Last Year's Program

RILA’s cultivated CEO community offers invaluable wisdom, and a one-of-a-kind network to share practices, exchange ideas, and engage with executive peers from leading retail companies. Your attendance offers a rare opportunity to gather with an elite caliber of retail leaders.

Check out last year's program and see what companies attended. 

2021 Virtual Program

  • Wednesday Jan 27, 2021
  • Thursday Jan 28, 2021
2:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Opening Remarks

Mary Dillon
Chief Executive Officer
Ulta Beauty, Inc.
Brian Dodge
2:15 PM – 3:05 PM

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella on Digital Transformation, the Future of Work, and Leading Through Challenging Times

COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation that was already in motion, and businesses continue to navigate how to respond, recover, and reimagine their work in the face of rapid, sweeping changes. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will offer his unique perspective on how retailers can accelerate their transformation, keep up with changing customer expectations, and prepare for the future of work. Additionally, he’ll share his thoughts on the role of leaders and corporations during challenging times.

Mary Dillon
Chief Executive Officer
Ulta Beauty, Inc.
Satya Nadella
Chief Executive Officer
Microsoft Corporation
3:05 PM – 3:15 PM


3:15 PM – 4:05 PM

Kohl’s Michell Gass on Leading Through Change

The impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the retail industry has been significant. Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass will share how she and her leadership team navigated these unprecedented challenges, including innovating to serve customers in new ways and leaning into the company's omnichannel business when they were forced to close their stores. And, amidst a global pandemic and a rapidly-changing macro environment, hear how Gass has taken the time over these past several months to also reenvision the company's business strategy to position Kohl's for long-term, sustainable growth.

Brian Dodge
Michelle Gass
Chief Executive Officer
Kohl's Corporation
4:05 PM – 4:15 PM


4:15 PM – 4:55 PM

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandburg on Retail’s Digital Future

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated e-commerce adoption exponentially, and the importance of digital in retail has skyrocketed for small and large businesses alike. Consumers have entirely different expectations of their retail partners from just one year ago, expectations that will likely continue to evolve. This session will explore these major shifts in consumer behaviors and demands, and how digital tools and innovations can help retailers stay nimble and scale to meet their customers’ needs.

Mary Dillon
Chief Executive Officer
Ulta Beauty, Inc.
Sheryl Sandberg
Chief Operating Officer
4:55 PM – 5:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Brian Dodge
2:00 PM – 2:05 PM

Opening Remarks

Brian Dodge
2:05 PM – 2:50 PM

Target’s Brian Cornell and HACR’s Cid Wilson on the D&I Imperative – Moderated by Ellyn Shook, Accenture

Diversity & inclusion aren’t buzzwords at Target. The retailer, which has had an ambitious D&I strategy for many years, is a model for moving beyond talk to action, which ultimately helps drive growth and business success. Leading companies don’t go it alone; they see external partnerships as an essential component of achieving their D&I goals – to offer cultural intelligence and help infuse D&I throughout their entire organizations. This discussion will highlight lessons from Target’s longstanding partnership with HACR, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, along with tangible actions based on the collective experiences of Target, HACR and Accenture about how to create a diverse and equitable workplace, an inclusive customer experience and positive change in our communities.

Ellyn Shook
Chief Leadership & Human Resources Officer
Cid Wilson
President & Chief Executive Officer
Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)
2:50 PM – 3:00 PM


3:00 PM – 3:50 PM

Best Buy’s Corie Barry on Leading with Purpose

When tough choices had to be made this past year, Best Buy showed leadership by prioritizing the safety of their customers and employees by moving all stores to curbside only at the beginning of the pandemic, even though they were deemed an essential business. While CEOs often balance the revenue goals of their companies with their social responsibilities, the challenges of 2020 came with no playbook. Hear from Best Buy CEO Corie Barry on how she and the company made important decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic and how she and her team continue to learn from those decisions today.

Brian Dodge
Corie Barry
Chief Executive Officer
Best Buy Co., Inc.
3:50 PM – 4:00 PM


4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

FBI’s David Bowdich on Public Private Partnerships, Civil Unrest, ORC and Beyond

Retailers have long partnered with law enforcement, and the many challenges and unprecedented events of 2020 have made these partnerships even more critical. Hear from FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, who leads all domestic and international investigative and intelligence activities for the Bureau, as he discusses the responsibilities of the FBI and its role regarding organized retail crime and civil unrest, emerging criminal risks to retailers and how the retail industry and the FBI can work more collaboratively to address threats and criminal activity.

