Advisory Board

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Retail TouchPoints is proud to introduce our distinguished Advisory Board consisting of some of the most innovative retail minds in the industry!

These retail thought leaders are helping to shape the industry in new ways every day. As members of the Retail TouchPoints Advisory Board, they are working together to share best practices and help overcome challenges.

Board members hail from a diverse range of retail organizations, from large national Tier 1 brands to regional stores and e-Commerce specialty merchants.  They’ll be helping us determine new directions in retail coverage as we move forward into 2017 and beyond.

Questions about our Advisory Board? Reach out to us at: [email protected].

Click on the board member headshot image to view full bio.

Retail Executives

Nina Alexander-Hurst

Senior Director, Brand Marketing – Luxury and Lifestyle Brands,

Hilton

Katherine Bahamonde
Monasebian

EVP, Chief Digital &
Technology Officer,

Barneys New York

Michael Brodesky

Director of Product Management,

Audible

Fareena Contractor

Senior Technology and
Innovation Leader,

Walmart Canada

Ruth Crowley

VP, Customer Experience
Design (former),

Lowe’s

Matthew Crucius

Director of Digital Marketing,

Stew Leonard’s

Mike Early

Senior Managing Director,

Build-A-Bear

Brandon Finch

Director of eBusiness,

Jelly Belly Candy Co.

Dave Finnegan

CXO,

Orvis

Angela Gearhart

Sr. Director Retail
Experience & Design,

Sleep Number

Traci Inglis

President, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Customer Officer,

Retailwinds

Prem Jagatheesan

Director IT,

Follett Corporation

Toni Miller

CFO (former),

Boscov’s

Michael A. Moore

Chief Experience Officer,

Victra

Daniel Neukomm

CEO,

La Jolla Group

Danielle DiMaiolo
Rendini

Senior Director of Project Management,

Barneys New York

Jan-Patrick Schmidtz

former President/CEO,

MontBlanc North America

Virginia Wong

Senior Manager, E-Retail,

Louis Vuitton Americas

Kandis Yoakum

Product Manager,

Zappos Labs

Academic Executives

Kelli Hollinger

Director, Center for Retailing Studies,

Texas A&M

Jean Jacullo

Associate Professor,

Fashion Institute of Technology

Richard Last

Senior Director, Global Digital Retailing Research Center

University of North Texas

Association Executives

Sandy Hussain

CEO,

Fashion Digital

Consultants

Chris Hull

Partner,

The Highline Partners

Ernan Roman

President,

ERDM

Nina Alexander-Hurst​

Senior Director, Brand Marketing – Luxury and Lifestyle Brands Hilton

Nina joined Hilton in February 2018 after 6+ years at Baublebar. She is leading global brand marketing for Hilton’s fast-growing portfolio of luxury and lifestyle brands: Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and Canopy by Hilton. Nina is responsible for: luxury brand partnerships & financial partnerships; luxury brand magazine/digital content; and CRM + acquisition.

Katherine Bahamonde Monasebian

EVP, Chief Digital & Technology Officer, Barneys New York

Katherine oversees the digital, e-Commerce and information technology teams, and is focused on delivering an end-to-end digital experience, building and executing the company’s technology strategy, driving the e-Commerce channel and capitalizing on new growth opportunities. In her role she has e-commerce P&L accountability, including digital merchandising, digital marketing, social media and editorial, international and website development. She more broadly oversees all company technology, including infrastructure, security, support, retail systems and business intelligence. Prior to joining Barneys New York, Katherine led e-Commerce and marketing at ALEX AND ANI.

Michael Brodesky

Director of Product Management, Audible

Michael joined Audible in 2017 after close to 4 years at Ralph Lauren, where he managed the North American product roadmap.

Fareena Contractor

Senior Technology and Innovation Leader, Walmart Canada

Fareena Contractor (yes, that’s her real last name) is a recovering scientist with an MBA in Design Thinking and Strategy. Her passion for innovation lead her to Silicon Valley, where she interviewed several companies on innovation culture and the models of corporate innovation. Her recommendations are being implemented in Walmart Canada where she now leads the Walmart Innovation Community and the Technology Implementation Team.

