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Delivered by retail leaders, for retail leaders, the Retail Leaders Forum is globally recognised as the largest and most significant meeting for retail executives in the region.
Annually this unparalleled discussion examines the industry and consumer trends ahead, determining management strategies for retail to innovate, grow and succeed.
An exclusive, retailer-only event, where the best minds in local and international retail combine, the Retail Leaders Forum is your guide to retail in 2017.
The Retail Leaders Forum is an event like no other – a unique opportunity that congregates an esteemed audience of senior retailers from across the region.
// 9+ keynotes
// 2 Powerful days
// Executive learning agenda
// 50+ industry speakers
// 350+ executives
// 5 Star networking environment
Gordon Cairns is a Member of the Nomination Committee, People Policy Committee, Sustainability Committee and the Audit, Risk Management and Compliance Committee.
Mr Cairns has held extensive Australian and international experience as a senior executive, as Chief Executive Officer of Lion Nathan Limited, and held senior management positions in marketing, operations and finance with PepsiCo, Cadbury Limited and Nestle.
Mr Cairns is Chairman of Origin Energy Limited (Chairman since October 2013, Director since 2007), a non-executive director of Macquarie Group Limited (since November 2014), Macquarie Bank Limited (since November 2014) and World Education Australia Limited. He is also Director of Quick Service Restaurant Group Pty Ltd.
Mr Cairns was previously Chairman of David Jones Limited (March 2014 to August 2014) and a non-executive director of Westpac Banking Corporation (July 2004 to December 2013) and Rebel Group Limited.
Mr Cairns was appointed as Chairman and Director of Woolworths Limited effective 1 September 2015.
Senior Vice President of Global Retail
Under Armour (USA)
Apple Store (USA)
Ron Johnson is the founder and CEO of Enjoy, a Personal Commerce Platform designed to change the way we buy things that matter.
Ron also is the founding partner of Johnson +Partners, a Venture Partner Firm located in Menlo Park, California. Johnson + Partners is aligned with select
Venture Capital and Growth Equity firms to help bring new ideas to the marketplace. Investments include Enjoy, Nasty Gal, Philz Coffee. the Melt and other technology start-ups and early stage companies.
He is the former chief executive officer of jcpenney, a former executive team member at Apple where he founded and led the company’s retail strategy and a former merchant leader at Target Corporation.
Ron earned his Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University in 1980 and his Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1984.
He serves on the Stanford University Board of Trustees and as a member of the committees on Development, the Medical Center, Alumni Affairs, and Globalization. Ron also is Vice Chair of Stanford University Hospitals and Clinics. He is currently leading the Campaign for Stanford Medicine, a billion dollar plus campaign to build the new Stanford Hospital and to help Stanford lead the Biomedical Revolution through investments in research, big data, and breakthroughs in clinical care. Ron is also a member of the University’s Arts and Humanities Advisory Council and leading an initiative to supplant the Humanities in a world increasingly dominated by Science and Engineering pursuits. Ron is married to Karen Johnson. The Johnson’s reside in Atherton, California and have two children. Elizabeth Johnson attends Northwestern University and is a student in the Class of 2017. Will Johnson attends Sacred Heart Prep Atherton and is a student in the Class of 2016.
Head of Innovation & Test
Antonia is an international retail executive with an expertise honed in the areas of in innovation, global business process development, and implementation. She achieves business success within the challenging environment of competitive, global, multi-channel retail.
Since 2015, Antonia has been championing for change at Swarovski – market leader in the design, manufacturing, and sales of high quality crystal products – in the role of Head of Retail Innovation & Test. Her responsibilities include driving innovations in the area of retail systems, technology, and processes with the goal of providing a seamless service experience to consumers. Her work generates benefits for both consumers and store staff
Antonia takes Swarovski’s rich history and culture of creativity as the jumping off point to drive the global company towards new retail frontiers. Antonia leads and manages tests for future business processes, tools, products, and technologies – always keeping the consumers and their needs in the forefront of all decisions.
Antonia believes that innovation and creativity must have a strong root in facts and research. This is why she leads her team to establish transparent communication channels and key performance indicators (KPI) in order to foster fact-based decision making.
Prior to her current position at Swarovski, Antonia was heading the Retail Process Management team for the EMEA region. She led and supported both global and regional projects that spanned across functions. She successfully drove and managed the rollout of a global retail solution in countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Benelux, and Japan – marking one of the biggest projects of its kind in Swarovski’s long history.
Antonia brings over 10 years of experience and a whole lot of enthusiasm into the world of retail.
Former Chief Executive Officer
Sally Macdonald took up the role of Chief Executive Officer of BIG W in January 2016.
As CEO and Managing Director of Oroton Group from 2006 to 2013, Sally led the turnaround of the listed retail group from losses to record profits. During this time, Oroton Group divested three businesses, launched and grew its online offer to a leading position in Australia, and expanded into new product categories and overseas markets.
Sally’s background also includes more than seven years as a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group in its Melbourne and New York City offices; various Buying and Store Operations roles at Banana Republic (a division of The Gap Inc, in San Francisco); and several private retail company directorships.
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne (1990), and graduated with a MBA from Harvard Business School (1996), and is a recipient of the Alumni of Distinction award from the University of Melbourne.