Lisa LaBruno
Sr. Executive Vice President, Retail Operations
David Bowdich
Deputy Director
Martin Butler
Vice President, Consumer Industry Leader, USA
IBM Corporation
4:45 PM – 5:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Brian Dodge

2020 In-Person Program

  • Saturday Jan 18, 2020
  • Sunday Jan 19, 2020
  • Monday Jan 20, 2020
  • Tuesday Jan 21, 2020
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Chairman's Reception and Dinner

Open to members of the Board and invited guests only.

7:30 AM – 10:30 AM

RILA Board of Directors Meeting

Open to members of the RILA Board of Directors only.

12:00 PM – 3:00 PM 2 Concurrent Events

Pre-Conference: Historic Palm Beach Bike Tour

Experience the subtropical ecosystem of the Loxahatchee River in a new way: by bike! Take a relaxing, 8-mile bicycle ride through exotic and lush Riverbend Park near the town of Jupiter. This area has been home to Indians, trappers, pioneers, a trailer park and the sweetest oranges in the country. The guide helps you differentiate between the ecosystems as the route wends its way through an ever-changing environment. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for blue and white herons, egrets, ibises, white tailed deer, lizards, turkeys, ospreys and the elusive limpkin.

Pre-Conference1: Scenic Mansion Tour

Enjoy the charm of Palm Beach and experience the life of the “rich and famous” through a 3-hour guided tour led by one of Palm Beach’s very own socialites. You will explore the ins and outs of three of the most fabulous and immaculate mansions in the area!

7:00 AM – 7:45 AM


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

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Welcome Remarks

The Retail CEO Forum will open with the themes that will drive RILA's work on behalf of the industry for 2019.

Mary Dillon
Chairman, RILA; Chief Executive Officer
Ulta Beauty, Inc.
Brian Dodge
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM

Responsible Retailing in an Era of Disruption

There is no doubt that we are living in a polarizing world. The ubiquity of technology has fostered the sharing of ideas and movements in moments. Topics such as climate change, #MeToo, and the global political landscape have dominated headlines. People have found their voice across all demographics; race, gender, age, sexual orientation and political parties. These “stakeholders” are impacting a “retailer’s” business with “their” dollars.

With the race to remain relevant in a disrupted industry like retail, how can retailers stay true to their purpose while still remaining profitable? Those retailers that are strategizing through the lens of responsibility in delivering value to their stakeholders are leading the future of our industry. Accenture calls this Responsible Retail.

Accenture will share research that shows that consumers are starting to shift their discretionary spending to support the responsible retail theory, and highlights of retailers that have adopted these practices and grown their business.

Responsible Retail — Being Great Means Doing Good [Report]
The 100 Most Visible Companies [Axios + The Harris Poll]

Cara Smyth
Founder, Fair Fashion Center
Jill Standish
Senior Managing Director, Global Retail Consulting Practice
Jim Vandehei
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM

Retail Spotlight: Dollar General

Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for 80 years through its mission of Serving Others. Dollar General’s incredible growth over the past decade is a testament to their culture and leadership. In a fireside chat setting, CEO Todd Vasos will share more about Dollar General’s story, their growth strategy, the company's digital journey and his views on what it takes to be a leader today.

Brian Dodge
Todd Vasos
Chief Executive Officer
Dollar General
11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Leading Executive Teams with Radical Candor

Kim Scott uses her experience as a senior executive at Apple and Google and coach of many Silicon Valley chief executive officers to create her management philosophy, dubbed Radical Candor, which explores how to be a great boss without losing your Humanity. Ms. Scott will share her views on the personal relationship that leaders must develop with their teams in order to effectively provide candid input, and facilitate a discussion with attendees about individual approaches to leading effective teams, including inviting debate, reaching decisions, implementing strategy and reviewing and refining actions.

Kim Scott
Author and Co-Founder
Radical, Inc.
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Executive Luncheon

Getting to know your peers in the industry is a key opportunity of the CEO Forum, and this informal networking lunch is a perfect setting to meet and connect.

1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

The Evolution of America at Work

For centuries, societal changes and new technologies have shaped work in America. Looking ahead, automation promises to once again transform how and where Americans work. Given retailers’ place in the economy, now is the time to consider this evolution and the economic transition that will result. Walmart Foundation President Kathleen McLaughlin will share insights from their 2019 report, America at Work: A National Mosaic and Roadmap for Tomorrow and how retailers and other stakeholders can prepare for this important transition.

