National Retail Conference Will Feature Six Retail Marketing Panelists

The theme for the 2013 Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference to be held in Scottsdale in April is “Learn. Change. Grow.” The selection of six retail marketing experts to shape the informative panel for the conference, hosted by World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards on April 27-30th, reflects those values.

Everything from creating an ecosystem that expands connections to customers to the development of customer-centric products to executing contact strategy and using creativity to craft powerful brand reputations will be part of the panel discussion.

The chairperson for this year’s conference, Ron Apel, summarizes the three days of dynamic keynote speakers, informative breakout sessions and networking opportunities: “We come together to learn from each other and collaborate with experts in different fields in an effort to foresee the future and gain insight into how we can be ready for whatever comes our way,” he says.

He goes on to stress that the goal of the conference is to present each attendee with the chance “to define where your company will stand in the future and to provide you with the tools that will help you to get there,” and that such progressive initiative is necessary because of “the changes the industry has gone through and the challenges we face as an industry moving ahead.”

“Change is hard. It means seeing our weaknesses, owning our responsibility as leaders to improve, and consciously seek out solutions that will enable our teams, our companies and our industry to grow,” he adds.

A short biography of each of the 2013 conference panelists follows:

Sean Cook is CEO of ShopVisible. He envisions an aligned evolution of commerce, creating an ecosystem that continually expands the limits and connections to customers on all levels. Cook and his team assure that solutions are robust, react in real time and adapt to changing market and technology conditions faster than the competition. He has published articles in tier-one publications such as Forbes, 1to1 Magazine and Internet Retailer.

Eric Holtzclaw, CEO and Founder of Laddering Works, is a serial entrepreneur, business consultant and strategic thinker. As the CEO of Laddering Works, Eric advises clients on the development of customer-centric products, services, marketing messages and experiences. Eric speaks on evidence-based consumer research, trends, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Jennifer Kwiatkowski is Director of Circulation and Analytics for Plow and Hearth, a family of five brands providing unique, high-quality products for home, hearth, yard and garden, as well as quality children’s toys. In her current role, Jennifer is responsible for driving business performance by developing and executing contact strategy, customer segmentation and target marketing initiatives, research, customer behavior and website analytics.

Dave McMullen is a Partner/Strategic Planning for redpepper, a company that has been said to exist on the corner of Art and Commerce. He has the kind of perspective and acumen that sets him apart as a creative entrepreneur and marketing leader. Dave received Atlanta’s 2009 Agency Marketer of the Year Award, Catalyst Magazine’s # 14 Entrepreneur and the 2009 Small Business Person of the Year.

Florian Vollmer serves as Senior VP of Design and Principal at InReality, an Atlanta-based design and solution-based agency that focuses on helping clients create engaging and effective customer experiences. Florian is a fast-forwarding futurist, constantly engaging in future research and the process of design. Florian directs his foresight towards recognizing and interpreting user behaviors and mapping their future potential for leading brands such as The Home Depot, Tempur-Pedic and Foot Levelers.

Lisa Calhoun, CEO of Write2Market, Winner of the Gold Female Entrepreneur of the Year from the Stevies, crafts powerful reputations for some of the top business brands in the United States, and has worked for Jack Welch, Motorola, Kaiser Permanente and numerous other leading executives. Write2Market is recognized by the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur and USA Today for its innovative approach to crafting reputation. Lisa will be the moderator of this dynamic panel discussion.

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