David L. Bunch|
Global Vice-President Shell Retail Marketing
Shell Brands International (UK)
David is currently the Global Vice President Shell Retail Marketing, responsible for leading the strategic marketing direction for Shell’s branded Retail products, services and digital solutions in 43,000 service stations across more than 70 countries. A graduate of the London Business School, MBA and Insead, IDP, David has spent a number of years working across Asia, living in Japan for 4 years, North America and now resides in the UK with his family. Prior to his current role David was running a billion dollar north American lubricant sales business building iconic brands such as Pennzoil and Quaker State. Free time is spent with his family and any opportunity to take a digital holiday by indulging their shared love of hiking, biking and astronomy. David previously sat on the board of several JVs with RBS, Pilot Flying J and the CMO board AMA in Houston. He is currently Chairman of Shell Brands International.
The Hon. Michael McCormack MP|
Minister for Small Business
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Peta first joined Lush 16 years ago as a sales assistant in Dublin and later joined International Support traveling to over 35 countries helping build Lush businesses globally. She worked closely with the company founders and championed internal communication, employee development and engagement across the Lush world.
After 10 years in Europe she headed home to Melbourne taking up the Directorship of Australia and New Zealand leading the business to record breaking sales and winning Australian Retailer of the Year in 2015 and the Australian Business Award for Environmental Sustainability in 2014 and 2015.
During her time at Lush Peta has taken part in over 50 campaigns supporting human rights, animal protection and environmental sustainability.
In more recent years, Peta has lead Lush’s campaigning strategy, focusing on Asylum Seekers, LGBT rights, transparent supply chains, challenging traditional beauty marketing and using the shared values and passion of Lush staff to campaign alongside NFP’s and charities. She is passionate about ethical business practices, empowering staff and using the business to become a force for social change.
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
Mr Mark Hooper was appointed Managing Director of Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited in August 2010. Mark has a broad range of experience in finance, commercial and operational matters primarily in the mining and pharmaceutical industries. He is a former Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of PaperlinX Limited. From 2006 to 2008 Mark was the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for the Pharmacy and Consumer business for Symbion Health Limited. Prior to that Mark was Chief Financial Officer of Sigma from 2001 to 2006.
L Catterton Asia
Vice President Loyalty & Digital Commerce
Renae Trimble holds the key role of Vice President Sales Loyalty & Digital Commerce for Accor Hotels Australia/Pacific region.
AccorHotels is the largest hotel group in the Pacific region, operating world-renowned brands including Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis.
Renae’s current role as Vice President – Sales, Loyalty & Digital has her focused on developing & executing strategies across the groups Sales & Loyalty Platforms and implementation of all digital & web plans ensuring all levers are activated to outperform the market.
In February 2015 Renae’s role extended to include Digital with full responsibility of accorhotels.com & brands, Search engine marketing & Search Engine Optimization strategy and implementation, Data management & Third party web engagement and strategy
Prior to Renae’s current role she was Director of Loyalty. AccorHotels is also the leader in Loyalty in the region, with the group’s pioneering Accor Plus and global Le Club Accorhotels programs delivering significant levels of business to the group’s 200 hotels.
Renae was responsible for developing and executing marketing and communication strategies to achieve key business objectives for AccorHotels loyalty and membership programs in Australia (which includes Accor Plus and Accor Vacation Club) with regards to member acquisition, activation and retention. The success earned her the AccorHotels coveted awards of Silver Bernache for Performance.
Renae’s promotion to the Director of Loyalty position in 2013 followed five years in highly strategic roles in Accor, firstly in the group’s national corporate sales division, and then as Sales & Marketing Manager for Accor’s extensive network of city, regional and resort hotels across NSW & ACT. During her time in charge of the region, Renae was responsible for the integration of over ten hotels into the Accor network, as well as the development of sales and marketing strategies to support hotels across all market segments.
Renae has brought to the role over 15 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. She was in charge of National & Regional Sales NSW/ACT for Rydges Hotels, before successfully opening the new-build Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Sydney’s North Ryde.
Renae joined Accor in 2008, and has been involved in numerous executive committees to help drive Accor’s growth and maximize the potential of the group’s sales and marketing resources. She has also played an active role in the company’s community social responsibility programs.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Owner & Chairman
Next Athleisure Executive Chairman, Hilton Seskin has over 30 years’ experience in retail. Hilton was one of the founders of Rebel Sport which listed on the Australian stock exchange in 1993.
Hilton developed the Glue Store format, which currently has over 30 stores nationally, as well as a manufacturing, wholesale and distribution business Trend Imports.
Hilton successfully obtained the rights for the Topshop, Topman franchise and Ivy Park, which launched in April 2016. Most recently Hilton has partnered with JD Sports PLC, a successful international sports fashion retailer that will debut in Australia early 2017.
Country Manager, Australia & New Zealand
Sam has over 20 years experience in senior management roles across Australia, the United States and Asia, at companies including eBay and iiNet. Prior to Airbnb, Sam was General Manager, advisor and investor in US-based Dollar Shave Club’s Australian business.
Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.
Chief Information Officer
Paul Kennedy leads Greencross IT to support continued growth and integration of the retail and veterinary businesses. Paul has over 20 years’ experience in IT, including digital transformation at APG & Co (Sportscraft, Saba, JAG & Willow) and delivering omni-channel at John Lewis (UK) with over 30% of sales online. Paul’s retail experience includes online specialists (Warehouse Express, figleaves.com) and he has previous IT delivery and consulting experience with Avanade and Mincom.
Chief Executive Officer
Thorsten became CEO of the Co-op, Australia’s largest member owned retailer, in March 2016. He joined the company in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer and has since grown its footprint from 39 stores to over 65 stores now. Coming from a Retail and Strategy background, he is passionate about advancing the company’s competitive advantage. Besides Retail management, he has extensive experience in operational excellence and mergers & acquisitions.
