A GROWING COMMUNITY
Meet our enthusiastic community of advisors, jurors and speakers which includes creative directors, merchants, executives, investors, sponsors, influencers and editors from some of the most admired purveyors on both sides of the Atlantic.
Margaret Molloy is the New York-based, global chief marketing officer (CMO) at the renowned branding firm Siegel+Gale. A native of Ireland and a Harvard Business School graduate, she is regarded as one of the most influential global marketing leaders and consistently appears on top CMO lists, including Forbes’ top CMOs on Twitter. Margaret was named by The Drum as the 2017 Marketer of the Year. A strategic marketer, she is a sought-after speaker and has published articles in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company and beyond. Margaret created #WearingIrish in March 2016 as a passion project to showcase Irish fashion designers. The movement is going from strength to strength with WearingIrish and Margaret receiving many accolades, including: Overseas Business Woman of the Year 2017 by Image magazine; 2017 Marketer of the Year by The Drum; Top 50 Power Women and Top 100 Irish Americans in Business in 2016 and 2017 by Irish America; and the 2018 Creativity and Arts awards for Fashion and Design by Irish Central. Margaret brings a potent blend of grace, gravitas, and grit to everything she touches.
Former Senior Vice President for Public Relations, Bloomingdales and Senior Advisor, WearingIrish
Anne Keating, former Senior Vice President of Public Relations for Bloomingdale’s, was responsible for the initiation, creation and direction of Bloomingdale’s press efforts, special events and philanthropic endeavors for all stores nationwide up until August 2017. She was also the company’s official spokesperson. In October 2017, Anne transitioned into a consultant to Bloomingdale’s CEO for philanthropy and other projects, in addition to establishing her own private consultancy.
Keating is a member of the Board of Trustees for the American Associates of the Old Vic and HELP USA/Mentoring USA. She previously served on the board of NYC & Company and continues to serve on the Director’s Council of the Children’s Museum of the Arts. She also serves as an advisor to the Child Mind Institute and is a member of the Dream Team for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centers.
Due to her leadership in steering the public relations and philanthropic efforts for Bloomingdale’s and her personal mission to give back to her community, New York Women in Communications, Inc. (NYWICI) proudly named Keating as a recipient of the 2010 Matrix Award. She has also been recognized for her guidance, commitment and philanthropic work by Upward Inc., the New York Center for Children, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Children’s Museum of the Arts, Help USA as well as the Girls Scouts of Greater New York.
Prior to joining Bloomingdale’s in 1995 as Vice President of Public Relations, Keating was the Vice President of Public Relations, Special Events, and Corporate Services at FAO Schwarz. She also served as the Director of Bridal and Gift Services at Bloomingdale’s earlier in her career. She began her retail career at Tiffany & Co. Keating holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Education from the College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey.
Founder, Catalyst Consulting
Lockie Andrews leads transformational and growth initiatives at retail, fashion, consumer and technology portfolio companies of venture capital and private equity funds. For the past 11 years, Lockie has held interim executive roles with financial sponsor-backed companies and has helped guide these companies to successful exits (acquisition, IPO, dividend repayment).
Through her boutique advisory firm, Catalyst Consulting, Lockie has assisted high growth companies with technology, ecommerce, digital marketing, finance/ERP, manufacturing, and strategic growth initiatives. Clients have included Fortune 1000, lower middle market and startup companies.
Prior to founding Catalyst Consulting, Lockie was a Senior Director at Alvarez and Marsal Consulting; COO of Tadashi ($60M apparel manufacturer); VP of Business Development and Strategy at babystyle ($100M multichannel vertically integrated brand); Director of Business Planning at Liz Claiborne/Kate Spade ($5 Billion fashion apparel and accessories conglomerate); Associate in Investment and Merchant Banking at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette; and she is currently the fashion sector lead for the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of NY.
Lockie obtained her Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She is also a Friend of Education at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and an avid fan of impressionist painters.
Lockie is also a speaker on various innovation, disruption and venture capital/angel investing topics.
