Speakers & Panellists

Please find below the list of the confirmed speakers as per date, in alphabetical order:

Ms Sophie Berrest

Ms Sophie Berrest

President of the Luxury Division L’Oréal Canada, Canada

Ms Berrest’s remarkable career within the L’Oreal Luxe Division began when she joined the L’Oreal Group 20 years ago. With her dual citizenship Franco/German, she started in the German subsidiary where she successfully accomplished numerous marketing mandates within the Luxe division, first in Germany and later in France. She returned to Germany, where she held Management positions in both Biotherm and Lancôme. In 2010, she was nominated as General Manager of Lancôme for the European Zone. She was then promoted to Senior Vice President of the L’Oréal Luxe Division of L’Oréal Canada in July 2012 responsible for 18 prestigious brands including Lancôme, Biotherm, Clarisonic, Kiehl`s, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, shu uemura, Urban Decay, IT Cosmetics, International Designer Brands and newly acquired Atelier Cologne. Since the end of 2013, she holds the title of President of the Luxury Division.


Mr Pierluigi Cocchini

Mr Pierluigi Cocchini

CEO of La Rinascente, Italy

Mr Cocchini joined La Rinascente in 2008 as Central Sales Director and in 2017 he has been named CEO of the company. He has in-depth, all-round retail experience and the transversal nature of the roles he has filled so far is a benchmark for shopping and top-level management. His retail career really started in 1991 when he joined Auchan, where he held various positions of increasing responsibility, eventually becoming Director of the store in Mestre and member of the chain’s Trade Committee. He joined Carrefour in 2001, where he covered many areas in the commercial sector, as Marketing Director Italy and as Human Resources Director for Italy.


Ms Sandra Cortesi

Ms Sandra Cortesi

Director of Youth & Media at Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University, USA

Ms Cortesi is a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and there the Director of the Youth and Media (www.youthandmedia.org) project. She is responsible for coordinating the Youth and Media’s policy, research, and educational initiatives, and is leading the Digitally Connected (www.digitallyconnected.org) collaboration between the Berkman Klein Center and UNICEF. At Youth and Media Ms Cortesi works closely with talented young people and lead researchers in the field as they look into innovative ways to approach social challenges in the digital world. She focuses on topics such as inequitable access, information quality, risks to safety and privacy, skills and digital literacy, and spaces for participation, the digital economy, and artificial intelligence. Sandra has a Masters in Psychology, with a specialization in Neuro-Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction, from the University of Basel.


Mr Mattia Crespi

Mr Mattia Crespi

Research Associate at the Institute For The Future & Founder of Qbit Technologies, USA

Futurist, technology evangelist, entrepreneur. Mr Crespi interacts with innovators and innovation centres globally, to bridge research on new technologies, future ecosystems and the business environment. He collaborates with the Institute For The Future, the NATO ACT Innovation Hub, the IEEE Standards Association and other Research and Innovation Centers worldwide, with specific focus on the Silicon Valley ecosystem. In 2012 Mattia founds Qbit Technologies Inc, a Tie50 Winner Start-up, focusing on Virtual and Augmented Reality. Mr Crespi’s work focuses on emerging technologies, virtual reality, the evolution of the Internet, defense and security technologies, the future of the global ecosystem, as well as future foresight applied in different areas.


Mr Nicolo Galante

Mr Nicolo Galante

CEO Retail Divisions & COO of Central Group, Thailand

A nuclear engineer by training and a former CERN researcher, Mr Galante has started his career in business as innovation manager at Saes Getters SpA (a Nasdaq company) and then has been with McKinsey since 1996. After working 15 years in McKinsey's Milano office, he relocated to Paris in 2009 and worked with global consumer goods companies and leading international retailers, covering categories such as food, beverages, hard goods (DIY and appliances), apparel, food-service. As co-leader of McKinsey Digital, he has recently supported several omni-channel transformations of food and non-food retailers. In 2016, Mr Galante joined The Central Group of Companies as CEO Retail Division and COO of Central Group. He is in charge of the Hardlines Retail businesses (Powerbuy, Thaiwatsadu), of Central Restaurant Group (Several hundreds of restaurants in Thailand), of Central Marketing Group (international brands boutiques), of the Book, Stationary and Office supply retail businesses (B2S, OFM); of Central Group e-commerce businesses (COL and Zalora Thailand), of Group Loyalty and CRM (T1C) and of Group Strategy. Mr Galante holds an MBA from INSEAD, France.


