Retail Smarter

Retail Center to host Retail Smarter Conference

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The David F. Miller Retail Center at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business will host the annual Retail Smarter Conference from June 8-9 at The Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.

The event includes two days of speakers, panels, roundtables and networking that allows attendees to learn from the top minds in the retail industry. The conference focuses on the latest trends and developments in retailing, and while the Retail Smarter title speaks to efficiency for retailers, this year’s conference will focus on redefining what the term “smart” means to businesses.

“We want to give retailers an opportunity to get together in one place and learn from leaders in retailing,” said Betsy Goodman, Executive Director of the Miller Retail Center. “This event creates a collaborative environment for networking and generates conversations on engaging topics that companies are dealing with from different points of the industry. It’s the perfect learning opportunity for anyone from entry level to management.”

To learn more about registering for the event, go to the Retail Smarter website.

The event will feature many speakers on the main stage, but it also provides small group sessions for retailers to narrow their focus on what directly impacts their company. With leadership set to attend from respected companies like JCPenney, Bealls and Walgreens among others, the conference gives retailers from across the country a chance to learn more about the industry.

“Over the past 20 years, I have attended Retail Smarter nearly every year,” Bealls CEO Steve Knopik said. “I block out the dates on my calendar each year because it’s such a fantastic opportunity to meet and interact with other retailers, outstanding students with career aspirations and experts in things I’m interested in.”

Here are the main stage speakers for this year’s event:

Kohl Crecelius (Co-Founder and CEO, Krochet Kids Intl.)

Jill Erickson (Chief Revenue Officer, Shiftgig)

Debbie Harvey (President and COO, Ron Jon Surf Shop)

Read Hayes (Research Scientist, University of Florida, Director of the industry group Loss Prevention Research Council)

Jennifer Hipskind (SVP, Group President, Southern Stores Division, JCPenney)

Marlin Hutchens (CEO, ISOD Corporation, EVP, SMI Corporation)

James Lewis (Founder and CEO, Enhanced Retail Solutions LLC)

Andrew H. Moser (Co-Founder, Managing Partner & CEO, Scargo Hill Capital)

Ray Newkirk (CEO, SMI Corporation)

Other sessions will also be led by:

Morgan Ginn (Marketing Major, University of Florida)

Mellisa Liegl (Sr. Director of Human Resources, Southern Stores Division, JCPenney)

Samantha Padgett (Vice President & General Counsel, Florida Retail Federation)

Samantha Reitz (Marketing Major, University of Florida)

Kristen Vargas (Regional Vice President, Pharmacy and Retail Operations, Walgreens)

Eric White (Account Executive at Johnson Controls, Tyco Retail Solutions)

Magdalena Wyko (Director of Talent Acquisition & Development, Bealls)