The List 2018

The Disruptors

Jeff Barnett

CEO, Commerce Cloud, Salesforce

Jeff was named the CEO of the Salesforce Commerce Cloud in July of 2016 following the acquisition of Demandware by Salesforce. Previously, Jeff had served as Executive Vice President and COO of Demandware and as member of the Demandware Board of Directors. Jeff joined Demandware as Executive Vice-President of Field Operations in 2005 and was instrumental in creating and leading all field functions, including winning the first customers through the IPO in March of 2012.

Jeff is a 30 year software industry veteran and he has held founding and leadership roles in a variety of software companies including edocs, Inc. (acquired by Siebel Systems), Siebel Systems, Kenan Systems (acquired by Lucent Technologies), Integrated Business Solutions and TRW, Inc.

Jeff currently serves on the board of directors of several private companies. He holds a B.S. in computer information systems from Colorado State University and an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Adam Goldenberg

Co-CEO, TechStyle Fashion Group

Co-Founder and Co-CEO Adam Goldenberg launched TechStyle Fashion Group in 2010 with partner Don Ressler to challenge the status quo in fashion by integrating data and technology into the entire business cycle – from product design and manufacturing to distribution and customer experience.

Since then, TechStyle has become one of the fastest-growing fashion companies ever, with four thriving brands (JustFab, ShoeDazzle, Fabletics and FabKids) and over 4.5 million active members.

Goldenberg’s entrepreneurial career began at the age of 17 when he built and sold his first company to Intermix Media. By 19 he was named COO, making him the youngest COO of a public company in history.

Following the acquisition of Intermix by News Corp., Goldenberg and Ressler created Intelligent Beauty, an e-commerce brand incubator platform, which later inspired the creation of Dermstore (acquired by Target Stores), and TechStyle fashion Group.

Paul Hennessy

CEO, Vroom

Paul is a car guy at heart, bringing nearly 20 years of experience as a global e-commerce executive to Vroom. His list of accomplishments include leading online marketing efforts at as Chief Distribution Officer, building and running Global Marketing for as CMO, and serving as's CEO. Paul is committed to Vroom, its employees, its products, its innovation, and its customers.

Jeff Kearl

Jeff Kearl, CEO, Stance

Jeff is the co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Stance, a lifestyle apparel brand headquartered in San Clemente, California. Stance is best known for designing innovative socks and underwear as well as high profile collaborations with the NBA, MLB and Rihanna. Stance is backed by Menlo Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, August Capital, Shasta Ventures, Sherpa Ventures and Universal Music Group.

Prior to Stance, Jeff co-founded Logoworks, an Internet startup backed by Shasta and Benchmark that was successfully acquired by HP in 2007. Following the acquisition, Jeff ran strategy and new ventures at HP.

Previously, Jeff worked as an Associate at vSpring Capital, a Salt Lake City-based venture capital firm with over $500M under management where he invested in both software and Internet companies including Altiris (IPO), (IPO), Cerberian (acquired by Bluecoat Systems), Control4 (IPO),and MediConnect Global (acquired by Verisk Analytics).

Chris McCann

President and CEO, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.

Chris McCann, CEO & President, of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM is responsible for the company’s operations across all of its brands and businesses. He oversees the company’s strategic, operational and organizational processes, including the development, implementation and execution of annual and longer-term strategic, operating and budget plans.

When Chris’ brother, Jim, bought his first flower shop, Chris, who was still attending school, would come in on weekends to learn about the business and help out in any way that he could.  Since joining 1-800-FLOWERS.COM in 1984, Chris has played a pivotal role in helping the company build a reputation as one of the leading ecommerce and omni-channel retailers in the country.  He has also become well-known for embracing new customer engagement opportunities in Social and Mobile commerce.  He believes strongly in his company’s corporate mantra that their “best product is our customer experience.”

