wilde the ideal fit.
Leslie Emmons Burthey is VP of Marketing at FabFitFun, the #1 full-size subscription box, helping people discover brands and products for a life well-lived. At FFF, Leslie focuses on growth, content, CRM, and consumer insights. Leslie was previously the VP of Marketing at Winc (formerly Club W). Prior to joining Club W in 2013, she gained consumer product experience at Christian Dior and Ralph Lauren in roles ranging from Financial Planning and Analysis to Merchandising and in-store immersion. Leslie began her career as an Investment Banking Analyst at Banc of America Securities. She holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and earned an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Stephanie’s career has afforded her the opportunity to bring several iconic American brands to the direct to consumer landscape, some of those are; Barnes&Noble, Nikegoddess, LandsEnd, ASICS and now TOMS. She has grown businesses from inception to 300 store chains, responsible for and driving efforts in real estate negotiations, store design and construction, product merchandising, business operations and people development. Stephanie’s expertise has afforded her a view of business decision making that can support growth and sustainability. Strong local support to communities and how to use business to do good is what connected her with TOMS and what she is most proud of; being able to grow the original ONE FOR ONE business, by using business to improve lives.
Tsega Dinka is the VP of Product at Dollar Shave Club where he oversees the digital initiatives supporting customer growth. With over 5 years at DSC, he has played a critical role in delivering digital experiences supporting the growth and eventual acquisition of the direct to consumer brand. Tsega brings over 10 years of experience in Product Management and UX Design with roles across LA’s tech industry including Ticketmaster, MySpace, and Jam City.
Jonathan is the COO & Co-Founder of Hollar. He was previously the Head of Strategy at 99 Cents Only Stores, a Management Consultant for McKinsey & Company, and an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. Jonathan graduated with a BA from Harvard College, and received an MBA from UCLA and a JD from Columbia Law School.
Lizzie's expertise in building commerce brands has yielded her incredible access to both new companies and talent in the commerce ecosystem. Her investments at BV include Parachute Home, Haute Hijab, Tamara Mellon and Vow to be Chic; she also serves as a board director at Shoes of Prey. Recent speaking engagements include StartupGrind, MIT Enterprise Forum and Cornell Tech.
#Blessed with a passion for entrepreneurship and marketing, Lizzie's operating career spanned launching and developing consumer brands and products. Her focus on innovative digital marketing strategies built brands and scaled businesses including LowerMyBills.com (sold to Experian Interactive), Fox Interactive, Intelligent Beauty, where as a founding partner she held titles of CMO and President of JustFab.com (TechStyle). Most recently she was CMO of Gilt Groupe (sold to Hudson Bay).
Lizzie has a BA from Cornell University and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband Alan Hoffman, their son and two dogs, Brinkley and Franklin.
Mia Saini Duchnowski is the Co-Founder and CEO of Oars + Alps, a direct to consumer skin care brand for people who lead an active, on-the-go lifestyle. The products are made with natural premium ingredients. The company launched in 2015 after Mia quit her high-profile job as a TV Reporter with Bloomberg TV, one of the largest financial TV networks in the world.
Mia spent over three years with Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong and in New York City where she was responsible for global economic, political and business coverage. She was the first person at the network to interview the Chairman of Microsoft, John Thompson, after he became Chairman. She’s interviewed hundreds of CEOs and heads of states including the former CEO of Burberry, Angela Ahrendts, and Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson. She’s routinely covered breaking news stories, such as the disappearance of MH 370, Nelson Mandela’s death, and Steve Job’s passing.
Prior to joining Bloomberg in June 2011, Mia served as an Anchor and Reporter for Forbes TV. She reported from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as well as interviewed prominent business leaders including Warren Buffett, former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Blackstone co-founder Pete Peterson, former Bear Stearns CEO Ace Greenberg, SAP CEO Bill McDermott and more. Earlier in her career, Mia was a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, working in hedge fund sales and marketing. There, she helped establish strategic relationships with hedge funds representing over $1.2 billion in portfolio value.
