Speaker Bios

Ricky Dickson | President

Ricky Dickson is currently serving as President of Blue Bell Creameries.  As such, he is in charge of the overall management and strategic direction of Blue Bell.

 

Ricky graduated from Baylor University with a BBA in Marketing and Journalism. He began his career with Blue Bell on January 1, 1981, as a territory manager in Dallas, Texas.  In 1982, he moved to Fort Worth and became sales manager and, in 1984 was promoted to branch manager in San Antonio.  He transferred to Oklahoma City and Tulsa when each of those branches opened.  In 1992, Ricky was named assistant Dallas/Fort Worth division manager and transferred to Kansas City as branch manager in 1993, and then moved back to Tulsa later that year.  In 1994, he was named Midwest division manager.  Four years later, he became General Manager of the Broken Arrow plant but remained involved in sales, particularly with the Wal-Mart account.  He was named General Sales Manager in 2003. In 2010, he was promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing and also appointed to serve as a director on the Blue Bell Board of Directors.   In 2017, he was elected President of the Company.

 

Ricky currently serves on the Dairy Product Institute of Texas and the International Ice Cream Association board of directors. He has always been involved in community organizations and still continues to do so.  He served two terms on the board of directors of the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce while living in Oklahoma.  He has been a member of Rotary since 1990 and named a Paul Harris Fellow in 2009.  He is past president of the Rotary Club of Washington County.  Ricky is also the president of Faith Mission, a local ecumenical Christian based non-profit organization created to assist the homeless and working poor of the community.  He has been involved with this service organization since 2006 when he was elected to serve on its board. He was ordained as a Deacon at the First Baptist Church in San Antonio in 1987 and now serves as a Deacon at Central Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas.

 

Ricky and his lovely wife Anita have five children and seven grandchildren.

Nigel Travis | Executive Chairman

Nigel Travis was appointed Executive Chairman of the Board for Dunkin’ Brands in July 2018. Previously, Nigel served as Chief Executive Officer of Dunkin’ Brands from January 2009 to July 2018, and added responsibility as Chairman of the Board in May 2013.

 

From 2005 through 2008, Travis served as President & CEO of Papa John’s, the pizza chain with annual system-wide sales of $2.1 billion and more than 3,300 restaurants throughout the U.S. and 29 international markets. Under his leadership, Papa John’s accomplished outstanding results, with industry-leading comp sales, consistent earnings growth and excellent franchise relationships. During his four-year tenure with the company, Papa John’s online sales tripled through the innovative use of technology. In addition, Travis helped position the company’s international business as a major growth platform and oversaw the successful rollout of several new products, including Papa’s Pan Pizza.

 

Prior to Papa John’s, Travis was with Blockbuster, Inc. from 1994 to 2004, where he served in increasing roles of responsibility, including President & Chief Operating Officer. During that time, global sales increased over 50 percent and the international business was developed to encompass 26 countries with revenues of $1.8 billion. Travis also built a worldwide franchise network of 300 franchisees in 15 countries with revenues of approximately $1 billion, and transitioned the company from a video rental store chain to a complete movie and game source.

 

Before that, he was with Burger King, first as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and later as Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As Managing Director, he turned around the region, significantly increasing sales and operating profits. He dramatically increased the rate of store development in the region, and successfully drove expansion into new countries and alternative points of distribution.

 

Travis received a bachelor’s degree in business administration for Middlesex University in England. He previously served as Lead Director on the Board of Directors for Office Depot, where he currently serves as a board member.

Mary Beth Laughton | EVP Omni-Retail

Mary Beth Laughton is the Executive Vice President of U.S. Omni Retail at Sephora. A visionary and strategist with a deep understanding of how customers are evolving, Ms. Laughton is responsible for Sephora’s omnichannel business, driving growth and ensuring a seamless and holistic client–centric approach across store and digital channels. In this role, she oversees the stores field organization, retail operations, Sephora.com, and omni experiences and innovation. During her time at Sephora she has pioneered many innovative, consumer-focused experiences both online and in stores, reflecting her relentless focus on making the client experience as integrated as possible.

 

Ms. Laughton joined the Company in 2012, and since that time, Sephora’s e-commerce business has quadrupled, due in large measure to its leadership in mobile, digital marketing and site experience. Promoted to Sephora’s Senior Vice President of Digital in 2014, Ms. Laughton led the retailer to its dominance in digital innovation, including the launch of its award-winning mobile App and site, as well as its leading in-store digital, omnichannel, and CRM/personalization experiences.  She has also served on the Operating Committee for the company since 2015.

