Retail isn’t dying; it’s evolving. The COVID-19 pandemic has sent retailers across the globe into a tailspin, spurring evolution faster than ever. Retail has always been in a constant state of change, but in 2021 it finds itself at an inflection point. Contributing $5 trillion to the U.S. economy, retail is an integral part of our society.
We need to understand how the lessons learned thus far can be incorporated into retailers’ business models. How can we meet consumer demands innovatively and write a new chapter? What changes are essential in this new age, and how can we continue to grow responsibly?
A leading global chief executive, Laurie Ann has over 30 years of management and operating experience building consumer and retail businesses. She is a board director, advisor and investor living in Manhattan. Laurie Ann most recently was the CEO of Avon North America for private equity investor Cerberus Capital. At Avon, she quickly restructured and sold the company to a Korean conglomerate. Formerly the CEO of Spanx, in only 12 years she grew the company from a startup with a handful of innovative products into a global powerhouse. Earlier she spent a decade at The Coca-Cola Company, and has extensive experience in IP licensing, food-service and beverages.
She is on the board of Terminex Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:TMX), Compensation Committee and Chair of Nominating and Governance. She oversaw the spin-off of American Home Shield (NASDAQ:FTDR) and the sale of Service Master Brands. She also serves on GUESS?, Inc. (NYSE:GES), Chair of Nominating and Governance Committee.
She advises private equity and is on the boards of Joe & the Juice (General Atlantic), Risk Committee, 101 Studios (Yucaipa), ClubCorp (Apollo) and Newlight Technologies. Her diverse consumer experience across food service, apparel, hospitality, film and TV and biotech give her unique perspective.
Shortly after joining the board of New Avon, she was asked to take over as CEO. She quickly made an impact to turn around the 133-year-old company -- first by stabilizing cash and then by creating a strategic and financial plan for the future. She redesigned the organization and led process improvement initiatives. To increase revenue, she created new marketing initiatives to reposition the brand and empower the 250K+ Avon Representatives. She upgraded social and digital channels and launched new innovative product lines. Within the year, the company was in position to be acquired by LG Household & Health Care. The deal was announced in April 2019 and closed in August 2019.
Joining Spanx in 2002 as Chief Executive Officer, Laurie Ann was key to the fairytale success of the Company. She took the helm at age 39 and in the face of a declining industry she built the strategy, team and infrastructure to take on large multinational competitors and industry veterans. When she left in 2014, Spanx boasted best in class margins and EBITDA, had the #1 share in the global shapewear industry and was publicly touted as a fashion favorite by celebrities on social media, the red carpet and by women everywhere.
During her tenure at Spanx, Laurie Ann led transformative initiatives developing new lines and expanding tinto new channels of distribution and over 60 countries; as well as into larger categories of active, jeans and swim and even Spanx for Men. She spearheaded the expansion of Spanx into retail with global e-commerce platforms and opening stand-alone stores to further growth as an omni-channel retailer and address the millennial consumer. She oversaw the creation of ainternational intellectual property management function and is named on several product patents.
Prior to SPANX, Laurie Ann had progressively responsible marketing and operational roles at The Coca-Cola Company. At 33, she became head of the world-wide licensing division. In this role, she oversaw the expansion of the licensing business to 54 countries that reached nearly $1 billion in retail sales and expanded innovative programs for three Olympic Games and The World Cup. Earlier in her career she held marketing positions at R.H. Macy’s. Laurie Ann has been featured in Fortune, CNBC, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. She is a sought-after speaker and commentator and regularly shares her insights on leadership, marketing, consumers and retail.
She’s a member of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, The Committee of 200 (C200), Chief Executives Organization and Women Corporate Directors. Honors include Directors to Watch, AJC National Human Relations and Leadership Award (along with Madeleine Albright), JWI's Top Ten Women to Watch and Ad Age Top 50 Marketing Executives. She was also selected to run the Olympic torch during the 1996 Olympics. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin and raised three great sons.
Cate Khan is the co-founder and chief strategy officer at Verishop, a social shopping platform where you can explore women’s and men’s fashion, home, beauty and more through engaging videos and aspirational imagery. Her goal as CSO is to create a better shopping experience through more engaging mobile technology and boundless selection for all lifestyle needs. Cate brings together an extensive skill set in building brands and general management with a hyper-focus on customer experience, especially on digital platforms. Prior to starting Verishop, Cate spent eight years at Amazon, most recently as the senior vice president and head of retail of its Quidsi business where she led marketing, merchandising and business analytics, helping turn the business to profitability. Earlier in her career, Cate spent a combined six years at L’Oreal and Avon in beauty marketing, both in product development and market activation. Cate is an active philanthropist, having served on the Board of Directors for both NYC Make-a-Wish and LA Food Bank. Cate received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. She currently resides in Dallas with her husband and two children.