He has a MBA in International Management and Finance, a Master in Accounting and a Bachelor of Business in European Business with Honours in Marketing. He is a CPA, FAIM and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Director Human Resources
Amanda is a strategic, business focused leader who advises and partners with Chief Executive Officers and Boards of Directors in driving change to enhance business outcomes. Her high-energy style and exceptional communication and presentation skills enable her to lead with vision and innovation.
Amanda has more than two decades of senior executive experience gained across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States. Amanda started her career at Mars, working in Australia, New Zealand and Europe in Operations and Organisation Transformation. Amanda also delivered results in the US as Chief People Officer and Chief Operations Officer at Pizza Hut, responsible for setting policy, direction and the people strategy for 7,500 restaurants and over 200,000 team members. She was a key member of Yum’s Global People Committee, setting the vision for Yum’s worldwide people strategy and culture.
As a Director at Coles, Amanda is a key member of the Coles Board, setting the people vision for a business with 105,000 team members serving over 20 million customers a week through more than 2,400 retail outlets across Coles Supermarkets, Coles Express and Liquor businesses.
Managing Director, Group Services
Steinhoff Asia Pacific
Michael Jonathan Gordon – Chartered Accountant – Years of Service: 15.5
Michael is the Managing Director of Group Services for Steinhoff Asia Pacific Limited and also the CFO.
Steinhoff Asia Pacific is a subsidiary of the Frankfurt listed Steinhoff International Holdings N.V, the 20 billion Euro market cap non-food retailer.
Steinhoff Asia Pacific includes the retail Brands of Freedom, Bay Leather Republic, Snooze and POCO – (150 stores)
Group Services provides Finance, Legal, HR, Property, IT, Treasury and Strategic support to the Steinhoff Retail Brands, Manufacturing and Logistics Operations in the region. Prior to Steinhoff, Michael spent ten years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Michael joined the listed Freedom Group as Chief Financial Officer in November 2000 and was appointed a Director of the Board in April 2003. In December 2003, Michael and other key Senior Executives lead the privatisation of Freedom Group Limited (the largest public to private at that time, in Australia). In November 2006, Michael led the restructure of the Freedom Group of companies into the Asia Pacific subsidiary of the listed South African household goods Group, Steinhoff International.
Managing Director, Australia
Evan Hutton is managing director of Williams-Sonoma Australia, the Australian arm of kitchenware and home furnishings company Williams-Sonoma, Inc., which encompasses West Elm, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids as well as the eponymous retailer. As a group it has over 600 stores worldwide and a thriving e-commerce business to boot. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Evan graduated from Saint Mary’s College. She started her career as a merchandiser at Levi Strauss & Co, after which she went on to complete a Masters of Business Administration at Santa Clara University. In 2003, she joined Williams-Sonoma. After working her way up through the ranks of merchandising and ecommerce within three of the company’s brands, as well as running the Outlet business for the company’s Pottery Barn brands, she left California and moved to the other side of the world to take up her current role in Sydney. Evan lives in Sydney with her husband and three-year-old daughter.
George has more than 20 years’ experience in the retail industry, with a wealth of customer, product and buying knowledge.
As the Marketing Director at Coles, he is responsible for brand and marketing strategy across Coles’ supermarkets, liquor and convenience and Financial Services businesses.
George played a key part in the Coles turnaround over his six years with the business, in the roles of Merchandise Director, Group General Manager Trading and Group General Manager Supply Chain.
Prior to his appointment at Coles, George worked with Tesco in the UK and was Trading Director at Carphone Warehouse PLC where he managed merchandise strategy across the UK, Europe and America.
President, South Pacific
The Coca-Cola Company
Roberto Mercadé is business unit President for Coca-Cola South Pacific, a position he was appointed to in June 2014.
Roberto and his team work closely with Coca-Cola Amatil bottling partners in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, French Polynesia and New Caledonia, as well as independent distributors in American Samoa, Nauru and Vanuatu to accelerate business strategies and results and develop Coca-Cola brands. Roberto is also building relationships with key stakeholders, including government.
Roberto has 22 years of international general management and operational system experience. Before joining Coca-Cola South Pacific, he was general manager, South Africa franchise and commercial operations.
While in South Africa, Roberto returned the business to growth by becoming a commercial execution global best practice. In addition, Roberto led South Africa’s Company-owned manufacturing facilities, Coca-Cola Canners and Valpre Water. Prior to this role, he also served as the General Manager for the Venezuela & Caribbean Franchise Unit.
Roberto’s experience in dealing with complex environments in various markets, establishing strong system partnerships will provide the continued leadership required to accelerate our 2020 Vision plans and results in South Pacific.
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Retail Prodigy Group
Steve began his retail career at Myer where he held various roles from Stores Management to Buying during his ten years with the company.
He then joined Nike Australia where he took on the role of Retail Director. With a passion for sport and the Nike brand, Steve was then offered the opportunity to move to the USA to head up retail for Nike US, including the iconic Niketown flagship concept stores.
After returning to Australia, Steve moved to eyewear giant Luxottica to head up the Sunglass Hut brand and lead the entry of the brand into Asia.
Most recently, Steve held the role of CEO for denim specialist Jeanswest, which is now positioned as a leader in the Jeanswear market.
Retail Prodigy Group gives Steve the opportunity to partner once again with the world’s leading sports and fitness brand, Nike.
Head of Digital
Peter has more than 25 years experience formulating and advising on economic and public policy at the highest levels of government and business in Australia.
He is currently Chief Economist at the Coles Group, a position he has held since October 2014.
Peter worked as Senior Economic Adviser to Prime Minister John Howard from 1997 to 2005 and was an adviser to Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett. He has experience as a commercial adviser to a number of Australian superannuation funds on their infrastructure investments, and for six years worked as Chief Economist and Policy Director at the Business Council of Australia.