Mr Mario Grauso

Mr Mario Grauso

President of Holt Renfrew, Canada

With over 20 years of experience in fashion and retail, Mr Grauso has led some of the industry’s best-known brands. As President of Holt Renfrew, he oversees all divisions of the company including store experience, buying & merchandising, network, supply chain, and marketing. Prior to joining Holt Renfrew in September 2016, Mr Grauso was President of Joe Fresh from 2013 to 2016, where he led an ambitious international expansion strategy. Prior to that, he was President of Vera Wang Group from 2009 to 2013 where he worked closely with the designer in the expansion of the brand internationally. Earlier in his career, Mr Grauso was President of Carolina Herrera from 2000 to 2004; President of Puig Fashion Group from 2004 to 2009. Previously, Mr Grauso held senior executive positions at Céline, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani.


Mr Graciano Guichard

Mr Graciano Guichard

CEO of El Puerto de Liverpool, Mexico

Mr Guichard took over his current position at Liverpool in January 2015. He joined the company in 2000 in logistics and then took over various managerial positions as buyers of different clothing areas; Manager of Liverpool Centro (the company’s oldest store); Purchasing Manager for multimedia, Furniture home; Manager of the purchasing office, and COO. Mr Guichard holds an engineer degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana and an MBA from Anderson School of Business, UCLA.


Mr Donald Kingsborough

Mr Donald Kingsborough

President of Westfield Retail Solutions, USA

Mr Kingsborough is Non-Executive Director of Westfield Corporation and was appointed to the newly created role of President, Westfield Retail Solutions in July 2016. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the development of Westfield’s digital platform and its integration with its global portfolio of retailers. He has been involved in the technology and retail sectors for the past 40 years and has helped establish a number of successful businesses. Mr Kingsborough has been Managing Director of Capital One Financial Corporation and Managing Director at Capital One Growth Ventures. He served as Vice President and General Manager of Retail and was part of the executive committee at PayPal. As Founder and CEO of Blackhawk Network, he was instrumental in pioneering the gift card industry and built the company to a $2.5 billion valuation. He founded and served as CEO of toy manufacturer Worlds of Wonder, where he created a multimillion-dollar new industry category. He served as the President of Consumer Products at Atari, and led the consumer products division growing sales from zero to more than $2 billion in four years. Mr Kingsborough currently serves as an advisor to ANZ Bank in Australia and a board member at Westfield Corporation. He has been recognized for his many outstanding career achievements, including Venture Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Outstanding Contribution Award for the Private Sector from President Ronald Reagan. His marketing achievements have been chronicled in the Harvard Business Review. He was named Paybefore’s 2008 Industry Achievement Award, and 2009 Executive of the Year – Financial Services.


Mr Tim McGuire

Mr Tim McGuire

Senior Partner at McKinsey, Canada

Mr McGuire is a Senior Partner in the Toronto office of McKinsey & Company, where he works primarily on growth strategy, customer value proposition redesign, and operations improvement topics with major retailers (department stores, specialty retail, food and drug stores) and shopping mall operators. He joined McKinsey in 1989 and has worked extensively in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and South America. Mr McGuire was the longtime leader of McKinsey’s retail practice across the Americas and, more recently, founded and grew the Firm’s capabilities in Big Data and Advanced Analytics for consumer companies. Before joining McKinsey, he worked for 7 years in marketing management with Procter & Gamble, ultimately as Marketing Director for the Canadian Food & Beverage Division. Mr McGuire is an honours graduate of the Ivey School of Business at Western University in London, Canada.