Chief Marketing Officer, POPSUGAR Inc
Anna is the CMO of POPSUGAR Inc where she oversees marketing for the #1 lifestyle media company for young women that is attracting a global audience of 300M through content and commerce. Anna has a passion for building disruptive venture-backed businesses. Her track record includes serving as the CMO of Stella & Dot to help reinvent the direct-selling industry for the digital age, leading marketing at Tiny Prints where she grew the brand from a niche player to a category leader resulting in a successful exit via acquisition by Shutterfly Inc, and various leadership positions at eBay where she had long tenure during the company’s hyper-growth era. Prior to a career in Silicon Valley, Anna began her career on Madison Ave, notably at Ogilvy & Mather where she helped develop the foundation for Dove’s ground-breaking “Real Women, Real Beauty” campaign.
Anna is a frequent speaker at conferences delivering keynotes on Millennial and Gen Z consumer insights, future of retail, social media, advertising and publishing. She is a director of the board at Shake Shack Inc. where she serves on the compensation committee. She is also a board member Girls Leadership and board advisor at NatureBox.
Anna holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Brown University. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children.
Kara Ross graduated from Georgetown University, where she now sits on the board. Two years after graduating she attended GIA (Gemological institute of America) where she became a certified gemologist, an expert in colored stones and diamonds. Kara successfully lunched 3 collections at Bergdorf Goodman and sold to top stores around the world. Kara Ross is on the board of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and the Accessories Council. She has fine jewelry pieces in museums, won the top award for fine jewelry design (the GEM Award), and was commissioned by the Obama White House to design pieces for the President and the First Lady.
Kara always considered herself a craft person & artist. She was able to raise two beautiful daughters in NYC because of her art-craft. About two years ago, after a successful career in fashion, Kara decided she wanted to give back. She transitioned the business to become a vehicle for philanthropy. Kara stopped designing, manufacturing, and closed her beautiful store on 60th & Madison. UNLEASHED is a pending 501c3, and Kara is happy to dedicate 100% of her time on empowering women through opportunity. UNLEASHED celebrates and supports female artisans and entrepreneurs around the world.
Vice Chairman and General Merchandise Manager, Bloomingdale’s
Frank joined Bloomingdale’s in 1991 as Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager for Ready-to-Wear. In January 2006, Frank assumed the additional responsibility for Bloomingdales.com including the catalog and Internet businesses. In February 2008, Frank was promoted to Vice Chairman with responsibility over Bloomingdale’s Direct. In 2014, Frank assumed responsibility of the concession business.
Frank began his retail career as an executive trainee with Macy’s in 1972, moving through the ranks to become a Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager for Ready-to-Wear in 1979. From 1983 to 1987 he was Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of Ready-to-Wear and Fashion Accessories for Bullock’s. In 1987, he was appointed Executive Vice President and then became President of Bullock’s. From 1988 to 1990 he was Chairman of Federated and Allied Merchandising Services. From 1990 to 1991 he was Chairman of the Board for Bonwit Teller.
Frank is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Frank and his wife Stephanie reside in Greenwich, CT. They have two daughters, Sarah and Sydney and two grandchildren.
Brand Consultant and Stylist, Edward O’Sullivan
Edward O’Sullivan is a fashion stylist and brand consultant. Heeding from Kerry in Ireland, Edward has consulted various high-end fashion and jewelry brands over the years, from Tiffany and Co, Marchesa, Missoni and Belstaff. In addition, he served as the Senior Global Director of Celebrity and Entertainment for Ralph Lauren and also as a personal shopper with YSL, Helmut Lang and Prada.
President, Accessories Council
A genuine style insider, Karen has years of experience in merchandising, marketing and public relations. As President of the Accessories Council, a non-profit national advocacy group, she represents nearly 300 dynamic companies in the fashion footwear, accessory and jewelry industry. Beyond current members, Karen works with hundreds of brands, retailers and industry support executives. Interacting mainly with C-level executives, she is charged with being a voice for the industry and leading efforts to assist members with sales and awareness. Her position gives her a unique perspective to the industry and as a business partner vs client, gets a realistic view of the opportunities and challenges these companies face. In this active role, she sees trends, hears concerns and helps identify opportunities.
At the Accessories Council, Karen oversees event production of industry-related panel discussions and fundraising galas. She advocates for policy positively affecting the accessories industry and serves to partner member companies to promote the industry. Most notoriously, she runs the esteemed ACE Awards, one of the fashion industries leading event.
Karen started her career in the executive training program at Macy’s, and first took a position in their jewelry-buying department. She later joined QVC where, among her post as director of event marketing, she was also director of accessories, footwear and intimate apparel, senior buyer of accessories, footwear and intimate apparel and a buyer and assistant buyer in beauty and fashion. She launched the Event Marketing division which created events as “Shoes on Sale” and “Red Carpet Weekends”.
