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Thursday, June 14, 2018


Michael Dart is a partner in A.T. Kearney's Consumer Products & Retail Practice and is based in San Francisco. He is an accomplished consultant and advisor with a wealth of experience leading major strategic transformations and due diligence studies for many of the largest private-equity funds and global retailers. He also has extensive experience leading the development and implementation of business strategies and growth efforts.
  Michael has been recognized by Consulting magazine as one of its top 25 consultants. He co-authored "The New Rules of Retail" and is a frequent contributor in the press. He has spoken at major conferences and delivered keynote speeches at the Women’s Wear Daily Apparel & Retail CEO Summit in New York and the Global Department Store Summit in Paris and Beijing.



Jan Rogers Kniffen, CEO, J Rogers Kniffen World Wide Enterprises, is a retail expert with decades of real world experience and knowledge that connects the dots between the past and future to help retailer Boards of Directors build the future with sound financial assumptions and executable operational structure.

   Jan consults with investors in retail companies and is a regular CNBC contributor. He is self-described as the "country's leading expert on retailing." 

  As a former retail finance and operations executive, Jan now provides his deep knowledge, experience and innovative thinking with the ever expanding retail eco-system. Jan also serves on the RMS Board of Directors.

Andrew Knight, Manager, A.T. Kearney Consumer & Retail practice, is based in the Toronto office. He has 10+ years of consulting experience and helps his retail clients navigate the changing landscape. 

  Andrew has a proven track record leading transformational initiatives and deep functional expertise in strategy, merchandising, product development, planning & allocation/inventory management, and supply chain/fulfillment. 


Charlie O’Shea, Vice President, Senior Credit Officer and Lead Analyst, Moody’s Investors Service US Retail Team. In his position within the US Corporate Finance group, he oversees coverage of 30 companies, including Walmart, Target, Costco, Amazon, Best Buy, AutoZone, AutoNation, and Toys R Us, and also coordinates closely on global coverage. Charlie has been with the retail team since joining Moody’s in December 2002 and has expertise on more than 90 issuers across the retail, apparel, consumer products and consumer durables sectors. Charlie regularly appears on CNBC programs, CNN, NBC, Bloomberg TV, Reuters, CBS Radio, and Business News Network, and is frequently quoted in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Reuters, The New York Times,, USA Today, National Post, Bloomberg, and Fortune.


Moderator: Richard Jaffe is an expert in the retail apparel and soft lines industry and serves as an advisor to legacy and next-gen retailers. He has worked as a research analyst in retail for 25 years at various investment banks. These include Stifel, UBS, Paine Webber and Schroder & Co. Earlier in his career, he was part of the America3 Foundation, where he participated in the successful defense of the America’s Cup. Prior to this, he held various positions in the retail sector, including Dress Barn and Macy’s, over a period of 12 years.

  Richard serves as a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History and is a director of the Cultural Institutions Retirement System. 


Charisse Jacques, Principal, A.T. Kearney Consumer & Retail practice, is based in the Washington D.C. office. She has 15+ years of consulting and retail experience, including time spent both as a consultant and in various industry roles.
  Charisse has extensive experience helping retailers drive profitable growth.  She has accomplished this using her expertise in the areas of strategy, merchandising, innovation and data-driven decision-making. Charisse works with retailers across sectors, including specialty retail, food retail and mass merchandise retail.


Richard R. Shapiro founded The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) in 1988 to provide customized research, training and consulting to help retailers, including those that support the fashion industry, generate a higher percentage of repeat customers.
  Richard is a member of the Luxury Marketing Council, Retail Marketing Society, Fashion Group International and is a partner of the Fashion Business Association of America. He is an adjunct professor at FIT, Fashion Institute of Technology. He has spoken at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, The Accessories Council Summit, Accessories Council Magazine and was highlighted on Black Friday as a repeat business expert on Mornings with Maria on Fox Business News.
  He is also the author of two best-selling retail books: "The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business," published in 2013, and "The Endangered Customer: Eight Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business," in 2016.

Karen Tillson, VP, Customer Insights & Strategy, Bloomingdale’s is responsible for championing the voice of the customer across the organization. Reporting to the  CMO, Karen leverages primary and secondary research along with customer analytics to uncover actionable insights and develop strategies that drive growth and make Bloomingdale’s like no other store in the world.
  Karen began her career in advertising working at Ogilvy & Mather and Publicis on brands such as American Express and L’Oreal and spent 15 years at Liz Claiborne Inc. in progressively broader marketing roles before joining Bloomingdale’s in 2010.  She has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a BA from Penn State.


Moderator: Marie Driscoll, Driscoll Advisors, is a highly experienced industry analyst focusing on apparel brands, apparel retailers, and luxury goods.  She has served in key analytical and business development roles in leading financial research firms, including Standard & Poor’s equity research department as Director of Consumer Discretionary Retail. Marie was recognized three times in The Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” analyst survey, including first place ranking for stock selection in the Clothing & Accessories industry in 2009. 

