Words from Our Participants
Attendee comments from 2012 Summit
The size of the audience is large enough to have a good variety of connections and small enough for the time with each to be meaningful. I really appreciate the opportunity to spend quality time with high-caliber executives across all the functions from other great retail firms.
—Michelle Garvey, Global CIO, Warnaco
What an absolute delight to be a part of the RetailConnections 2012 Business Executive Summit last week. You all executed a high-touch, high-value event that seemed to buzz with great energy throughout the entire Summit.
—Sandra Schwan, Managing Partner, Evolving Strategies LLC
RetailConnections has the right formula! I like the format and appreciate the great mix of retail executives you attract. I met a few people who have potential to be good business partners and maybe even good friends! You can’t beat that!
—Tom DeCaro, EVP, Supply Chain, Michaels Stores
I enjoyed the speakers and their insights — very real and from within. I felt they actually believed with a passion what they are doing.
—David Chaput, Business Solutions Manager, New Balance
Outstanding lineup, great locale, terrific education. The conference speakers shared results, made you think and the combination of personnel from all types of business units make this a ‘can’t miss’ conference each year.
—Greg Buzek, President, IHL Group
This was a great learning event with some excellent speakers that will help my clients develop their retail strategies.
—Brian Hume, President, Martec International
For the second year in a row, I have left the Summit with several good ideas that I can put into action immediately.
— Retail VP/CIO
Definitely a great use of my time. Great job!
—Ted Jackson, VP of IT, CIO, Sport Chalet
This was the best one yet. Events sometimes get stale, but RetailConnections has remained fresh, informative and vibrant. Bravo!
—John Lauderbach, VP, Technology, Roche Bros. Supermarkets
Great venue to network and learn best practices.
—Joe Roisman, EVP, Perry Ellis International
The 5th Annual RetailConnections Summit reached a new level. The team continues to put together one of the most compelling programs in the industry year after year and I view this as a ‘must attend.’
—Jim Nadler, President, Trevarian Portal LLC
Lots of great networking as well as always relevant content!
Attendee comments from 2011 Summit
“I have attended for three years and the Summit improves each year. It has high-quality speakers and attendees, and is conducted in a very friendly environment. In total, it is one of the top events in retail.”
—Bernie Brennan, Investor, Retail Software & Social Media, Author
I attended my first RetailConnections event recently. This was definitely a first-class event that delivered not only priceless information to some of the top executives in the industry but the event was also orchestrated in a way that really helped those of us in attendance build lasting connections with our peers. I have attended a fair variety of conferences and professional (mostly retail) networking events. I highly recommend the RetailConnections conferences based on the extremely well-done event I just had the privilege of participating in. I’m looking forward to the next.
—Tiffany Tocco, DVP, Marketing, The Bon Ton Stores
RetailConnections has become one of those required annual events that keeps me thinking about the future. It never fails to provide thought-provoking content. Each year the list of companies grows and yet it manages to not feel like a big, out-of-control conference.
—Steve Hendricks, CIO, Dots
RetailConnections produces a uniquely structured, first-class series of events that brings together a group of diverse retail thought leaders in a relaxed environment with stimulating topics. Marc takes great care to make sure that his guests receive high value for their time invested together.
—Peter Charness, President, Manthan Systems
… superb programming …
—Ray Hamilton, CIO, Dollar Tree Stores
My experiences attending the RetailConnections conferences have been outstanding. The quality of the sessions, the planning and the execution have been outstanding. I very highly recommend sponsoring and/or attending the RetailConnections conferences.
—Barry Wise, Principal, Wise Retail Consulting
RetailConnections put on a fantastic 2011 Summit!
—Vicki Cantrell, COO/CIO, Tory Burch
The topics covered at the Summit were all relevant and practical and the networking opportunities, facilities and events were all highly professional.
—Bryan Tatoff, CFO, Danier Leather
Excellent opportunity to network with peers and listen to current topics.
—Joseph Roisman, EVP, Perry Ellis International
I’ve spent a great deal of time over the past decade attending and participating in industry events, many of which were retail-focused. Of the many events I’ve attended, RetailConnections is consistently among the most valuable. Marc’s commitment to hosting events of real and immediate value to his attendees is evident in every detail. Attendees are relevant and senior decision-makers, invited selectively to create an unparalleled networking dynamic. I always look forward to the next RetailConnections event.
—Keith Enright, former Chief Privacy Officer and Vice President, Privacy, Macy’s
RetailConnections hosts retail events with a difference: social without being sold services, informative with a host of A-grade speakers and put together to allow retailers and a host of delegates (in related industries) to build relationships. Well done at putting people together and allowing us to learn more about our chosen profession within a comfortable and relaxed environment.
The 2011 Business Executive Summit provided a wealth of information across a wide range of retail areas. Whether you are operations, a technician, brand or logistics manager, VP or CEO, the subject matter intertwined and flowed, providing a well-rounded retail experience. The ability to network without anyone trying to sell was refreshing and opened unbiased conversations and friendships. A well-tuned Summit that would be hard to match.