Ruth Crowley

VP, Customer Experience Design (former) Lowe’s

Ruth Crowley has diverse experience across industries enabling a unique ability to see business differently and serve businesses more effectively. Industries include Experience Design, Retail,

Hospitality, Theme Parks, Entertainment, Brand Design, Licensing and Consulting. Ruth has worked with iconic brands including Lowe’s Home Improvement, Universal Studios, Harley-Davidson, Nickelodeon, M&M Mars and Host Marriott in the U.S. and Global Markets. Most recently Ruth was head of Customer Experience Design at Lowe’s, a Fortune 100 Company. She has held positions across functions including Store Design and Visual Merchandising, Brand Strategy, Product Design, Concept and Portfolio Development, Merchandising, Operations, Marketing and International Business Development.

Matthew Crucius

Director of Digital Marketing Stew Leonard’s

Matt joined Stew Leonard’s in the Spring of 2019 as Director of Digital Marketing, focusing on developing the 50 year old family-owned businesses’ digital strategy in their 7 locations and ecommerce entities. Prior to Stew Leonard’s, Matt held various roles within the luxury retail space including Design Within Reach, and Luzern Laboratories.

Mike Early

Senior Managing Director, Build-A-Bear

Mike Early is the Senior Managing Director, Head of Information Technology at Build-A-Bear Workshop, a global company that specializes in helping guests create customizable furry friends in stores and online. In his role, Mike is responsible for technology strategy and execution and is leading the effort to rebuild the company’s technology capabilities to support its strategic growth plan. Most recently, Build-A-Bear completed a new ERP integration and redesigned and implemented a new ecommerce platform.

Mike is a retail veteran with more than 25 years of extensive experience in merchandising, finance, supply chain, and technology. He brings a business-centric view to technology strategy and strives to ensure clear business objectives are driving all technology decisions. Prior to Build-A-Bear, Mike held various executive positions at several national and international retailers, including Macy’s, May Department Stores, Hudson’s Bay, Blockbuster and Laura Ashley. He received his Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Connecticut and holds an MBA from Washington University.

Brandon Finch

Director of eBusiness, Jelly Belly Candy Co.

Brandon Finch is Director of eBusiness at Jelly Belly Candy Company. He has more than 15 years’ experience in the e-commerce industry. Brandon specializes in coordinating development, maintenance and tuning of e-commerce websites based on an intimate understanding of retailing coupled with usability and end-user service. Brandon’s ecommerce career started at Patagonia, a privately-held global leader in the outdoor apparel industry, where he was instrumental in shaping customer service, merchandising, SEO, affiliate marketing and usability.

Brandon also is an ecommerce consultant, a member of the mShopper Retailer Steering Committee and a frequent speaker at ecommerce events. After starting his career with Patagonia, the renowned outdoor apparel company, Brandon has been responsible for ecommerce at Royal Robbins, Phoenix Footwear and Cycle Gear.

Following his “Let the Numbers Speak” philosophy, Brandon is methodically measuring, revising and refining the internal and external web properties of JBCC. His main focus is delivering a world-class e-commerce experience by focusing on navigation, search, merchandising, marketing and user experience.

Dave Finnegan

CXO, Orvis

Dave joined Orvis having most recently been with Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. in St. Louis, MO, where he was the Chief Information & Interactive Officer. Dave was also a board member with Orvis on their IT Strategic Forum prior to joining Orvis as an employee. His experience ranges from transforming retail business into engaging customer experiences, building successful brand recognition through industry affiliations and community service, and creating collaborative cultures to deliver meaningful digital experiences and increase customer engagement. He is a valued expert in e-Commerce and interactive strategy, emerging digital technology, social media and mobile technology, business process and systems alignment, and business intelligence.