 

Previous to Sephora, Ms. Laughton spent nearly a decade at Nike, where she held a variety of strategy, merchandising and e-commerce roles including three years as General Manager for Nike’s Europe e-commerce business.  Ms. Laughton also previously worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company in Chicago, her hometown.

 

Ms. Laughton earned a BA from Indiana University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She currently resides in San Francisco with her husband and two children.

James Starke | SVP, Head of Merchandising

James Starke is senior vice president and head of merchandising. He oversees men’s, children’s, home and jewelry for JCPenney. Starke is responsible for the Company’s collection of powerful private brands such as The Original Arizona Jean Co.®, St. John’s Bay®, Stafford®, JF J. Ferrar®, The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. and Okie Dokie®, along with perception-shifting national brands including Nike®, Levi’s® and Carter’s®. Previously, Starke served as senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s apparel. Starke joined JCPenney as a buyer in 2005 and has held roles of increasing responsibility in children’s and men’s apparel, as well as supporting the men’s and children’s divisions in marketing. In 2013, he became divisional vice president, divisional merchandising manager in men’s, responsible for tailored clothing, dress furnishings, basics and accessories. Starke began his career at Foley’s, a division of May Department Stores Company, where he worked eight years in merchandising across men’s, women’s, children’s and home.

Rachel Ligtenberg | VP Retail

Rachel joined REI in 1990 as a sales associate at the Sacramento store and now serves as the co-op’s vice president of retail. Rachel oversees the retail operations, store design and visual merchandising teams and heads up the co-op’s flagship strategy. She also leads the retail work around REI’s experiences offerings in concert with the co-op’s Outdoor Programs and Outreach division.

 

During her time at REI, she has impacted many parts of the business by leading marketing, merchandising and retail teams. She served as the general manager of the Seattle flagship store for seven years before becoming director of visual merchandising and later regional vice president of retail.

 

Committed to advancing women’s leadership in the outdoor industry, Rachel has been an active member of Camber Outdoors. Her work to help get more youth outside has inspired her to volunteer with non-profit boards for Camp Fire and Passages Northwest as well as an Advisory Board role for the YMCA’s BOLD and GOLD programs.

Kirk Zambetti | VP of Sales

Kirk Zambetti is an experienced sales executive who has seen businesses in high growth environments and effectively led teams through next-phase growth with a focus on delivering results. Kirk joined YETI as the VP of Sales in 2016. During his time at YETI, he has helped ignite the YETI name across the US and internationally. Before his move to the outdoors industry, he spent 9 years at Danaher Corporation where he served as the Director of Key Accounts, NA for the Dental Equipment and Imaging businesses and then ultimately moved into the role of Vice President of Sales of North American, Dental Technologies. Kirk oversaw the go-to-market strategies and growth of this portfolio of premium brands in the medical device space (KaVo, Pelton & Crane, Gendex, NOMAD, Soredex, Instrumentarium, DEXIS, and i-CAT).

 

In his Vice President of Sales role, Kirk managed a number of field sales organizations dedicated to those brands, and he also owned key account relationships with small independent and large, multinational customers. Prior to Danaher, Kirk held several sales and business leadership roles in medical device (Siemens, ANSI, Urologix) and medical distribution at PSS World Medical where his final role was divisional president of their medical imaging business unit, Diagnostic Imaging (DI).

 

Kirk holds a BA in History from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Kirk, his wife Amy and their three boys now call Austin “home.”  When he isn’t leading a world-class sales team, Kirk loves to get outdoors, especially flats fishing, hunting, shooting, and golf.

Sunni Goodman | SVP of Communications & CX

Sunni Goodman is Senior Vice President of Communications & Customer Experience at Mattress Firm. Goodman joined Mattress Firm in 2007 as Communications Manager and has since held roles of Director of Communications, and Vice President of Communications before her promotion to SVP of Communications & CX.

 

In her role, Goodman oversees and provides strategic direction to Mattress Firm’s internal and external communications teams. Her focus includes media relations, public relations, company intranet, social media, charitable giving, employee communications, consumer research, customer experience, content marketing, executive communication, and community involvement.

 

Goodman serves as a board member on the Ticket to Dream Foundation, a non-profit that partners with Mattress Firm Foster Kids to provide hope and opportunity for foster children across the nation. She received her B.A. in Journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University and a masters from the University of Texas at Austin. Goodman resides in Houston with her husband, son and daughter.

