Tarek Hassan, President, The Tannery
Fred Mossler, Zappos.com Inc.
Elizabeth Rodbell, Executive Vice President, Merchandising, Lord & Taylor
Ron White, Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director, Ron White Shoes
Matthew Rubel, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & President, Collective Brands Inc.
Coming off a very strong 2010, this year's event will focus on providing brands and retailers with the tools needed for continued growth across channels and across the globe. The Footwear News CEO Summit will combine high-profile keynote presentations with intensive interactive working sessions and a strong focus on key industry issues including:
* The latest on the international front
* The return of luxury
* Developing multi-brand strategies
* What department store merchandise managers really want
* Getting digital (including social media) right
Tarek Hassan is President of The Tannery, a Boston-based retailer hailed as a leader in the world of boutique retail. Mr. Hassan also founded unique concept shops Concepts, The Tannery Boylston, Curated by the Tannery and his latest, Wilderness Workshop, which offers contemporary American and European outdoor brands and features an in-store bakery and coffee shop. His innovative ideas about what retailers should offer consumers have led to industry-acclaimed innovations in retail design and many noteworthy product collaborations with such leading brands as Timberland, Sorel and New Balance. Mr. Hassan is recognized around the world for his influence on - and passion for - the creation of meaningful retail experiences that educate, entertain and enlighten consumers.
Fred Mossler is an executive at Zappos.com Inc.
Liz 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 divides her time between the company’s dual headquarters in New York and Toronto. Ms. Rodbell serves on Hudson’s Bay Company’s executive committee.
Ron White is the Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director of Ron White Shoes. Mr. White's varied background in biomechanics, orthotics and fashion was instrumental in inspiring the idea for his comfort-meets-style business model. In 1993, he opened a single store in Toronto and worked with notable designers including Stuart Weitzman and Donald Pliner to create customized styles that fit his customers' requests for comfort and fashion.
Today Mr. White's company has expanded to include a web boutique and five Ron White retail stores that sell various brands including Mr. White's own shoe collections -- the All Day Heels and Signature Collection lines for women and a men's line of dress and casual shoes. In March of 2011, Mr. White announced the expansion of Ron White Shoes collections into U.S. and Canadian wholesale accounts, including Lord & Taylor.
Regarded as "Canada's Shoe-ru," Mr. White is regularly featured as a fashion expert in both Canadian and international media, including Fashion Television, eTalk, ET Canada, Breakfast Television, Canada AM, Today in Australia, the Globe and Mail and the National Post, among others.
Mr. White also oversees the Ron White Foundation, which raises funds for and promotes awareness of human rights issues both locally and internationally. The organization hosts a variety of fundraisers including an annual October breast cancer benefit and a winter shoe drive for the homeless each year. The Ron White Foundation is particularly known for its recurring White Knight Gala, a highly publicized event featuring entertainment, fashion and celebrity appearances that raises funds for a different charity each year.
While Lord & Taylor EVP of Merchandising Elizabeth Rodbell sees growth in reaching out to customers through social networking sites like Twitter, Fred Mossler of Zappos maintains that the best channel for customer engagement is still the telephone. "Any time that you can take a call from your customer and have five to six minutes of their undivided attention, it's an amazing way to build your brand," he says.