Evolve Conference

Blue lights? Red tags? Layaway specials?
R.I.P., old retail.

In today’s world, checking store inventory online, virtual dressing rooms, and same-day delivery are becoming the norm — and often expected. Consumers demand the most convenient experience, which often melds the digital and physical shopping worlds.

Retail Business Association Evolve Conference


Saturday, March 4, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
UCLA Anderson School of Management

Conference Background


To put this new landscape into clear perspective, the Retail Business Association, in partnership with the UCLA Anderson Morrison Family Center for Marketing and Analytics, brings you the 2017 Evolve Conference, combining industry leaders and renowned UCLA researchers to best define “The Connected Consumer.”

This event is aimed at knowledge sharing and networking among students and professionals in the retail industry. The conference features two keynote speakers, including PacSun CEO Gary Schoenfeld (B.A. ’84), as well as six interactive panel discussions. We expect to host 200 guests, comprising UCLA Anderson MBA students, alumni and local area professionals.

Speakers & Panelists


Keynote Speaker

Gary H. Schoenfeld (B.A. ’84)

President and CEO, PacSun

Gary H. Schoenfeld is president and CEO of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., a national retailer of branded and proprietary apparel and accessories. From 1995 to 2004 he led the turnaround and more than four-fold sales growth as president and CEO of publicly traded Vans Inc. into a leading youth lifestyle brand until its acquisition by VF Corporation. In between Vans and PacSun, Schoenfeld was CEO of Aritzia USA, a leading Canadian fashion retailer, and co-CEO of Global Brands Group, a brand management and licensing company based in London and Singapore that was the worldwide master licensee for the FIFA World Cup. Prior to joining Vans, Schoenfeld was a partner in the private equity firm of McCown De Leeuw & Co. Schoenfeld has served as a director for each of these companies, along with several others, including CamelBak Products LLC, 24 Hour Fitness Inc. and Hawaiian Airlines. In 2005 he co-taught two streams of entrepreneurship at the London Business School. From 2004 to 2006, he chaired the Stanford University Graduate School of Business management board, in addition to having served seven years as a member of the Chapman University board of governors. Schoenfeld currently serves on the UCLA Anderson School of Management Board of Advisors. He earned his B.A. in economics at UCLA in 1984 and received his MBA from Stanford University in 1988.

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Jason Hreha

Head of Product - Behavioral Sciences, Walmart

Jason Hreha is an applied behavioral scientist turned "product guy." He applies the latest findings from fields like cognitive science, social psychology and behavioral economics to product design to create the most enjoyable and engaging products possible. He used to be one of the lead researchers in BJ Fogg's Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. He has also collaborated extensively with Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and two other New York Times best-sellers. A serial entrepreneur, Hreha has had one exit (Kite.io to Quixey) and has mentored companies at 500 Startups and Thiel Fellows since their inaugural classes. He writes for Inc.com, and has had his work featured in Bigthink, Business Insider, TechCrunch, GigaOm and Knowledge@Wharton.

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Michael Fox

CEO and Co-Founder, Shoes of Prey

Michael Fox is a reformed lawyer turned e-commerce entrepreneur. Since escaping the legal profession he cut his retail teeth on the Australian company Super Retail Group. He then joined Google, working in their advertising sales team in Sydney. With fellow Googler Mike Knapp and ex-lawyer Jodie Fox, Fox co-founded and has built Shoes of Prey into a leading e-commerce player and set the industry standard for innovation in customization and manufacturing on demand. Shoes of Prey launched in 2009 and manufacturers all its own product, employing over 200 staff.

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Katie Warner Johnson

CEO, Carbon 38

Katie Warner is the founder and CEO of Carbon38, a luxury lifestyle brand created for the modern American woman. Carbon38 curates the best luxury active fashion brands, as well as designs and manufactures its own in-house line, available from one platform. Before launching Carbon38, Johnson was voted LA's Hottest Trainer by Racked.com and served as a senior instructor at Physique 57 and spokeswoman for Women's Health Magazine. Prior to her career in fitness, Johnson worked as an analyst at Deutsche Bank in Capital Markets. She graduated from Harvard University and trained with the Miami City Ballet.

