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Retail Works Summit 2018 Agenda


5:00pm – 7:00pm Badge Pick-up & Networking Reception


The first full day of the Summit will focus on how the retail industry powers America’s workforce, including opportunities for workers, industry trends and requirements, and the very real and immediate needs of employers, which the workforce system is positioned to address.

7:45am – 9:00am Rise and Shine Breakfast & Badge Pick-up

9:00am – 9:15am Welcome to the Retail Works Summit!

NRF Foundation President and SVP of the National Retail Federation, Ellen Davis and Broderick Johnson, Co-leader, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Public Policy and Government Affairs Practice and Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner welcomes workforce development partners, retailers and state association executives to the partnership building event.

9:15am – 10:00am How Retail Powers the American Workforce

There's more to retail than products and consumers. A lot more. Chris Baldwin, Chairman, President and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club and Chairman of the NRF Board, will sit down with NRF Foundation President and SVP of the National Retail Federation, Ellen Davis, to discuss the state of the retail industry and share the impact retail jobs have on American communities, and why talent is more important than ever to the industry’s future. Following the discussion, Chris will answer questions from the audience.

10:00am – 10:30am New study: Wage Progression & Benefits in Retail

Good jobs changes lives. In this session, David Dethmers, a Senior Associate of the Career Workforce Products Team at Mercer, presents findings from a new study on wage progression and benefits in the retail industry.  

10:30am – 11:15am A Promising Path Forward: Wage & Benefits Progression in the Retail Industry

Leaders from some of the world’s top retailers know first-hand that retail jobs offer employees ample room to grow both in terms of compensation and responsibilities. In this discussion, panelists will highlight the opportunities that retail provides for meaningful wage growth and explain why their companies make significant investments in internal training, benefits programs and educational initiatives for their workforces. Panelists include: Jacqui Canney, EVP, Chief People Officer, Walmart and Christine Deputy, CHRO, Nordstrom. The panel will be moderated by Broderick Johnson. A Q&A will follow this panel.

11:30am – 12:00pm The Growth & Shift of Retail Jobs

Retail jobs lead to promising careers. In this session, learn from Yustina Saleh, Senior Vice President of Data and Analytics, Emsi, and John Hawkins, Director of Workforce Development and Strategic Partnerships at Emsi about new research on how entry-level retail jobs provide verified career pathways to advancement and what training and upskilling opportunities encourage career growth in retail.

12:00pm – 12:45pm Beyond the Register: Career Pathways in Retail

On this panel, listen to talent acquisition experts discuss how major retailers are broadening their approach to entry-level roles in response to an evolving retail industry. Panelists will also explore the many alternate job and career pathways available in retail - and showcase the diversity of secondary or “next level” opportunities available to new entrants. Panelists include: Justin Smith, VP of Talent Planning and Acquisition, Qurate Retail Group, Kimberly Nassau, Associate Vice President, Talent Acquisition, Ascena Retail Group and Michael Cannata, Senior Director, Talent Acquisition, Target. This panel will be moderated by Jerry O'Brien, Director, Kohl’s Center for Retailing in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A Q&A will follow this panel.

12:45pm – 1:45pm Networking Lunch

1:45pm – 2:30pm CEO Fireside Chat: Building a Workforce to Meet the Needs of Today’s Customers

The customer is always -- changing, and as the customer evolves, so must the retail industry. In this fireside chat, Macy's Chairman and CEO, Jeff Gennette, and Karin Norington-Reaves, Founding CEO, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, discuss how Macy's has adapted to its shopper's needs, and the benefits of a retailer-workforce partnership.

2:45pm – 3:45pm Retail Partnerships & Workforce Programs at the State and Local Level: A Colorado Case Study

Hear from Stephanie Veck, Project Director at Maher & Maher, an IMPAQ Company / former Managing Director Colorado Workforce Development Council, Lee Wheeler-Berliner, Director, Colorado Workforce Development Council, Tony Anderson, Director, Workforce Services for the City and County of Denver, Dr. Dana D. Williams, Interim Assistant Director, Workforce Development Programs, Denver Office of Economic Development, and David Porter, General Manager, Marshall Retail Group, Denver International Airport about how they utilized data and state and local relationships to collaborate, research, plan and execute successful retail sector partnerships across Colorado. A Q&A will follow this discussion.

3:45pm – 4:30pm The Workforce of the Future – What to Expect & How to Prepare

Hear from Elizabeth Yates, Advisory Partner, People and Organization Practice, PwC, about the technological, social and demographic trends influencing the workforce of the future, how jobs will change, the implications for workers and how we prepare them to compete. A Q&A will follow this presentation.

4:45pm – 6:00pm Cocktails & Networking Reception


The second day of the Summit will focus on how the NRF Foundation, retailers, state retail association executives, and workforce development partners can work together to provide economic opportunity to millions of Americans.

8:00am – 8:45am Rise and Shine Breakfast

8:45am – 9:00am Welcome Back!

9:00am – 10:00am Models & Methods for Working Together

Executives from workforce development partners will share their experiences on effective models and methods for working together, followed by an extended opportunity for Q&A. Confirmed panelists include: Laurie Bouillion Larrea, President and CEO, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, Dallas County Workforce Development Board, Peter Callstrom, President and CEO, San Diego Workforce Partnership, Yani Hurst, Workforce Initiatives Manager for CVS Caremark, Curtis Picard, President and CEO, Retail Association of Maine, Robin Primavera, Area Manager, Gap Inc./Old Navy, and Megan Dichter, Special Projects Coordinator, Maine Department of Education, Division of Adult Education. The panel will be moderated by Lizzy Simmons, Vice President, Government Relations and Workforce Development, NRF. A Q&A will follow this panel.

10:15am – 11:15am Activating at the Local Level to Build Better Partnerships

Panelists from retail companies, workforce and job readiness organizations and state retail associations share their perspectives on ways to work together going forward and opportunities to build better partnerships. Confirmed speakers include: Doug Cotter, President, Grant Associates, Karin Norington-Reaves, Founding CEO, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Charles Miller, Group Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, Macy's, and Tim Phelan, President, Connecticut Retail Merchants Association. Discussion to be moderated by Adam Lukoskie, Vice President, NRF Foundation. A Q&A will follow this discussion.

11:15am – 11:30am Closing Remarks

The NRF Foundation would like to thank the Walmart Foundation for its generous support of the Retail Works Summit.