Meet the Speakers
Jim Sinegal
Co-Founder and Director


Jim Sinegal is the co-founder and director of Costco Wholesale Corporation. Jim served as the chief executive officer at Costco for 27 years and was a director there from its inception until his retirement at the end of 2012.

Sinegal’s retail career began in 1954, when, as an 18-year-old college student, he went to work for the legendary retail icon Sol Price at the discount store FedMart in San Diego. Sinegal worked for Price for almost 30 years before striking out on his own to start Costco with his business partner, Jeff Brotman.

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Dick Johnson
Chairman, President, and CEO
Foot Locker


Dick Johnson joined Foot Locker in 1993, and he has served in a wide variety of capacities for the company over the last 24 years. Most recently, in 2014, he was elected president and chief executive officer of Foot Locker, Inc., and was appointed to the additional position of chairman of the board in 2016.  


His previous roles with Foot Locker include executive vice president and chief operating officer; group president of retail stores; president and CEO of Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, and Footaction; president and CEO of Foot Locker Europe; president and CEO of and Eastbay; and vice president of merchandising at Eastbay. 

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Doug Wood
Tommy Bahama


As the chief executive officer of Tommy Bahama, Doug Wood is responsible for 16 years of the company’s impressive growth and expansion.


Wood joined Tommy Bahama in 2001 as chief operating officer. He was named president in 2008 and chief executive officer in 2015, and with his help, Tommy Bahama has gone from a wholesale-centric company to a direct-to-consumer business with a strong wholesale division. Wood developed the company’s successful e-commerce business, the growth of the Tommy Bahama retail and restaurant division, and the international expansion of the brand.

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Scott Galloway
Founder, L2 and Professor at NYU Stern


Scott Galloway is a clinical professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, where he teaches brand strategy and digital marketing. In 2012, he was named one of the world’s 50 best business school professors by Poets & Quants. He is also the founder of Red Envelope and Prophet Brand Strategy.


Galloway was elected to the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow and has served on the boards of directors of Urban Outfitters, Eddie Bauer, The New York Times Company, and University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s of Business Administration from UC Berkeley.

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Matt Laukaitis
Senior Vice President and General Manager
SAP Retail North America


Matt Laukaitis is the senior vice president and general manager of SAP’s retail industry practice in North America, and is responsible for the division’s strategy, partner ecosystem, and revenue performance throughout the region. He places a high priority on customer relationship, and overall customer satisfaction across all aspects of the business.


Since joining SAP in 2004, Laukaitis has been a leader within SAP ’s United States retail organization, and a hands-on strategic partner for customers, helping them solve their most critical retail business challenges. Most recently, he applied his sales management expertise and leadership capabilities as chief operating officer, overseeing the implementation of retail sales strategies and go-to-market operations in the U.S. 

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Rachel Mushahwar
General Manager of Americas Industry Sales


Rachel Mushahwar is a global executive with more than 23 years of experience in a variety of industries, and she has consistently delivered significant and measurable bottom-line results and has been rewarded with many new challenges and opportunities. An expert in aligning strategy with organizational vision and objectives, she leads new initiatives with C-suite executives to help them shape and refine their strategic objectives and achieve business goals through implementation of strategic road maps, solid technology foundations, and standardized process management.


Mushahwar is the General Manager of Americas Industry Sales Group at Intel and leads nine different verticals in North America and Latin America (Partner, Cloud, Telecommunications, Retail, Transportation and Manufacturing, Energy, Financial Services, Government, and Health Life Sciences) and is accountable for approximately $5 billion in sales. 

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Betsy Atkins
CEO and Founder
Baja Corporation


Betsy Atkins is a three-time CEO, serial entrepreneur, and founder of Baja Corporation. She has co-founded enterprise software companies in multiple industries including energy, healthcare, and networking. She is an expert at scaling companies through hypergrowth and leading them to successful IPO and acquisitions. Betsy is a corporate governance expert with an eye for making boards a competitive asset. Her corporate board experience is vast and covers many industries, including technology, financial services, healthcare, retail, automotive, manufacturing, and logistics. As a corporate director, she brings an operational perspective that focuses on taking friction out of the consumer experience. 

