Program

Learn about the different education and networking opportunities

We're bringing you another year of education, exploration, and extras, with new experiences for your entire team. Our education program is filled with keynotes, general sessions, executive insight sessions, breakout sessions, and more!

  • A newly designed Expo Experience featuring more exhibitors and experience zones for added networking opportunities.
  • More education, including the Retail Innovation Center Stage in the Expo Experience
  • Retailer-led breakout and general sessions featuring a variety of presentations, including case studies, interactive sessions, and more!

2021 is going to be an exciting year! You won't want to miss it!

Program

  • Tuesday Aug 17, 2021
  • Wednesday Aug 18, 2021
  • Thursday Aug 19, 2021
  • Friday Aug 20, 2021
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Workplace Safety Committee Meeting

  • Committee Meeting
This is a private meeting for RILA members on the Workplace Safety Committee, made up of retail safety professionals whose role is to identify and implement leading practices that ensure the health and safety of employees and customers.

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Asset Protection Leaders Council Meeting

  • Committee Meeting
This is a private meeting for RILA members on the Asset Protection Leaders Council, made up of the top AP executives at RILA member retailers overseeing shrink management, crime deterrent strategies, employee and customer safety, regulatory compliance, business continuity, and more.

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Welcome Reception

  • Networking Event
It's been a long time since we've been together! Join us to kick off the conference at the welcome reception where you can reconnect with industry friends, network with your peers and enjoy drinks and light fare.

7:15 AM – 8:00 AM

Breakfast

  • Networking Event
Please join us for breakfast and networking before the day begins.

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Conference Kick-off & Welcome Remarks

  • General Session
Please join us as we kickoff the annual Retail Asset Protection Conference with an update on RILA's activities and how leading retailers are addressing current challenges and opportunities.

8:30 AM – 9:15 AM

Opening Keynote

  • General Session
New this year, the Retail Asset Protection Conference is co-located with LINK2021: The Retail Supply Chain Conference. Our keynote will open the combined event with insights and lessons learned from the past year, and explore what's next for retail in the coming year.

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

Bringing a Strategic Focus to Your Role

  • General Session
Research shows that while most leaders understand their function and can serve as subject matter experts, fewer than 10% operate at a strategic level. If you aren't intentional about the way you grow, use your strengths and collaborate with others, your value to the organization will max out. Join leadership expert Pamela Rucker in this practical discussion about how to use your personal leadership identity to create strategic relevance and drive your organization’s biggest business priorities.

Speaker
Pamela Rucker
President, The Rucker Group
Instructor, Harvard Professional Development
10:30 AM – 11:15 AM 5 Concurrent Events

Building Influence by Increasing Your Level of Contribution

  • Breakout Session
Digging deeper into this morning’s main stage presentation, Pamela will show AP leaders how to harness 10 leadership intangibles to help you leverage your sphere of influence. You’ll leave this session with a road map for how to use personal or relational power in conjunction with your individual strengths in order to strategically impact your fellow team members and shape your organization’s direction.

Speaker
Pamela Rucker
President, The Rucker Group
Instructor, Harvard Professional Development

Integrating Safety and Health into Total Retail Loss

  • Breakout Session
Asset protection leaders are increasingly responsible for their companies’ safety and health program. This expanded portfolio presents an opportunity to develop integrated solutions that not only enhance safety and security but also mitigate total retail loss and improve profitability. A panel of retail safety thought leaders will discuss the essential components of an effective safety program and how to integrate it into a comprehensive approach to total retail loss.

Speakers
Tom Banta
Director, Safety & Security
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
Dan Romanic
Regional Loss Prevention Manager
Big Lots Stores, Inc.
Matt Saxon
Senior Manager, Risk & Safety
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)

Operating a Security Operations Center on a Small Budget

  • Breakout Session
Is your company ready to quickly mobilize resources to prevent and respond to emerging threats and incidents that can compromise the safety of your people and the security of your organization? A Security Operations Center can elevate your company’s preparedness, response and recovery program, including crisis management, cyber security, and social media monitoring. And you don’t need a BIG budget to bring it to life. In this session, you’ll hear strategies adopted by small-budget teams for launching and operating an SOC that better positions them to protect their people and assets.