Kathleen McLaughlin
EVP & Chief Sustainability Officer, President, Walmart Foundation
Walmart Inc.
2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Build, Buy or Partner: A Case Study in Acquiring Cutting-Edge Technology

In March 2019, McDonald’s announced it was acquiring AI-based personalization engine Dynamic Yield for an estimated $300 million, its largest acquisition in 20 years. McDonald’s said it will use this technology to create a drive-thru menu that can be tailored to things like the weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items. The acquisition was noteworthy for many reasons, including the fact that Dynamic Yield's technology is not just powering new McDonald's offerings, but also many retailer experiences. Join the Founder and CEO of Dynamic Yield and the SVP of Marketing Technology at McDonald's as they discuss how the partnership first came about, why McDonald's made the decision to acquire the technology provider, and how the two companies are working together to create groundbreaking new personalized experiences.

Liad Agmon
Co-Founder & CEO
Dynamic Yield
Bob Rupczynski
Senior Vice President, Marketing Technology
Zia Daniell Wigder
Chief Global Content Officer
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

The Equal Opportunity Political Inquisition

Chris Wallace is typically the one asking questions, here he will be the one answering them. Former Counselor to President George W. Bush and 2017 candidate for Governor of Viginia Ed Gillespie will turn the table on Fox News Sunday Host Chris Wallace in an interview about the state of media and the business of covering politics and policymakers today. This candid conversation gives attendees an inside look at Washington from the point of view of this veteran journalist who, as described recently by The Hill newspaper, "has carved out a reputation as a tough but fair interviewer who has gotten the best of members of both parties."

Ed Gillespie
Renowned GOP Strategist
Chris Wallace
FOX News Sunday
6:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Night on the Boardwalk

Enjoy an evening of food, fun and entertainment. Start with pre-dinner cocktails, enjoy a delicious dinner with a variety of food stations, then go back in time for a "Night on the Boardwalk," featuring arcade classics, a boardwalk band, and networking fun with desserts and after-dinner libations.

7:00 AM – 7:45 AM


Please join us for breakfast and networking before day two begins.

7:45 AM – 8:00 AM

Welcome Day Two

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Retailers, Investors and ESG

Investors are increasingly using Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria to evaluate company performance. What does this mean long-term for retailers? How can retailers anticipate and prepare for the evolution of ESG expectations?

Katherine Collins
Head of Sustainable Investing
Putnam Investments
Drew Hambly
Executive Director, Corporate Governance
Morgan Stanley
Christina Maguire
Managing Director, Governance Policy & Operations
BNY Mellon
Teresa Roseborough
Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
The Home Depot
9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

Leadership and Risk Management: Taking Command

Admiral William H. McRaven will share highlights of his exceptional leadership experiences, exploring today’s geopolitical environment and a look forward to America’s place in an ever-changing global community. His principles of leadership and risk management are applicable to any organization and he emphasizes the necessity of preparation, order and discipline, knowing that they are naught without a distinct and meaningful purpose or goal. He shares impactful narratives, lessons and insights on authority amidst turmoil and instability, the force of teamwork and personal initiative, resilience in the face of opposition, and the unconditional importance of never giving up. He challenges us to accept responsibility, be creative within the rules, take control of our circumstances, and maintain focus during times of conflict, as he inspires us to apply his diligence, courage and risk management strategies.

ADM William H. McRaven USN (Ret.)
Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations
10:15 AM – 10:45 AM

Forum Wrap-Up and Book Signing

RILA gets the top CEOs in the retail industry together to share ideas about future innovation in the industry. I think it’s a very important forum.

Brian Cornell
  • Chairman & CEO
  • Target

2021 Attendee List

  • Academy Sports + Outdoors
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Altar'd State
  • Ascena Retail Group
  • AutoZone
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Best Buy
  • Blain's Farm & Fleet
  • C&S Wholesale Grocers
  • Chico's
  • Coca-Cola
  • CVS Health
  • DICK'S Sporting Goods
  • Dollar General
  • Energizer Holdings
  • Five Below
  • Gap Inc.
  • Icahn Automotive Group LLC
  • IKEA North America
  • Kohl's
  • L.L. Bean
  • Lands' End, Inc.
  • Levi Strauss
  • Lidl US
  • Lowe's
  • Meijer
  • New Balance Athletics
  • Nordstrom
  • Party City
  • PetSmart
  • PUMA North America
  • RILA
  • Shurtape Technologies
  • Signet Jewelers
  • Southeastern Grocers
  • Target
  • The Home Depot
  • Tractor Supply
  • Ulta Beauty
  • VF
  • Walgreens

Register Today