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Kevin Morris (’11)

CFO/COO and Co-Founder, DSTLD

Kevin Morris is CFO/COO and co-founder of DSTLD and manages the company's finances, operations and performance marketing. He has an MBA from UCLA Anderson and a B.S. from UC Berkeley. Prior to Anderson, Morris worked at Deloitte, where he specialized in technical integrations and strategy. After receiving his MBA, Morris worked for American Airlines before following his desire to work in the apparel industry. He worked at an Adidas licensee, overseeing sales and marketing strategy, before starting his role at DSTLD.

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Amit Jain (’07)

CEO, Bridg

Amit Jain has been at the intersection of marketing and big data for years. Before founding Bridg in 2012, Jain was a founder of the Google Advisor service. Prior to that, he served as a founding member/co-founder of Terra Matrix Media, Savings.com and YouMail.com. Jain completed his MBA at UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2007 and has a degree in computer science.

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Samantha Henderson (FEMBA ’17)

Co-Founder and SVP of Business Development, RevCascade

Currently an MBA candidate at UCLA Anderson School of Management, Samantha Henderson has e-commerce experience in the home furnishings industry and also played a key role in operations, account management and product at the Rubicon Project. While at Rubicon, Henderson’s responsibilities included running the $100+ million advertiser side of the company. At RevCascade, Henderson is responsible for sales development for both brands and retailers.

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Kevin McAdam

Senior Sales Consultant–Director of Sales, One Step Retail Solutions

Kevin McAdam has been a leading voice in technology innovation for retail. Author of the e-book Succeeding in the Retail Business During Economic Stress, Kevin brings a diverse knowledge of management, marketing and retail industry research to his clients. He has led the decision process for major retailers investing in POS, inventory, e-commerce and CRM systems, including complex architectural integrations between core business systems. Some of his clients include ASICS America, Oakley, MoMA, New Era Cap and Pacers Basketball.

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Kelsey Doorey (’13)

Founder and CEO, Vow To Be Chic

Kelsey Doorey is the founder and CEO of Vow To Be Chic, the first and only company to rent designer bridesmaid dresses. Doorey has an MBA from UCLA Anderson and a B.A. from Columbia University. Prior to launching Vow, she worked as a management consultant for four years before following her passion to the retail industry. In retail, Doorey has worked at RentTheRunway, Bloomingdale’s, Michael Kors and BCBGMaxAzria.

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Garrett Gerson

Co-Founder and CEO, YSTR

Garrett Gerson thrives on disruptive innovations and businesses that think outside the box. After working for several independent labels post-college, Gerson paired his knack for business management with an appreciation for the dynamic, rapidly evolving nature of the fashion industry by launching his own line in 2009. After seven years of success, Gerson and his business partner April decided that it was time to disrupt their own careers: the two of them took the steps to exit the wholesale business and form a new e-commerce brand, YSTR, hoping to change the way fashion is created and delivered in this modern era.

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John Friberg

Director of Customer Marketing, Mattel

John Friberg oversees all marketing activities for Mattel at both Toys"R"Us and Amazon, two of Mattel's largest retailers. He is responsible for the account strategies and promotional executions across a wide portfolio of brands and consumer targets, including Fisher-Price for new moms, Barbie for young girls, Hot Wheels for young boys and Uno for adults, just to name a few. He needs to understand the shopper, end consumer and retailer segmentations in order to successfully market. Prior to Mattel, Friberg obtained his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and A.B. from Harvard University.

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Salil Shah

Head of Business and Corporate Development for Monetization, Pinterest

Salil Shah leads business and corporate development for monetization at Pinterest. He oversees strategic partnerships and M&A to support growth and scaling of Pinterest's ads business. Prior to Pinterest, Shah led business development for mobile advertising at Google. Shah completed his MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business and his undergraduate education at the University of Southern California.

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Cathy Beaupain (B.S. ’97, ’05)

President, Dermstore

Cathy Beaupain has developed a career in understanding the end consumer by leveraging big data. Beaupain’s deep e-commerce and digital experience has been successfully tested in various industries, including travel, consumer products and digital content. She has held leadership positions at Princess Cruises (Carnival’s luxury brand), Oakley (Luxottica Group), Zynga and JibJab Media. Currently, Beaupain is president of Dermstore, a wholly owned subsidiary of Target Corporation. Beaupain holds a B.S. in biochemistry from UCLA and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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Dustin Netral

SVP of Operations, Fabletics

Dustin Netral is a highly driven, performance-focused leader with more than 18 years of experience building best-in-class retail operations. Netral has a proven track record of developing top talent within the organization that continuously delivers top results. He is a key strategist with conceptualization of nationwide initiatives that deliver growth and bottom-line profits. His specialties include: sales and operations management, branding, project management, process improvement, leadership training, sales and operations training, sales and market development, program negotiation, value added services and new market development.