Speakers
Keenan Collins
Co-op Emergency Coordination Center Manager
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
Michele Levcik
Security Operations Center Manager
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
Jessica Sullivan
Senior Manager, Emergency Response and Co-op Security
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)

The Impact of Push Out Theft on Total Retail Loss

  • Breakout Session
Understanding how, where and when losses happen, together with who might be responsible for them, continue to be key questions that can be hard to answer. With the development of new data sources and technology, this loss landscape is gradually becoming more visible and understandable. Hear what is known to-date about pushout theft using recent research and how two retailers used data and anti-theft technology to measure and impact losses in their businesses.

Speakers
Adrian Beck*
Emeritus Professor
University of Leicester
Matt Hilbrink
Director, Asset Protection
Raley's Family of Fine Stores

Understanding and Preventing Emerging eCommerce Fraud Threats

  • Breakout Session
By 2022, online sales will make up 17% of all global consumer sales. With more shopping online, the fraudsters are following. Hear from seasoned eCommerce investigators about emerging fraud risks and the latest tools for identifying and mitigating online fraud.

Speaker
James Collins
Senior Corporate Investigator
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
11:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Plated Lunch

  • Networking Event
Join your peers for lunch and networking before listening to our lunch speaker.​

12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

General Session

  • General Session
Our exciting lunch speaker will be announced soon!

1:45 PM – 2:30 PM 5 Concurrent Events

A Solutions-Based Approach to Self-Checkout

  • Breakout Session
Retailers are still investigating how to develop a systemic approach to the utilization and control of SCO within increasingly frictionless shopping environments. Attend this session to gain valuable insights into how retail losses from SCO can be better identified, analyzed, and communicated and the ways in which the risks from SCO systems can be reduced through people and technologies available today. You'll leave this session with a roadmap for how to deliver an exceptional customer experience while mitigating losses and maintaining inventory accuracy in a world of self-checkout and mobile point of sale.

Speakers
James Cosseboom
Director, Asset Protection
Retail Business Services LLC, an Ahold-Delhaize company
Sarah Hix
Senior Director, Asset Protection
The Home Depot, Inc.

Beyond Case Management: A Non-Traditional Approach to Leveraging AP Software

  • Breakout Session
In a challenging environment where AP budgets are tight, multi-purpose technology solutions are the way to go. Hear how CarMax and Fleet Pride are leveraging ThinkLP’s case management solution to address critical business needs in other functional areas like operations, human resources, and environmental health and safety.

Speakers
Eric Chase
Assistant Vice President, Asset Protection
CarMax, Inc.
Sue Read
Director EHS & Loss Prevention
FleetPride

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst: When Community Action Turns into Civil Unrest, Are You Prepared

  • Breakout Session
In 2020, our country experienced unprecedented civil unrest. Hear how retailers prepared, sourced intel, leveraged technology and partnered with law enforcement to protect associates and fortify their stores. You will walk away with ideas for how to make your preparedness and response plan stronger than ever.

Speaker
Chris Nelson
Vice President, Loss Prevention, BCP & Corporate Security
Gap Inc.

Let's Take This Outside!

  • Breakout Session
We talk a lot about theft prevention inside stores. In this session, we take the conversation outside. You’ll hear how retailers are leveraging advanced technology like radar and perimeter detection and audio capabilities to prevent would-be intruders from gaining access to buildings, safeguarding merchandise displayed outside and preventing truck yard loss.

