Senior Director of Industry and Consumer Insights, National Retail Federation
Katherine Cullen is senior director of industry and consumer insights for the National Retail Federation’s research team. In this capacity, she leads research on consumer spending and emerging retail trends and develops new research initiatives and partnerships. Prior to joining NRF, Cullen worked in customer strategy and intelligence at Macy’s Inc. She has a master's degree in business administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business with specializations in marketing and business analytics.
Founder and CEO of Corage Dolls
Flora Ekpe-Idang is an entrepreneur, cultural marketing expert, children’s author, and advocate for Black businesses. She is the founder and CEO of Corage Dolls, a multicultural doll and book company that helps to elevate, educate, and encourage girls of color to be unstoppable. Having 9+ years of experience in marketing ranging from healthcare, government, and consumer goods, she currently leads inclusive marketing at Target for Black audiences. Flora is dedicated to continuing to change the toy aisles to include positive representation of dolls of color and celebrate authentic and diverse stories, Black beauty, and inspire girls to reach their full potential.
Chief Transformation & HR Officer, Macy's Inc.
Danielle Kirgan was appointed chief human resources and transformation officer in January 2020. As chief human resources officer, Kirgan is responsible for the full range of human resource functions, including strategy, associate relations, organizational development (corporate, field and logistics), talent and performance management, compensation and benefits, and training and development.
Previously, Kirgan was senior vice president/people at American Airlines since October 2016. In that role, she was responsible for all global human resource functions for the airline, including talent acquisition, training and talent development, compensation, benefits and diversity. Prior to joining American Airlines, Kirgan held various leadership positions at Darden Restaurants, where she most recently served as chief human resources officer. Kirgan has also held leadership roles in human resources for ConAgra Foods, W.W. Grainger and TeleTech Holdings.
Kirgan serves on the NRF Foundation board of directors and holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Illinois State University.
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Jonathan Mayes is Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
for Albertsons Companies, one of America’s largest grocery and pharmacy
chains. Albertsons Companies employs nearly 300,000 associates, and
operates nearly 2,300 stores, under 20 different banners, in 34 states and
Mr. Mayes is a nationally-known speaker on diversity, equity and inclusion topics, and has frequently presented at conferences, major universities, business groups and corporations across the U.S. He leads his company’s award-winning diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and is a Certified Diversity Executive. He’s been named one of the Top 100 Diversity & Inclusion executives in the U.S.
Mr. Mayes received a Bachelor of Science degree from Warner Pacific College, in Portland, Oregon, and Juris Doctorate degree from Willamette University College of Law, in Salem, Oregon. He’s a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Mr. Mayes began his legal career in the SF area, and later joined Safeway in 1994, where he held a number of senior leadership positions in Government Relations, Public Affairs, Sustainability, Philanthropy and Diversity & Inclusion. Safeway merged with Albertsons Companies in 2015.
Mr. Mayes is a professional musician, arranger, and band leader. He plays piano, guitar, bass, violin, drums and is a vocalist. He also is an accomplished endurance athlete, having completed Ironman triathlons, ultramarathons, and over 80 marathons. He and his wife, Varetta, reside in San Francisco.
Co-Founder and CMO for Young King Hair Care
Stefan Miller is the Co-Founder and CMO for Young King Hair Care, which launched in December 2019. Young King Hair Care is an African American beauty products company with tailored offerings specifically to support the grooming needs of Black and Brown boys.
Stefan is a marketing professional with 10+ years of experience across marketing, sales and consulting in the CPG and tech industries. Prior to founding Young King Hair Care, he led business strategy and marketing communications, while launching innovations across multiple billion dollar brands and categories at IBM, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Coca-Cola and currently Red Bull.
Stefan holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with concentrations in Brand Marketing, Media Management and Management in Organizations, and is a proud HBCU alum of Morehouse College with a BA in Business Administration.
He currently lives with his wife and co-founder Cora and son Kade in Atlanta, Georgia.
Burlington Stores Vice President, Merchandise Planning
Jonathan Savoy joined Burlington Stores in Stores in September 2021 as Vice President, Merchandise Planning. He has 30 years of experience in merchandise planning, allocation, replenishment, buying, marketing research, and sales management. He has broad knowledge with leadership experience in many retail formats including department store, specialty, discount, and off-price.
Prior to joining Burlington, Savoy worked with TJX. Previously, he held VP MP&A roles for Sports Authority and Victoria’s Secret. Early in his career he was a Buyer -Menswear for Venture stores. He has also held several sales and marketing research positions at SmithKline Beecham, Upjohn, Quaker Oats Company, and General Foods Corporation.
Mr. Savoy earned his Bachelor of Business-Marketing degree from Howard University. Today, Jonathan serves on the Advisory Board of the Howard University School of Business –Marketing Department as well a Board of Directors for the Greater Boston YMCA.
Vice President, National Retail Federation
Jason Straczewski is vice president of government relations and political affairs at the National Retail Federation. In this role, he leads advocacy and political efforts at the state and federal levels, ensuring the retail community is educated on and engaged in advancing NRF’s policy agenda. Straczewski works to monitor legislative and regulatory issues emerging from all levels of government that will impact America’s retail business community. Together with the government relations team, he develops strategies to engage NRF’s member companies, state retail association partners and the chain restaurant community.
Prior to joining NRF, Straczewski served as the vice president of government affairs for a private company consisting of more than 250 quick-service and family dining restaurants operating across seven states. He directed the organization's policy objectives at the local, state and federal government levels and provided analysis of legislative and regulatory actions. Straczewski also advised company leadership on political and grassroots strategy to achieve the organization’s policy goals.
Straczewski previously represented small and large businesses advocating for pro-growth economic policy in Washington, D.C. He was the senior director of government relations and public policy at the International Franchise Association and he was also the director of employment and labor policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. Straczewski received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Gettysburg College.
CoFounder & Chief Commercial Officer of LISNR
Rodney Williams is the CoFounder & Chief Commercial Officer of LISNR, the leading Ultrasonic Data Platform, powering payments across the customer journey globally. Williams has inspired an entire enterprise technology market as LISNR leads the use of ultrasonic technology for mobile payments. Rallying up over 40 industry awards, LISNR has landed major partners like Visa, Synchrony Financial, Ticketmaster, Intel, and Equinox Payment terminals as they drive a better payment tool for merchants and consumers.
Rodney has been recognized with numerous awards, including Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 in 2012; the Ernst & Young EDGE Award in 2013; Cannes Gold Lion award in 2015; Tech Entrepreneur of the Year by Black Enterprise, 2016; 25 Inspiring Entrepreneurs Under 40 by Entrepreneur Magazine 2016; Entrepreneur of the Year in Connected Communications by EY in 2017; Ebony’s Power 100 in 2018 and CNBC Disruptor 50 List in 2015, 2016, 2018 & 2019.
Rodney attended West Virginia University, where he earned his BBA in finance, his BA in economics, and his MS in integrated marketing communications. Rodney also holds an MBA in finance & supply chain management from Howard University.
Outside of LISNR, he’s been actively building the next group of technology leaders, co-founding one of the fastest growing fin-tech start-ups, SoLo Funds, where he serves as the board’s chair. He is also a member of the 2019 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
We’ll be updating this page as we confirm our speakers, so keep watching for more updates.