In 2005, as part of Chris’ vision, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM again led change in the floral industry with the launch of its BloomNet Wire Service, which is designed specifically to help professional florists grow their businesses profitably. Chris also spearheaded the launch of the company’s Local Artisans program as a way to showcase the creativity of these local florists to millions of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM customers online.

Chris currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of IGHL, a facility dedicated to the enrichment of the lives of developmentally disabled adults, a cause that is near to his heart.  Smile Farms is a non-profit he helped found with his brother, Jim, that seeks to help developmentally disabled adults find meaningful employment.

Chris also serves on the Advisory Board for Dreamit and the Board of Advisors for IBM Websphere.

Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Marist College, where he currently serves on its Board of Trustees.

Emily Weiss

Founder and CEO, Glossier

Emily Weiss is the founder and CEO of Glossier, a digitally native beauty company inspired by real life. Emily is heavily involved in product development, creative and brand marketing, ensuring that all products and content are created with the signature Glossier voice. After founding Glossier in 2014, the company now has over 130 employees and over $34M in venture capital funding. The company has been recognized as a top beauty brand by Allure, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Nylon, Women’s Wear Daily and Cosmopolitan, and won Women's Wear Daily Beauty Inc.'s 2015 Digital Innovator of the Year award and is one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2017. Emily has been included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 2015 and AdWeek Top 20 Content Creators 2016. Emily lives in New York City.

The Dreamers

Isabelle and Katherine Adams

Co-CEOs, Paper For Water

Isabelle (age 14) and Katherine (ag11) learned over 6 years ago that girls their age in 3rd world countries often did not get to go to school because they were hauling water all day. They also learned that a child died every 15 seconds from unclean water. So they started a project making origami Christmas ornaments and exchanging them for donations to raise money for water wells. In 6 years, these two girls have raised over $1,300,000 and have helped fund over 150 water projects in Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal, Rwanda, Mexico, Ethiopia, Uganda, Peru, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, India and a Navajo Indian Reservation in Smith Lake, New Mexico. More than 45,000 people now have access to clean water thanks to the efforts of these two girls and thousands of amazing volunteers and donors.

For 8 months between Dec 28th, 2016 and Aug 28th, 2017, the girls traveled all the way around the world visiting many of their well sites. They spent 3 months in South America, 2 weeks in Antarctica, 3 months in Africa, 3 weeks is Russia, and 6 weeks in Asia. They had the privilege of meeting with hundreds of people benefiting from the clean water that Paper For Water has provided.

Isabelle and Katherine want nothing more than to educate the world to the clean water crisis and to make people realize that you don't have to be a billionaire or a celebrity to make a permanent change in the life of someone who is thirsty.

Michael Lastoria

Co-Founder, CEO and Creative Director, &pizza

Michael Lastoria is a serial entrepreneur who is known for building companies on four core principles: design-driven, culture-centric, brand-led, and most importantly, morally sound.

In 2012, he co-founded &pizza, a fast-casual pizza brand that embodies those principles. In five years, he has raised more than $40 million for expansion and growth, opening 23 shops spanning multiple east coast markets. From culinary innovation to retail design, &pizza set out to create a brand with strong point of view. The company’s success is evidenced in the Tribe’s intentional commitment to building a cultural movement.

In addition to &pizza, Lastoria is a co-founder of JWALK, a New York based full service creative agency, leading the company in growth strategy and business development. Having helped grow the company into a small but powerful force in the agency world, he sold the company in 2017 to beauty powerhouse, Shiseido.