Speaker
Rich Wood
Manager, Loss Prevention Operations
Tractor Supply Company

Online Marketplaces and Retailers Working Together to Combat ORC

  • Breakout Session
The industry sees online marketplaces as "part of the problem" when it comes to the online sale of stolen goods. In this session, online marketplaces will share how they are part of the solution. You'll get insight to what steps they are taking to prevent the sale of stolen goods on their platforms and how they are partnering with retailers and law enforcement to investigate organized retail crime.

1:00 PM – 2:45 PM

The RIC Stage: Research and Trends

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
Learn about emerging trends focused on consumers, shipping, e-commerce and the science behind many of today’s operations. You will also explore the company-wide impact of different business models.

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM

Startup Innovation Award Pitches

  • General Session
Startups are disrupting the status quo when it comes to solving retail’s most pressing challenges, and RILA and its Retail Innovation Center's Startup Network is a resource for some of the most compelling startups in the space. This year, our Startup Innovation Awards drew more than 50 applications, and this session features the best, as selected by our Asset Protection and Supply Chain RTech Committees. Hear the pitches, then be sure to vote for the companies you believe offer the best and most innovative solution for Asset Protection and Supply Chain. A winner for each category will be announced Thursday at 4:00 pm on the General Session stage and then you’ll have a chance to ask questions and learn more at the Retail Innovation Center Stage. Powered by RILA's Retail Innovation Center

3:45 PM – 4:30 PM 4 Concurrent Events

De-escalation: What Happens When the Camera Comes Out?

  • Breakout Session
Is your team prepared to respond when a customer starts recording or your team member is involved in a racially insensitive incident that occurs outside of work or online and spills into the workplace? This session will help your organization learn not only how to de-escalate high risk situations but how to protect your brand.

Speaker
Alaina Kring
Lead LP Manager
Ulta Beauty, Inc.

Influencing Positive AP Legislation

  • Breakout Session
As the legislative environment continues to evolve, it is critical that asset protection has a seat at the table to influence government leadership on public policy. Influencing public policy and legislation that positively impacts illegal criminal activities in our stores and ecommerce is more critical than ever. Hear from industry leaders on how they have built strong partnerships with government affairs and their PAC (Political Action Committees) to help influence public policy and state/federal legislation that impact asset protection and retail losses.

Speakers
Brendan Dugan
Director of Organized Retail Crime
CVS Health
Shannon Penberthy
Vice President, Federal Government Affairs
CVS Health

Mindset and Location for Active Shooter Events: Filling the Gaps in Training

  • Breakout Session
Run. Hide. Fight. has been broadly adopted across the industry. In this session, we'll discuss the legitimacy of the current training model, and explore the considerations of implementation into the retail space. We dig into the realistic elements of evasion, fighting, and giving medical care, discuss how to honestly present this information to your teams, and how mindset and location may alter the best laid plans.

Speakers
Chase Fredrick
Manager, Corporate Security & Crisis Management
DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc.
Aaron Jannetti
Author & Owner
Endeavor Defense & Fitness

UT McCombs School of Business Student Session

  • Breakout Session
RILA has once again partnered with the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Master of Science in Business Analytics Program to address a pressing industry challenge: measuring the ROI of store AP-related tasks. Over the past several months, the students teamed-up with Lowe’s to study the broad range of AP tasks performed by store and multi-store personnel, the time invested in performing those tasks, and the associated ROI. The students will share key findings that could serve as a framework for other retailers to identify opportunities around efficiencies, process changes and technology spend, with a goal of freeing-up store associates to focus on the customer.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

The RIC Stage: Applied Technologies

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
Learn how innovative technologies are applied in practical use. We will help you navigate the cycles of trending technologies like AR, drones, and robots, distilling the hype from the impact on retail.

1:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Expo Experience Open

  • Expo Experience
The Expo Experience opens now! Join us to network with and learn from the service providers helping retailers meet their asset protection challenges and improve their results! The Expo Experience runs from 1:00-6:00 p.m. today.

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Expo Experience Reception

  • Networking Event
  • Expo Experience
Join other conference attendees for this great networking opportunity.

