Mindy Perry is the Chief Marketing Officer of Austin-based jewelry and accessories brand Kendra Scott. Mindy has a diverse background from her time across various agency, brand, and wholesale marketing roles. She started her career in sports marketing, eventually transitioning into consumer-packaged goods and hospitality on the agency side, working with high-profile clients such as PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, and Hilton Worldwide.
During her time at Under Armour and Fossil Group, Mindy held a variety of retail, brand and global marketing leadership roles. Most recently, she served as VP of Integrated Marketing at Neiman Marcus Group, where she oversaw Brand & Category Marketing, Co-op, Promo Analytics, eCommerce Marketing and CRM Lifecycle Marketing for Neiman Marcus and Horchow. Her diverse background and experiences across industries have equipped Mindy with a growth mindset, collaborative leadership style, and an understanding of the importance of a strong and purposeful brand.
Foundational to Mindy’s career and leadership is her passion for people. Whether it is the customer, her team, her cross functional or external partners, she consistently demonstrates love and care for others around her. Mindy also has a passion for giving back, particularly to children’s causes, and is involved in many international nonprofits. Mindy currently lives in Austin with her husband and two children.
David Dorf is a Worldwide Retail Specialist at AWS where he focuses on providing solutions for retailers. Before joining AWS, David held positions at Infor Retail, Oracle Retail, 360Commerce, Circuit City, AMF Bowling, and Schlumberger’s Retail & Banking division developing retail systems using various technologies. David spent several years working with NRF-ARTS on technology standards and continues to support the Retail Orphan Initiative charity. He holds degrees from Virginia Tech and Penn State.
Bill Thorne is executive director of the NRF Foundation and senior vice president for communications and public affairs at the National Retail Federation. At the NRF Foundation, he oversees a team charged with helping to shape retail’s future through programs that build awareness about careers in retail, scholarship programs, and training and credentialing. As SVP for communications and public affairs, he is responsible for the creation and implementation of communication strategies around advocacy priorities, policy campaigns and reputational programs.
Thorne came to NRF in 2012 from the Walmart Corporation in Bentonville, Ark. He started with Walmart as the senior director for advocacy and outreach. In this role, he was responsible for developing, implementing and growing the company’s strategic advocacy campaigns and reputational efforts. In 2009, he became the senior director of community affairs where he was responsible for helping the largest retailer in the world grow its presence in urban markets.
Prior to Walmart, Thorne served as a vice president for the DCI Group, a public affairs firm, where he worked with a range of clients such as AT&T, Verizon and Lockheed Martin on a number of public relations campaigns. He has association experience, serving five years as the director of political and legislative grassroots at the American Medical Association as well as a number of years working with successful political campaigns on the local, state and federal levels. Thorne started his career in Washington as a legislative assistant for Banking and Finance in the office of former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm.
Thorne is originally from Savannah, Ga., and holds a journalism degree from the University of Georgia.
Scot Case is vice president of corporate social responsibility and sustainability at NRF. In this role, he leads NRF’s Sustainability Council and supports retailer efforts to use their businesses to make the world a better place for everyone.
Case has focused on the intersection of business, environmental and social concerns since the mid-1990s. With strategic leadership experience in the retail, quick-service restaurant, manufacturing and nonprofit sectors, he provides a system-wide perspective that helps NRF members thrive in a rapidly changing future.
Throughout Case’s career as a strategist, consultant and sustainability expert, he has worked with organizations including the White House, World Bank, Walmart, McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, Disney, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and federal, state and local governments around the world. Case was also a partner in a small business that he grew and sold, which provides him with a deep appreciation for the unique challenges faced by smaller and growing NRF members.
A frequent keynote speaker and conference presenter on strategy development, leadership and sustainability, Case has published dozens of articles and case studies and has testified before Congress. In addition, he has been quoted on NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal.
Case is originally from Charlotte, N.C., and holds a master’s degree in political science with a focus on sustainability from Virginia Tech.
