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.
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.
Michael is a transformational executive who offers a unique combination of retail, ecommerce and consumer products expertise. A 29-year industry veteran, Michael has established a reputation for successfully leading large and complex businesses.
A Wireless is the largest independent premium retailer for Verizon Wireless, one of the largest communication technology companies in the world. A Wireless generates just under $2 billion in sales and operates 1,150 locations across 46 states. As Chief Experience Officer for A Wireless, Michael’s current responsibilities include Merchandising, Supply Chain, Marketing, Insights and Loyalty, Product and Program Development, and eCommerce.
Prior to joining A Wireless, Michael most recently 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 rebranding effort across the store base and the redesign of the store brand product portfolio. Michael also owned creating a distinctive omnichannel experience, and he led the complete reinvention of the ecommerce business. This included building a new company infrastructure, technology platform, order fulfillment process, curbside and delivery experience, and a new business-to-business model. 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, the world’s largest and most profitable consumer products company. During his career, Michael held executive roles within sales, customer business development, marketing strategy and planning, global beauty care, and M&A.
Jen Blackman Lavelle has been the Chief Marketing Officer at Mizzen+Main for nearly 2 years. After earning All-American status as an NCAA swimmer for four straight years, she graduated with honors and a degree in advertising from Southern Methodist University in 2008. Jen started her career at The Richards Group working on brands like Farmers Insurance, Orkin, and Amstel Light. After two years in Brand Management at The Richards Group, she moved to a boutique advertising agency in Dallas, serving as a Senior Account Executive. Jen joined her husband Kevin at Mizzen+Main in 2012.
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.
Michael Brodesky is a veteran of Ecommerce, an experienced in Omni-channel operations, technology, people and strategy. In the span of his career, He has worked at Amazon, and Ralph Lauren. And over the years worked with numerous retailers who wanted to move online, from women’s fashion to general merchandise. Experienced with Product information Management, Content Management, Drop Shipping, Payments, and International shipping.
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.
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.
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.
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.