7:30 AM – 8:15 AM

Expo Experience Breakfast

  • Networking Event
  • Expo Experience
Please join us for breakfast and networking before the day begins in the Expo Experience.

7:15 AM – 8:15 AM

Women in Retail Asset Protection Breakfast

Breakfast Session sponsored by Women in Retail Asset Protection (WRAP) A panel of top law enforcement leaders will share their unique insights on leadership, criminal justice reform, organized retail crime, diversion programs, and other hot topics relevant to retail AP. Hear their personal career journeys, perspectives on diversity in representation, and strategies for personal and professional development.

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM

Welcome to Day 2!

  • General Session
Please join us as we kick off day two of our Retail Asset Protection Conference, co-located with LINK2021: The Retail Asset Protection Conference.

8:45 AM – 9:15 AM

Day 2 Opening Keynote

  • General Session
And the learning continues... Join this morning's industry leader to kick off our Day 2 main stage sessions!

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Do What's Best

  • General Session
The DE&I imperative for business is real, as many companies have doubled down on their efforts to create meaningful, systemic change toward more equitable and inclusive environments. Join experienced coach, consultant and diversity trainer Vaney Hariri to learn how to move beyond just doing what's right, to doing what's best, for your organization, community, and staff. Vaney will be joined by a retailer speaking on their practical experience implementing their program.

Speaker
Vaney Hariri
Co-Founder
Think 3D
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM 4 Concurrent Events

Contactless Shopping is Here to Stay: Mitigating the New Risks of the New Ways to Shop

  • Breakout Session
Throughout 2020 consumers demanded safer and more contactless ways to shop. Retailers responded with speed to market solutions - BOPIS, Curbside Pick-up and Self Check Out. Asset protection is now responsible for responding to the safety, shrink, fraud and in-stock challenges that these solutions introduced. How will you lead your company through the new risks associated with all the new ways to shop in 2021 and beyond? Hear what retailers learned and how they are responding to these new challenges.

Speakers
Melissa Van De Carr
Lead Investigative Intelligence Analyst
Walgreen Co.
David Garcia
Senior Director Field Services at Best Buy
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Cynthia Grizzle
Vice President, Asset Protection
Family Dollar Stores, Inc.

Legal Issues and Civil Liability for Retail AP

  • Breakout Session
Industry experts will share insights on latest trends, significant court cases, and timeless issues related to our work. Premises liability, privacy and FCRA issues, and shoplifting related lawsuits will be discussed along with recent developments of note on the legal landscape.

Reducing In-Store Violence Through Collaboration

This session will provide background on high-risk situations seen throughout retail and focus on mitigation strategies you can implement post critical incident. Security professionals will learn how to shed light on the overarching concern of in-store violence and how to better collaborate with law enforcement. Walgreens and ALTO will speak to the importance of external relationships with law enforcement and government officials, as well as executing strategies aimed at supporting the business and surrounding communities to reduce external threats in our stores.

Speakers
Michael Hourigan
Lead Asset Protection Director
Walgreen Co.
Victoria Nguyen
Staff Attorney
ALTO

Self-Service Access to Locked Merchandise, Are We Crazy?

  • Breakout Session
Exciting new research conducted by the Loss Prevention Research Council explores consumers’ willingness to exchange personal information for the convenience of self-service access to locked merchandise, without assistance from a store associate. This breakthrough approach could revolutionize how retailers lock merchandise, rewarding honest customers with convenience, while locking out offenders.

Speaker
Read Hayes
UF Research Scientist/Director
Loss Prevention Research Council
10:30 AM – 12:15 PM

The RIC Stage: Session Expansions

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
Ever left a session wanting more…? Session expansions are an opportunity to do a deeper dive on some the technical solutions and operational rollouts introduced during conference sessions. Bring your questions and enjoy this 200-level conference track.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Expo Experience Lunch

  • Networking Event
  • Expo Experience
Join us for lunch and networking in the Expo Experience.​​​​ The Expo Experience will remain open until the end of the reception tonight.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Asset Protection Executive Insights

  • General Session
A highlight of the conference. Hear from three top new-to-role executives in retail asset protection, each covering an aspect of the business that they are passionate about, in these brief, TED-talk style segments.