Mike Mettler | SVP of Development

Mike has dedicated his professional career to developing and building fast-growing businesses. For Orangetheory Fitness, he is responsible for overseeing domestic growth and expansion, as well as providing strategic leadership to assist the company in achieving its goal of having more than 1,100 open studios worldwide by the end of 2018.

 

With more than 12 years of experience leading franchise development efforts for widely recognized brands, Mike most recently served as the vice president of franchise development for Dairy Queen, where he was responsible for propelling the brand’s growth and driving its footprint throughout the U.S. and Canada. He previously led franchise development at Domino’s Pizza, and has served as president of three technology companies.

 

A Certified Franchise Executive, Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.

Gary Magenta | SVP, Chief Change Architect

Gary Magenta is passionate about helping leaders and organizations transform their business, change how they engage their people, and deliver exceptional results.

 

Gary is the Chief Change Architect of Root Inc., a consulting company that helps organizations execute their strategy through people. During his 17 years at Root, Gary has partnered with CEOs and executive teams at Fortune 500 and Global 2000 organizations throughout North America and Europe, bringing a holistic view of their businesses, their people, and the customers they serve.

 

Whatever the challenge, Gary brings more than 30 years of business experience to every project, supported by a realistic outlook, a durable “street sense” for creating results, and a sense of humor that puts things into perspective.

 

Gary is the author of 720 Haircuts — Creating Customer Loyalty that Lasts a Lifetime and The Un-Bossy Boss, and is the host of the video talk show series, The Pot Stirrer. He is a frequent speaker at client events, industry conferences, and business strategy and human resources seminars. He has been recognized with a Stevie American Business Award for Executive of the Year.

 

Gary lives in Chicago, Illinois, and Fort Myers Beach, Florida, with his wife and has two grown sons. He is a Google fanatic and an unapologetic reality show junkie.

Leslie McNamara | Managing Director, Head of Business and Market Development at Citi Retail Services

Leslie McNamara has been Managing Director and Head of Business and Market Development for Citi Retail Services, since April 2016. The Business and Market Development group is a new unit Leslie was instrumental in creating that encompasses all market-facing activities for Citi Retail Services. Included in Leslie’s responsibilities are business development, research and insights, strategic communications, and workforce development. Before assuming this role, she was Citi Retail Services’ Managing Director for Partnership Management, a position she accepted in August 2011. In that role, she provided strategic direction and leadership for Citi’s retail partner private label and co-brand credit card programs. She also headed the company’s field sales and merchant services organizations, which provide day-to-day sales and processing support for the business’ partners’ retail locations.

 

Leslie is a winner of Citi’s Senior Excellence in Leadership Award and is active in the bank’s women’s leadership initiatives, including keynotes at Citi’s Women Leadership retreats. She serves as a Board Trustee on the Thomas Jefferson University Enterprise Board’s Inclusion, Community Engagement, and Diversity Subcommittee. She is also recognized leader in the payments industry, being a 3x honoree of PaymentSource’s Most Influential Women in Payments.

 

Leslie joined Citi in 2002, holding positions of increasing responsibility in Partner Management, Marketing and Customer Engagement. Her financial services experience is rooted in consumer lending, business development and marketing, with a concentration in cards and payment products. Her former employers include CoreStates Financial Corp, Mellon Bank, Qwest Interactive, and Proctor & Gamble.

Rebecca Wooters | Managing Director, Head of Global Cards Customer Experience Digital and Journey Strategy Citi Cards

Rebecca Wooters is the head of Global Cards CX Digital and Journey Strategy for Citi Cards and Cross LOB responsible for leading Customer Experience for Citi Cards by driving Customer loyalty and engagement for 30 million Customers through a cross-channel strategy with a focus on the shift to Digital primarily Mobile. Her role is responsible for leading the evolution of the Cards Servicing Journeys overall digital experience across mobile apps and browser experiences as well as taking an omni channel approach, and owning full end to end product accountabilities across channel and dimensions (people, process, policy, technology). Leveraging a customer-centric, data informed process, the team has several key areas of focus: digital analytics and performance, core digital and omni channel experiences for a specific product set, and setting the standards and practices that will accelerate digital & customer experience innovation across Cards globally.  Implementation of projects which influence progress is ensured through a team who leads governance standards, formal project prioritization and customer launch readiness informed by Customer insights and benchmarking as well as journey decomposition of Customer “moments of truth.”

 

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her MBA from University of Texas at Dallas.

 

In 2014, Rebecca was named Dallas Top 25 Women in Business as well as named McKinney’s Top Women in business in 2011 for her contributions both to the non-profit and corporate community.