Angela Gearhart

Sr. Director Retail Experience & Design, Sleep Number

Angela is shaping Sleep Number’s future, by leading the vision and strategy to transform the Sleep Number brand and the mattress shopping experience. Today, the Sleep Number store creates a consumer-centric, technology driven environment that transforms a purely rational shopping experience to one that maximizes both rational and emotional appeals, differentiating the experience from all competitors.

Sleep Number is considered “best in class” retail leadership, resulting in over twice the productivity of the industry average. Gearhart has transformed the Sleep Number retail portfolio over the past 5 years resulting in a 63% sales growth over the past four years (2011–2015). Sleep Number’s productivity ranks among the top 10 retailers in the U.S. The store experience has also been honored by the Association for Retail Environments for Outstanding Store Design in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Sleep Number was honored for its innovative and differentiated retail. Not only has she transformed the mattress shopping experience in store, but over the last three years launched new product innovations and positioned Sleep Number, as a leading consumer technology company at events such as the Consumer Electronics Show. In 2016, this one-of-a-kind technology integrated experience exceeded company objectives, driving over 1B media impressions in 4 days and out of 3800 exhibits, Sleep Number was named in the top 5 “Best of CES” by EXHIBITOR Magazine.

Honored with the 2016 Retail Innovator Award by Retail Touchpoints and the 2015 Design Influencer Award from design:retail Magazine, Gearhart drives to influence the industry to think differently and change the perception of how consumers shop for a traditionally commoditized product, from just a purchase to truly an immersive experience. Her experience also includes end-to-end holistic marketing strategies for international retail brands – Rainforest Café, Monsoon, Pet Food Warehouse, Kohler, Nike, Callaway Golf and West Marine.

Traci Inglis

President, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Customer Officer, Retailwinds

Inglis recently joined RTW Retailwinds from TechStyle Fashion Group, where she most recently served as President of Global Fashion Brands since March 2017. She joined TechStyle Fashion Group in 2013, where she held various marketing positions prior to her appointment as President of JustFab, Fabkids, and Shoedazzle. Prior to joining TechStyle Fashion Group, she spent nearly two years as the Director of Digital Marketing and CRM at Hot Topic Inc. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. Inglis was a Director and Senior Director of Strategy and Market Research at Westfield. Prior to joining Westfield, she served as a Manager of Customer Insight, CRM, Brand Development at Express. From 2001 to 2003, she served as a Database Marketing Analyst and Program Manager at Alliance Data Systems.

Prem Jagatheesan

Director IT, Follett Corporation

Prem Jagatheesan is Director IT, Store Systems for Follett Corporation. He is responsible for store systems group that supports 1,200 college book stores across United States and Canada. Prem lead POS teams to be the first retailer in the world to implement Oracle POS Version 14. He launched Mobile POS solution for line busting, consultative selling, endless aisles, and pop-up stores.

Prem is responsible for developing and executing strategies to integrate and align technology with Follett Corporation’s business plan objectives. He has solid experience in international team leadership, managing global delivery and commitment to the development of solutions to business problems.

Toni Miller

CFO (former), Boscov’s

Toni Miller retired from her position as Senior Executive Vice President – Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Boscov’s, Inc. in 2019 Toni has 40 years of retail experience in finance and operations, having started her career in direct marketing and expanded into retail stores, food services, hospitality, and manufacturing. At Boscov’s she was responsible for Finance, Accounting, Human Resources, IT, Risk Management, Internal Audit, MIO and Credit. Prior to joining Boscov’s, Toni spent more than 27 years with Bass Pro Shops, where she was most recently Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Michael A. Moore

Chief Experience Officer, Victra

Michael is a transformational executive, offering a unique combination of leadership expertise sourced from 30 years in retail, consumer products, ecommerce, and the loyalty marketing. Michael is known for creating an empowering work environment, using the standards of stretch, trust, support and innovation.

