Retail Innovators to Gather for 'Think Tank' Summit in San Diego

Top Quote Retail executives detail creative new tactics in customer engagement, infrastructure at RetailConnections Summit Sept. 23-25, San Diego. The event features a host of interactive formats including workshops, roundtables and small group dialogue on a wide array of timely business topics. Attendance complimentary for qualified retailers. End Quote
  • San Diego, CA (1888PressRelease) July 10, 2012 - Creating a culture of innovation invites risk and failure. The most progressive retailers accept those terms as they reinvent how people and processes work to generate fresh ideas and ultimately win market share.

    No one knows this better than Michael Cairnes, SVP of Custom Businesses for Michaels Stores, and President of Artistree, the custom framing unit that supports Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores. At $4 billion in sales, Michaels Stores is the nation's largest retailer of arts and crafts materials and is growing in store count and sales.

    Cairnes credits a "culture of innovation" as a key factor that catapulted Michaels to become the global market leader in the custom frame business. He will share how an innovative culture drives agility and success for the vertically integrated business unit at the Fall RetailConnections Business Executive Summit, Sept. 23-25 at Hotel del Coronado near San Diego.

    "The industry is moving at such speed today that it is hard for anyone to keep up. We seek to bring together the thought leaders and business innovators who can demonstrate new ways to think about and achieve success," said Marc Millstein, president of RetailConnections.

    Such leaders confirmed to present at the Fall Business Executive Summit include:

    Aashish Chandra, DVP, Application Modernization, Sears Holdings Corp., who will share insights on transforming the enterprise.
    Bill Bass, Co-President, CMO, Orchard Brands, who will detail how his company is using new avenues to attract, enchant and win over Baby Boomer customers.
    Leeann Fecho, Marketing Manager, Emerging Media, Loyalty, Follett Higher Education Group, the nation's largest operator of bookstores. Fecho will unveil new loyalty program features that use game play to engage and reward customers.
    Tom DeCaro, EVP, Supply Chain, Michaels Stores, will dig into trends taking shape in executive leadership, particularly with regard to shifting opportunities and challenges for women.
    Gil Luria, Managing Director, Equity Research, Wedbush Securities, on where investors are putting their money, with an emphasis on m-wallet.
    Dave Remer, CEO, Creative Director, remerinc, will share best tactics in brand-building delivered in the oft-irreverent plainspeak for which he's known.
    Lora Cecere, CEO, Founder, Supply Chain Insights, will discuss opportunities to streamline back-end processes leveraging mobile and other emerging tools.
    Gary Preston, Co-Founder, Managing Partner of the Preston | Reffett executive search firm, and former CAO of Ahold USA, will facilitate a group discussion focused on onboarding and retention of critical talent.
    Stuart Silverman, Founder, Impact Simulations, will moderate another group dialogue on tactics to drive performance of store-level associates.

    "We build the program with great care to ensure a solid foundation of business-critical topics and balance that Summit attendees have come to expect," Millstein said. The program will focus on customer engagement, mobile marketing/commerce/payments, as well as next steps in cloud computing and inventive strategies and tactics to heighten the shopper experience in-store, online and across all channels.

    Registration for the Fall RetailConnections Summit is limited to 75 retail executives. Attendance is complimentary for qualified retail executives. Registration is via

    For more information, contact Denise Power, denise ( @ ) retailconnections dot com (773) 573-3939 or Marc Millstein marc ( @ ) retailconnections dot com (914) 620-5947 or visit our web site dot For sponsorship opportunities, contact LuAnn Hallberg luann ( @ ) retailconnections dot com (814) 516-4965 dot

    RETAILCONNECTIONS serves senior retail executives by hosting events that provide exceptional learning and networking. We believe the value of establishing new business relationships in person far outweighs other forms of communication. In this era when knowledge from all retail departments is intertwined, events that bring together top-level management from every function area deliver the greatest business insights.

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