Hello everyone!

It’s finally here! Today is the first day of the Women in Retail Leadership Summit, and the lineup is pretty stellar. Here are some highlights:

  • Emma Mcilroy, co-founder and CEO of Wildfang, a lifestyle brand that badass women call home, will share her career journey and how she has been able to build a highly engaged tribe of Gen Z fans through emotional connection and consumer insights.
  • Shelley Zalis, creator of The Girl’s Lounge, will share her story of competing in a man’s world, leveraging her feminine strengths in the workplace, and being bold without permission.
  • We have a great panel called “Lessons Learned,” with Lesley Jane Seymour, former editor-in-chief of More magazine, moderating a discussion among an extraordinary group of retail leaders. The panel, featuring Shelley Broader, president and CEO of Chico’s FAS; Lisa Gavales, president and CEO of Things Remembered; and Jennifer Kretchmar, chief merchandising officer of Build-A-Bear Workshopwill address their career challenges, mistakes, and lessons they’ve learned from them.

Pretty impressive, huh? And that’s only the first day!

I know many of you won’t be here in Miami this week, but don’t you worry. For those of you who can’t make the Summit, we’ll be taking copious notes on all of the sessions and excitement at the event, and posting all sorts of content right here in the Inner Circle in the upcoming weeks. And don’t forget, you can also follow along on social media during the Summit. We’ll be tweeting (#WIRSummit) and posting photos to Instagram (@WIRLeadership).

Finally, we have a great issue of the Inner Circle this week. The article below by Patti Hester, chief strategist at Platinum Circle Partners (a sponsor of the Summit, and Patti is an associate member of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle) provides insight into some critical issues all customers are facing this year with their transportation programs. There’s also a great blog post, The Authenticity Rule: Women in Retail Leadership, by Sarah Engel, chief marketing officer at Dynamic Action (also a sponsor at this year’s Summit). Sarah’s blog addresses the fallacy of a linear path to success and the power of authenticity at every career stage.


Melissa Campanelli
Co-Founder, Women in Retail Leadership Circle