chief product accelerator at l'oreál usa
A L’Oréal USA veteran with nearly two decades of global brand marketing and product development experience, Sam Cheow has his fingers on the proverbial beauty pulse, pinpointing budding trends and translating them into breakthrough beauty innovations. Working across L’Oreal’s portfolio of more than 30 iconic brands, Sam’s mission is to guide the company to explore new areas like on-demand beauty and digital customization to bring first-to-market products and services to consumers in an accelerated timeframe. By analyzing consumer behaviors, forecasting trends and identifying key partnerships, Sam Cheow knows that the key to driving growth is to keep an eye toward the future.
As part of his role, Sam provides strategic counsel to the CEO, CMO and division presidents regarding new business incubation opportunities, partnerships and acquisitions. Sam is also the founder of L’Oréal’s CMO Agency, an internal entrepreneurial network of handpicked "agents" who are dedicated to influencing and accelerating product development at the company.
Prior to joining L’Oréal, Sam worked with Peter Rabbit in Europe before joining Pearson, where, he was responsible for global marketing and brand management including all aspects of merchandising, licensing and external affairs. At the modest age of 23, Sam was appointed Managing Director of CCG.XM, an interactive agency that he was able lead and grow before it was acquired by WPP.
Previously, Sam led various agencies in Auckland, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore and represented global brands such as HSBC, Intel, Cisco and TIME. His award winning work included global brands such as Heineken, Singapore Airlines, PlayStation, Nintendo, Schwarzkopf, Wendy’s and more.
CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER AT NIKE
Jim Scholefield is the Chief Information Officer for NIKE, Inc. As CIO, Jim oversees Nike’s multi-million dollar portfolio of technology solutions and services, accelerating growth and driving competitive advantage through strategic investments in innovative technologies and capabilities.
Since joining Nike in 2015, Jim has most notably led Nike’s “Technology Revolution”– a multi-year strategy focused on a full digital transformation of the company that unlocks consumer value and enables Nike employees to achieve their full potential.
Prior to NIKE, Inc., Jim’s career spanned over 25 years in the technology industry, holding leadership positions within world class global organizations, including:
- The Coca-Cola Company – Chief Technology Officer
- The Northern Trust Company – Senior Vice President of Worldwide Technology
- The Ford Motor Company – Senior Director of European IT Services, Director Technology Engineering, and Director Global Telecommunications
- Procter & Gamble – Program Manager for Worldwide Business Intelligence and Global Communications, Manager for North America Communications, and Senior Systems Architect
Jim serves as a founding board member of the Technology Business Management organization and a member of the Board of Governors at Florida State University College of Business. He’s active in the communities where he lives and works, and is a regular contributor to organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Cascades Aids Project based in Portland, Oregon.
He received a BS in Management from Florida State University and his MBA from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Jim is an avid mountain biker and Florida State Football fan.
VP global ecommerce acceleration at kellogg company
Oskar Kaszubski is a global eCommerce leader with 15 years of experience leading digital transformation for Fortune 100 companies, mid-size and start-ups. Currently, Oskar is a VP, eCommerce Acceleration for Kellogg responsible for future proofing global company growth via eCommerce and digital business innovation for some of the iconic breakfast and snacks brands: Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, Special K, Pringles, Pop-Tarts, Cheez-It and Kashi. Prior to Kellogg, Oskar was a General Manager eCommerce, North America for Mondelez International accelerating eCommerce transformation of brands like Oreo, Trident, Chips-Ahoy, Stride and Belvita. Prior to joining Mondelez, Oskar spent 3 years at Kimberly-Clark where he led Global eCommerce strategy and commercial innovation for Kleenex and Scott brands. Oskar started his carrier launching Direct-To-Consumer eCommerce business models for various start-up manufactures. In addition, during his career Oskar called on every class of trade working with global customers such as Alibaba, Ocado, Walmart and Amazon as well as has an expertise managing channel growth across multiple verticals B2C, B2B and pharma.
Oskar grew up in Poland. He resides in Atlanta with his wife Yana, son Oliver and two rescued dogs Windsor and Castle. He has a B.S. in Computer Science and B.A in Philosophy and History from Berry College.
managing director, head of analytics at kurt salmon - an accenture company
Paul Schottmiller is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Retail Strategy Practice (Kurt Salmon) and leads the IT and Analytics Capability.