Peter was appointed by the Abbott Government to lead the Secretariat of the National Commission of Audit in 2013.
Peter started his career at the Commonwealth Treasury and spent seven years working across a range of divisions within the department including on foreign investment, debt management, balance of payments and labour market issues.
Peter holds an Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Western Australia and a Masters Degree in Economics from the Australian National University.
The Reject Shop & ASX
Country Manager - Australia
Levi Aron has 17 years experience in senior leadership roles including operations, sales, marketing, and customer engagement. Levi has successfully demonstrated a track record of building and scaling businesses to desired goals and objectives.
Currently Levi is the Australian Country Manager for Deliveroo, a London based tech startup that provides premium food delivery from your best loved local restaurants to your home or office. Deliveroo is now available in 12 countries, 68 cities, and has raised A$623 million to date.
Roger Featherston was appointed a Commissioner of the ACCC in June 2014.
Roger is a full-time Commissioner who brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles as a lawyer in the private and public sectors. Roger was formerly a Partner at Mallesons Stephen Jaques, leading the firm’s competition law team and advising a broad spectrum of commercial and governmental clients on competition law and enforcement issues, consumer protection, informal merger clearances, access and pricing issues, and telecommunications matters.
In addition to this extensive private sector experience, Roger acted for the former Trade Practices Commission early in his career and, for the two years before his appointment, acted as Special Counsel at the ACCC advising on a range of major competition and consumer protection matters.
Roger is a life member and former Chairman of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and a member and former Chairman of its Competition and Consumer Law Committee.
Roger is a member of the ACCC’s Enforcement Committee, Mergers Review Committee and Communications Committee.
Roger holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University.
The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand
Kylie Watson-Wheeler is Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand. Based in Melbourne, she is responsible for driving the company’s strategy, coordinating, leading and expanding all company business divisions, overseeing Disney global franchises and seeking out new business opportunities in the region.
Kylie leads all of Disney’s activities in Australia and New Zealand, encompassing Film, TV, Digital, Consumer Products and Home Entertainment distribution and the management of the group’s TV channels. She has broad-based expertise from multiple business areas including consumer products, marketing, sales and theatrical distribution.
Kylie joined the company in 2004, leading both the Consumer Products and Sales teams in Australia and New Zealand. In 2013, she served as Disney’s Chief Marketing Officer in this region and prior to her current appointment, she was Vice President and General Manager for Consumer Products and Retail.
Prior to joining Disney, Kylie was Director of Advertising and Brand Management for Hallmark Cards, Inc., based at the company’s head office in Kansas City. She also has held various marketing positions at Coca-Cola Amatil and Penguin Books.
Executive & Non-Executive Director
David combines his passion for strategy, creativity and technology with his entrepreneurial spirit to drive transformation in traditional companies and help start ups grow.
In 2015, David joined the board of MYER, Australia’s largest department store group – becoming one of Australia’s youngest ASX200 Non-Executive Directors.
In 2014 David joined Lexer, a big data software start-up providing sophisticated analytics products to clients including Optus, Qantas, Westpac, AFL and IAG.
In 2013, after ten years with M&C Saatchi, David resigned to take a nine month sabbatical with his family to rest, recalibrate and refocus.
In September 2013, David was appointed to the founding board of the GWS GIANTS Foundation, a not for profit providing support to community organisations and charities across Western Sydney and Canberra.
In November 2010, after seven years with M&C Saatchi, David was appointed Managing Director, Australia. Reporting to the Worldwide Chairman, David led the operations of Australia’s largest creative agency group for three years winning clients including Commonwealth Bank, News Limited, Google and was awarded NSW Agency of the Year.
In June 2010 David launched MAKE, a digital production business to service all agencies within the M&C Saatchi Group, other agencies and clients directly.
In May 2010, David was appointed to the board of the Melbourne Festival, a government, corporate and consumer funded festival that delivers outstanding local and global performing arts shows.
In May 2007 David launched Mark, a digital, direct and data creative agency that was voted in the top three direct marketing agency in the world in 2008 and 2009.
Prior to the launch of Mark, David led the growth of M&C Saatchi digital in Sydney and also established and managed the M&C Saatchi digital teams in Australia, Asia and the USA.
Before joining M&C Saatchi in 2003, David was the first employee of BLUE, where he led a team of digital marketers for five years. BLUE was later acquired by Clemenger.
In 1999, during his time at BLUE, David and two partners founded Traffion. This JBWere-funded technology start-up provided web based marketing analytic tools. Traffion was acquired by Netratings.
David has a BA/BCOM from Deakin University with majors in Marketing, eCommerce, Public Relations and Sociology.
Lesley Gillespie OAM|
Co-Founder, Executive Director & Joint-CEO
Bread baking has been a constant in Lesley’s life since she gained a part-time job in a bakery in the mid-1970s while she was studying Science at Monash University. The Degree was completed, however baking won out. She along with her husband Roger and colleague Gary Stephenson founded Bakers Delight; the first bakery opened in Glenferrie Road Hawthorn May 1980. From that time to now, nearly 36 years onward Bakers Delight has over 700 bakeries across 4 countries operating on a franchise model. Bakers Delight is a great example of Australian endeavour, its success is built on the hard work of many people but its core strength is with the franchisee network. Lesley is proud to be part of this.
Bang & Olufsen Australia & New Zealand
A graduate with a Business and Finance qualification from the UK, specialising in HR Management, Julian started his career with Michelin Tyre Company spending 10 years in a variety of operational, HR and sales management roles.