Mr Evan Neufeld

Mr Evan Neufeld

VP Intelligence at L2, USA

Mr Neufeld is Vice President of Intelligence at L2, where he manages thought leadership around the impact of platforms and practices on a brand’s digital performance. He has earned the role of a respected industry analyst in mobile, social and interactive marketing with extensive experience in developing and marketing digital research products & services for fortune 500 companies. Throughout his career Mr Neufeld has been an integral player in many industry firsts such as helping to build the first ever digital advertising tracking company, developing the first mobile ad effectiveness tool and the first census based, market-market level mobile audience measurement product. He holds a BA from Vassar and a MA in American Studies from NYU. He is an Adjunct Lecturer of Internet Marketing & Social Media at Baruch College and has been quoted in major media outlets such as The New York Times, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Ad Age, Media Week and have appeared on CNBC, Wall Street Week and ABC News.


Mr Erik Nordstrom

Mr Erik Nordstrom

Co-President of Nordstrom, USA

In addition to his Co-President function, Mr Nordstrom has also served on the Nordstrom Board of Directors since 2006. From 2000-2014 he was President of full line stores. In 2014-2016 he directly supported Nordstrom.com and now supports the teams at Nordstrom stores, Nordstrom.com, Trunk Club, Customer Care, Marketing and Supply Chain. He began his career in the stockroom of the downtown Seattle store in 1979 and worked in sales in shoes through high school and college. After graduating from the University of Washington, Mr Nordstrom went on to hold numerous positions in buying and regional management at Nordstrom prior to becoming a co-president in 1995.


Ms Susan Plagemann

Ms Susan Plagemann

Chief Business Officer of Vogue USA/Condé Nast, USA

Ms Susan Plagemann, was named Chief Business Officer and Publisher of Vogue in January 2010. With an acute understanding of fashion and beauty, and an outstanding track record in building media brands, her influence in the fashion world will be pivotal in the further development of the Vogue media brand. Ms. Plagemann came to Vogue from Marie Claire, where she was Vice President and Publisher. Prior to that, she held the same role at Lifetime magazine from 2003-2004. She was also the Publisher of Cosmopolitan from 1999-2003, where she led the magazine through record growth. Ms Plagemann joined Hearst as the advertising manager of Esquire and was named associate publisher / advertising before moving to Cosmopolitan. Ms. Plagemann came to Esquire in 1995 from Mademoiselle, where she held a variety of positions over a five-year period. She also was an account manager for In Fashion. Before her shift to magazine publishing, Ms Plagemann began her career at a Wall Street brokerage house.


Mr Dani Reiss

Mr Dani Reiss

President & CEO of Canada Goose, Canada

Mr Reiss has entrepreneurship in his DNA. A self-starter with an educational background in English literature, he always knew he wanted to be a storyteller. As President & CEO, he has built Canada Goose from a small outerwear manufacturer into the only truly global luxury apparel brand from Canada. Under his leadership, the company now employs over 1,500 people worldwide. Mr Reiss keeps the brand’s pioneering spirit alive through a commitment to innovation and a willingness to go against the current. At a time when Canadian companies moved manufacturing operations offshore to Asia, he made the unconventional decision to keep production in Canada. In recognition of his achievements, Mr Reiss was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2016, and was named Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 by Ernst & Young. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Polar Bears International (PBI) and on the Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation.


Ms Liz Rodbell

Ms Liz Rodbell

President of Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor, Canada/USA

Ms Rodbell is President of Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor, where she oversees merchandising, marketing, creative, stores, e-commerce direction, and overall strategy for both banners within Hudson’s Bay Company. She serves on Hudson’s Bay Company’s Executive Committee. Ms Rodbell is a seasoned retail executive with over 30 years of experience. She has held several senior leadership positions at Hudson’s Bay Company and Lord & Taylor, having risen through the ranks of the merchant organization. Prior to her current role, she had been EVP Chief Merchant for Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor. She joined Lord & Taylor in 1985 as a buyer for dresses. Within two years she was promoted to Divisional Merchandise Manager over the dress category. She was then promoted in 1992 to Senior Vice President General Merchandise Manager of suits, coats, intimate apparel and children’s. Ms Rodbell serves on the board of Parsons Board of Governors, Two Ten Footwear Foundation and the advisory board of Fashion Group International. In May 2015, she was honored by the Mother's Day Council as an Outstanding Mother of the Year. Also that year she was named one of Crain’s 50 Most Powerful Women. In 2014, she was presented with the “Way to Win” Award from Win. She has served as a dinner chair for Win, AJC, Parsons and CTF. Ms Rodbell began her retail career at A&S in the executive training program and became a buyer before joining Lord & Taylor.