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Leslie Sarasin
President and CEO
Food Marketing Institute


Leslie G. Sarasin is the president and chief executive officer of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). FMI is a trade association that serves as the voice of food retail, assisting its food retail and wholesale members in their role of feeding families and enriching lives, as well as the companies that supply goods and services to the industry. Under her leadership, FMI has emerged as a member-centered organization, helping food retailing venues find new and future-facing ways of feeding families and enriching lives. Leslie holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego and a B.A. in economics from Smith College. Additional leadership roles include membership on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100 and active participation in the International Women’s Forum of Washington, D.C., an organization for which she currently serves as president. 

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BJ Bueno
Top Retail Consultant and CEO Strategist


As a top retail consultant and CEO strategist, BJ Bueno has built a reputation based on his insight and expertise into building customer-focused brands. BJ has been interviewed by CNN, USA Today, New York Times, and CNN en Español. He is the author of several books, including Customers First: Dominate Your Market by Winning Them Over Where it Counts the Most (McGraw-Hill, 2012), Cult Branding Workbook, and Why We Talk: The Truth Behind Word-of-Mouth, and the co-author of The Power of Cult Branding (Crown Business, 2002). BJ served on the board of the National Retail Federation for over 10 years. He currently resides in Orlando, Florida.

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Robin Lewis
Founder and CEO
The Robin Report


Robin Lewis is the founder and CEO of The Robin Report. He is an author, speaker, and consultant for the retail and consumer products industries. Previously, he was vice president at Goldman Sachs, where he developed and launched a global retail consulting practice. Prior to Goldman Sachs, as vice president and executive editor of Women's Wear Daily. Earlier in his career, he held executive positions in strategic planning, business development, and brand and marketing management at DuPont, VF Corporation, and Grey Advertising. He is frequently requested by C-level management for advice, consultation, and strategic presentations; among them are Bloomingdale’s, JCPenney, Macy’s, VF Corporation Kohl’s, Charming Shoppes, Estee Lauder, Iconix, Foot Locker, and Ralph Lauren, as well as financial firms such as The Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, and others.

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Scott McKain
Founder and CEO
Distinction Institute


Scott McKain is an internationally known authority who helps organizations create distinction in every phase of business and teaches them to deliver an "Ultimate Customer Experience®." He is the founder of a consulting and training company that explores the role of ultimate customer experiences in creating enhanced client retention and revenue, and is the author of three number-one business bestsellers that all teach how to expand profits, increase sales, and engage customers. Scott's presentations benefit from three decades of experience, combined with his innate talent for articulating successful ideas. He has previous spoken and consulted for the world's most influential corporations. 

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DJ Paoni
President of Sales
SAP North America


DJ Paoni is president of sales for SAP North America, and is responsible for the company’s strategy, profitability, and customer success in the U.S. and Canada. He has more than 20 years of technology and executive management experience in developing, selling, and implementing enterprise-wide solutions for customers. Under DJ’s leadership, the company is delivering rapid digital transformation to 160,000 North America customers with SAP’s robust portfolio of cloud solutions. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. DJ serves on the board of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

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Vish Ganapathy
Managing Director


In his role at Accenture Consulting, Vish Ganapathy focuses on technology and innovation solutions that serve the retail industry. He is a trusted advisor for transformation engagements that straddle business and technology in such areas as digital platforms, enterprise architecture, supply chain design, merchandise transformation, hybrid cloud design, blockchain, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence.


Prior to Accenture, Ganapathy led the Technology & Data Strategy practice and served as CTO for the retail and consumer goods industries for IBM. He has more than 26 years of consulting experience and is an author, public speaker, and inventor. Ganapathy holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Bangalore University, where he specialized in statistics, industrial engineering, and information technology.

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Matthew Shay
President and CEO
National Retail Federation


Matthew Shay is president and CEO of National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association. He serves as chief advocate and spokesman for the nation’s largest private-sector industry employer, which is responsible for creating one in four US jobs – 42 million – and generating $2.6 trillion in annual GDP.

Since his arrival in 2010, Shay has transformed NRF into Washington’s most powerful voice for the retail industry, leading the organization to new levels of effectiveness on policy issues, increasing awareness of the industry’s economic impact, and expanding political engagement. Under his tenure, membership has more than doubled to 18,000, revenue has doubled, and advocacy investments have grown significantly.

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