You’re joining RILA from Mansueto Ventures (home of Fast Company and Inc.), where you led their events team. What are you most excited about with this new chapter at RILA?
There are so many reasons why I am excited to be joining RILA. Coming from business brands that spoke to CEO’s, business owners and disrupters, I was most drawn to the conversations we did with retailers. Additionally, I understand the importance of the retail industry and its impact on the American economy.
Your background is in media and marketing, both areas which have undergone enormous disruption over the last few years – not unlike retail. Do you think this trend of steady, rapid innovation and change is here to stay?
Undoubtedly, the speed of innovation is accelerating and is here to stay. In media, I witnessed the industry completely transform. I saw how innovation snuck in and completely disrupted its core business model. I see many parallels with retail. At RILA, I see that we are already talking about innovation among many other things, and I am looking forward to being part of that conversation.
As a former small business owner, you have a unique perspective on the retail industry. How do you anticipate that experience will help guide your role here at RILA?
As a small former small business owner, I had the opportunity to supply to retailers including Walmart, Harris Teeter and CVS. It was certainly a humbling learning lesson, and it certainly gave me a unique perspective and respect for this industry.
After almost two years of convening our members virtually, we’re now transitioning back to meeting in-person again. Aside from new safety measures, do you imagine the experience of live events will be drastically different or will be back to business as usual?
There is a famous quote that goes something to the sentiment that the mind once stretched can never return to its original dimension. I believe that the whole world’s mind has been stretched and that we can’t apply or assume that we will return to what it once was.
What’s your vision for the future of events? Will we all be meeting in the metaverse?
I think the future of events will be multilayered with virtual, in-person, augmented reality and who-knows-what’s next experiences. In my previous role I built a metaverse experience for business owners. I can only predict that we are just at the beginning of a transformation.
Speaking of the pandemic, what was your go-to stress relief activity over the course of the last two years?
As a New Yorker, I’ve always needed to walk as my mode of transportation. During the pandemic, I turned to it as a health and mental ritual. On the weekend, it’s not out of the ordinary for me to walk 20 miles.
You have lots of experience in the magazine industry. Do you have a favorite magazine?
As a lover of music and culture, my go-to has always been Rolling Stone. I also happen to love it because I worked there too.