Moving to Bang & Olufsen in 1997, Julian worked on and executed the strategy to set up a network of independent retailers selling Bang & Olufsen, cumulating in the establishment of the franchise model in London.
Julian “crossed the floor” in 2003 to become Sales and Marketing Director at Danish Centres Ltd, a retailer operating 2 Bang & Olufsen franchises. When the Global Head Office of
Bang & Olufsen purchased the Australian and New Zealand distribution at the end of 2005, Julian returned to the Company and came to Australia in order to oversee and develop the business.
Following the sale of the Bang & Olufsen Master Dealership in May 2015, to Emerald Group Investments, an Australian privately owned Company, Julian remained in his role to champion a new growth strategy, designed to breathe new life into the Brand and establish new channels to its distribution.
A married man with a 14 year old son, Julian lives in Sydney. In his spare time, he plays soccer, is learning to play the guitar and is developing a small beekeeping interest with his son. Adding a little something back to the community with some volunteer work, Julian is a Scout leader.
Ms Winn is Chair and non-executive Directors of Port Waratah Coal Services Limited, a non-executive director of Caltex Australia Limited, CSR Limited and The Lux Group Pty. Ltd. She is also a member of the UTS Business School’s Advisory Board and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
She has previously served as an executive director of the Myer and Woolworths businesses, and as a non-executive Directorof Quantium, sass & bide, and Greengrocer.com, and was a member of the Australian Payments Clearing Association’s CECS Advisory Council.
Ms Winn has over 30 years of experience in retail in senior management roles in Australia and overseas.
Penny holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Senior Manager eCommerce
Adrian loves to indulge in anything and everything about videogames, ramen noodles, Japanese culture and travel, but he also gets a kick out of enabling technology to help EB Games customers to buy anything, from anywhere, at any time.
Since starting as a casual salesperson with EB Games in 2003, he’s worked on the multichannel strategy for EB Games Australia, which has delivered millions of orders to customers, both online and in store.
Group Marketing Manager
John has more than 15 years’ experience in retail marketing, working within the outdoor and travel, discount department store, automotive and jewellery categories.
As the Group Marketing Manager at Kathmandu, he is responsible for brand, customer and marketing strategies globally.
MC & Host
It’s now 23 years since James started his broadcasting career back in the UK hosting a daily show with the BBC for many years. In Perth he’s presented Saturday Breakfast on 720ABC Perth for the past 7 years with the aim of bringing challenging and inspirational guests to a large weekend audience.
Monday to Friday James owns and manages Lush Digital Media a 2012 Telstra Business of the Year award winner in Western Australia where their unique approach to strategic and content driven communication has established a strong reputation with some of the biggest corporations, arts organisations and not for profits in the country. He also hosts and facilitates a large number of key events all around the country taking his inquisitive and audience driven approach to ensure events are memorable for the right reasons.
General Manager Marketing
During her career Michele Teague has held a number of senior agency and marketing positions across Australia and New Zealand. As General Manager Marketing for Kmart ANZ, Michele is caretaker of the most popular and most visited department store brand in Australia. Kmart’s turnaround story is well known and was recognised in 2015 with the Brand Revitalisation Award from the Australian Marketing Institute.
Michele’s career started in advertising within the Y&R group which eventually saw her move client side to Woolworths NZ as Marketing Director, followed by a number of other senior marketing positions managing brands such as Air New Zealand, Telecom, KFC and Pizza Hut. After crossing the Tasman Michele became Managing Director at WPP owned The Campaign Palace, Sydney, and later GM Marketing at Metcash Food & Grocery.
Michele has served as a director of New Zealand Rugby League, the NZ Marketing Association and Association of NZ Advertisers.
Last year Michele represented Australia as a judge for the Cannes Advertising Effectiveness awards.
Director – Multichannel
Willem Van Dijk|
Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand
Willem van Dijk is a business leader with extensive global experience in starting new markets. His focus within retail encompasses item data on-boarding, systems interoperability, data quality, and omni-channel data management and delivery. He brings this experience to Australia for Stibo Systems. Stibo provides a multi-award winning software platform which helps manage real-time, consistent and highly accurate operational information about products, suppliers and customers all in a single platform. Stibo customers include MasterCard, Officeworks, Staples, Wal-Mart, Marks & Spencer, and many others. Stibo Systems is one of the fastest growing companies in its software segment with offices in 18 countries.
Executive General Manager, Brand
Murray Chenery is a proven marketer with an acute understanding of brand DNA and strategy. He has over 25 years experience in retailing and other industries, delivering innovative, differentiated and award-winning marketing campaigns to the Australian marketplace.
From 2001 to 2012, he worked at the marketing helm of one of Australia’s most-recognized retail brands, Target, as General Manager of Marketing. Murray’s strong strategic focus helped shape Target’s enviable progression from a low-end, discount, big-box retailer to a fashionable, midmarket, iconic Australian brand.
During his time at Target, he was the architect of their very successful ‘100% Happy’ campaign, and the strategic force behind the ‘Designers for Target’ program, commencing with Stella McCartney.
Murray joined CPA Australia in late 2012 as Executive General Manager, Brand, responsible for developing and driving strategies to grow membership and building the CPA Australia brand as the global professional accounting designation for strategic business leaders.
Murray has considerable experience using the full spread of paid, owned and earned communication channels as well as overseeing the development of many marketing initiatives, including: customer loyalty, digital marketing, web, social media and other customer-interfacing strategies.
Jonathan Reeve Consulting
Jonathan Reeve is a speaker, author and adviser. He is passionate about helping retailers to build profitable, stress-free, online operations.