   Marie started Driscoll Advisors late in 2011 providing consulting services to academia, industry, investors and non-profits. She is a columnist for The Robin Report and Sourcing Journal and an industry consultant at Coresight Research and Shoptalk. As a thought leader, her contributions include white papers for CohnReznick, Luxury Daily and Deloitte’s Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2014, and content development at LIM College. She joined FIT in 2016 to teach International Marketing Research in the International Trade and Marketing department and Global Fashion Marketing and Omnichannel Retailing in the Center for Continuing and Professional Studies, and this summer is teaching Equity Analysis at CUNY’s Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College.



Pano Anthos, Founder and Managing Director, XRC Labs. Having founded four startups around key platform shifts, Pano saw the seismic shift coming to retail and with the right vision and timing recruited Parsons School of Design and Kurt Salmon to be founding sponsors. Now with 38 accelerated startups, 10 active world class retail sponsors, 100+ business mentors, Pano has built a world-class ecosystem for retail and consumer goods innovation at XRC Labs. He speaks regularly at NRF national and regional meetings, Shoptalk and RILA executive conferences. He leverages a deep startup network in Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston to fuse leading technology, E-commerce and user experience innovations to existing customer-oriented businesses.

Michael Brown, Partner, A.T. Kearney’s Consumer Products and Retail Practice, is the leader of the omnichannel and the mass, discount, and big box sector teams. Michael is based in the New York office. He works with his clients to deliver revenue and profit improvements through innovative omnichannel customer experience, fulfillment, inventory management, and operating models.
  Michael is widely recognized as a leader in his industry and beyond. He has published and spoken on a variety of omnichannel strategy and operations topics in the national press including The Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine. He has been a guest on MSNBC’s Squawk Box and is regularly sought for televised news programs for perspectives on consumer shopping behaviors and trends.
  Before beginning his consulting career, Michael was a Vice President of Operations for Macy’s.

Paul Raffin is Founder and CEO, The Merchant Matrix, a consulting firm whose objective is to optimize the symbiotic relationship between a brand’s proposition and the technology that can deliver this in an exciting way. He is an internationally known C-Suite executive with over 40 years of experience managing businesses across a wide spectrum of the fashion industry. He has held CEO and President roles at The Frye Company, Li & Fung, Frette, DZ Trading, Express, J. Crew and Gant as well as Board roles with dELiA*s, Rosie Pope and The Bombay Company.

  Paul is a highly experienced Merchant/General Manager, having worked with industry luminaries from the late Marvin Traub to Les Wexner to William and Victor Fung. These opportunities have provided him with invaluable experience in
developing products which resonate with consumers and successfully running a variety of business models.

Moderator: Liz Dunn is Founder and CEO of Pro4ma Inc., a market data and predictive analytics platform for multi-unit businesses. She is also an Operating Partner at Consumer Growth Partners, a private equity and advisory firm. Liz has over 20 years’ experience in the retail industry. As a top equity analyst, she evaluated the financial performance of retailers for over a decade.  Prior to her career in equity research, Liz held finance roles at Gap Inc. and Liz Claiborne. She began her career as a member of the Consumer Investment Banking group at Bear Stearns & Co. Liz frequently appears on CNBC and is quoted in national print media as a retail subject matter expert.  


Adheer Bahulkar, Partner, A.T. Kearney’s Consumer Products and Retail Practice is based in the Washington D.C. office. He has worked with the senior executives at global Fortune 100 brands as well as privately-owned businesses and startups.

  Adheer has 15 years of experience in soft lines and apparel in areas of brand turnaround, offline and online store operations, multi-channel merchandising, and inventory optimization, as well as global sourcing and supply chain.
  As an author and a contributor, Adheer has been published in Women’s Wear Daily, The Robin Report, Strategy & Leadership,  and Sourcing Journal.  He has also moderated expert panels such as NRF executive council meetings and SHOPTALK conferences. He is often quoted by the media in NPR Marketplace, Fortune, Bloomberg, Advertising Age and other outlets for his views on developments in the specialty retail, apparel and luxury sector.

Daniel Bonoff, Partner, Goode Partners, is based in New York. Goode Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing exclusively in the consumer sector. Prior to joining Goode Partners, Dan was a Managing Director in the Private Equity/Special Situations group at Angelo Gordon. During his private equity career, he has participated in more than 20 platform investments totaling nearly $1 billion of invested equity capital.
  Previously, Dan was a Principal in the Consumer/Retail group at Apax Partners. He joined Apax as a result of its merger with Saunders Karp & Megrue, where he was a Principal. While at Saunders Karp & Megrue, Dan focused primarily on investments in the retail, restaurant and consumer products sectors.
  He currently sits on the board of directors of STONEFIRE Grill, Forman Mills, Silver Diner and Marolina.

Moderator: Richard Baum, Founder and Managing Partner, Consumer Growth Partners, a private equity investment and advisory firm with an exclusive focus on specialty retail and non-perishable branded consumer products companies. Prior to founding CGP, he spent over 15 years as one of Wall Street’s leading equity research analysts covering the specialty retailing sector at Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs and Sanford C. Bernstein. Richard led nine initial public offerings and six secondary offerings for many retailers including Abercrombie & Fitch, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Cabela’s, Gymboree, Life Time Fitness, Talbots, Urban Outfitters, Yankee Candle Company and Zale Corporation.

  Richard serves as a Board Director for Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRA) and as Chairman of the Board of Harris Jewelry. He is also a Board Member of ACG New York and the Retail Marketing Society. 

For more information about this conference, click here.



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