Allie Einsidler has been working in the digital advertising space for 7 years with a diverse background in Social Strategy, Native Advertising, Custom Content and Strategic Partnerships. She's currently a Brand Partnerships Manager at TikTok working across CPG accounts, where her role is to work with cross-functional teams in the execution of strategic campaigns rooted in creative insights, KPI alignment and platform trends. Allie's career in digital started at Twitter as a Sales Account Coordinator where she gained valuable experience in the fundamentals of digital advertising. In 2016, she transitioned to BuzzFeed where she started as an Account Manager and grew to become a Senior Strategic Account Manager working on larger scale, strategic partnerships. During her 4 years at BuzzFeed, Allie worked on top tier accounts including Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Clorox and Hilton, and managed First-T- Market activations like BuzzFeed's first live, virtual event in partnership with Bumble (featured in AdWeek) and Hilton Hotel's Bring Me Partnership which included the development of an affiliate, e-commerce site integration for easy trip planning and booking.
A proud UCLA alum, Linette Kim has been in the beauty industry for 10 years. Currently, she is VP, Consumer Engagement at Bliss – a clean, cruelty-free skincare brand distributed nationwide (Target, Walmart, Ulta, Amazon, and more). Linette oversees digital, social and go-to-market strategies with a consumer-first lens.
Her beauty career started at L'Oréal, where she developed the first influencer brand, EM Michelle Phan – the only in-house makeup brand since L'Oréal Paris. She then went on to Kiehl’s Since 1851, crafting global branding and influencer partnership strategies across social platforms for 50+ markets. To round out her 8 years at the company, she joined the CeraVe launch team immediately following the acquisition and rolled out a global website integration and content strategy for over 30 countries. One of her most valued accomplishments was serving as a founding member and mentor on the L'Oréal Women of Color Think Tank – empowering young women of color to build community & excel in their careers.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and following 10 years in New York, Linette is now back in Los Angeles with her husband.
Samantha de Castro is currently leading the social team at a top beauty brand. Graduating from a small town university with a marketing degree, she set out for Los Angeles to find her dream job. She was originally thinking fashion or entertainment, but fate threw her into the beauty world through an internship at the start of social media and influencer marketing before anyone else knew what to call it. Since then, Sam has built social media strategies and content across several beauty brands. A true millennial, Sam has also found a love for Gen-Z Marketing, through platforms like TikTok, and continues to enjoy learning new things about our upcoming generations.
Sr Manager, Supply Chain Finance Abercrombie & Fitch
Andy is Sr Manager, Supply Chain Finance at Abercrombie & Fitch. Currently he is responsible for the financial forecasting, reporting, and management of A&F’s distribution network.
Andy started his career in A&F’s Leadership Development Program upon graduation from Miami University in 2011. In his time at A&F he has experience across a multitude of finance teams - Real Estate, eCommerce, and FP&A.
He and his team are based at A&F’s Global Home Office in Columbus, OH.
Kimberly Coburn is the Green Coffee Buyer at Equal Exchange, a for-profit worker-owned, cooperative that distributes organic and fairtrade, coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, and chocolate bars produced by farmer cooperatives in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Kimberly focuses on the import and purchasing of the coffee supply chain, managing supply needs and nurturing key relationships with 23 farmer organizations in 11 origin countries.
Prior to joining Equal Exchange, Kimberly worked at Root Capital, an organization delivering loans and financial education services aimed at accelerating and growing agricultural enterprises throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
She received a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Spanish Literature from Boston University. She speaks fluent English and Spanish.
Laura is Director of Network Strategy & Operations at lululemon. In her current role she is responsible for long-range strategy, planning and analytics for global fulfillment functions, as well as in-season fulfillment planning, operations and financial management.
Laura started her career in Deloitte Consulting Strategy & Operations practice as a true generalist, working across industries and functions – She received her MBA from UCLA in 2016, and spent time at TOMS Shoes in Global Supply Chain, as well as returning to Deloitte Consulting focusing in Retail & Consumer Product industries, before starting at lululemon in 2018.
She is currently based out of Vancouver, Canada and manages a team across NA.