Victra is the nation’s largest exclusive authorized retailer of wireless products and services for Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest and best performing wireless network. Victra operates 1,145 Verizon-branded retail stores across 46 states, staffed with 5,500 outstanding sales consultants and managers. Victra has been recognized for the seventh consecutive year as one of Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies. Additionally, for the 2nd consecutive year, Victra was named as Top Retailer for Customer Satisfaction by Verizon. Victra offers a comprehensive mix of wireless devices — including smartphones, feature phones, tablets, mobile broadband, wearables, a broad range of accessories, and complimentary services and support.

As Chief Experience Officer, Michael leads Victra’s Merchandising, Supply Chain, and Marketing functions. Prior to joining Victra, Michael served as Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President at Lowe’s Foods, a grocery store chain with approximately 100 locations in the Carolinas. Michael’s responsibilities included the complete rebranding effort across the entire store base, and the redesign of the store brand product portfolio. Michael also owned creating a distinctive omnichannel experience, as he led the reinvention of the ecommerce business model. This included building a new company infrastructure, technology platform, order fulfillment process, curbside and delivery experience, and a new business-to-business capability. Behind this effort, Lowes Foods generated explosive growth and led the industry in new digital innovations and applications. Retail Touchpoints honored Michael as the 2016 Innovator of the Year, and the Category Management Association honored Michael with the 2016 Best Practice Award for Omnichannel Experience.

Prior to Lowes Foods, Michael served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at SUPERVALU, which was the third largest grocery company in the United States. Michael also served as Chief Strategy Officer for LoyaltyOne, a company specializing in loyalty marketing and advanced retail analytics. Michael began his career at Procter and Gamble. During his P&G career, Michael held executive roles within sales, customer business development, marketing strategy and planning, global beauty care, and M&A.

Daniel Neukomm

CEO, La Jolla Group

Daniel Neukomm is CEO of La Jolla Group, parent company of leading action sports and lifestyle apparel brands domestically and globally – including O’Neill, Metal Mulisha and FMF. Previously, Neukomm has served as EVP, corporate strategy at LJG since 2008. He is a results driven, MBA equipped professional with a solid, verifiable career track for building strong platforms for success. Neukomm is known for delivering creative solutions to small and medium cap companies at all stages of development in fast-paced, competitive markets. He is an exceptional communicator with strong negotiation, problem resolution and market assessment aptitude. Neukomm is highly effective at identifying and leveraging opportunities, developing focus and providing tactical business solutions.

Danielle DiMaiolo Rendini

Senior Director of Project Management, Barneys New York

Danielle DiMaiolo Rendini is currently the Senior Director of Project Management at Barneys New York where she oversees the cross-functional planning and execution of major strategic initiatives and programs. Danielle joined Barneys New York in 2014 as the Director of Store Operations, focusing on the innovation of operations and experience across the organization’s stores. Danielle previously held various roles at Bloomingdale’s, H&M, and Kurt Salmon, spanning customer experience, store operations, marketing, merchandising, finance and supply chain. At Kurt Salmon, Danielle advised a variety of specialty and department store retailers. Danielle is based in New York, NY and a proud alum of Boston University.

Jan-Patrick Schmidtz

Chief Experience Officer, Victra

Jan‐Patrick Schmitz is the former President and CEO of Montblanc North America and member of the group’s global Executive Committee. He has been instrumental in positioning and transforming Montblanc into the 21st century and elevating it from a household name, known for its dominance in the world of fine writing instruments, to a fully diversified luxury brand. During his tenure, the company verticalized from a wholesale centric brand to a modern manufacturer and retailer with over 360 stores around the world.

Throughout his career, Mr. Schmitz focused on global brand strategies in the consumer goods sector. Beside his work in Europe and the United States, he lived and worked for many years in Tokyo, Japan from where he successfully established and developed businesses throughout the Asia Pacific Region.


He currently serves on the board of directors of Margarete Steiff, Alligator Valve Group and the German American Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the advisory board of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place and an advisor to Thornwillow Press. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of “Jewelers for Children” as well as other non‐profit organizations.