Jonathan’s book, Retail’s Last Mile, explains why the disruption of store retail by online shopping has only just begun and few retailers are ready for the changes ahead. Jonathan forecasts that last-mile innovations will see shopping online overtake shopping in stores within 20 years.
Jonathan has worked in retail businesses in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Australia since 2001. He was part of the team that developed the operating model for Tesco.com, a global pioneer of online grocery retail. Jonathan has also worked in store retail and was the store manager of a large Tesco supermarket in London.
Jonathan has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and an MBA with distinction from international business school INSEAD. Before setting up his own practice, Jonathan held roles with Aussie Farmers Direct, Coles, Tesco, Goldman Sachs and Arkwright Consulting.
Executive Director & Co-Founder
The co-founder & Executive Director of Azoya International, and in charge of the company general business development and operations in 11 countries as well as the B2B partnership strategy. He was previously in the telecom sector and had been working in retail and telecom industries overseas for over 10 years in 23 countries in Europe, North America, ANZ, Middle East and Africa. He was the general technical and services director before he left his previous employer company and leaded telecom programs with total value over 1 billion USD worldwide.
Regional Director Customer Success & Retail Practice
With over 16 years of online experience, James has worked in a variety of industries and roles including strategy and optimisation, omnichannel selling, product development and project delivery.
James has worked in a range of organisations such as Michael Hill, Virgin Australia, Allianz, Fusion Retail Brands and Ernst & Young.
James is currently Regional Director Customer Success & Retail Practice for Salesforce commerce cloud, the leader of enterprise cloud commerce solutions, empowering the world’s leading retailers to continuously innovate in the complex, consumer-driven world.
In James’ most recent role he headed up Michael Hill’s digital channels across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States and launched a multi-region, multi-brand, global commerce solution to showcase Michael Hill internationally and place focus back onto the customer experience.
Founder & President
Tink is Founder & President of dotmailer. He has 20 years’ experience in digital marketing in the UK, the US and more recently in the APAC region. He has been a key member of the UK DMA Email Marketing Council since 2006 and was more recently elected as Advisory Committee Member of the Board of the US DMA Email Experience Council (EEC). Tink helps individual organisations, and the industry as a whole to develop and progress. Tink launched dotmailer in the US 2012, later taking dotmailer to Australia in 2015. Tink has presented globally at industry-leading events. Most recently at Magento Imagine, Online Retailer Sydney and the Gorilla Client Summit (Chicago,USA).
Chief Executive Officer
Andrew joined eStar in October 2014 as CEO. Andrew has 25 years experience in retail, eCommerce, and consulting in Australasia, Asia and the UK.
Prior to joining eStar, he was CEO Multichannel (and CEO Torpedo 7 Group) at The Warehouse Group (TWG) leading their digital expansion across 14 retail and wholesale brands, a mix of omnichannel and pureplay businesses, and a mix of existing, acquired and newly launched brands. Prior to TWG, he founded, then led a new category management business to over $20m in sales in 2 years which was successfully sold in 2012.
Andrew has also held executive level roles in IT, merchandise, sourcing, strategy and supply chain in retail, as well as senior consulting roles both independently and with KPMG in Asia and Australasia.
Head of Business, Australia & New Zealand
Stuart O’Neill is the Head of Business for the ANZ region for SAP Hybris. In this role, Stuart has helped champion e-Commerce adoption amongst leading Telecom and retail customers globally, leading the strategic Customer Engagement and Commerce line of business for SAP in ANZ. A technology sales professional with deep industry knowledge, Stuart has spent the past six years evangelizing an industry-wide shift to ecommerce and the cloud in Europe, Asia and Australia and has helped position hybris as a leader in the ecommerce market in Australia and NZ.
Stuart has spent the last 15 years working in the networking and e-Commerce industry in both Europe and Asia and is recognized as one of the leading experts in ecommerce in Australia. His expertise has been garnered through his experience working as a sales professional with leading players in the industry including Nortel Networks, Cisco, Fujistu and Digital River. Stuart has travelled extensively, and has lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Stuart holds an MBA specialized in Marketing and bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.
CEO & Co-Founder
With over 30 years experience in the retail industry, Anya built Australasia’s leading retail training company to overcome the challenges retailers are faced with when it comes to training large teams; overcoming high overheads, combatting with high staff churn, growing sales, and being able to deliver a training experience which actually delivers measurable outcomes that are aligned to the business’ vision (and that customers actually notice).
Put simply; RedSeed make customers love shopping.
With 72% of New Zealand’s top retailers as happy clients, Anya is rapidly expanding RedSeed into the Australian market.
And how do retailers know RedSeed works?
Anya has built a business that retailers love partnering with. The 2016 Net Promoter Score for RedSeed was 75, which is 93 points higher than the Australasian average (-18).
Michel van Aalten|
Country Manager, Australia & New Zealand
Michel van Aalten is the Country Manager of Australia and New Zealand for Adyen. A senior member of the Adyen team, Michel has worked with retailers across Europe, the U.S. and APAC. He has extensive experience in the global payments industry, and has helped many leading omnichannel retailers roll out payments in new markets around the world.
Sales Director – Inventory Intelligence ANZ
Tyco Retail Solutions
Steve Schenk is Business Development Manager – Inventory Specialist for Tyco Retail Solutions Australia New Zealand (ANZ). In his role, Steve has helped position the Tyco Retail Solutions Inventory platform, TrueVUE, to be the market leader in the adoption and implementation of RFID applications for retailers in ANZ.
Steve has spent over 25 years in the apparel industry spanning sales, design, production, sourcing, supply chain and import and distribution. More recently he has dedicated the better part of the last decade advocating for RFID, data accuracy and the Internet of Things to drive brick and mortar and Omni channel operational, sales and cost savings benefits for retailers locally and globally.