Karen is an active consultant and has lent her keen perception of the fashion retail industry for a variety of companies including QVC, EVINE, Estee Lauder, Jack Rogers, Anomaly, ill.i and the CLE of India to name a few.
Karen is an EMMY award winning executive producer of “Avec Eric,” a PBS broadcasted television show featuring star chef Eric Ripert that was named Outstanding Culinary Program in 2010. She has been named as one of Philadelphia’s Most Fashionable Women 2012, Main Line Today’s Power Women List in 2013, 2016 Accessories Council ACE Award Winner and 2017 Mann Foundation Leading Lady Honoree.
Karen is a graduate of Susquehanna University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Theater Arts. She is currently a Wharton Fellow.
Her professional affiliations include: Board Member Fashion Service Network, Board of Directors of the Gibson Foundation, FIT Accessory Advisory Board Chairperson, and a member of the Fashion Group. Karen actively volunteers for many charities as the “Race to Erase MS”, “The Bag Ladies Lunch”, and the 92Y to name a few.
Group Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Ireland
Francesca was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Ireland in October 2017. She joined the Group from the HSBC Group, where she held a number of key senior management roles over a twenty year period including Group General Manager and Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, UK and Europe; Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Middle East and North Africa; and Head of Personal Financial Services, Hong Kong.
In 2017, Francesca was recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list with an OBE for services to Banking.
Francesca is a very experienced global retail banker, with an exceptional track record, both in terms of financial performance and her leadership of transformation to drive future results in a range of increasingly senior banking roles, and in a range of countries and operating structures. She brings to the Board a leadership style characterized by strong, commercial results orientation and a clear strategic vision, with significant customer empathy.
Francesca is a member of the PRA Practitioner Panel. She has previously served on the Board of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), where she was Deputy Chair and on the Board of the National Centre for Universities and Business in the UK. Francesca has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.
Creative Director, THEIA
Don O’Neill is the creative director of THEIA, an eveningwear and bridal collection and a favorite of brides and celebrities alike. Before launching THEIA in 2009, O’Neill had interned for Christian Lacroix in Paris. After moving to New York, O’Neill served as the creative director for Carmen Marc Valvo for 10 years and then Badgley Mischka Platinum for three years. He is particularly proud of the brand’s involvement with charitable causes in the USA and Ireland, including Concern Worldwide.
Don was bestowed an Honorary Doctor of the Arts by University College of Cork in 2015 , and was voted “Ireland’s Favorite Designer” in 2017 at the prestigious V.I.P. Style awards in Dublin.
Don was born in the seaside town of Ballyheigue, County Kerry, where his parents ran a bed and breakfast. While working as a chef, he entered the Irish Independent’s fashion design competition with a dress he’d designed for his sister, hoping to win the second place prize, a coat, that would look amazing on Deirdre. He won first prize, which was tuition to the Barbara Bourke College of Fashion Design in Dublin. The incredible Atlantic vistas from his childhood home, in part inspired his creativity, and he says his Irish heritage and west coast upbringing have very much “informed the man and designer I am today.” He and his husband Pascal Guillermie were married in Ireland on June 11th, 2016 and live in New York City.
Communications Associate, Cynthia Fields
Una Casey is the Communications Director for startup dress brand, Cynthia Fields, where she is responsible for the brand’s digital strategy and unique experiential marketing approach. Prior to this, she served as Marketing Executive for premium lifestyle brand, Dubarry of Ireland. Combining her love for fashion and premium branding with her passion for marketing and connecting with people is what fuels her professional pursuits.
Una holds a Masters in Marketing Practice from National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and a BComm in Commerce.
Entrepeneur and Investor
Aslaug Magnusdottir is an entrepreneur and investor. She has launched several ventures within the fashion industry, including Moda Operandi, TSM Capital, a retail and fashion investment company she co-founded with industry legend Marvin Traub and Tinker Tailor, a customization platform for fashion. She also served as a senior executive at Gilt Groupe, where she oversaw merchandising for top customers. Earlier in her career Magnusdottir served as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co in London and as a corporate attorney at Deloitte in Iceland. A Fulbright Scholar, Magnusdottir holds an MBA from Harvard Business School (the first Icelandic woman to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School), a LL.M from Duke University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in Law from the University of Iceland.