Virginia Wong

Senior Manager, E-Retail Louis Vuitton Americas

Virginia Wong joined Louis Vuitton Americas in 2019 after serving as Director of Retail Strategy + Global Trends at L-Brands (previously known as Limited Brands), where she worked with portfolio brands including Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and PINK to identify opportunity amidst shifting consumer behavior and competitor strategy. Prior to L Brands, she was a merchant at Victoria’s Secret, directing the footwear and accessories. She was previously was a buyer at Amazon and a founding member of the MYHABIT.com team, and spent several years at J. Crew leading a group that launched and managed 3rd party collaborations, what is now known as “In Good Company”.

Kandis Yoakum

Content Editor, Zappos Labs

Kandis Yoakum is a product manager at Zappos Labs – exploring the future of Zappos through non-traditional retail experiments. She joined the Zappos family in 2010, and led a customer loyalty Incubation team before jumping into her current role with the Labs team. Kandis works to develop and execute new retail services that WOW customers and offer new customer service experiences.

Kelli Hollinger

Director, Center for Retailing Studies, Texas A&M

Kelli Hollinger is the Director of the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) at Texas A&M University. In this capacity, she directs the advancement of undergraduate retail curriculum, research and executive education programming offered at Mays Business School. Through the development of new and existing corporate partnerships with more than 30 of the nation’s largest retailers, including Walmart, Walgreens, Macy’s, H-E-B, PetSmart, GameStop, ALDI and more, she advances the Center’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading centers of retail education.

With a background in student affairs before joining Mays Business School, Kelli is passionate about student development. Between 2005-2014, she coordinated the retail internship program and taught MKTG 484 Internship every semester. Under her tenure, students interned in a great diversity of retail and marketing firms with 140 companies across the US and abroad.

Through active involvement with the National Retail Federation, she has coached undergraduate teams to national level competitions and wins to develop products for Starbucks and Babies”R”Us. Since 2006, she has served on the Texas A&M Career Center’s advisory board. Currently, about 150 students are engaging with the Center for Retailing Studies through classes, clubs, internship and competition involvement.

Kelli eagerly gives back to the College Station community, holding board and chair positions in the Junior League since 2003.

Jean Jacullo

Associate Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology

Jean Jacullo is an Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. Professor Jacullo teaches retailing courses in the Fashion Merchandising Management Department and is the author of a new course entitled, Merchandising for Omni Retailing.

Professor Jacullo also team taught a graduate course at FIT titled: The New York Seminar for students from Hong Kong, Europe and the U.S. who were completing course work in Global Fashion Management, an MPS graduate degree program at FIT. Professor Jacullo has experience teaching internationally at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand where she taught Strategic Brand Management, and at the Institut Francais de la Mode in Paris where she worked with graduate students in the MBA program on their capstone project.

Professor Jacullo instituted the First Annual Symposium for Omni Retailing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2014 and the Second Symposium in 2015. The symposium serves as a think tank on the topic of Omni retailing and features presentations from major industry executives as well as a team of students from Professor Jacullo’s class. Key note speakers in the past were Peter Nordstrom and David Lauren, and well as senior executives from technology and consulting firms.

Professor Jacullo has more than 30 years experience in the fashion industry as a merchandise and product development executive, having worked at the Macy’s Product Development office as a Senior Vice President in Accessories, Jewelry, Handbags and Footwear, at QVC as a Director of Accessories, and with international and domestic accessory and jewelry manufacturers in product development and brand strategy through the consulting company, Jean Jacullo Enterprises.

Richard Last

Senior Director, Global Digital Retailing Research Center University of North Texas

Richard Last is the Senior Director, Global Digital Retailing Research Center at University of North Texas, a Managing Partner, The Retail Think Tank, LLC, and Chairman Emeritus, Shop.org.

