KEYNOTE: Erik Wahl, Internationally Recognized Graffiti Artist, Author and Entrepreneur
Erik Wahl is an internationally recognized graffiti artist, best-selling
author and entrepreneur. Wahl spent eight years working as a partner in
a corporate firm, where he quickly became frustrated by the lack of
innovative thought he saw in business. He set out to challenge companies
to change their way of thinking, while simultaneously pursuing his own
individual passions and rediscovering his love for art. For the past 10
years, he has traveled the world, encouraging corporations to rediscover
their untapped potential and embrace the future with creativity,
leaving behind his artwork as a reminder of his passion for breakthrough
thinking. Today, the businessman-turned-artist has grown to become one
of the most sought-after corporate speakers, having worked with clients
such as AT&T, Disney, London School of Business, Microsoft, FedEx,
Exxon Mobil, Ernst & Young and XPrize. He has even been featured as a
Wil Cuyco, Senior Design Manager, Gap Inc. Creative Services
As the senior design manager for Gap Inc. Creative Services, Wil Cuyco
leads the team responsible for global store development for all Gap
brands, flagships and high-profile locaitons and new businesses. He lead
the design of Piperlime.com’s first bricks-and-mortar store in SoHo. He
also lead the U.S.-based schematic designs for Gap China and assists
the China store development team, in addition to most recently leading
the design for the new Gap concept test store in South Beach, Miami.
Before starting at Gap in 2003, Cuyco worked as a designer in the Retail
Studio at MCG Architecture and ran a freelance business called WAC
Design. He has a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University
of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines.
David Geisinger, Head of Retail Business Strategy and Innovation, eBay Inc.
David Geisinger, head of retail business
strategy and innovation at eBay Inc., leads a newly formed team focused
on innovative technologies and experiences that will drive new
approaches to connecting retailers and consumers around the world. David
and his team are focused on creating the future—transforming how
retailers engage in an omnichannel world. Over a 20-year career
Geisinger went from software engineer to start-up entrepreneur, and
small business CEO to Fortune 200 company executive. Currently, he holds
board positions at Ablemade, a philanthropic e-commerce retailer that
provides exclusive product where a portion of each product sold is used
to support charitable causes and initiatives. He continues to build his
patent portfolio with the latest coming in early 2013.
Alison Embrey Medina, Executive Editor, DDI Magazine
Alison Embrey Medina is the executive editor of DDI Magazine, a trade publication serving the retail design industry. Through the pages of DDI,
she covers and comments on retail store design, visual merchandising,
architecture, marketing and branding, from luxury and specialty to
discount and dollar stores. Medina has spoken on trends in retail design
and visual merchandising at GlobalShop, EuroShop, Global Department
Store Summit, Retail Asia Expo, A.R.E.'s Retail Design Collective, NRF's
BIG Show, Hospitality Design Expo and the Retail Design Institute's
local chapter events, as well as retail design conferences in Brazil,
Germany, Turkey and Mexico. In her 10 years with Nielsen, she has held
multiple editorial positions with DDI, as well as a senior writer
position for New York-based Convenience Store News. She holds a
bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from The University of
Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication,
and currently resides in Atlanta.
James Russo, Senior Vice President, Global Consumer Insights, Nielsen
James Russo serves as senior vice president, global consumer insights for Nielsen and is based in New York. He has more than 18 years of experience in marketing, sales, business development and research across key industry sectors. Russo’s responsibilities at Nielsen include taking a leadership role in integrating the company’s efforts to leverage and customize its broad array of Watch and Buy insights and analytics to enhance growth strategies for its global clients. One of Mr. Russo’s main areas of expertise is in developing foresights from understanding the dynamics of current economic and marketplace conditions and what clients can do to maximize opportunities and minimize risks. These insights are presented across industry sectors at the most senior levels. As a result, Russo is one of the today’s leading experts on consumer attitudes and behavior, prominently and frequently featured in the nation’s top business outlets. Heearned an MBA and BA from St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., and is a frequent contributor to leading media outlets such as: CNBC, Bloomberg News, Fox Business, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, the Today show and ABC Nightline.
Leesa Slater, Director of Guideshop Operations, Bonobos
Leesa Slater is the director of guideshop operations for Bonobos, an e-commerce driven menswear brand. Slater joined the company in 2011 to spearhead the launch of the retailer's e-commerce stores called Guideshops, playing a lead role in the development of the model. In addition to overseeing all operational aspects, including merchandising, store design and set up, she is involved in both real estate and business plans for each location. Slater works closely with the branding, merchandising and planning teams to ensure the offline presentation is consistent with the brand’s online experience. Before joining Bonobos, Slater worked at J. Crew for five years as a store manager for three of their top-volume doors in New York. Prior to that, she was in spa management and cosmetics management, including cosmetics department manager at Bergdorf Goodman. Leesa graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in child psychology and has taken accounting courses while in New York.
, Co-Founder, President and Co-CEO, Big Red Rooster
As Big Red Rooster's co-founder, president and co-CEO, Aaron Spiess partners with global companies to design immersive brand experiences that translate through physical manifestations. His driving leadership style engages clients and accelerates them along their brand evolution journeys. Spiess’ experience across vast, multichannel engagements cultivates a strong peripheral vision that sparks innovation and supports shareholder value. He views creativity and consumer-driven design as pillars of business success and works relentlessly to drive co-creation and collaboration among clients, partners and internal teams. Spiess challenges his team to work with an “everything is possible” mindset. He approaches each business engagement without limitations and encourages clients to break through self-perceived barriers. His enthusiasm, commitment and consultative approach make him an asset to companies, such as American Express, adidas, FedEx Office, Enterprise Holdings, Chick-fil-A and The Home Depot.
Troy Williams, Vice President, Global Brand Management, American Express Co.
As vice president of global brand management for American Express Co., Troy Williams and his American Express design team deliver strategic thought leadership and design solutions across the international enterprise, ensuring alignment of business and brand objectives. Throughout his career, Williams has influenced design and business decisions for great brands such as Chanel, Foot Locker, Dansk, Hartmann, Rolex, Coach, BOSE, Mont Blanc and more. In addition to his full-time duties at American Express, he also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where he teaches disciplines of branding as well as design and rendering.