Speakers
Seth Hughes
Divisional Vice President, Asset Protection & Risk Management
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
Meredith Plaxco
Vice President, Loss Prevention & Safety
PetSmart, Inc.
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Supply Chain Executive Insights

  • General Session
Join RILA's co-located Retail Supply Chain Conference and hear from top executives in retail supply chain, each covering an aspect of the business that they are passionate about, in these brief, TED-talk style segments. Or, use this time to head to the Expo Experience, hold private meetings, or visit the Retail Innovation Center Stage.

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM 5 Concurrent Events

Artificial Intelligence: Today’s Reality and Tomorrow’s Promise

  • Breakout Session
There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the extent to which retailers are currently leveraging AI and their plans to do so in the future. In this session, you will learn how AI is currently being deployed by retailers and what the future may bring, from today’s hottest use cases involving video analytics, self-checkout, and compliance to future use cases that will enable retailers to evaluate customer and associate interactions, replenish shelves, and identify high-risk situations before they escalate.

Building and Maintaining an Effective and Collaborative ORC Team

  • Breakout Session
Your team cannot combat ORC alone, you need buy-in from your executive leadership team to establish and maintain the program. Furthermore, you need collaboration with other retailers and law enforcement to deliver successful investigations. Learn how to communicate the impact of ORC and ROI benefits to your senior team, build and maintain relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and effectively leverage ORC sharing groups.

Speakers
John Goldyn
Sr. Director Loss Prevention
Ulta Beauty, Inc.
Cory Lowe
Research Scientist
Loss Prevention Research Council
Anthony Sheppard
Inactive

COVID Has Changed Us All, How Will It Affect Our Safety Standards?

What does the future hold for our safety standards? Will health checks be required daily? Will plexiglass barriers be a part of our store decor? Will workplace violence events become a normal occurrence? Hear from an attorney who will explain how safety standards may change due to COVID, how those standards may be enforced under a new administration, and what OSHA’s position currently is, and where they are moving towards.

Speaker
Matthew Deffebach
Partner
Haynes and Boone, LLP

Leading Practices for Protecting Lone and Mobile Employees

  • Breakout Session
Retailers are navigating new business models and staffing constraints, resulting in more lone and mobile workers doing store openings and closings, bank deposit runs, in-home services, and curbside deliveries. Taking steps to ensure their safety and security is critical in this new operating landscape. In this session, attendees will get insight to a cost-effective, lone and mobile worker security solution that could help you safely manage low staffing levels and increased security risks.

Speakers
Jim Mires*
Vice President, Loss Prevention & Safety
Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc.
Matt Smitheman*
National Account Executive
Interface Security Systems

Mitigating Bias in Asset Protection Routines

  • Breakout Session
Throughout our lives we develop biases that unconsciously affect our understanding, actions, and decisions. There are key tactics retailers can use to minimize the negative impacts of this unconscious bias during asset protection routines. Join this session to learn strategies that retailers can align with their company values to minimize bias through the training and execution of theft deterrence and investigative strategies.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The RIC Stage: Understanding Ecosystems

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
An important opportunity to hear from VCs, Startup Award Winners, and retailers about partnerships and experiences that you can draw on and apply to your own roles.

4:00 PM – 4:15 PM

Startup Innovation Award Winner Presentation

  • General Session
See the results of your votes, as the winners of RILA's Startup Innovation Awards are revealed! Powered by RILA's Retail Innovation Center

4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

Retail Analysts Speak Out: Markets, Valuation Trends, Disruptors & More

  • General Session
This panel session features a retail CFO interviewing a trio of retail analysts on the key drivers they see impacting the industry, the opportunities and threats to leading retailers and brands, the disruptors that are affecting the retail industry, and other significant financial influences that every retail executive and their providers need to be aware of.