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Ivka Adam (B.A. ’02)

Founder and CEO, Iconery

Ivka Adam is the founder and CEO of Iconery, the premier source for end-to-end jewelry design, production and online retailing. Adam has years of e-commerce and Silicon Valley know-how from working at eBay and Modnique. Most recently at Modnique, Ivka served as the VP of marketing and mobile development, and her roles at eBay included leadership positions in vertical business strategy and global marketing units, ultimately serving as senior manager of North America mobile marketing. Ivka received a B.A. in economics from UCLA and her MBA from the Marshall School of Business at USC.

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Matt Gierl

Head of Growth, The Black Tux

Upon graduating from Miami University with a degree in economics, Matt Gierl joined Deloitte Consulting's strategy and operations practice. Following Deloitte, he joined data science company dunnhumby U.S., where he worked as an analyst to inform the pricing, merchandising and marketing strategies of CPG companies. After spending a year in UCLA Anderson's full-time MBA program, Gierl joined The Black Tux in 2014 as a data scientist. Today, as head of growth for The Black Tux, Matt works with a cross-functional team of engineers, marketers and designers to drive revenue growth through user acquisition, activation, conversion and retention initiatives.

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Rama Malladi (’05)

Partner and Head of Analytics, Kubera

Rama Malladi has 22 years of experience in financial and risk analytics. As a partner and head of analytics at Kubera, he has provided consultancy services to several global multinational firms such as Wachovia, Starbucks, Toyota Financial Services, IBM and Hewlett-Packard and organizations such as the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Stock Exchange. Malladi has served in several leadership positions with the CFA Society of L.A., including vice president and board of governors. Malladi holds a Ph.D. in finance from EDHEC Business School, an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and a master's in electrical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology.

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Dan Wilson (B.A. ’91, ’95)

Vice President of Retail, Saban Brands

Dan Wilson is vice president of retail at Saban Brands. He works on all retail initiatives, including marketing, channel business development and sales support for Saban Brands' properties, which include the Power Rangers, Paul Frank and Luna Petunia. With over 20 years of entertainment marketing, licensing and sales experience, Wilson has worked at several major entertainment companies, including Disney, DreamWorks Animation and Activision Blizzard. He has created and executed event-level retail promotions at retailers such as Walmart, Toys"R"Us and Hot Topic.

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Todd Dipaola

CEO and Founder, inMarket

Todd Dipaola co-founded inMarket in 2010 to bring the performance and accountability of digital marketing to the realm of retail. Dipaola previously co-founded and bootstrapped digital marketing agency Vantage Media, which ranked 31 on the Inc. 500 and earned the "Fastest Growing Technology Company in Los Angeles" honors from Deloitte's Fast50. In 2007, Dipaola exited the company at a valuation north of $100 million. In 2007, he created the Dipaola Foundation, which was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, to work on environmental and systemic societal issues. He sits on several boards, including UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy and California Common Cause. Dipaola graduated as a Regents Scholar from UC Berkeley in molecular and cell biology with emphasis in immunology.

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Marc Vermut (’02)

Vice President of Advisory Services, Neustar

Marc Vermut, vice president of advisory services and marketing solutions at Neustar, helps brands make better marketing investment decisions, leading the retail industry practice. At Neustar, Vermut oversees the deployment of Neustar's marketing solutions product suite that enables clients to effectively and efficiently identify and activate audiences through omnichannel marketing. His day-to-day is spent with a focus on delivering strategic and planning insights to senior client management, while assisting with the adoption of marketing analytic programs. Vermut received his B.S. in economics from the Wharton School and his MBA from UCLA Anderson.

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Grant Beggs

Vice President of Global Retail Innovation and Operations, Levi Strauss & Co.

Grant has over 15 years of cross-functional leadership experience in the retail industry. He started his career at McKinsey & Company and has since worked as a merchant, planner, allocator, vice president of stores and vice president of strategy across contemporary brands (Levi's), luxury retailers (Louis Vuitton, Saks Fifth Avenue) and mass retailers (Target, Mattel). Currently, Grant is Vice President of Global Retail Innovation & Operations at Levi Strauss & Co. Grant holds an MBA from Dartmouth College.

