Marshal Cohen chief industry advisor, retail of The NPD Group, Inc., is a nationally known expert on consumer behavior and the retail industry. He has followed retail trends for more than thirty years, at NPD and as the head of leading fashion and apparel manufacturers as well as major retailers. As part of his work at NPD, Marshal leads many top firms in long range and strategic planning sessions. He often utilizes motivational presentations to help launch corporate goals and kick-off meetings. Marshal is the author of two books, Why Customers Do What They Do (2006) and Buy Me! How to Get Customers to Choose Your Products and Ignore the Rest (2010).
In addition to his duties at NPD, Marshal is currently a member of several Boards of Directors and has most recently been appointed to the Cotton Board and American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). He is also a guest professor at North Carolina State University, School of Textiles. There he is introducing students and faculty to techniques for analyzing and applying data. Marshal has been a guest lecturer at the Wharton School of Business, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Savannah College of Art and Design. He has also been twice named to the Footwear News Power 100 list.
Marshal is also a regular contributor to many major media outlets. He is frequently quoted in publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Women's Wear Daily. Additionally, he appears on various television news programs including "Today," "Good Morning America," "CBS Sunday Morning," and has been a regular guest on Bloomberg TV and Radio. He is also a sought after speaker at key industry events such as MAGIC, The Fairchild CEO Summits, The National Retail Federation's (NRF) Annual Convention and The American Apparel and Footwear Association's (AAFA) Annual Executive Summit. Recently, Marshal was the only industry expert who appeared in the documentary, "God Save my Shoes," (godsavemyshoes.com) produced by Caid Productions.
Since joining NPD in 1999, Marshal has held a variety of positions analyzing and interpreting NPD's uniquely combined consumer and point-of-sale tracking services for the apparel, footwear, accessories, and sports industries. His career began in the training program at Bloomingdale's, where he worked his way up to merchandise manager. From there, he became president of WilliWear and subsequently president of Stanley Blacker. He was also founder, owner and president of Motive Marketing Group.
Amy Stevenson is the CMO at Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) where she leads overall marketing strategy and branding, digital marketing, customer insights, creative, customer marketing, offer strategy, marketing analytics and innovation for the DSW brand. Prior to DSW, she was the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Victoria's Secret. She received an undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University and MBA from The Ohio State University.
Rob is a principal with Deloitte, providing cyber risk services to clients across the Consumer Business industry. Rob lead's Deloitte's cyber practice for the retail, wholesale, and distribution industry sector, and has twenty five years of experience in cyber risk management and information technology.
Rob began his career as a software engineer, developing client-server systems in the telecommunications industry before moving into information security where he spent several years as an ethical hacker and security architect. Throughout his career, Rob has delivered projects across security strategy, governance, identity management, business continuity, disaster recovery, cyber due diligence for M&A, and privacy. Rob also spent several years as a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), helping companies achieve compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
In addition to Rob's broad industry experience in professional services, Rob has in-depth knowledge of the retail industry, having worked for many years as the Global Vice President of Audit for Technology and eCommerce at Walmart.
Rob has significant global experience having served clients throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific, including more than five years living in Sydney, Australia, where he was the Asia Pacific partner in charge of a global firm's cyber security practice.
Security strategy and program development, IT risk and controls, program management, compliance, identity and access management, governance, risk, & compliance (GRC), application security, data privacy and protection, enterprise security architecture, and cyber threat management.
Rob is married with four children, loves music, and is a lead singer in a classic rock band out of Dunwoody, Georgia called Corporate Therapy.
Recognizing a trend in 2002 that retailers were increasing their expectations of the supplier base, Jim founded ERS to help improve the retail business acumen of suppliers. Over the last decade, ERS has vastly improved the decision-making capability of retailers, suppliers and licensors, enabling them to increase their sales, profit and inventory productivity.
As a former Buyer at JCPenney, he managed or bought key categories in men's, children's and home textiles throughout his 15-year career. He was honored several times with executive-level projects and sat on varying key company initiative task forces. Jim has been featured in apparel, home textiles and licensing publications, including License!, and has conducted seminars at industry associations and trade shows, including NEECOM, VCF, The Licensing Show and MAGIC.
Dr. Sevilla partners with a dynamic team of faculty, administrators and stakeholders to create a best-in-class experience for over 5,000 undergraduate business students at UF. The Heavener team is driven by the opportunity to create transformation in the lives of the students they are entrusted to serve, by focusing on academic rigor, experiential learning, career readiness and leadership development.
From 2005-2016, Dr. Sevilla served as the Assistant Dean & Director of MBA Programs at UF. Under his guidance, Florida developed a unique market position for its MBA brand, which led to 110% growth in MBA enrollment and quadrupled MBA program revenue. His team's efforts helped the UF MBA earn a top tier position among the world's best MBA programs, as defined by U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and The Economist. In 2013 and 2014, the UF MBA program was recognized by The Princeton Review as the #1 Best Administered MBA in the U.S.
Dr. Sevilla earned his doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University. He teaches leadership courses for the Heavener School, speaks frequently across campus and engages with corporate organizations in the areas of transformational leadership, emotional intelligence, authenticity, leading teams, influence and leading change.