Speaker
Kurt Barton
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer
Tractor Supply Company
5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

The RIC Stage: Understanding Ecosystems

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
An important opportunity to hear from VCs, Startup Award Winners, and retailers about partnerships and experiences that you can draw on and apply to your own roles.

7:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Expo Experience Open

  • Expo Experience
The Expo Experience opens now! Join us to network with and learn from the service providers helping retailers meet their asset protection challenges and improve their results! The Expo Experience runs from 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. today.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Expo Experience Reception

  • Networking Event
  • Expo Experience
Join other conference attendees for this great networking opportunity.

7:45 AM – 8:30 AM

Breakfast

  • Networking Event
Please join us for breakfast and networking before the day begins.

8:30 AM – 9:15 AM

7 Imperatives for the Retail Industry

  • General Session
The retail industry has seen more innovation in the past year than at any other point in the prior decade. When faced with lockdowns, an array of new health-and-safety regulations, and volatile consumer demand, leading retailers proved resilient and agile. So, what has set the top performers apart? And how can retailers thrive in 2021 and beyond, even amid continuing uncertainty? Based on research conducted with RILA’s audience of CEOs and other C-level executives from the nation’s top retailers, RILA knowledge partner McKinsey & Co. will delve into the seven imperatives that can give retailers the ability to adapt to a changing consumer landscape while pursuing new opportunities, updated with the most recent data.

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM

Closing Keynote Address

  • General Session
Speaker announcement coming soon!

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM

Closing Remarks

  • General Session

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM 2 Concurrent Events

Post Conference Workshop: DE&I Leadership: The Power of Culture and Communication - Retailers Only

Building on the earlier general session, join this 3-hour workshop to take a deeper dive. Work through how a healthy culture and effective communication build the foundation for a strong, diverse, and equitable organization. Lunch will be provided. Please note, the post-workshop conference requires purchasing this separate $50 ticket in advance to attend. You may add this ticket to your registration at a later date before the start of the conference.

Speaker
Vaney Hariri
Co-Founder
Think 3D

Post Conference Workshop: Investigations - Retailers Only

With the proliferation of the world wide web, it’s never been easier to find information that can compromise your company and top-level executives. The highest-rated speaker from the 2019 conference, Michele Stuart, returns to lead a practical workshop that teaches you how criminal actors can use open source intelligence to social engineer cyber and physical attacks against retailers and to access personal information about employees. Michelle will give you unparalleled insight to the criminal mind that will empower you to proactively identify vulnerabilities online and protect yourself, your family, your company and your colleagues. This year’s workshop offers new insight on the latest actionable intelligence sites you should know about! Lunch will be provided. Please note, the post-workshop conference requires purchasing this separate $50 ticket in advance to attend. You may add this ticket to your registration at a later date before the start of the conference.

Speaker
Michele Stuart
Private Investigator
JAG Investigations
All times are Eastern Time. Schedule is subject to change. 

Keynotes & General Sessions

Learn how to manage the groundbreaking shifts affecting the retail environment from industry and leadership experts, political thought leaders, and more.

Keynotes and General Sessions
The Retail Innovation Center Stage

The Retail Innovation Center Stage

We are excited to announce The Retail Innovation Center Stage! The RIC Stage will bring to life the theme of “Investing in the Future” through short format, high impact education.

Learn More
Women in Asset Protection

Women in Asset Protection

Join events designed to engage and support women in the asset protection community, including our always-popular breakfast session, featuring female leaders in law enforcement.

Learn More
Expo Experience

Expo Experience

The Expo Experience is the hub for networking and learning from the cutting-edge service providers in retail asset protection.

Learn More

Register Today