The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) opened the second day of the 2014 Retail Supply Chain Conference with a focus on its Women in Supply Chain Network, which brings together those who support the professional development of women in the retail supply chain field. The second day of the three-day event treated the more than 1500 supply chain professionals in attendance to an outstanding educational program and meaningful networking opportunities with senior members of the retail community.
First, an elite panel of women, all supply chain executives, discussed the roles and experiences of women in the field, and shared developments in supply chain and logistics among leading retailers. Panelists included thought-leaders from Walmart, CVS Caremark, and the University of Arkansas, and the discussion was moderated by Brigadier General Becky Halstead, U.S. Army (Ret.), the former commander of the U.S. Army’s wartime logistics operations in Iraq. Following breakfast, General Halstead, the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to General Officer and the first female in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level, delivered an inspiring keynote in which she shared her historic rise as a leader.
“The supply chain field is full of smart, determined and successful women leaders. I am proud that RILA is uniquely positioned to showcase these women and at the same time inform our audience on topics that matter to our collective audience, like the benefits to a diverse workforce, courageous leadership and solutions for addressing emerging supply chain challenges,” said Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations at RILA.
Later in the day, attendees had an opportunity to join Jeff Starecheski, vice president, supply chain solutions at Sears Holding as he shared the challenges and breakthroughs associated with adopting a successful omni-channel strategy, including an innovative ship-from-store model that brings products to consumers’ homes within two days, if not sooner.
New to the 2014 Retail Supply Chain Conference is the Leadership & Development track, a breakout session on day two featured a talent management roundtable, where executives from JCPenney, Abercrombie & Fitch and Ryder Supply Chain Solutions shared insights on cultivating talent in the high energy and often shifting supply chain environment.
“The breakout sessions continue to provide significant value to attendees and allow them to create a custom curriculum, informing them of emerging trends and highlighting issue areas important for the industry, while providing opportunities for exposure to new areas,” LaBruno continued.
Closing out day two of the 2014 Retail Supply Chain Conference was a general session panel discussion on responding to crises. Executives from The Home Depot, CVS Caremark, Niagara Bottling and the Hub Group engaged in a vigorous discussion, moderated by FEMA’s Region IX Response Division Director, on how to best meet consumers’ needs during challenging times and the importance of developing response plans before they are needed.
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.###