Inspired by her own family’s passion for living an active lifestyle, Pallavi Golla founded Lark Adventurewear in 2017. After having her son, she noticed that traditional cotton and polyester children’s clothing would make her child hot, sweaty and uncomfortable as he explored the world around him. Pallavi made it her mission to create a safe technical apparel line to keep children more comfortable. Lark’s proprietary Softek™ bamboo cotton knit is UPF 50+ sun safe, breathable and stain resistant clothing is unlike anything in the $50bn childrenswear market that has yet to see clothing made from safe performance fabrics. Their brand has grown exponentially over the last 18 months as brand awareness and loyalty has increased.
Pallavi lived in New York City and Los Angeles for many years before returning to her Pittsburgh roots with her husband and 2 young children. She spent 5 years working in investment research at distressed credit hedge funds and transitioned to the start up world after business school. Serving as VP of Product for e-commerce winery WINC, she was pivotal in developing their supply chain and brands for their diverse wine portfolio. Pallavi graduated with a BS in Finance from NYU Stern (’06) and received her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management (’13).
Head of Brand Development rewardStyle + LIKEtoKNOW.IT
Alexis Caldwell is Head of Brand Development, overseeing all North America sales and account management, for rewardStyle + LIKEtoKNOW.IT, the first and largest invitation-only, end-to-end content monetization platform for top-tier digital style influencers and brands around the world. rewardStyle provides the innovative technologies, strategic growth consultancy and partnerships necessary to empower a global army of 100k+ premium content creators. Since its inception, rewardStyle influencers have driven over $8 billion in retail sales. A 13+ year veteran of digital marketing and #startuplife, Alexis serves on industry advisory boards and has close ties with thousands of online brands, thus constantly keeping her finger on the pulse of affiliate marketing. Alexis has also appeared on CNN, ABC, FOX, CBS and a variety of other media outlets as an online shopping expert.
Jeff Lotman is the driving force behind Global Icons, a company he founded in 1998. His rapidly growing corporation is a licensing agency that specializes in the extension of corporate brands and trademarks. His prescience that employees in global markets would better service clients in those areas has helped propel his company to becoming the largest global brand-focused agency, generating over $5 billion in retail sales.
Jeff has also taken the lead on educating marketing executives on the hidden benefits of licensing through growing impressions, uncovering new customers and increasing revenue. He applies this same philosophy to the overall mission of his agency. Over the years, Global Icons has established an impressive reputation and client roster that includes Hostess, Lamborghini, Triumph motorcycle, Turtle Wax, USPS, Nokia, and Vespa, among others.
Prior to launching Global Icons, Jeff spent more than 15 years as a top executive at Keystone Foods, a multi-billion dollar manufacturing company that developed products for clients such as McDonald’s and Kraft. There he guided the international expansion of the company by establishing manufacturing and distribution operations in over a dozen countries. He advanced to Chief Operating Officer, where he served for three years, before leaving to start Global Icons.
Jeff Lotman is a well-accomplished business veteran who has led his company to the forefront of the licensing industry through his years of experience and savvy entrepreneurship. He and his team have crafted a successful formula they call Elevated Branding, which has achieved stunning results. He has been a guest speaker at UCLA, NYU, Curry College and many leading industry events including Entertainment Marketing Conference, Young Presidents’ Organization, SPLICE, Licensing Show, Restaurant Industry Conference, and others. He has been profiled numerous times, most notably in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, CNBC, and FOX; and he is a distinguished member of the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and the Licensing Executives Society (LES). He is also the owner of Fred Segal, LA's iconic fashion brand.
Director, Career Advising and Corporate Outreach Consulting and Social Impact, UCLA Anderson Parker Career Management Center
Director, Career Advising and Corporate Outreach Consulting and Social Impact, UCLA Anderson Parker Career Management Center
Moderator: Keynote Founders Panel
Chris Weber joined the Parker Career Management Center in November 2013 as an associate director and was promoted in September 2015 to his current position. In addition to serving as a career advisor to students interested in consulting, retail and social impact roles, Weber leads the advising channel for the office and advises employers in the above industries on how to connect with current UCLA Anderson MBAs.
Keynote Founders Panel
The Future of Good Growth: Supply Chain and Sustainability
Engaging with Gen Z and the New Ideals of Retail
Direct-to-(the-2021)-Consumer: Brand Showcase
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Five Reasons to Attend the Evolve Conference:
Make new business connections at the West Coast’s only MBA-driven retail conference.
Engage in discussions about predicting and addressing shifting consumer preferences.
Experience interactive panel discussions exploring the latest industry advancements.
Hear from our keynote speakers! Last year’s speakers included Grant Barth, co-founder and president of ThenWhat Inc., and Ghadi Hobeika, CMO U.S. and group CDO of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
Interface with industry titans and entrepreneurs, who will offer valuable lessons on keeping your retail business moving forward.