Anchor and Reporter, NY1
Kristen Shaughnessy has been an anchor/reporter at NY1 for more than 20 years. She was named to Irish America’s Magazine’s Top 100″ list and was chosen as one of the “Top 50 Irish American Power Women and “Top Media 30”. She was also honored as Hofstra University’s Alumni of the Month. Kristen covered breaking news for nearly 20 years and was at the World Trade Center during the September 11th terrorist attacks. She had to interrupt her live report and run to safety when the first tower came down. College professors use that report in their classes. A six part series that she wrote and edited for the 15th Anniversary of the attacks was awarded second place for “Best Documentary” by the Associated Press. Kristen has appeared in the movies ” The Manchurian Candidate”, “Mr and Mrs Smith” and “Crown Heights”. Prior to NY1, Shaughnessy worked as an anchor/reporter at WGNY radio in Newburgh, NY and at NewsCenter 6 in Poughkeepsie.
Her husband, Joe Bush, is the Head Golf Pro at Shackamaxon Country Club. They have two daughters, Jamie and Kara.
Director, Creative Services, The Doneger Group
Kai joined The Doneger Group as Director of Creative Services in 2006. Originally from Hong Kong, his career took him to Paris and London where he worked as a designer in fashion, accessories and interiors. Following his time in Europe, he joined Here & There New York as a trend and color forecasting consultant, subsequently becoming president of the company in 1994. Additionally, he has been a member of the Intertextile Shanghai Directions Trend Committee since 1998. Kai’s international background provides an indispensable perspective on global trends and creative concepts in keeping with the direction of the industry.
Vice President, Fashion Director, Womens, Bloomingdale’s
Heather is a respected fashion industry insider with a background in editorial, styling and public relations. Most recently she was the Vice President of Public Relations and Communications for Bally overseeing media, events and building the brand’s philanthropic footprint. She previously held fashion editorial roles at Vanity Fair, Best Life and Rolling Stone, among others. Throughout her career Heather has covered trend and industry happenings, styled editorial features and fashion shows as well as worked as a celebrity stylist for red carpet and on-air appearances. Heather is a graduate of Cornell University.
Fashion Director, Mens, Bloomingdale’s
Justin Berkowitz is the Men’s Fashion Director at Bloomingdale’s. He travels around the globe in search of the newest trends and partners with the merchant teams to create seasonal fashion messages.
Berkowitz is a fashion industry insider and has held roles at some of the most notable publications. Before joining Bloomingdale’s, he served as Senior Market Editor at Details magazine where he immersed himself in the New York and Paris markets. He has also previously held fashion editorial roles at Marie Claire and Teen Vogue.
Berkowitz is a graduate of Colombia University where he studied art history.
Editor, Irish Independent
Bairbre Power is fashion editor of the Irish Independent, Ireland’s largest selling daily newspaper. She is executive editor (lifestyle) of ‘Weekend’ magazine which is published with the paper every Saturday and for which she writes fashion and a social column. A regular contributor to TV3 and RTE television and radio on style, her fashion year is divided between fashion weeks, judging style competitions around the country and editing ‘Mistletoe’ glossy magazine every November and she also helms ‘Lineout’, a male lifestyle bi-annual magazine. Bairbre studied journalism at DIT and honed her fashion skills at the Grafton Academy of Design in Dublin. She is an enthusiast photographer and likes to post her finds and adventures on Instagram. A native Dubliner, Bairbre has two grown up children and is devoted mum to Romy, a Yorkie. Her interests include travel, food adventures and walking.
Director, Harvard Business School Startup Studio
Avani has years of experience in the startup world in various capacities including as a founder, advisor, mentor and investor. Most recently she co-founded Ember a hybrid fund that provides inventory financing for consumer companies. Avani is also the founder of TrendSeeder, a value add “mentor” capital fund working with founders of emerging fashion, beauty and health & wellness companies to build brilliant businesses. TrendSeeder also boasts a highly curated list of over two hundred mentors recruited by Avani from the executive levels of the most highly regarded fashion companies around the world. In addition, Avani serves as the Director of the Harvard Business School Startup Studio in New York, where she has used the TrendSeeder methodology to support Harvard Business School alumni entrepreneurs in NY. In her work with TrendSeeder, Harvard Business School and other organizations, Avani has advised over five hundred entrepreneurs. She has also traveled the world, including to Oulu, Finland for the Midnight Pitch Fest to share her entrepreneurial expertise. Avani was also named a Role Model by Carrie Hammer and graced the company’s runway at New York Fashion Week in 2015.
