Leadership Forum 2018

1/20/2018 05:00 PM - 1/23/2018 11:00 AM (GMT-04:00) America/New_York

The Leadership Forum 2018

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

Insight. Energy. Assessment. Action.

Retail is in a period of transformation unprecedented in the past 100 years. The connected consumer has more buying options than ever before. Technology breakthroughs, demographic shifts, changing consumer habits, political upheavals -- all are continuously influencing and changing the buying ecosystem.

What an exciting time to be in retail. A time when leaders need to share insights and perspectives more than ever.

The invitation-only 2018 Leadership Forum offers the best opportunity for the top retail CEOs to share with peers in an atmosphere that fosters collaboration, innovation, and action. It is an exclusive gathering of "shared genius" from an elite group of 100 invited CEOs. It is one and a half days of insight, energy, assessment, and action, featuring expert-presented consumer insights, panel discussions with past and current government officials, exposure to the latest industry innovations and shared lessons from major retailers and brands.

Please join us.

2018 Featured Speakers

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

Chris Wallace
FOX News Sunday


Mary Dillon
Chief Executive Officer
ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc.



Looking Back: The Best of 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.

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 2017 cohort here.

For more information or to receive your invitation, contact Jenny Keehan at (703) 600-2031 or jenny.keehan@rila.org.


The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
15000 North Secret Springs Drive
Marana, AZ 85658

The Ritz-Carlton, dove Mountain


Conference Venue

Leadership Forum attendees may make reservations at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain by calling 520-572-3445 and mentioning you are with the "Retail Industry Leaders Association Leadership Forum 2018" to take advantage of our special group rate of $324 plus tax per night. This rate is available until December 20, 2017, 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 jenny.keehan@rila.org, 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, 2017. Cancellations received on or after January 1, 2018, are non-refundable. All cancellations must be in writing. For more information, contact Kelly Foelber at kelly.foelber@rila.org 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 Tucson, Arizona range from 42-66 degrees, and meeting rooms are often cool.

Tucson Internation Airport (TUS) is the primary commerical airport - approximately 30 minutes from the Ritz-Carlton.

Tucson Internation Airport (TUS)
7250 S Tucson Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85756

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is another option located approximately 90 minutes from the Ritz-Carlton.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
3400 E Sky Harbor Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Small aircraft and private planes may use Marana Regional Airport (AVQ) - approximately 15 minutes from the Ritz-Carlton.

Marana Regional Airport (AVQ)
11555 W Civic Center Drive
Marana, AZ 85653

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.

Future Leadership Forum Dates and Locations:

January 20-22
Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Amelia Island, FL





2018 Sponsorship Information

The Leadership Forum is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for personal interaction with top retail leaders. Only at RILA will you participate fully in this interactive meeting of select C-suite executives from the biggest and best retail and consumer goods companies. It is truly an exclusive opportunity for companies that value interaction with our influential audience.

If you would like to join the elite group of sponsors at The Leadership Forum 2018, please email tripp.taylor@rila.org.


1345 Avenue of Americas New York, NY 10105 1.917.452.4400 www.accenture.com 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 www.accenture.com. If you would like to view Accenture's presentation from the 2016 event, visit: www.accenture.com/rila.