Paul has 25+ years of consulting experience helping many of the world’s leading Retail and Consumer Goods companies in business and technology strategies, transformational organizational and process change, and developing innovative technology and analytics solutions that drive growth and profitability. Paul has worked across the Retail value chain from concept to consumer, is a regular speaker and author on Retail Thought Leadership topics, and was instrumental in the creation of XRC, a NYC based accelerator focused on Retail and Consumer Goods start-ups
BEYOND THE HASHTAG
director of affiliate marketing at rewardstyle
Alexis Caldwell is Director of Affiliate Marketing for rewardStyle, 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 20,000 premium content creators. In 2017, rewardStyle influencers will drive over $1 billion in retail sales.
A 10-year veteran of digital marketing and #startuplife, Alexis works closely with all major affiliate networks, serves on industry advisory boards and has close ties with thousands of online retailers and publishers, 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
global ecommerce senior manager at new balance
Nathan oversees the international ecommerce businesses as well as global business development programs at New Balance Athletics in Boston. He leads strategic growth efforts for one of New Balance's fastest growing areas, having spearheaded new ecommerce ventures in the EU, China, Japan, and Latin America, as well as growth in existing businesses globally. Previously, Nathan was a part of New Balance's internal strategy team focused on Consumer Experience & Demand Creation, a group he helped co-launch in 2013. Nathan began his career as a consultant in the Strategy & Operations practice at Deloitte Consulting. He holds an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a B.A. from Bowdoin College where he was a Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholar and winner of the DeAlva Starwood Alexander Prize. A proud Mainer currently living in Boston, Nathan enjoys cycling, skiing, and hiking in his free time.
director of global strategy at starbucks
Katie is a Director of Global Strategy at Starbucks, where she leads the development of the company’s annual strategic plan and consults on a range of strategic initiatives, including Starbucks go-to-market approach. Prior to joining Starbucks, Katie spent two years on the leadership team of a financial advisory and management consulting firm in Kenya, where she worked with retail and other companies on strategic and talent-focused issues; before that, Katie was at McKinsey, where she focused on strategy, innovation, and social sector consulting. Katie has an M.B.A. from MIT Sloan, where she was a Siebel Scholar, a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. from Oxford University. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband and the dog that they adopted in Nairobi.
chief product officer at rent the runway
Brooke Hartmann is the Chief Product Officer at Rent the Runway. She was employee #3 at Rent the Runway and was responsible for creating the customer insights team. More recently, Brooke has been focused on building the ultimate closet in the cloud and building out Rent the Runway’s subscription and personalization services.
chief operating officer at farmer's fridge
Shayna Harris has been leading and building sustainable businesses in the food sector for the past 15 years, across more than 20 countries. Currently, she serves as the chief operating officer of Farmer’s Fridge, a Chicago-based food-tech company that makes wholesome, fresh food daily that is sold via a network of 85+ automated fridges in Chicago and Milwaukee. In her role as COO, Shayna is responsible for the growth of the business in line with the company’s mission to provide consumers with 24-7 access to food they can trust. She oversees a workforce that ranges from hourly associates in the Farmer’s Fridge kitchen to the software engineers behind the brand’s state-of-the-art technology.
Prior to Farmer's Fridge, Shayna led the impacts program at Mars Global Chocolate. There, she was responsible for establishing the company’s approach to the purposeful sourcing of its most critical raw ingredient, cocoa, in extremely dynamic and changing environments. Shayna’s experience spans sustainability, innovation and change management for brands like Mars, Stonyfield (Danone), Unilever, Starbucks, Keurig Green Mountain, Intelligentsia, Alterra, and others in their nascent days of sustainable sourcing. Shayna has an MBA from MIT with a concentration in Sustainability. She established the MIT Food and Agriculture Collaborative in 2009, was a recipient of the MIT Legatum Fellowship for entrepreneurship and development, the Martin Trust Fellowship, and an MIT Woman of Excellence. She is also a Fulbright Scholar, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
vice president, Retail at Onemarket
As Vice President of Retail at OneMarket, a Westfield company, Yasmine Zdencaj is reshaping
the way people shop by helping to build the world’s first retail technology network.
With over ten years of experience across retail, luxury goods, finance and technology, Yasmine
has led change at globally-renowned companies including Louis Vuitton, L Brands and Goldman
Sachs. She has always been passionate about bridging the gap between retail and technology,
and this drove her to co-found the Retail & Consumer Goods Club upon joining MIT Sloan and
serve as its President from 2004 to 2006.
Yasmine holds a BA from Franklin and Marshall College and graduated from the MIT Sloan
School of Management with an MBA in 2006. She currently lives in San Francisco with her five-
founder and managing director at xrc labs
Pano leads XRC Labs as its Founder and Managing Director. Having founded 4 startups around key platform shifts, he 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, 200+ 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.
head of global innovation at TAPESTRY
Dana Randall is the Head of Global Innovation at Tapestry Inc (Coach, Kate Spade & Stuart Weitzman). She has been listed by Digiday in The Glossy 50 recognizing the leaders creating change in fashion, luxury, beauty and tech. As well as named as one of Brand Innovators 40 Under 40 & Women to Watch.