Prior to founding TrendSeeder, Avani had a career as a corporate attorney where she worked on multi-billion dollar mergers. However, TrendSeeder wasn’t Avani’s first foray into the fashion world. She founded a men’s and women’s contemporary clothing label when she was in law school which was featured in a fashion show at Lollapalooza.
Avani also finds the time to give back and has worked with organizations like the Tory Burch Foundation, the Girl Scouts and the Athena Center at Barnard College.
Former Executive Director, W Magazine
Christina Caldwell is an editorial consultant and producer serving clients in the fashion and beauty industries. Most recently she served as the Executive Digital Director of W Magazine, responsible for significant growth in audience, revenue, brand visibility and innovation across digital properties and social media channels. She has held creative roles at Vogue, Vogue UK, Harper’s Bazaar, Pop Sugar and Tom Ford.
GERALDINE BYRNE NASON
Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations
Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason is the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations. Geraldine is a career diplomat who has served in Brussels, New York, Paris, Vienna and Helsinki during her career. As Secretary-General in the Prime Minister’s office from 2011-2014, she was the highest ranking female public servant in Ireland.
While Geraldine began her career at the UN, subsequently much of her service has been focused on Europe where she served as Ambassador to the EU, 2007 – 2011. She also headed Ireland’s National Forum on Europe and more recently was SG responsible for EU affairs. From 2014 to 2017, she served as the Ambassador to France and Monaco. In 2013 Geraldine was named in the Irish media one of Ireland’s Most Powerful Women.
In 2014, she was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s highest academic honour. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Maynooth University as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Literature from Saint Patrick’s College in Maynooth. Ms. Byrne Nason is married and has one son.
Gillian Meek joined the Keds team as President in 2016. In this role, she leads a cross-functional team which includes product creation, marketing, finance, sales and operations to deliver global growth for the Keds business. The Keds brand dates back to 1916 and, under Meek’s leadership, is forging a new future with a vision to become the most coveted women’s sneaker brand in the world. Prior to joining Keds, Meek led the product and marketing organization for Stride Rite Children’s Group. She has more than 18 years of experience with increasing responsibility in creating product and brand stories for brands such as Reebok, Timberland and Stride Rite. Gillian received her BA of Finance and Economics from the University of Western Ontario and her Masters of Business Administration from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. She is an active member of the Wolverine Worldwide Women’s Resource Group. Gillian lives in Newton, MA with her husband, two children and dog.
Head of North America, Tourism Ireland
Based in New York, Alison was appointed Head of North America in June 2013, where she has responsibility for leading Tourism Ireland’s Marketing Strategy and Operations in the USA and Canada. She joined Tourism Ireland in 2002 and previously held the position of Vice President Marketing, USA. Prior to moving to New York she was responsible for Tourism Ireland’s Canadian marketing operations based in Toronto.
In June 2017, Alison also assumed responsibility for Tourism Ireland’s operations in Australia & New Zealand.
Alison has extensive destination marketing experience, and a record of achievement in building and leading high performance teams. Her career has spanned strategy development, brand management, integrated consumer marketing, communications and stakeholder management. Alison has worked in the UK, Europe and North America.
She began her career with Visit Britain in London where she held management roles in Canada and Portugal. She also held the position of Director Canada for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board based in Toronto, and was also responsible for Business Development in Asia during her tenure.
Throughout her career, Alison has played an active role in professional and industry associations and assumed a number of leadership positions.
Alison currently serves as Chair, European Travel Commission, USA Operations Group having previously served as Chair, European Travel Commission Canadian Operations Group, from 2003-2007. She was also elected the first female President SKAL International Toronto in 2005 and served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Canadian Travel Alliances.
Spare time interests include running, playing squash, golf, gardening and travelling, especially back to her home in Helen’s Bay, Co. Down.
Fashion Editor, The Irish Times
Deirdre McQuillan is the fashion editor of The Irish Times and a feature writer with a long standing interest in many aspects of design in Ireland and internationally. She is the author of several books including a history of the Aran sweater, a style guide to Dublin, one on Mary Robinson’s presidency and several on cookery. In the course of her career she has been a magazine editor, was PRO of the Abbey Theatre for a decade before joining TheSunday Tribune as a lifestyle editor and later as a freelance journalist contributed to magazines in Ireland and abroad. She has travelled widely in Africa, Europe and east Asia and has won awards for travel writing. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the IDA (Irish Designers of Ireland) in 2010.