Carley Ochs

Founder, CEO and Designer, Bourbon and Boweties

Carley Ochs designed handmade souvenirs for her loved ones out of Jade she stumbled upon while in China – from which the first Bourbon and Boweties bangle was born. While this was her first attempt at jewelry making, Carley has never met a creative project she didn’t like. Her love for fashion and creating personal style lead her to thrift-stores to shop for vintage finds and put her own touch on them. She pursued a degree in the Department of Textiles and Consumer Sciences at Florida State University. After graduating in 2008, Carley held odd jobs and traveled, until she founded Bourbon and Boweties in 2013. Carley’s love for traveling and her gypsy soul bode well for her, as she would pack her car and travel from city to city hosting trunk shows with small boutiques up and down the East Coast. Carley’s travels and the wonders of Facebook and Instagram, would lay the groundwork for fast and furious growth. She settled the company’s roots in her hometown of Valrico, FL, in her grandmother’s garage. As the company grew, Carley knew that she could not make all of the bangles on her own and taught a few friends and family to make them, laying the groundwork for an unconventional workforce. All Bourbon and Boweties jewelry is still hand-crafted in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, where Carley created a thriving cottage industry of stay-at-home mothers, teachers and many others that have become part of the Bourbon and Boweties family.  The Tampa Bay area has been an integral part of the Bourbon and Boweties success story, by contributing to the B&B workforce and by supporting the brand. As a community based company, Bourbon and Boweties will forever be “Made by Proud Southern Hands.”

Kate Ross LeBlanc

Co-Founder and CEO, Saje Natural Wellness

Kate Ross LeBlanc is Co-Founder and CEO of Saje Natural Wellness - a twenty five year old natural wellness company that has become North America’s leader in plant-derived essential oil products that help you feel your best, naturally.

Recipient of the 2016 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Retail and Hospitality as well as the Momentum Award by Women of Influencer RBC Entrepreneur of the Year, Kate leads the Saje team in its mission to create global wellness by connecting people to the healing power of plants. Founded in 1992, Saje began introducing 100% natural, plant-derived alternatives to pharmaceutical medicine and has grown from 14 to 69 education experience-based retail locations across North America within the past four years – and has been included on the PROFIT 500 list of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies for the past three years.

Having grown up in her mother's fabric store, Kate developed a lifelong love for everything retail. This included a natural talent for welcoming store design and shaped her vision for outrageous customer experiences. Kate’s passion for human connection and the store experience led Saje to win gold for ‘Store Design’ at the ICSC Awards in 2014.

As the pioneer of Saje’s natural wellness product line, champion of the Positively Outrageous Customer Service founding pillar, and past ICSC Retail Chair for British Columbia, Kate is a passionate speaker about retail, company culture, leadership and holistic happiness and has spoken at events across North America, including most recently Retail West. 

The Givers

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale

Owner and Philanthropist, Gallery Furniture

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is a Texas-grown phenomenon who knows how to “Save You Money, TODAY!”

In 1981, Mack and his wife Linda started Gallery Furniture with five thousand dollars and a dream. Mack began television advertising early on and with his motto of “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise”, he quickly became a household name. 

In 2009, Gallery Furniture opened a second store on Post Oak Blvd in the Houston Galleria area. This proved to be a blessing as Mack, Linda, and the entire Gallery Furniture family faced a horrific fire on May 21, 2009 at the flagship I-45 store location which destroyed the warehouse. By bringing their positive approach and “TODAY” philosophy to everything they do, Gallery Furniture re-built the “World’s Greatest Furniture Store” bigger and better than ever with a full Grand Opening less than four months later.

Gallery Furniture has seen a lot of expansion over the years with the re-build of the flagship store, the addition of the Galleria location and, coming in Spring 2015, the third and largest store located in Fort Bend County on the Grand Parkway, which will feature a 165,000 square feet showroom. Even with multiple locations, Gallery Furniture still lives up to its promise of delivering quality furniture, mattresses and home electronics TODAY.

The success of Gallery Furniture is mostly attributed to Mack’s “do-whatever-it-takes” approach to pleasing the customer. Currently with just 2 locations, Gallery Furniture sells the most furniture and mattresses in the nation per square foot including Gallery Furniture’s own line, Mack-O-Pedic, as well as other name brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Mayo, United Leather, American Leather, Lane, Broyhill, Flexsteel and of course solid wood furniture, made in America.