—Antony Comyns, Head of E-Commerce, Hawes & Curtis and Ghost (U.K.)
Marc does a fantastic job of hosting great events with RetailConnections. He always gets the optimal mix of people together in the room. Marc is very well-connected and doesn’t just include CIOs but also invites CEOs, COOs, CFOs and other business/thought leaders. Having a variety of retailers, software companies, consultants, and other service providers always makes for stimulating conversation and a rewarding time. Way to go, Marc!
—Ted Jackson, VP of IT and CIO, Sport Chalet
A very relevant, meaningful and insightful conference.
—Harsha Bellur, AMF Bowling
The RetailConnections team continues to provide the industry’s leading cross-functional executive Summit, exploring a wide range of topics with an audience of senior-level execs from finance, operations, marketing, IT and merchandising. The continued success of this unique event serves as proof that retailers across all disciplines welcome a forum in which they can share ideas, discuss relevant issues and continue to advance their companies’ efforts to win in the world of the ‘Consumer in Control.’
—Jim Nadler, Principal, Travarian
This is my second year attending and I would recommend this conference to any executive in the retail arena. It is extremely well-organized, informative and a held at one of the premier resorts in the country.
—Dom Annunziata, Go Mini’s
A valuable opportunity to enhance relationships in a low-key, friendly atmosphere.
—Regional Sales Manager, Microsoft
The RetailConnections Summit is an excellent venue to not only learn new things about the industry, but it’s a way to network and to learn what your peers are doing to improve their business.
Always inspiring and enables you to sort out ever-changing business priorities.
—Retail VP attendee
I always come away with two or three very relevant insights to my current condition —whatever that may be. I have found this event to be worth the travel and time it takes each time I have attended.
—Retail VP attendee
RetailConnections provides an excellent environment to meet peers in the retail industry to socialize, discuss issues and create relationships toward solving problems, learning and information-sharing.
A fantastic experience that provided unique opportunities to share information with stellar professionals.
— Betty A. Kildow, Kildow Consulting
Clearly one of the best executive retail industry events. Focused on business connections between retail leaders and content pertinent to moving forward retail business priorities.
“A high return on time and expense. Resulted in real business leads and assisted in moving discussion forward much quicker than standard event-based marketing.”
Attendee comments from 2010 Fall Executive Summit
“I generally don’t attend conferences. The reason I like the RetailConnections conference is because of the level of executives attending, the diversity of the retailers and the casual networking with other attendees and vendors. There is no pressure.”
“This was my first RetailConnections Summit, but I thought it was extremely well done and was very valuable to me. High-quality speakers and pertinent topics. I also like the vendor approach of networking but not ‘hard selling’ their services.”
“The RetailConnections Summit is a must for the retail executive’s calendar.”
—Marc Chriqui, President, Raymark
“The RetailConnections team put on a fantastic 2010 Summit. I will continue to support and attend this event because it is the only one that brings together the leaders of all business areas, and delivers meaningful networking and content for great takeaways.”
—Vicki Cantrell, COO/CIO, Tory Burch
“RetailConnections provides me with significant insights into key trends to keep our brands relevant in the marketplace.”
—Dennis Cohen, Senior Director, Private Brand Operations, Office Depot
“The Summit provided a great venue to hear from a diverse group of attendees both retail and service/software providers while in a no-pressure environment. Definitely a great use of my time as I was made more aware of solutions and how others are addressing some of the same projects that are currently on my plate. Great job!”
—Ted Jackson, VP of IT and CIO, Sports Chalet, Inc.
“It was an excellent experience and extremely well-attended and well-run. I think if someone went looking for takeaways that they could apply to their business, it was there to be found in abundance.”
—Gregg Jerolman, President, G.M. Jerolman & Associates
“Great opportunity to network with other retailers looking at similar opportunities and challenges and debating solutions.”
—Erik Hayes, VP, Quality Assurance, Kum & Go convenience stores
“In today’s business environment, the only constant is change, results are paramount and traditional solutions are becoming less effective every day. RetailConnections is actively involved in challenging the status quo by providing provocative discussions.”
—Dom Annunziata, Director of Sales, Go Mini’s
“The RetailConnections Summit is an excellent opportunity to hear and learn about new and innovative solutions to support our businesses. The content is a great balance between technology and business with a keen focus on how to apply solutions in a real-world environment.”
—Butch Jagoda, VP Information Technology, Helzberg Diamond Shops, Inc.
“RetailConnections continues to provide an outstanding forum where pertinent and current retail business issues are addressed in a relaxed, informal environment among senior-level retailers and selected vendors.”
—Harvey Borden, CIO, Director of Logistics, Big M, Inc.
“In my 25-year retail career, I would have to say the RetailConnections Business Executive Summit is the most valued event I have attended. To be among a group of executives so willing to share their knowledge and expertise in this forum was a refreshing experience. I am singing the praises of RetailConnections!”
—Dana Andresen, Director of Operations, Chuck and Don’s Pet Food Outlets
“I look forward to RetailConnections each year because it is the only retail conference that draws a cross-section of retail C-level executives from both business and IT, as well as other industry thought leaders, who all come together in an intimate, friendly atmosphere where everyone can meet each other, learn, share and walk away with compelling new ideas for their business.”