Mia holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She has a double major from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in neuroscience and media studies, and a double minor in civil engineering and management science. While at MIT, she interned at NASA Ames Research Center doing artificial intelligence research. She was featured in Glamour Magazine as one of their Top Ten College Women in 2004.
Mia currently sits on the Auxiliary Board of the Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo and the Junior Board of Greencity Market in Chicago. Mia has served on the Board of Directors for the MIT Club of Hong Kong and the Harvard Business School Club of Hong Kong. She loves cycling and yoga and has three kids.
General Manager of Men's for James Perse Enterprises, Inc.
Matt Moyer is the General Manager of Men's for James Perse Enterprises, Inc. where he oversees the Global Men's Strategies for Apparel. Prior to joining James Perse Enterprises, Inc., Matt was the Senior Director of Men's at Theory. Matt’s previous experience included time at Ralph Lauren, Corp., where he worked in Merchandising, Real Estate, and completed a Management Training program. Matt earned his Bachelor's degree from Cornell University and was a 4 year member of their Lacrosse team.
Lawrence P. Casey
President and Chief Operating Officer Donahue Schriber
President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern California-based Donahue Schriber
Lawrence P. Casey is President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern California-based Donahue Schriber, a fully integrated, privately held real estate investment trust operating on the West Coast. The company owns and/or operates an 11 million square feet portfolio of 65 neighborhood, community and power shopping centers.
Mr. Casey received his BBA degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and sits on its Open Air Shopping Center Committee. He is also a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), sat on its Audit Committee, is a Vice Chair of one of its Commercial and Retail Development Councils, mentors in its Young Leaders Group Mentorship Program, and is a ULI Foundation Governor.
Joohi is a second-time entrepreneur and mom to two energetic kiddos. Most recently, she led the AllModern Marketing team at Wayfair. Prior to Wayfair, she had corporate strategy gigs at eBay and Wells Fargo and traveled in style while working at the Boston Consulting Group. In her previous life, she researched augmented reality, wrote software for visual effects, and exited her first venture before studying at UCLA Anderson. Joohi has recently founded Learning Bags, an education startup with a mission to inspire a love of learning and create lasting family moments. She’s currently working hard to launch the MVP and to be a better mom and wife.
Breakfast and Registration
Welcome and Kickoff (Korn Hall)
Keynote Address (Korn Hall) Craig Brommers (’02), Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Gap, Inc.
RETAIL START-UPS: Despite facing the challenges of finding investors and marketplace crowding, start-ups are beginning to thrive and are still impacting the business. This is how. Featuring speakers from Hollar, Brilliant Ventures, Harper Wilde and Oars + Alps.
SUSTAINABILITY AND PURPOSE IN RETAIL: Our speakers will share innovations in sustainability, their purpose-driven missions and the future of this faction of retail. Featuring speakers from Fashion4Freedom, The Giving Keys, Untucked Workwear and TOMS.
EVOLUTION OF BRICK + MORTAR: Learn more about current retail trends, including the shift to “experiential retail” and its impact on commercial real estate development, and opportunities for real estate investors going forward. Featuring speakers from Balboa Retail Partners, Donahue Schriber and Cushman & Wakefield.
DIGITAL AND TECH TRENDS IN RETAIL: Discover the latest innovations that are changing the retail industry. Featuring speakers from Amazon, Happy Returns, AllOfUS Cosmetics and Dollar Shave Club.
DISRUPTING THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY: Explore the impact of social media and in-store tech on this revolutionary arena of the industry. Featuring speakers from AllOfUs Cosmetics, Jouer Cosmetics, Smashbox and Kate Somerville.
MARKETING TO THE CHANGING CONSUMER: Industry professionals will discuss connecting with the changing consumer. Featuring speakers from Wayfair, Hot Topic, James Perse and Good American.