Mack’s strong work ethic is matched by his philanthropy and exceeded only by the commitment he has to his family. 

Past charitable contributions include:

  • Co-founded the Peace of Mind Foundation for those affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 
  • One of the largest contributors to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo with over $4 million given
  • Funded St. Luke’s Mobile Stroke Unit
  • Large contributor to Texas Heart Institute, Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School
  • Instrumental in getting Menninger Clinic to move to Houston to provide mental health care to Houston by providing a multi-million dollar donation
  • Annual Christmas give-away furnishing hundreds of housefuls of furniture for the past 30 years
  • Helped start and continuously fund the KickStart Kids Program in Houston
  • Furnished USO facilities around the world
  • Furnished George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M
  • Hosted events for and donated to the Salvation Army
  • Donated thousands of dollars of furniture to hundreds of teacher lounges in Houston area schools
  • Helped to raise over $12 million dollars for the Bush/Clinton fund to aid those affected by the Tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
  • Underwrote YMCA playground at Reliant Stadium for Katrina Evacuees and housed several hundred evacuees during hurricane crisis
  • Underwrote National OCF Conference held in Houston
  • Recipient of Mental Health Association Award in 2005
  • Underwrote wolf exhibit for The Houston Zoo
  • Built and paid for tennis facility at Yates High School
  • Donated tennis racquets to inner city kids that would not otherwise have the opportunity to take tennis lessons
  • Sole sponsor of Pilgrimage of Faith sending 500 kids and chaperones from the Galveston/Houston Catholic Dioceses to Rome
  • Fed 25,000 people Thanksgiving dinner for several years
  • Bought 10,000 toys for needy children, distributed during the holiday

In addition to Gallery Furniture, Mack and Linda also own and operate Westside Tennis and Fitness and enjoy spending time with their children James, Laura, Elizabeth and Regina, and their three grandchildren.

Brittany Merrill Underwood

Founder and CEO, Akola Project

Brittany Merrill Underwood has made an extraordinary impact through her dedication over the past 14 years to transform the lives of impoverished women and families through Akola, a non-profit social business designed to empower women in disadvantaged communities through training, employment and holistic care. Akola currently gives a work opportunity to over 500 women in Uganda and Dallas so they can impact the lives of more than 4,000 children in their communities. Akola women are empowered throughout Akola's supply chain including making beads, the assembly of the jewelry and even the distribution center which run as a second chance job program.  Akola has developed a suite of educational programs, drilled 23 clean water wells, and has built three training centers to benefit the women they empower in Uganda.

Akola Jewelry became the first full-impact brand to be sold in the luxury space through their national, every store launch through Neiman Marcus in 2016. As a non-profit, Akola reinvests 100% of its profits to help women in poverty. In 2017, Brittany was named among the World’s Top 10 CEOs in Inc. Magazine and listed as one of Town and Country Magazine’s 50 Modern Swans. She was named the ‘Best Person in the World” by Yahoo in 2014 and was honored by clothing manufacturer Levi as one of 50 women around the globe who have changed the political, cultural, and spiritual shape of the future. Brittany has been featured on the likes of the Katie Couric Show, CNN’s Young People who Rock, Fox Business, Town and Country and Modern Luxury. In her spare time Brittany teaches a course on Social Innovation at Southern Methodist University as an adjunct professor. Brittany continues to devote her life as Founder and CEO of Akola to setting the bar for millennial run businesses that seek to have a meaningful impact on the world.

Who helped shape your career in retail? Karen Katz, CEO of Neiman Marcus, shaped my career in retail. Karen has walked alongside Akola and helped me build our brand.