Richard Last lectures at the University of North Texas, where he leads the Digital Retailing degree program, a unique program among Universities. In March of 2013, he launched the Global Digital Retailing Research Center, to advance the industry through collaboration, research, innovation and knowledge transfer.

In March 2015, he became a Managing Partner of The Retail Think Tank. TRTT provides business solutions for retailers, wholesalers, and private equity,

He has 25 years of experience in Digital Retailing. Under his leadership, JCPenney began selling merchandise via the Web in October 1994, the first department store online, and by 2005, the first $1Billion apparel and home website. From 2007 through 2011, Richard served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shop.org. He is on the Board of Directors of Commercial Connect, LLC. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Invodo and on the Editorial Board of ROI Magazine. He served on the Board of Directors of the NRF Foundation from 2010 through 2011 and the NRF Board of Directors from 2004 through 2008. He received the Impact Award from the NRF and Shop.org in 2013 for his contributions to the industry and for his mentorship of others in the industry.

Sandy Hussain

CEO, Fashion Digita

Sandy Hussain is the Founder and CEO of Fashion Digital™. Hussain held the first Fashion Digital™ event in 2012 to build high-end thought leadership around e-Commerce strategies and technology solutions for the fashion retail industry. Fashion Digital™ is held in LA, NYC, and now London annually. Fashion Digital™ events have attracted up to 800 attendees and 100 speakers at a time.

Retail brands that have spoken include: Kate Spade New York, Rebecca Minkoff, BCBG, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods, Warby Parker, Farfetch, Estée Lauder, Clarins, Bonobos, ASOS, Gilt Groupe, Bloglovin’, Theory, Brook Brothers, Alice + Olivia, Calvin Klein and Polyvore.

Prior to founding Fashion Digital™, Hussain was Co-Founder of OliviaPalermo.com, and was responsible for defining and setting the company’s integrated vision for using social media and multi-media, defining business goals and boosting online presence. She also acts as an advisor for Shopsy, D’Marie Group, Inc., and Mani Diaries.

Chris Hull

Partner The Highline Partners

Chris is a strategic advisor to founders and C-suite of high growth consumer brands, retail-focused technology companies and omni-channel retailers. He focuses on “go-to-market” strategy & process, loyalty program development, and product strategy. Clients include Allbirds, MakerSights, and Shinola.

Ernan Roman

President, ERDM

Inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame based on the results companies achieve with ERDM’s VoC research-based CX strategies. ERDM conducts specialized VoC research to identify CX strategies that generate significant increases in revenue. Clients include IBM, MassMutual, Gilt, QVC, HP, Microsoft and Norton AntiVirus. His influential blog Ernan’s Insights on Marketing Best Practices appears in Forbes, Huffington Post, CMO.com, CustomerThink and Business2Community. Named by the Online Marketing Institute as one of the 2014 Top 40 Digital Luminaries and by Crain’s B to B Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in Business Marketing. Ernan’s latest book is titled Voice of the Customer Marketing. His other books are Opt-in Marketing and Integrated Direct Marketing.

Erik Reynolds

VP of Product Marketing and Communications, Loot Crate

Erik Reynolds is an 18-year veteran of the video game business and currently VP of Product Marketing and Communications for Loot Crate. From Miyamoto to Will Wright, Riot Games to Nintendo, League of Legends to The Legend of Zelda, he has worked with some of the biggest names in gaming and represented some of its biggest franchises. He lives in Los Angeles, where he roots for Cloud 9 and is currently playing Destiny 2.

Dave Munson

CEO, Saddleback Leather

Dave Munson is the CEO of Saddleback Leather. It all started when Dave was living in Mexico and teaching English, simply needing a bag to carry his books in. He drew a bag and asked a man in a leather shop if he would make it. That kicked off a series of events he couldn’t have foreseen in his wildest dreams. It grew into what is now Saddleback Leather Co. Eventually Saddleback acquired the production facility in Mexico. Saddleback bags bring together classic designs with innovative touches, making them remarkable and something “they’ll fight over when you’re dead.”

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