As Director of Emerging Technology & Innovation, Michael leads a team that explores what’s next for H-E-B. With COVID-19, the rate of adoption of new technology is rapidly changing the retail landscape. Our job is to discover, test, and implement new solutions to solve existing and future opportunities, from Frictionless Checkout to eFC automation and everything in-between.
Michael’s career began in the U.S. Air Force and has spanned multiple industries, including DreamWorks, Disney, See’s Candies, and Microsoft. In addition, he was a founding member of two startups focusing on payment processing and cloud-based business systems.
Brandon founded and built an international innovation group theLIFT. For 12 years Brandon worked with talented teams of visual designers and engineers to deliver interactive mobile, online, and retail user experiences for clients like Qualcomm, Apple, Sony and innovative startups like Leap Motion and WithMe.
While at theLIFT, Brandon worked with his team to conceive, design and build an interactive display concept for the home called Frame. The Frame product evolved into an omnichannel shopping station that became the foundational product for a retail startup customer WithMe that eventually acquired theLIFT and its team.
Brandon led partnership development and retail product innovation for WithMe. The team won 2015 Retail Store Design of the Year by the Retail Design Institute.
Excited about advances in AI and Computer Vision Brandon went on to found Accel Robotics. Accel Robotics is helping to shape the communities of tomorrow – delivering a distributed commerce model that brings 24/7 autonomous markets closer to where customers live, work, travel, and play. Accel Robotics enables checkout-free shopping experiences across existing and emerging store formats with its patented camera-based AI system, allowing any shopper to enter a store, pick the items they want, then walk out, receiving a receipt via text or app notification.
Accel Robotics has raised over $45M in capital to date and built out a talented team of over 85 computer vision scientists, designers, engineers, and innovators with offices in multiple countries including Argentina, the US, and Japan.
Brandon selectively invests in compelling startups in the following areas of interest; robotics, computer vision, mobile, entertainment, hospitality, commerce, and AR/VR.
Lincoln Cavalieri focuses on software and product design, general operations, partnership development, and go to market strategy. Prior to Urbx, Lincoln was the founder of Omega Group, a software design agency that worked closely with major brands including BlackRock, Vanguard, New York Life, Prudential, Johnson & Jonson, Synergetics, and Novadaq Technologies. Prior to Omega, Lincoln led the development of many successful hardware projects, including those with Synergetics and Novadaq Technologies. Both companies were acquired after the completion of the projects. Synergetics to Bausch + Lomb and Novadaq Technologies to Stryker. Lincoln graduated from Syracuse University.
Tony Sheppard has over 27 years of retail loss prevention experience, with a focus in the last 12 years on Organized Retail Crime. He is certified as an expert witness on Organized Retail Crime and product diversion and has testified on several state and federal cases. Tony has also helped draft multiple state ORC/ORT bills that have become law. He has also been heavily involved in several LP industry organizations such as: RILA, NRF, LPRC, and the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail (CLEAR).
Laurie Hummel is a seasoned retail executive with 20+ years of experience in leadership, merchandising, planning, strategic growth, marketing, product development, visual merchandising and financial analysis. Her history includes:
Outside of her career in retail she divides her time with her husband between PA/NJ/NY and Texas. She is the proud mom of a Texas A&M May’s business school graduate, Ashley, and a son, Ryan, who graduated from Oklahoma City University both with accounting degrees. She is also a Board Member of HeartGift, a charitable organization that provides life saving congenital heart defect surgery to children from around the world where specialized medical treatment is scarce or nonexistent. Finally, Laurie is a member of Chief that connects and supports women executive leaders.
As Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Seth Ellison is responsible for the company’s commercial business strategy and market operations world-wide, across all brands and channels. In addition, he is a member of the company’s worldwide leadership team, which sets the company’s global direction.