Karin M. Norington-Reaves

CEO, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership

Karin M. Norington-Reaves is a lifelong public servant with more than 25 years of experience in education, law, advocacy, community and workforce development. In 2012, Karin became the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) upon her appointment by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

As CEO and change agent, she led the merger and re-structuring of three disparate workforce systems into what is now the nation’s largest workforce system managed by a non-profit administrative agency. Karin leads The Partnership’s mission to ensure that “every person has the skills to build a career and every business has the talent it needs to compete in a global economy.”

She oversees the administration of federal, state and philanthropic funds and the creation of effective programs that assure alignment between the skills demanded by a changing economy and those offered by the region’s labor force. She also works to generate both private and public funding to expand the services available throughout Chicagoland. In her tenure, The Partnership has raised more than $40 million in diverse funds, including a $10.9 million grant awarded by the Walmart Foundation—its largest grant in the history of the foundation.

A recognized thought leader on the national stage, Karin has served as a keynote speaker, panelist and presenter at a host of conferences, and convenings. Similarly, delegations from Korea, China and Great Britain have sought to learn from her leadership and organizational experience.

Karin’s civic engagement extends to numerous organizations. She serves as a member of the Cook County Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), the Board of Advisors for LISC Chicago, the Board of Trustees for the Workforce Development Council of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the Board of Thrive Chicago. She also spent 8 years as a mentor/sponsor for LINK Unlimited. Karin’s work was recognized with the 2016 Excellence in Public Service award by the Civic Federation of Chicago and the Motorola Solutions Foundation.

Prior to The Partnership, Karin served as Director of Cook County Works; Deputy Director of the Office of Urban Assistance for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Chief of Staff for the City of Chicago's 20th Ward. Karin spent 8 years as a litigator for the U.S. Department of Justice, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General and the Citizens Utility Board in the fields of: mental health law, education, contracts, and public utility consumer protection. She is a former adjunct law professor at Loyola University’s Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy. Karin began her career as a Teach For America Corps member in Compton, California.

A Chicago native, Karin holds a J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas and a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is also the proud mother of a blended family of four children.

Buddy Teaster

President and CEO, Soles4Souls

Buddy Teaster is a relative newcomer to retail, joining nonprofit social enterprise Soles4Souls as president and CEO in 2012. In the process of rebuilding the board, expanding partnerships and disrupting the poverty cycle through the organization's mission, he’s been blown away by the power and generosity of the industry. “For all the dog-eat-dog stories,” he says, “we work with so many people who want to give back.” A nonprofit veteran and ultramarathon runner, Teaster leads with transparency and vulnerability. “That means sometimes saying, ‘I have no idea what we’re going to do, but we’ll figure it out together,’” he says. Teaster says the culture at Soles4Souls has changed dramatically since he came on board: Employees now make decisions quickly, which didn’t happen before. If things go wrong, he says, a conversation ensues about what they’ve learned. A fan of marketing guru Seth Godin, Teaster believes “if you have the “why” figured out, then there are many “hows.” He says it’s terrifying how quickly things are changing—that 10 years ago, much of what’s central to our lives didn’t exist. “I sweat bullets and at the same time love the fact that things are changing so fast.”

Hamdi Ulukaya

Founder, Chairman and CEO, Chobani LLC

Hamdi Ulukaya is founder, Chairman and CEO of Chobani, LLC, one of the fastest growing food companies in the last decade and a pioneer for the natural food movement.

Raised in a dairy-farming family in eastern Turkey, Ulukaya launched Chobani in 2007 with the mission and vision of making better food more accessible. In less than five years, Chobani became the No. 1–selling Greek Yogurt brand in the U.S. with more than a billion dollars in annual sales. Earlier this year, Chobani was named by Fast Company magazine as one of the 10 most innovative companies in the world, and number one in both the Food and Social Good categories.

Ulukaya has always made giving back to the community a priority for Chobani. From the beginning, the company has donated a portion of its profits to charitable causes, many of them in Idaho and New York where its products are made. An advocate of reducing income and wealth inequality nationwide, last year Ulukaya announced a groundbreaking profit-sharing program for Chobani’s 2,000 employees. That same year, Ulukaya also took the rare step in manufacturing of implementing six weeks of paid parental leave for all mothers and fathers at the company.