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Raj Sareen

CEO and Co-Founder, Styku

Raj Sareen is the co-founder and CEO of Styku, a lifestyle technology company that is highly focused on understanding the human body. By leveraging body visuals from 3-D scanning and body metrics from the analysis of scans, Styku is delivering value across several industries focused on body-related services. Prior to founding Styku, Sareen worked on the shuttle program at NASA, as a research scientist at the California and Carnegie Planet Search lab, and as a director at Tukatech Inc., a global leader in fashion design and development technology. He has a B.S. in space sciences, as well as an M.S. in physics and an M.S. in astronautical engineering.

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Sergio Bosetti

Senior Director of North American Distribution, Luxottica

Sergio Bosetti was born in Italy and is the senior director of North America distribution within Luxottica. He is responsible for the customer service level and optimization of distribution for the wholesale, retail and Web channels of trade. Since 2014, as demand planning and S&OP manager, he has studied market trends, forecasted demand, planned production and managed inventory in the fashion world. Passionate about photography, he loves to travel the world and ride his red Ducati. Bosetti holds both an M.S. and B.S. in business engineering from Università degli Studi di Brescia.

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Anna Lecat

Founder and CEO, Les Lunes

Anna Lecat grew up in Ukraine in a family of entrepreneurs, watching both her parents and older brother run their own successful companies. She left home at 17 and traveled throughout Asia, Europe and the United States, starting her first company, a brand management agency, at 21 while living in Shanghai. Lecat later founded Streamline Alliance, a white-glove manufacturing company for high-quality products in China. In 2012 Lecat founded Les Lunes, a fashion house that stands for stylish, sophisticated and comfortable clothing with French aesthetics, made from premium soft fabrics sourced from bamboo.

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Elan Sippel-Feldman (’14)

Development Manager, Westfield

Elan Sippel-Feldman is a development manager for Westfield, one of the world's leading shopping center companies. In this capacity he develops projects along the West Coast, including the $1.1 billion redevelopment of Westfield Valley Fair. Sippel-Feldman is at the forefront of Westfield's strategy to develop superior retail destinations in major cities by integrating food, fashion, leisure and entertainment and by using technology to better connect retailers with consumers. Sippel-Feldman completed his MBA at UCLA Anderson School of Management and his undergraduate education at Claremont McKenna College.

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Nital Scott (‘08)

SVP - Finance, Beautycounter

Nital Scott is the SVP, Finance at Beautycounter where she oversees the finance and accounting functions of the company and has played a key role in the company's capital raising activities. Prior to Beautycounter, Nital was a Vice President in Goldman Sach's investment banking division.  She covered companies in the consumer and retail sectors and focused primarily on M&A transactions.  Previous to Goldman Sachs, Nital held leadership roles at KPMG, both in the Sydney and Silicon Valley practices.  Nital received her MBA from UCLA Anderson, BA from UCLA and also holds her CPA license in the state of California. 

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Vanessa Stark (B.A. ‘09)

Marketing Manager, Square

Vanessa Stark ​works as a Marketing Manager for Square - the leading mobile payments company - where she oversees strategy and execution of paid acquisition campaigns across international markets and small business software products. Prior to Square, Vanessa worked at ad agency AKQA, where she managed integrated digital campaigns for global brands such as Clorox, PIMCO and Balsam Hill; and at Charles Schwab - where she supported the development and execution of the award-winning "Talk to Chuck" ad campaign across online and offline channels. Vanessa earned her B.A. in Sociology from UCLA.

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Program Agenda

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Breakfast & Registration

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.

Welcome Remarks

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.

Keynote Address
Jason Hreha, Head of Product - Behavioral Sciences, Walmart

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Retail Startups
As Silicon Beach gains traction, retail startups are taking center stage.

  • Moderator: Nital Scott ('08), SVP - Finance, Beautycounter
  • Anna Lecat, Founder and CEO, Les Lunes
  • Kevin Morris ('11), CFO/COO and Co-Founder, DSTLD
  • Katie Warner Johnson, Founder and CEO, Carbon 38
  • Kelsey Doorey ('13), Founder and CEO, Vow To Be Chic

Omnichannel Retail Trends
Learn how companies are continuing to evolve in an increasingly omnichannel world through innovations in supply chain, predictive analytics and inventory optimization.