His expertise across the scope of retail operations is derived from working for and with organisations such as Inditex Zara, Paul Smith, NBA, MLB, PAS Group and Checkpoint Systems. He is highly regarded in the industry and has delivered numerous key notes on the benefits of RFID in retail and supply chain. Steve lives in Melbourne with his wife and 2 children.
Regional Vice President APAC
Joe Thymian is SLI Systems Regional Vice President APAC. He works with over 150 websites throughout the Asia Pacific region developing strategies to help improve online merchandising and the promotion of products across their sites. Joe’s customers include, Adore Beauty, Heath post; Mizuno, Country Road and DFS.
Joe has a Bachelor of Arts/Law from Monash University and a Master’s Degree from the Business Faculty of the University of Melbourne. He has worked in the online space for more than 10 years and advised SMEs and Enterprise level customers on Brand Protection; Brand Promotion and Cyber Security. Joe was a key participant in ICANN’s New TLD program and has advised brands such as Nikon; Tata Motors; Shangri-La Hotel Group; NAB and AFL.
Managing Director, Pacific & Indonesia
Yahya Kanj has over 16 years of Retail FMCG experience, specialising in shopper research and loyalty marketing solutions.
Yahya was appointed Managing Director, Pacific and Indonesia at Brand Loyalty in July 2015. Responsible for expanding the business in Pacific and doubling the business in Indonesia, Yahya has extensive experience working across both developed and developing markets in delivering better sales results and stronger customer engagement for FMCG retailers.
Prior to his current role, Yahya held senior management positions at The Nielsen Company in Australia, New Zealand and United Arab Emirates. He served as Head of Commercial Development for Pacific and was the APAC Regional Product Leader for Nielsen’s Consumer Panel business.
Yahya has a Bachelor degree in Management & Marketing at The University of Western Sydney.
Yahya is married with 2 kids and lives in Sydney Australia.
As the most responsive sector of the national economy, retail feels the brunt of the economic, social and political dynamics that shape consumer confidence. What challenges and opportunities will 2017 present for Australia’s retailers? What regulatory changes, economic risks and political influences will emerge? How should retail leaders respond in order to thrive in 2017?
In a fiercely competitive global marketplace, retail executives are constantly reviewing customer engagement and navigating the disruptive influence of borderless retail. What can well-established retailers learn from startups about optimising resources, building a reputation and fostering innovation? How are retail leaders being proactive rather than reactive in their planning and decision making? In the search for ever-expanding growth potential, how can retailers ensure that sustainable practice is still fundamental to strategic planning?
Faced with a relentless surge in commercial narratives, today’s consumers have become increasingly savvy and disconnected. As retailers fight for consumer attention, how are they making themselves stand out? What are the risks and benefits of marketing with influencers, external partnerships, corporate sponsorships and branded entertainment? How are retailers using emerging platforms and marketing strategies to develop more meaningful relationships with their customers?
From efficient supply systems to data management to customer experience, strong technological infrastructure is becoming essential across the retail value chain. How can retail executives make well-informed, viable decisions about whether or not to adopt new technology? How are retailers responding to the accelerated digital behaviours and expectations of consumers? As technology now defines the Millennial generation, what trends and platforms will retailers be embracing next?
A culture of customer-centricity revolves around the engagement, satisfaction and passion of frontline employees. How are retailers attracting diverse and talented staff and facilitating career progression? In what ways can culture become a positive differentiator in the eyes of staff and customers? How can retailers empower their teams to be the ultimate brand advocates?
In a connected world where consumers increasingly hold the power, understanding their needs, valuing their feedback and responding to them quickly and directly can make or break the reputation of a retailer. How can retailers ensure they are agile enough to keep pace with – and monetise – the changing preferences of consumers? How are data and analytics improving customer listening, personalisation and localisation? In a world of choice and channels, what does leading-edge customer experience now look like?
Over the next decade, the integration of physical and digital channels could set new standards for a seamless customer experience and improve the efficiencies of supply chains, deliveries, operations and in-store shopping. How are retail leaders preparing for the future? What are the opportunities and threats for retail presented by innovations such as 3D printing, drones, real-time analytics, the Internet of Things, cognitive computing and augmented reality? What will customer service look like in the future? How can retailers optimise their use of technology without compromising human interaction and alienating their customers?
Digital disruption is driving shopper demand for personalisation. Stores are being reimagined as showrooms, distribution centres, experience centres and are increasingly only a touchpoint along a shopper’s journey.
Loyalty is a valuable currency in a world of competing products and rampant price comparisons. What kinds of incentives and reward programmes are proving most successful with customers today? How are retailers tailoring their loyalty initiatives to suit customers of different generations? How are technology, data and social participation contributing to the design of loyalty systems?
With the rise of the clicks and mortar retail model, more companies are viewing e-commerce and physical retail stores as enhancements to each other, rather than threats. How are retailers integrating their online and offline channels for customer convenience? What are the evolving expectations and motivations of shoppers when they visit stores in person? How can store design capture the wow factor to entice more customers to enjoy the theatre of retail?
In a borderless retail environment, product and merchandising strategy has to be more responsive to consumer interests. How have product lines responded to increased competition and customer scrutiny? In what ways can retailers use payments technology to gain shopper insights and build a data-driven merchandise strategy? How are retailers collaborating with suppliers to fulfil consumer expectations?
Azoya, a leading managed solutions provider in Cross-border E-commerce to China, offers one-package solutions to retail businesses worldwide helping them to expand to China, services including website building, language support, local operations & marketing, logistic, managed fulfillment, payment settlements, customer service and permanent free consulting, etc. with DIRECT BRAND EXPOSURE.