In 2016, Ulukaya launched the Chobani Food Incubator to empower and mentor socially responsible food entrepreneurs, and further deliver on the company’s mission to provide better food for more people.

Ulukaya founded the Tent Foundation and signed the Giving Pledge in 2015, committing the majority of his wealth to addressing the global refugee crisis. He has been named an Eminent Advocate by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People and Forbes’ 100 Greatest Living Business Minds.

The Influencers

Matthew Boss

Managing Director, Equity Research, Consumer Discretionary / Retailing, J.P. Morgan

Matthew Boss is a Managing Director and senior analyst at J.P. Morgan covering the Department Stores, Specialty Softlines & Apparel/Footwear sectors. Matt is currently #1 ranked in the Department Stores and Specialty Softlines category in Institutional Investor’s “All-American Research Team” survey. Matt has held a top ranking for five consecutive years previously dual ranked with a #1 ranking in the Broadlines Retailing space and Runner-Up in Apparel & Footwear. Prior to re-joining J.P. Morgan in 2011, Matt spent three years as a senior analyst on the buy-side following the Retail & Consumer space. From 2005-2008, he was an associate on the II ranked Broadlines Retailing team at J.P. Morgan. Previously, Matt worked in public accounting at Ernst & Young, LLP from 2001-2004.

Amanda Curtis and Gemma Sole

Co-Founders, Nineteenth Amendment

Amanda Curtis grew up in the fashion industry and holds degrees from Boston University & Parsons School of Design. As a fashion designer she went from New York Fashion week designing for Richie Rich, DVF, and A-list celebrities to bringing a solo designed collection all the way at London Fashion Week in her first season. From the trenches she realized that the fashion business model needed a redesign. Seven years ago she entered into the tech startup world in the retail marketing space with the goal of learning first hand the efficiency and potential of the space. Nineteenth Amendment is the result of the collision of the fashion and tech worlds; a platform & business model that gives brands a smart way break into the fashion industry with the least amount of time, effort, and money (what she calls #StilettoStrapping), while growing domestic manufacturing and bringing amazing, undiscovered fashion from the runway to closets of fashion lovers. This new type of retailing she refers to as, 'fashion-as-experience' has led to partnerships with over 900 fashion brands across 29 countries, and global companies like Disney, Macy's, Microsoft, and Dell. Along with being named as an influencer on the National Retail Federation's "The List" Amanda is also Forbes’ 30 Under 30 2016 for Retail & E-commerce, Apparel Magazine's 30 Under 30 2016, and she is a mentor at TechStars and AOL's Built by Girls.

Gemma Sole was born to curate and collect. As an anthropologist-turned-strategist, Gemma lives at the intersection of art, technology, and operations with Nineteenth Amendment. Having graduated from the University of Rochester with two degrees and a company under her belt, she went from work as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton and the Department of Defense - to working with startups. After two years in Boston in Venture Capital launching startups in the caregiving space, Gemma and cofounder Amanda launched Nineteenth Amendment at the New York Fashion Tech Lab. With a background in consulting, venture capital, and product development, Gemma is used to playing many parts and figuring out how they fit together. Gemma wants to see brands grow by bringing beautiful products to consumers who understand their value. Gemma was named one of Forbes’ top 30 under 30 in 2016 for retail and e-commerce and a Kauffman Entrepreneurship Fellow.

