The Leadership Forum 2017

1/21/2017 06:00 PM - 1/25/2017 05:00 PM (GMT-04:00) America/New_York

Online registration is open for invited retailers and consumer product manufacturers. Please login as the invited attendee in order to register online. If you have any questions or would like to request an invitation, please contact Kelly Foelber at or 703-600-2042.

Raise your hand if you enjoyed the Leadership Forum 2017!



This year’s Leadership Forum focused on the major forces driving retail disruption, and featured a series of sessions that brought home the opportunities and challenges facing retailers and their consumer goods partners in these times of exponential change.


The program, headlined by Best Buy Chairman & CEO Hubert Joly, features thought leaders from retail, consumer brands, finance, technology and innovation for a diverse and thought-provoking series of sessions designed to spark your thinking and your creativity.


In the opening session, Accenture’s Jill Standish and Mark Curtis spoke about what makes a retail company successful in 2017 and specifically, the importance of people to a sustainable business transformation. In what they call Living Businesses, people and design – not just technology – are key to enabling success.


Best Buy Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly headlined the conference with insights from the company’s successful transformation, including what he’s learned as the journey continues.


With startups undoubtedly playing a role in the transformation of the old retail model, Todd Lutwak, partner at Andreessen Horowitz led a discussion about how startups and traditional brands can engage with each other to advance the industry together.


Kicking off the public policy focus of the conference, Jennifer Safavian, RILA’s executive vice president, government affairs, spoke on the opportunity retailers now have to position themselves with policy makers around the issues impacting the industry the most, including the onerous proposed 'border adjustability tax'. Safavian was followed by a policy and politics panel featuring Fox News Sunday Anchor Chris Wallace, former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, and former Governor of Pennsylvania and NBC News Analyst Ed Rendell. 


For more information, contact Jenny Keehan at (703) 600-2031 or

Featured Speakers

The Leadership Forum speakers included visionaries from retail, technology and public policy. 


 Hubert Joly
Chairman & CEO
Best Buy

Todd Lutwak

Andreesen Horowitz

Ron Chernow


Chris Wallace
FOX News Sunday


Honorable John Boehner
Former Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives


Honorable Ed Rendell
Former Governor
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


Who Attends

The Leadership Forum is an exclusive gathering of chief executives, some of whom bring selected members of their executive teams, from leading retail and product manufacturer companies. They come to build relationships with other key leaders, and to devote time to learning and sharing on topics critical to retail success. They are joined by an equally select group of solutions providers who sponsor and participate the event in order to attend. No press or analysts attend. See our 2016 cohort here.

Future Dates: 

The Leadership Forum 2018
January 21-23, 2018
The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain
Tuscon, AZ




Conference Venue

The Ritz-Carlton Beach ResortThe Ritz-Carlton
280 Vanderbilt Beach Road 
Naples, Florida

Leadership Forum attendees may make reservations at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples online or by calling (888) 856-4380 and mentioning you are with the "Retail Industry Leaders Association Leadership Forum 2017" to take advantage of our special group rate of $419 plus tax per night. This rate is available until December 19, 2016, but may sell out before that date. All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card. The resort will not hold any reservations unless secured by one of these methods. In the event you must cancel your reservation, please do so seven (7) days prior to your scheduled arrival to avoid cancellation fees.

Event Registration

Registration to RILA's Leadership Forum is by invitation only. If you would like to receive an invitation, please contact Jenny Keehan, Executive Vice President, Member Services, at, or (703) 600-2031.

No Risk Cancellation Policy

We understand the schedule demands of top executives, so register today knowing that, if your plans change, you will get a full refund through December 31, 2016. Cancellations received on or after January 1, 2017, are non-refundable. All cancellations must be in writing. For more information, contact Kelly Foelber at  or (703) 600-2042.

Spouse/Guest Program 

RILA welcomes spouses/personal guests to participate in the Leadership Forum at no additional cost. Spouses/personal guests are welcomed at all Leadership Forum executive educational sessions, though they will not have assigned seats at the sessions. There are also special events designed specifically for spouses

Additional Conference Information:

Conference Attire
Business and resort casual clothing is appropriate for most  conference activities. .

Average January temperatures in Naples, Florida range from 53-76 degrees, and meeting rooms are often cool.

There are two main airports serving Naples, Florida:    

Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Meyers (RSW) is the primary commercial airport - 45 minutes from the Ritz-Carlton.

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)
11000 Terminal Access Road
Fort Meyers, FL 33913
(239) 590-4800

Small aircraft and private planes may use Naples Municipal Airport (APF) - 15 minutes from the Ritz-Carlton.