Seth has a passion for growing global brands and a track record of success in large and small companies, in multiple geographies, for consumers of both genders, all ages. He has more than 40 years of apparel, footwear and accessories experience. He joined the company in September 2012 to serve as President of the Dockers® brand before relocating to London where he spent 8 years as our EVP, President of Levi’s Europe. Prior to LS&Co, he served as the Chief Commercial Officer at Alternative Apparel, President of the swimwear group at Perry Ellis, Vice President General Manager of Nike European Apparel, President of Hurley International at Nike Inc., and Vice President of design and merchandising at Quiksilver, Inc.
Ellison attended Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He resides in Newport Beach, California and his other passions include family, watersports, the martial arts and guitar.
Ashley joined Michaels in early 2020 after a distinctive and successful career at Walmart. He served in various roles of increased leadership and responsibility across the company. His final role at that company was Chief Merchandising and Chief Operating Officer for Walmart U.S. eCommerce.
Prior to joining the U.S. eCommerce team, he was the Chief Merchant at Sam’s Club where he led a merchandising team and oversaw activities including assortment, private brand strategy, pricing, global sourcing, packaging, replenishment and supply chain. He also previously served in a broad set of senior merchandising roles at Walmart. Earlier in his career, he spent time at Dell where he held a variety of positions in finance, after spending five years at Accenture focused on the retail industry.
Ashley earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and real estate as well as a Master of Business Administration from Baylor University.
How’s your elevator pitch? Chris Westfall has created multi-million dollar revenue streams for companies on four continents, with innovative new strategies on leadership communication. As the US National Elevator Pitch Champion, he’s helped clients to land on Shark Tank, Dragon’s Den, and Shark Tank – Australia. A consultant to financial leaders and Fortune 100 companies, he’s helped entrepreneurs to launch a broad array of businesses, and successfully re-branded products and services around the globe. Working with thousands of business leaders, he’s helped launch over 50 companies, while raising over $100 Million (and counting!) in investment capital. He’s coached teams to victory in the Intel Global Capital Conference, the Harvard Executive MBA Pitch Competition, and the Rice Business Plan Competition 2016 (the largest and most lucrative pitch competition in the world). He regularly contributes to Forbes.
Chris’ clients include HP, Cisco, Old Dominion, Unilever, DISCOVER Card, Great American Insurance, The Jewish Federations of North America, American General Insurance, Transwestern, EY and many more.
Focused on the leaders of tomorrow, Chris has worked with a number of universities across North America, including Texas A&M, Ball State, The University of Pennsylvania, SMU, The University of Chicago, and dozens of others. An award-winning MBA instructor, his latest book is called Leadership Language the follow-up to the best seller, The NEW Elevator Pitch. He’s the publisher of six other books – find out more at westfallonline.com
Chris Valletta is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, media contributor, TEDx Speaker and former NFL Player. With a passion for using athletic-performance principles to achieve business success, Chris has developed an established track record of launching and scaling several multi-million dollar ventures. He is the Co-Founder and General Manager of MISSION, the global leader in Cooling and Heat-Relief Innovations for active consumers, and author of “Team WORKS!,” a book that converges athletic principles with business success. Serving entrepreneurs as well as companies of all sizes, Chris is a sought-after speaker for top-tier universities, professional development programs and business teams looking for an edge in their performance.
Chris received his Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication/Rhetorical Theory and Political Science from Texas A&M University and completed the Executive Program in Entrepreneurship from Harvard Business School. He serves an Entrepreneur in Residence for the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M, a Representative at Large for the Association of Former Students and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association. He has served as an Advisor to the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell on issues of personal-conduct policy revisions and overall brand strategy. He is a regular independent contributor to Fox News, Fox Business, CNN and MSNBC on matters related to business, workplace performance, entrepreneurship and athletics.
Chris is married to Liliana Gil Valletta, CEO of CulturIntel and CIEN+, a Big-Data Analytics and Marketing Firm. With a passion for American History, Chris is a collector of a broad range of historical and political memorabilia, including over 200 military-issued pocket Bibles carried by soldiers on the front lines during every American conflict.