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.
LanVy Nguyen considers herself a human rights activist that happens to make fashionable goods. She does so to prove that the second-largest supply chain has room to allow traditional and marginalized makers to participate in the global trade of fashionable goods. A former corporate climber turned social entrepreneur, LanVy strives to create a model supply chain that encourages responsible production to address issues of human rights, environmental degradation and economic justice in Vietnam. Prior to her work in Vietnam, she spent a decade in roles relating to corporate finance, business development and mergers and acquisition. She combined her experience in business and manufacturing, her love of design and her passion for social change to establish Fashion4Freedom.
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.
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.
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.
Leslie J. Mayer is an Executive Director of Retail Services in the Century City/Los Angeles office with over 24 years of commercial real estate experience. She joined Cushman & Wakefield after having her own retail brokerage firm for over fourteen years and serves on the Executive Retail Committee for Cushman Wakefield.
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 buildings, and new developments. She helps tailor and develop overall market strategies for both tenants and developers and oversees lease/contract negotiations. She further specializes in the incubation of new retail and restaurant concepts and spearheading their expansion programs.
Recent and current tenant assignments include: SKECHERS Shoes nationally, Citibank regionally, Soap Stories, JNCO jeans AG Goldschmeid Jeans and 20 Lounge and the following restaurant groups: David Myers Group (Hinoki & The Bird, Comme Ca and Pizzeria Ortica), Rosa Mexicano, Ford's Filling Station, Mendocino Farms, Cousins Lobster, Ink Sack, 41 Ocean, 9021Pho, Salata, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Poquito Mas, Illy and Grom Gelato. Recent agency and consultancy assignments include: restaurant properties at 3400 Olive Avenue, 3800 Alameda and 3821 Riverside Drive in Burbank, California, 11661 San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood, 9346 Civic Center Drive in Beverly Hills and 1923 Bronson Ave in Hollywood and retail properties on Rodeo Drive and North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica and shopping center leasing for Pride Center in West Hills and the West Hollywood Gateway in West Hollywood.
Ms. Mayer holds a California Real Estate Broker License and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). She received a BA in Communications from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a member of the United States Equestrian Foundation. She is active with the Westside Children's Center and After School All Stars programs in Los Angeles.
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.
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.