Ms Jay Sammons

Ms Jay Sammons

Managing Director & Head of the Global Consumer & Retail of The Carlyle Group, USA

Since joining Carlyle in 2006, Mr Sammons has helped lead Carlyle's investments in Beats Electronics, Vogue International, and philosophy. Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr Sammons was with Avista Capital Partners and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners in New York. He began his career at JP Morgan. Mr Sammons received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. with distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently a member of the Honors Advisory Board of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of Carlyle’s Diversity & Inclusion Council. He was previously on UNC’s Board of Visitors and on the Boards of Directors of Beats, Vogue and philosophy.


Mr Richard Umbers

Mr Richard Umbers

CEO & Managing Director of Myer, Australia

Mr Umbers was appointed CEO and Managing Director of Myer in 2015, where he is responsible for leading the organisation, and delivering a significant program of change and reinvigoration to ensure that Myer continues to be an exciting destination for all of all customers. He joined Myer in 2014 as Chief Information and Supply Chain Officer, with responsibility for online strategy, financial services and MYER one, as well as the logistics and IT functions. Prior to joining Myer, Mr Umbers was Executive General Manager for Parcel and Express Services at Australia Post, and also held the position of CEO for StarTrack. He has previously held a range of senior and general management positions in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailing with roles at Woolworths in Australia and New Zealand, and Aldi in Europe. Mr Umbes has a Master of Science degree in Finance from the University of Leicester (UK), and a Bachelor of Science with honours in Geology and Geography from The University of Exeter (UK). He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Mr Katsuhiko Umetsu

Mr Katsuhiko Umetsu

Senior Officer of Yamato Group, Japan

Mr Umetsu started his career at as Division sales Planning & Promotion at The Seibu Department Stores where he held various executive positions to become in 1988 Manager of Division of Global Development & Chief Secretary of the company. He then joined in 2008 Yamato Transport as Account Executive of the Division Global Business Development and evolved to become in 2016 Executive Officer, Office of International Strategy Development & External Affairs. In 2017 he was named Senior Executive Officer of the company. Mr Umetsu graduated from Eckerd College in Florida State, USA, and majored in International Relations.


Mr Roger Wang

Mr Roger Wang

Chairman & CEO of Golden Eagle International Group, China

Founded in 1992, Golden Eagle is a conglomerate focuses on two main sectors: high-quality commercial real estate development and service-driven department store operations. Golden Eagle Group was publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2006. Golden Eagle currently owns and operates 29 department stores throughout China. As the industry leader, the company is currently developing its newest retail concept, a one-stop lifestyle center that incorporate shopping, dining, entertainment, health, beauty and customized services. Mr Wang obtained his BA of Economics from the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan before receiving a MBA from Southeastern Louisana State University.


Mr Craig Wright

Mr Craig Wright

Senior Vice-President & Chief Economist of Royal Bank of Canada, Canada

As chief economist, Mr Wright leads a team of economists providing economic, fixed income and foreign exchange research to RBC clients. He is a regular contributor to a number of RBC publications and is a key player in delivering economic analysis to clients and the media through the Economics Department’s regular economic briefings. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto, he was appointed Chief Economist in 2001 having joined RBC 1994 after working at another financial institution for seven years. Mr Wright is a participant in a number of the key RBC internal committees and is a member of the CD Howe Monetary Policy Council, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics Wilfrid Laurier University, Dean’s Advisory Council and the British Columbia Economic Forecast Council.