Naples Municipal Airport 
160 Aviation Drive N
Naples, FL 34104
(239) 643-0733

Hotel Parking/Transportation
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples offers valet parking for only $28 per car per night.

Naples Transportation & Tours is the recommended transportation company
Phone number: (239) 262-3006 (24 hours)

Special Needs 
Please contact Rachel Dahl at (703) 600-2061 if you have any disabilities or dietary restrictions that require special accommodation.

This event is closed to the press.


Schedule of events

Below is an interactive schedule for all events and activities during the Leadership Forum 2017. Please check back for schedule updates. For a printable version of the full schedule, click here.



No Schedule Items Available

No active schedule items for specified event or you do not have permission to access them.



Sponsors of The Leadership Forum are important partners at the event. 

They are at the forefront of the retail industry, helping drive change, innovation and growth 
at the largest and most successful retail companies.

If you would like to join the elite group of sponsors at The Leadership Forum 2018, please email Tripp Taylor for more information. 

Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors:


1345 Avenue of Americas New York, NY 10105 1.917.452.4400 Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 373,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at If you would like to view Accenture's presentation from the 2016 event, visit:

Applied Predictive Technologies

901 North Stuart Street, Suite 1000 Arlington, VA 22203 APT 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. Our intuitive and proprietary Test & Learn® software utilizes sophisticated algorithms to analyze large amounts of data, enabling business leaders to conduct experiments and allowing them to make optimal decisions and implement business initiatives at scale. APT also offers products that support decision-making for specific business needs including transaction analysis, space planning, promotion design, category management and location selection. APT’s client portfolio features some of the world’s best known brands, including Walmart, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Victoria’s Secret, American Family, Choice Hotels Worldwide, SUBWAY, TD Bank, T-Mobile, and others. APT has offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London, Bentonville, Taipei, Tokyo, Sydney, and Chicago.

Aptaris LLC


4210 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Suite 400A Fairway, KS 66205 C2FO is the world's market for working capital and risk-free profit. C2FO is the only working capital exchange that allows companies to optimize their working capital positions in a live, bid/ask environment. Companies across the globe use C2FO to increase their operating income while simultaneously producing vital working capital flows to their supply chain.

Hallmark Cards, Inc.

2501 McGee Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64108-2600 For more than 100 years, privately-held Hallmark has been dedicated to creating a more emotionally-connected world. In the U.S., products offered by Hallmark Greetings, Hallmark Retail and Hallmark Home & Gifts can be found in more than 40,000 retail accounts including mass retailers, Hallmark Gold Crown® stores and online. Hallmark's family of companies also includes Crayola®, maker of creative art tools and toys, Crown Center, a mixed-use entertainment, office and residential district in Kansas City, Hallmark International which offers products in more than 30 languages available in 100 countries and Crown Media Holdings, Inc., which owns and operates cable television's Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, Hallmark employs more than 27,000 people worldwide.

Invent Analytics

222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza 1871 12th Floor Suite 2.10 Chicago, IL 60654 USA Invent is a cutting edge global provider of advanced analytics solutions for retailers. Our products and services enable retail companies to maximize profitability with data-driven pricing and inventory execution. Retailers using Invent’s proprietary solutions have seen a proven 2-6% increase in profitability and unmatched ROI. Our agile SaaS solutions offer speedy evaluation and implementation coupled with the ability to scale for even the largest retailer.

Kurt Salmon

650 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10019 Kurt Salmon’s Retail and Consumer Group is dedicated to building the leaders of tomorrow—whatever tomorrow might look like. Through strategic supply chain and operational expertise built up over the past 80 years, we have earned the privilege of working with more than 70 percent of the world’s top global retailers, as well as scores of global and exclusive brands.

The Coca-Cola Company

One Coca-Cola Plaza Atlanta, GA 30313 (404) 676-2121 The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Coca-Cola’s portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, it is the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy Coca-Cola Company beverages at a rate of more than 1.8 billion servings a day. Together with Coca-Cola’s bottling partners, Coca- Cola ranks among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 employees.


11333 N. Scottsdale Rd., Suite 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85254. Vixxo is a leading facilities and asset management company that maintains over 1.1 million revenue-generating assets for many Fortune 500 clients in the restaurant, retail, convenience and supermarket industries. Their solutions are designed to revolutionize and optimize clients’ portfolios by improving service delivery, reducing costs and providing strategic insights – all aimed at lowering total cost of ownership. Ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private businesses in North America for the past eight years, Vixxo maintains a national network of 150,000 service provider technicians and services 65,000+ client locations throughout North America.