In 2015 she moved from agency to the brand side helping to drive innovation in retail through strategic partnerships with technology companies and startups. She mentors for several tech accelerators and retail tech organizations, including Plug and Play Ventures, New York Fashion Tech Lab and Decoded Fashion.
She is passionate about the future of retail and transforming the customer experience both in-store and online.
AFTER THE APP
product & marketing leader, home innovation at amazon
Maiken Moeller-Hansen is a business and technology leader with over a decade’s experience in online retail. She currently leads Product Management and Marketing for Amazon’s Home Innovation Team (HIT), and is on a mission to reinvent how we shop for Home Furnishings, using technologies such as Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Artificial- and Virtual-Reality and 3D rendering. Prior to joining HIT she spent several years developing emerging consumer electronics products for Amazon’s Devices team. In addition to her day job, Maiken co-chairs Amazon Home’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative. She holds an MSc in Communication Sciences from University of Arts, Berlin and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Born in Copenhagen, she currently lives in Seattle, WA.
vice president of partnerships & marketing at oak labs
Jenni Samuels is the VP of Partnerships & Marketing at Oak Labs, a San Francisco based retail technology company that believes the future of retail is software defined. Oak has created the first connected store platform and works with brands like Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff & Nike.
She is a passionate proponent of creating beautiful, engaging technology and redefining how we (as customers, users and humans!) engage with the physical world. Previously, Jenni founded Google’s creative technology team for Latin America in Mexico City. Her work won many awards, including the prestigious Cyber Cannes Lion award. A native New Yorker, Jenni attended Washington University in St. Louis
managing director at kurt salmon digital
Eric is a partner in Kurt Salmon’s Digital practice. He has extensive experience delivering complex, omnichannel, mobile, ecommerce, analytics and systems integration projects for a range of brands and retailers. Prior to joining Kurt Salmon, Eric co-founded a successful digital agency focused on innovation in retail. He received his B.S. degree in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
DIRECTOR OF WAYFAIR NEXT AT WAYFAIR
Mike Festa leads Wayfair’s research and development team, Wayfair Next, where he spearheads developments in augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D scanning as the team works to revolutionize the shopping experience for home. Mike is the Boston chapter president of the VR/AR Association, a fellow in the Boston chapter of the Startup Leadership Program 2015-16 cohort, and a member of the MIT Enterprise Forum. Mike holds a BS in Computer Science from The George Washington University.
FAST, FLEXIBLE AND SUSTAINABILE
SVP Sustainability, Innovation, and Fabric Procurement at theory
Wendy is a hands-on retail and luxury brands executive. Ms. Waugh’s experience and
expertise includes Merchandising, Design Operations, Product Development, plus
System Implementations. Past positions include a wide range of senior management
responsibilities for Theory and Helmut Lang; Private Label Division VP for Tahari and
CO-FOUNDER & PRESIDENT AT MINISTRY OF SUPPLY
As a co-founder, President of Ministry of Supply, Gihan Amarasiriwardena shapes the company’s products and brand, bringing his background in science and technology to create high-performance products for the modern professional. After earning his S.B. in chemical and biological engineering from MIT and conducting research at the Sports Technology Institute in the UK and product design at IDEO, Gihan co-founded Ministry of Supply to bring a high-tech vision for menswear to life.
vp of innovation, business development & culture at abc carpet & home
Hilary Fischer-Groban is the VP of Innovation, Business Development, and Culture at ABC Carpet & Home, the 120 year old design and lifestyle destination in New York, where she deepens the infrastructure of the lifestyle retailer to enrich the customer and employee experience while maintaining a deep commitment to sustainability. She is a published author on organizational behavior, specifically focusing on women on corporate boards. Prior to ABC, Hilary has worked in fashion, start-ups, corporate social responsibility, and research, both in the US and India. She graduated from Brown University in 2009, and received an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management in 2014.
CEO OF MERROW MANUFACTURING & THE MERROW GROUP COMPANIES
CEO of Merrow Manufacturing & the Merrow Group Companies, Charlie Merrow is the 7th generation family member to manage the 180 year old organization. Since 2004 Charlie has grown Merrow into a diverse commercial concern: building Merrow sewing machines with distribution into 87 countries, licensing new stitch designs (eg. Activeseam), operating the largest soft goods manufacturing facility in the North East, and developing a start-up incubator with focus on instrumented soft goods, organic materials & technology. Charlie also operates a small farm in Westport MA, and works closely with conservation groups to protect open lands.