Technology has created more informed, more connected customers who are no longer loyal to a brand, but to an experience across channels. Salesforce has helped companies like Westfield develop real-time connections with customers, deepening loyalty and creating new business opportunities.
SAP Hybris helps companies transform how they engage with customers, innovate how they do business, and simplify their front office. For more information, visit www.hybris.com.
dotmailer is a leading marketing automation platform with email at its core. Our mission is to empower marketers with the tools that make it easy to get dramatic results, every time.
eStar is Australasia’s leading specialist eCommerce solutions provider, delivering outstanding experiences with some of the region’s best brands, through a combination of thought leadership, user experience, development, design and partners.
APT, a Mastercard company, is a leading cloud-based analytics software company that enables organizations to rapidly and precisely measure cause-and-effect relationships between business initiatives and outcomes to generate economic value.
Stibo Systems is the acknowledged leader in data management for retailers. Stibo speeds up the information supply chain from supplier pool to on-line and on-shelf, improving operational and customer-facing data quality.
SLI Systems accelerates e-commerce in three ways: We generate more traffic, convert shoppers into buyers and maximize order values.
RedSeed partner with retailers to deliver training solutions which grow sales by as much as 12% for large retailers.
Leading global provider of analytics-based Loss Prevention, Inventory Intelligence and Traffic Insights delivered by TrueVUE enterprise wide reporting platform.
BrandLoyalty is a leading provider of data and digital driven short-term loyalty solutions for retailers worldwide.
Adyen is a technology company that provides businesses with a single solution to accept payments anywhere in the world – online, in-app, and at the point of sale.
Kronos is the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Tens of thousands of organisations in more than 100 countries use Kronos to control labour costs, minimise compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.
At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. PwC is a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 223,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services.
Being a sponsor of the 6th annual Retail Leaders Forum actively works for you before, during and after the event, increasing your credibility in the minds of retail decision-makers.
As a sponsor, you will benefit from suitable target market exposure and direct interaction with senior retail executives. Enhance your market visibility, put your CEO on the programme and gain dedicated face-to-face time with an influential audience at this exciting event.
Delivered by senior retail leaders, for senior retail leaders, the Retail Leaders Forum offers a powerful business agenda within a sophisticated executive networking environment.
Tim Lockwood – Commercial Manager
Tel: 02 8004 3172
|Retailer - 1 Delegate||$2495 Inc. GST|
|Retailer - 4 Delegates (Includes 1 Free)||$7485 Inc. GST|
|Retailer - 8 Delegates (Includes 2 Free)||$14970 Inc. GST|
|Retailer - 12 Delegates (Includes 3 Free)||$22455 Inc. GST|
|Non-Retailer Attendance *||N/A|
* Non-Retailer Attendance: The Retail Leaders Forum is open to retailers only. If you are a service
Connect Events is part of Connect Media Group Pty Ltd
Delegate Pass includes access to all sessions, refreshment breaks, networking lunches, networking drinks reception, and access to speaker presentations. Please note: not all speakers choose to provide presentation papers. One delegate pass is entry for one person only, passes cannot be shared. Organiser’s reserve the right to deny entry to anyone not registered.
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Payment of invoice is due within 7 days of registration. A 3% surcharge is payable for all credit card transactions. Only one promotional discount code can be applied per registrant. All prices quoted are inclusive of GST. Payment in full is required by the first day of the event. Please note: Registrations made within 7 days of the event can only be paid via credit card.
Connect Media Group endeavours to ensure the conference programme and speaker line-up is correct at the time of the event. All advertised details are correct at time of publishing. Due to unforeseen circumstances Connect Media Group reserves the right to alter the programme prior to the event without notice. We also reserve the right to cancel or postpone this event when full refunds will be issued. Connect Media Group reserves the right to deny access to any individual that engages in or is alleged to engage in practices that are considered unprofessional and inappropriate for a business conference. We reserve the right to deny access to delegates that may affect the client / vendor ratio of attendance in favour of the interests of sponsors and commercial partners of the event.
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A substitute delegate is welcome at any time provided the request is made in writing. A full refund less a $250 (GST Inclusive) processing fee is applicable on cancellation requests made in writing within 10 days of registration. No refunds are available for cancellations made more than 10 days after registration.
Full payment is required within 7 days of registration – if payment is not received in this time and cancellation is requested more than 10 days after registration – payment is to be honoured.
What’s included in my delegate pass?
A Delegate Pass includes access to all sessions, refreshment breaks, networking lunches, networking drinks reception, and access to provided speaker presentations.
Is there a group booking discount?
Yes – when you book 3 delegates a 4th attends for free. The group booking discount will be calculated by reducing the individual cost of each pass by deducting the free pass from the total booking amount. If you have any questions about how group bookings work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I transfer my pass?
A delegate pass is entry for one person only, passes cannot be shared. A substitute delegate is welcome at any time prior to the event, provided the request is made in writing to email@example.com
How do I receive my delegate pass?
Following the completion of your registration and payment, you will receive an email confirmation. We will contact you via email one week before the event to provide final information regarding your participation. Delegate badges and all event material will be provided upon arrival at the event – nothing will be sent in the post.
Is media registration available?
No, this is a closed and confidential event. Media registrations are not available.
A full refund less a $250 (GST Inclusive) processing fee is applicable on cancellation requests made in writing within 10 days of registration. No refunds are available for cancellations made more than 10 days after registration.
Will there be a delegate list available?
No, Connect Events does not provide delegate lists to attendees.