  • Moderator: Katie Satornino ('17), Senior Associate, PwC, Retail & Consumer Practice
  • Rama Malladi (EMBA '05), Partner & Head of Analytics, Kubera
  • Sergio Bosetti, Senior Director of North America Distribution, Luxottica
  • Kevin McAdam, Senior Retail Technology Consultant, One Step Retail Solutions
  • Samantha Henderson (FEMBA '17), Co-Founder, RevCascade

Consumer Trends in Retail
With a new generation of digital natives on the rise, retailers are finding innovative ways to attract and retain customers.

  • Moderator: Aimee Drolet Rossi, Professor and Marketing Area Chair, UCLA Anderson School of Management
  • Marc Vermut ('02), Vice President - Advisory Services, Neustar, Inc.
  • Michael Fox, Co-Founder, Shoes of Prey
  • Amit Jain (MBA '07), CEO, Bridg
  • Salil Shah, Head of Business and Corporate Development for Monetization, Pinterest
12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Digital and Technology Trends in Retail
From wearables to payment technology, the retail industry is being transformed by the digital world.

  • Moderator: Kyle Briscoe ('17), Second-Year Student, UCLA Anderson School of Management
  • Grant Beggs, VP of Global Retail Innovation & Operations, Levi Strauss & Company
  • Todd Dipaola, CEO & Co-Founder, inMarket
  • Raj Sareen, CEO & Co-Founder, Styku
  • Vanessa Stark (B.A. '09), Marketing Manager, Square

Experiential Retail
This panel will explore how retailers and brands interact together to create an immersive customer experience.

  • Moderator: Giselle Gorsky ('18), First-Year Student, UCLA Anderson School of Management
  • Dan Wilson (B.A. '91, ' 95), VP of Retail, Saban Brands
  • Jen Turner (B.A. '06), Human Resources Recruiter, Anthropologie
  • Elan Sippel-Feldman (FEMBA '14), Development Manager, Westfield
  • John Friberg, Director of Customer Marketing, Mattel

New Retail Business Models and Disruptions
Traditional retail is old news! Subscription services, rental companies and customizable price points pave the way for a new generation of retail.

  • Moderator: Cathy Beaupain (B.S. '97, MBA '05), President, Dermstore
  • Garrett Gerson, Co-Founder, YSTR Clothing
  • Dustin Netral, SVP of Operations, Fabletics
  • Ivka Adam (B.A. ’02), Co-Founder, Iconery
  • Matt Gierl, Head of Growth, The Black Tux
2:45 – 3:30 p.m.

Keynote Address
Gary Schoenfeld (B.A. ’84), President and CEO, PacSun

3:30 – 3:45 p.m. Closing Remarks

Omnichannel Retail Trends

Learn how companies are continuing to evolve in an increasingly omnichannel world through innovations in supply chain, predictive analytics and inventory optimization. This panel will dive into the convergence of different retail channels as consumers increasingly move between channels on their shopping journey

Consumer Trends in Retail

With a new generation of digital natives on the rise, retailers are finding innovative ways to attract and retain customers. In this panel, you will learn about: how new generations of consumers are influencing retail companies' use of loyalty programs; engagement of social influencers to market products; and the emerging use of social selling strategies.

New Retail Business Models

Traditional retail is old news! Subscription services, rental companies and customizable price points pave the way for a new generation of retail. In this panel, learn how new retail business models are changing the retail landscape in major ways, with rental companies' changing consumers' view of ownership, subscription services' enabling consumer trial outside of brick and mortar, and an accessories company that is pushing the limits of fashion-on-demand.

Retail Start-Ups

As Silicon Beach gains traction, retail startups are taking center stage. Join this panel to hear from local startup founders about their unique strategies to differentiate themselves in the increasingly crowded retail industry. Speakers will specifically touch upon their personal story, financing and e-commerce.

Digital & Technology Trends in Retail

From wearables to payment technology, the retail industry is being transformed by the digital world. With the emergence of a shoppable Instagram, smart mirrors and RFID technology, the industry has a huge opportunity to customize the consumer experience. This panel will feature experts in the field who will reflect upon and provide guidance to those navigating the implications these changes have on the industry.

Experiential Retail

Have you ever walked into a store and felt instantly transported into another setting? There are many ways for consumers to engage with brands and products: This panel will explore how retailers and brands interact together to create an immersive customer experience.

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