—Lori Schafer, Executive Advisor, SAS Institute, Retail/Retail Technology Boards of Directors
Attendee comments from 2009 RetailConnections Summit
(Comments were solicited via online survey conducted by an independent, third-party organization.)
“The information shared and the educational sessions at the Summit were terrific. And the networking was excellent. I would strongly recommend this Summit to any retail executive.”
— Patrick Murray, SVP, CFO, Sephora USA
“It was a great Summit. I was amazed by the retail attendees, especially in this economic environment, and the quality of the speeches. I certainly hope and plan to be there next year.”
—Filiz Yavuz, VP, Business Process Engineering, Perry Ellis International
— Harry Roberts, SVP, CIO, Boscov’s Department Store
“Marc has done an excellent job of creating a unique conference in a crowded field. RetailConnections delivers industry information — and actionable takeaways that are relevant to current environments as well as forward-looking innovation.”
— Tom Litchford, Industry Director, Microsoft
“The 2009 Executive Summit was one of the most productive events I have ever attended and the insights gained into other companies’ best practices were really valuable.”
—Brian Hume, President, Martec International
“In a time of such dramatic change, economic, political, and otherwise, it is vital to stay attuned to what those changes mean for retail. The Retail Executive Summit is one of the best and most practical means for doing just that. It was well worth it to hear from industry giants such as Marshal Cohen, Brian Hume, Vicki Cantrell, and others. I highly recommend it.”
— Bill Noakes, President, Noakes Group Strategic Advisory Firm
“…content was excellent and the speakers were outstanding.”
— Butch Jagoda, VP, Information Technology, Helzberg Diamonds
“…a spectacular program…”
— Jeff Orton, CIO, Chief Logistics Officer, Genesco
“What I learned at the RetailConnections Summit is truly valuable in today’s challenging economy. I believe it will give us an edge in dealing with it.”
— VP Apparel Retailer
“Outstanding opportunity to network and explore mutual issues and opportunities. This summit is the most valuable meeting I attend and will be on my agenda every year.”
— Ken Fobes, Chairman, Business Strategy Group, Inc.
“I was very pleased with the RetailConnections event this year. Considering the turmoil our industry is in, the Summit was very well-attended and discussions were very valuable.”
— Gene Gsell, VP, General Manager, SAS Retail & CPG
“The RetailConnections Summit provided an excellent venue for the exchange of ideas and information that will benefit the retail industry. The challenges of balancing effectiveness and efficiency with exceeding consumer expectations is especially important at this point in time. The summit provided the attendees with numerous ideas to take back to their colleagues.”
— Joseph C. Andraski, President and CEO, VICS
“A great venue to meet industry leaders for exchanging ideas, picking up insight and collaborating with peers.”
— Nihad Aytaman, Director of Business Applications, Elie Tahari, Ltd.
“It was a valuable trip for me. A great experience at a great venue. The exchange of information was outstanding. I don’t know anyone else other than Marc who can assemble such a group of speakers sharing insights that literally make you sit up and take notice. In addition, everything is set up in a way that really facilitates networking with peers and vendors. The presence of multiple executive roles also stimulates conversation from different perspectives. This event was well worth our time as retail executives. Looking back through my notes, there were many takeaways. And I have a feeling that the sponsors got their money’s worth, too.”
— Ron Ehlers, former VP Information Services, Pacific Sunwear of California
“Outstanding event that I would highly recommend to anyone in the retail sector.”
— David Kardesh, former VP, Information Technology, The Home Depot
“If you go to just one event, you should attend this one. The attendees are high-level, knowledgeable retail practitioners who come from operations, IT, marketing and finance, representing various sectors. This offers a great opportunity to get a full perspective of the current retail landscape.”
— name withheld
“RetailConnections continues to excel at bringing together retail business leaders from different departments to share in an informal manner where everyone learns. The heavy retailer-focused presentations and sharing is really unparalleled in the industry at this time.”
— Greg Buzek, President, IHL Group
“The business summit meetings/discussions were extremely informative. The opportunity to interact with executives from different companies with the same interests was invaluable. The meeting facilities were awesome and made the entire experience even more rewarding.”
— name withheld
“RetailConnections provided me with a unique opportunity to meet and network with senior information executives from leading retailers. I am confident that the fascinating and valuable discussions will continue long after the event has concluded.”
— Keith Enright, VP, Privacy, Macy’s, Inc.
“RetailConnections is an intimate, cross-functional retail conference that stretches one’s current perspective and improves one’s ability to solve difficult problems. The creative and supportive environment allows great interchange with colleagues and industry experts yielding new perspective and giving rise to new friendships.”
— name withheld
“This was one of the best conferences I ever attended. The quality of attendees was fantastic. There were more C-level attendees than any other conference. Everyone was very engaged and knowledgeable about the challenges facing retailers.”
— Lori J. Schafer, Executive Advisor, SAS Retail; Retail/Retail Technology Boards of Directors