Jonathan Sokoloff

Managing Partner, Leonard Green & Partners

Jonathan Sokoloff is Managing Partner of Leonard Green & Partners (“LGP”), which he joined in 1990. LGP is a leading private equity investment firm based in Los Angeles with approximately $25 billion of committed capital. The firm partners with experienced management teams and often with founders to invest in market-leading companies. Previously, Jon was a Managing Director in corporate finance at Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Jon presently serves on the Board of Directors of a number of LGP portfolio companies, including Advantage Solutions, The Container Store, J. Crew, Jetro Cash & Carry, Jo-Ann Stores, Shake Shack, Signet Jewelers, Topshop/Topman, and Union Square Hospitality Group. Jon has previously served on the board of Whole Foods Market, among many other consumer/retail companies during his career.

Jon serves as trustee of Williams College and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is also a board member of the Melanoma Research Alliance. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College.

Rob Sweeney

Global Head of Consumer and Retail Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs

Rob is global head of the Consumer and Retail Group in the Investment BankingDivision (IBD). He is a member of the Firmwide Commitments Committee and Investment Banking Services Leadership Group. Previously, Rob was head of Client Coverage for the Consumer, Retail and Healthcare Group. Prior to that, he was head of the firm’s investment banking coverage of retail companies, and before that, he led the Consumer and Retail business in Equity Capital Markets (ECM). He joined Goldman Sachs in 1997 as an associate in the Investment Banking Energy and Power Group and transferred to ECM in 2001. Rob was named managing director in 2004 and partner in 2008. Prior to joining the firm, Rob served as a submarine officer in the United States Navy. Rob serves on the Board of Trustees of the Windward School and is a trustee of the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation.

Barbara Thau

Contributing Retail Writer,

I'm a longtime business reporter and editor specializing in the retail sector and the consumer economy across product sectors, from fashion and beauty to grocery and home goods.

I am currently a contributing retail writer for, for which I write the Minding The Stores column. I'm also the retail editor for Eyecare Business magazine.

In addition, I serve as a content writer/editor, producing thought-leadership pieces, reports, white papers, blogs and case studies on the retail and consumer products sectors for corporate clients such as Microsoft, Zebra Technologies, and IBM.

Previously, I was the retail and consumer reporter for AOL Huffington Post Media Group’s DailyFinance, now AOL Finance, its business and personal finance site.  

Prior to that, I was a contributing retail reporter for

And, I was the longtime senior retail editor for Home Furnishings News magazine, then a Fairchild/Condé Nast publication, where I shaped the retail coverage for the lead section of the publication. 

The Power Players

Mary Campbell

Executive Vice President, Commerce Platforms, QVC, Inc.

Mary Campbell was named Executive Vice President, Commerce Platforms in July 2014. In this role, Mary leads Broadcast Production and Technology, Interactive and Digital, Platform Development and Distribution, Content, and Customer Marketing for QVC globally. She and her team are responsible for leveraging the unique capabilities of TV, web, mobile, tablet and social – while translating the QVC brand across all platforms to drive customer engagement and sales.

Under Mary’s leadership of Commerce Platforms, QVC has achieved the largest television reach, ecommerce and mobile penetration, and customer base in our history. Among mass merchants, the combined QVC Group (including QVC and zulily) is the #3 mobile retailer in the U.S., the #8 mobile retailer globally, and the #3 ecommerce player in North America, according to Internet Retailer.

Since joining QVC in 1991, Mary has held various positions across the Merchandising, Planning and Commerce Platforms functions. She has worked to identify and attract several strategic brands and concepts to QVC.

Prior to QVC, Mary spent five years with Target in merchandising.

Mary was recognized in Cablefax’s 100 list and Most Innovative People in Multiscreen in 2017, Philadelphia Business Journal’s Tech Disrupters in 2017, Multichannel News’ Women to Watch in 2016, Cablefax’s 2016, 2015 and 2014 Most Powerful Women in Cable, and Main Line Today’s 2015 Power Women.

Mary earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Connecticut State University.