Dr. Sevilla's passions center around helping others, life satisfaction, and family. He aspires to help others understand how their unique strengths apply to leadership and then use that awareness to advance their professional success, and more importantly, their life satisfaction. He considers himself fortunate to be able to immerse himself in these types of opportunities regularly, with students, mentees, alumni and professionals. In his free time, Dr. S loves to travel, hike, play guitar, attend music and sporting events, embrace new life adventures and spend quality time with his incredible family.
CX | Technology | Data Integration | Analytics
Erik has worked for over 20 years in the field of marketing, analytics and customer experience. In his career spanning marketing strategy, innovation, technology, analytics and customer experience research, he has become an expert in how to create stable, state-of-the art, customer focused solution in the CX and marketing space. He has successfully moved insights programs to company wide engagement all the way from board level to front-line staff.
Most recently, he was Chief Operating Officer and solution owner for the global product organization of Nepa. He has during his whole career tirelessly worked with understanding organizational needs and capabilities and how to transform that knowledge into analysis and insights that enables actions and business impact through technology. Previously he was a partner at an early stage technology investment firm giving him an unique understanding of the impacts technology can bring, but also how easy it is to use technology the wrong way.
Erik holds a degree in Marketing from University of Florida.
A proud UF Graduate, Todd Bavol has built a company that specializes on the staffing industry niche of serving large, high-volume fulfilment facilities of leading online and traditional retailers.
Todd has guided Integrity's growth at double-digit rates for every one of the 21 consecutive years since its founding in 1997, generating opportunity for over 1 million jobseekers.
In 2017, Integrity's national footprint grew to 110 client locations in 23 states and provided over 170,000 job opportunities for its associates at various client locations all over the country.
Integrity Staffing has been recognized by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) as the 11th largest light industrial staffing and talent engagement firm in the U.S.
Susan Chronister has over 25 years' experience leading and driving sales of various dynamic electronics businesses. She currently leads sales and global business development for Element TV. Previously, Susan was AVP of Sales at TracFone Wireless where she led Walmart's multi- billion dollar private label Straight Talk wireless business. While at TracFone she received multiple awards from Walmart, including Multichannel Supplier of the Year Award and the General Merchandise People Performance Supplier of the Year Award. Prior to TracFone, Susan spent 4.5 years at Walmart, strategically leading the cross functional Family Toy and Video Game teams where she was a consistent high performing executive who increased market share year after year. While at Walmart, she was honored with 2 Gold Effie awards, WOW Award, Excellence in Big Bets, Merchandising Spark Award and the Excellence in Live Better Award, was a member of the Entertainment Merchants Association board and a Graduate of the Walton Institute. Prior to Walmart Susan spent 11 years in the Video Game business driving sales at EA, Atari, THQ and Mad Catz and another 6 years as a merchant in video games.
Susan is a member of the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas, and led the Strategy for Sharing and Caring of Benton County. Susan is a graduate of the University of Florida and is passionate about mentoring retail students at UF. Susan has two sons, her oldest lives in Boston and works at Massachusetts General Hospital, her youngest son is attending the Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas. She and her husband Peel reside in Rogers, AR.
James joined Pinch A Penny in 1992 as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President. In 2001, he became Chief Operating Officer. Jim's role includes management of all financial aspects, overseeing diversified day-to-day functions in the operation of all Pinch A Penny companies and developing the management team.
Prior to working with Pinch A Penny, James worked for KPMG Peat Marwick as an Audit Senior Manager. He is a CPA and holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Minnesota.
After earning a BSBA Degree from the University of Florida in 1977, Steve began his career as a CPA for KPMG, a global accounting and auditing firm. He joined Beall's, Inc. in 1984 as the Director of Finance and grew with the Company for more than 30 years, advancing through a number of leadership roles before being promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2006. Steve was named Chairman in 2017, he is now Chairman and CEO.
Steve serves on the Boards of Publix Super Markets, Inc., the National Retail Federation, and immediate past Chair of the Board for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. On a more local level, he is a member of the Southwest Region Advisory Board for SunTrust Bank and is Director Emeritus of the Palmetto Youth Center in Palmetto, FL.
Founded by then UF junior Sam Lewis in 2011, WearTheFund (also known as "WTF") has its headquarters and production warehouse in Fort Myers, FL. WTF is an authentic, mission-driven custom apparel company committed to changing the way the world does business - profit is not the bottom line - with high quality merchandise that "gives back" to the client's own charity or nonprofit of choice. Sam is known for his social responsibility and extensive charitable network, contributing close to $200,000 to diverse causes that achieve social good for the communities he serves.
On the name, Samuel intentionally chose a moniker that could go by the letters, WTF, to spin a positive association on the common acronym for "what the…" (Actually, playing off his own "WTF" moment at UF re: questionable post-graduation plans, which sparked his idea for the brand and desire for intersecting entrepreneurship and philanthropy.)
Sam graduated UF with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Business. He was on the UF Student Conduct Committee and member of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. With WearTheFund created prior to graduation, he decided to return to his hometown of Fort Myers and build the brand as a grassroots startup out of his dad's garage. Now in its 7th year of operation, he's generated 10-15% revenue growth year-over-year and more than $2.5 million in lifetime sales.
Sam has always had a passion for social entrepreneurship, which includes mentoring others who have the same. Patagonia and TOMS have served as his biggest inspirations. From being recognized by media and professional organizations, to partnering with national and local charities and for-profit companies, he's successfully launched a sustainable business model that has significant societal impact.
www.facebook.com/wearthefund | www.wearthefund.com