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The Retail Influencer Network Announces Speakers for September CEO Forum Featuring The Z Suite
[August 09, 2022]

The Retail Influencer Network Announces Speakers for September CEO Forum Featuring The Z Suite

The Retail Influencer Network, an exclusive network of senior business leaders and influential investors and analysts founded by Berns Communications Group, today announced the speaker lineup for the Retail Influencer CEO Forum Featuring The Z Suite. Designed to provide C-suite retail and brand leaders with a deep understanding of Gen Z's values, priorities and shopping behaviors, the invitation-only, half-day summit will be held during New York Fashion Week on Monday, September 12, 2022.

Featured speakers will include advocate and gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman, actress, advocate and digital creator Ellie Zeiler and Gen Z business founders, as well as brand leaders from Aerie, alice + olivia, American Eagle, Bubble, Coach, Forever 21, Supergoop!, True Religion and more. Discussion moderators will include respected national journalists and well-known fashion industry leaders such as Halston Creative Director Ken Downing.

"Gen Z is the most diverse American generation in history and their unique values and increasing spending power make it crucial for retail and brand executives to understand how they think and shop," said Stacy Berns, President and Founder of Berns Communications Group. "This forum is designed to give C-suite executives the opportunity to hear directly from leading brands that have already built loyal Gen Z followings as well as from influential Gen Z thought leaders and founders themselves."

The forum will bring together senior retail and brand executives and some of Gen Z's most influential voices, giving attendees an opportunity to hear firsthand how leading brands are connecting with the generation-and what Gen Zers actually want from the brands they choose to shop. Members of The Z Suite, an exclusive network of Gen Z thought leaders, will participate in discussions and share their authentic perspectives throughout the day. Formally launched in June, The Z Suite is co-chaired and managed by Berns Communications Group Account Supervisors Carly Berns and Felicia Kane.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Ziad Ahmed, Gen Z CEO, JUV Consulting
  • Amanda Baldwin, CEO, Supergoop!
  • Stacey Bendet, CEO and Creative Director, alice + olivia
  • MaryLeigh Bliss, Chief Content Officer, YPulse
  • Craig Brommers, CMO, American Eagle
  • Emma Butler, Gen Z CEO and Founder, Liberare
  • Sandra Campos, Board Member, Big Lots
  • Ken Downing, Creative Director, Halston
  • Shai Eisenman, CEO and Founder, Bubble
  • Ariana Ferwerda, Gen Z Co-Founder and CEO, Halfdays
  • Jennifer Gootman, Head of Sustainability and Social Impact, Williams-Sonoma
  • Renee Klein, VP, Global Digital Experience and Consumer Marketing, Coach
  • Matt Maher, Futurist and Founder, M7 Innovations
  • Lual Mayen, Founder, Junub Games
  • Stacey McCormick, Senior Vice President, Aerie Marketing
  • Winnie Park, CEO, Forever 21
  • Maya Penn, Gen Z Founder and CEO, Maya's Ideas
  • Aly Raisman, Advocate and Gold Medal Gymnast
  • Theresa Watts, SVP, Human Resources, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, True Religion
  • Ellie Zeiler, Actress, Activist and Digital Creator

The event will kick off with a VIP lunch featuring a conversation about inclusivity with Aly Raisman, Aerie SVP of Marketing Stacey McCormick, and Emma Butler, CEO and Founder of adaptive intimates brand Liberare, moderated by Stephanie Mehta, CEO of Fast Company and Inc. publisher Mansueto Ventures. Afternoon sessions will cover topics such as Gen Z shopping behavior, sustainability, the metaverse and Web 3.0, how Gen Z approaches beauty and wellness, and how brands are communicating their values and social impact. The day will conclude with an invitation-only dinner and discussion hosted in partnership with the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

About the Retail Influencer Network

The Retail Influencer Network is a carefully selected group of senior business leaders and influential investors and analysts whose thought leadership is shaping the global retail industry.

About The Z Suite

The Z Suite is an exclusive network of diverse students from top universities and colleges selected to serve as powerful Gen Z voices in the retail and consumer space. Created by Berns Communications Group, this network of generational thought leaders works closely with some of the most respected and influential retail and brand leaders in the consumer industry, serving as reverse mentors and sharing their perspective and insights into Gen Z's habits, values and priorities to help effect positive change across the industry.

About Berns Communications Group

Berns Communications Group (BCG) is a women-led firm breaking the mold in strategic communications by building communities and connecting clients with the most impactful influencers and thought leaders in the retail, fashion, consumer and technology sectors.

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