James "JC" Curleigh

President, Levi's Brand

James ‘JC’ Curleigh joined the company in July 2012 and serves as the Executive Vice President and President of the Levi’s®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss& Co.™ and Denizen® brands. In this position, he is responsible for managing the strategic direction and execution of the company’s brands. With his team, he is focused on building on the brands’ strong heritage by identifying innovative ways to connect with consumers around the world. Curleigh is passionate about building brands and leading exceptional teams, and he has translated this to a track record of consistently strong results throughout his career. His unwavering commitment to creative design and craftsmanship makes him a strong leader for Levi Strauss & Co.’s brands brand as well as a strong member of the company’s worldwide leadership team. Curleigh has more than 25 years of experience building and expanding consumer brands around the globe. Prior to joining Levi Strauss & Co., Curleigh served as the President and CEO of KEEN Footwear, Inc., a footwear and accessory company. Before KEEN, Curleigh was President and CEO of Salomon Sports North America, an innovative performance sports company. He also established and led the TaylorMade Adidas Golf Division in Europe and held various leadership positions in the London office of M&M Mars, a global consumer goods company. Curleigh is a triple citizen of the USA, Canada, and the UK. He lives in San Francisco, California with his wife and 3 kids. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Canada and has attended both Harvard & Stanford for executive programs. He has always ‘Lived in Levi’s®!

Jane Elfers

President and CEO, The Children's Place, Inc.

Jane Elfers joined The Children’s Place as President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2010. Jane quickly formulated a strategic growth plan focused on Talent, Product, Brand, Geographic Expansion and Operational Excellence. Among Jane’s key accomplishments since her arrival have been a significant talent upgrade across the entire company, a complete overhaul of the merchandise offering and a renewed focus on marketing and expansion into international markets. She continues to drive business transformation through technology to  maximize the Company’s longer-term growth potential. Jane is a 33 year retail veteran with a successful track record of turnarounds. She previously served as President and CEO of Lord and Taylor, during which time she transformed the ailing brand, saving it from extinction. Jane began her retail career at Macy’s and is a graduate of Bucknell University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and currently serves on the Board of Trustees.

Helena Foulkes

Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, CVS Pharmacy

Helena Foulkes is Executive Vice President of CVS Health and President of CVS Pharmacy, a position she has held since January 2014. In this role, Foulkes has responsibility for all aspects of the company’s retail business including its nearly 9,700 retail stores, 20 distribution centers and e-commerce sites, as well as merchandising, supply chain, marketing, real estate, front store and pharmacy operations. In addition, Foulkes manages CVS Health’s enterprise digital and brand teams.

Over the course of her more than 20 years with the company, Foulkes has amassed an extensive background in retail and health care marketing and strategy, and has played an important leadership role in growing the company from its retail roots to the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. Previously, Foulkes served as Executive Vice President and Chief Health Care Strategy and Marketing Officer with responsibility for overall corporate strategy and enterprise marketing and communications for the company.

Prior to joining the company in 1992, Foulkes worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Tiffany & Co. She has received numerous professional honors, including being on Fortune’s list of the Most Powerful Women in Business, as well as Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business list.  Foulkes serves on the boards of The Home Depot, The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Harvard University Board of Overseers and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

Foulkes received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Greg Scott

CEO, New York & Company

Gregory Scott was named Chief Executive Officer of New York & Company in February 2011 and served as President since June 2010.  Mr. Scott was appointed to the Board of Directors in August 2010.  Mr. Scott brings more than 30 years of retail industry experience to New York & Company.       Mr. Scott served as the Chief Executive Officer of Bebe Stores from February 2004 to January 2009 and also served as a member of their board of directors from August 2004 to January 2009. Prior to Bebe, Mr. Scott served as President of Arden B., a division of Wet Seal, Inc., from May 2000 to January 2004.  Mr. Scott has also held senior level merchandising positions at Ann Taylor Stores.

Mr. Scott began his retail career in the executive training program at Macy's West, a division of Federated Department Stores, Inc., where he held several merchandising positions.

Mr. Scott holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.