Television Host, C Suite with Jeff Hayzlett
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He is a global business celebrity, speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman and CEO of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Hayzlett is a well-traveled public speaker, former Fortune 100 CMO, and author of three best-selling business books: Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, Running the Gauntlet and The Mirror Test. Hayzlett is one of the most compelling figures in business today and an inductee into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame.
As a leading business expert, Hayzlett is frequently cited in Forbes, SUCCESS, Mashable, Marketing Week and Chief Executive, among many others. He shares his executive insight and commentary on television networks like Bloomberg, MSNBC, Fox Business, and C-Suite TV. Hayzlett is a former Bloomberg contributing editor and primetime host, and has appeared as a guest celebrity judge on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump for three seasons. He is a turnaround architect of the highest order, a maverick marketer and c-suite executive who delivers scalable campaigns, embraces traditional modes of customer engagement, and possesses a remarkable cachet of mentorship, corporate governance, and brand building.
President, Lord & Taylor
Liz Rodbell is President of Lord & Taylor, where she oversees merchandising, marketing, creative, stores, e-commerce direction, and overall strategy. Rodbell serves on Hudson’s Bay Company’s Executive Committee.
Rodbell is a seasoned retail executive with over 30 years of experience. She has held several senior leadership positions at Hudson’s Bay Company and Lord & Taylor, having risen through the ranks of the merchant organization. Prior to her current role, she was President of Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor and during her tenure successfully integrated the senior leadership of the combined company, after serving as EVP Chief Merchant for Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor, where she oversaw the merchant organization.
She joined Lord & Taylor in 1985 as a buyer for dresses. Within two years she was promoted to Divisional Merchandise Manager over the dress category. She was then promoted in 1992 to Senior Vice President General Merchandise Manager of suits, coats, intimate apparel and children’s. As a Senior Vice President General Merchandise Manager she had responsibilities in every business category Lord & Taylor carries over the years until being promoted to EVP of Merchandising, overseeing the women’s merchandise categories.
Rodbell serves on the board of Two Ten Footwear Foundation, the Parsons Board of Governors, and the advisory board of Fashion Group International. She was named one of Crain’s Most Powerful Women in 2015 and 2017. In 2017, Liz received an honorary Doctor of Commercial science from LIM College, was presented with the Distinguished Achievement Award and was also inducted into the prestigious Footwear News Hall of Fame. In 2015, she was honored by the Mother’s Day Council as an Outstanding Mother of the Year, and in May of 2014 she was presented with the “Way to Win” Award from Win. She has served as a dinner chair for Win, AJC, Parsons and CTF. Rodbell began her retail career at A&S in the executive training program and became a buyer before joining Lord & Taylor. She and her husband, Mitchell, have two daughters.
CEO, CIE Tours International
Elizabeth Crabill is CEO of CIE Tours International, the largest Irish-owned tour operator in the US. With more than 15 years’ experience leading sales, marketing and strategy for some of the travel industry’s best brands, she is one of the leading travel and tourism executives in the US. She took the reins of the 85-year old highly established tour operator in 2016, with a mission to expand the digital footprint of the brand, raise the visibility of Irish tourism expertise and introduce a new generation of travelers to the tour experience. CIE Tours currently sends over 47,000 travelers into Ireland and Britain each year, and hosts a team of Irish university students to Morristown, NJ headquarters annually for a year-long student work experience program. A graduate of Smith College with an MBA from Harvard Business School, Crabill is actively involved with the promotion of international tourism and development of new travel experiences throughout Ireland, for all ages and interests.
Editor of the CMO Network, Forbes
A business journalist of more than 20 years, Jenny is editor of the CMO Network at Forbes, where she manages content critical to executive-level marketing decision-makers. She reports on industry trends, research and news; has interviewed hundreds of CEOs and CMOs as part of her ongoing Forbes CMO Interview Series; developed the ongoing Forbes CMO University Alumni Series, which connects marketing practitioners with marketing academics and students; serves on the advisory team for the ANA’s CMO Talent Challenge; annually oversees development of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Marketing and Advertising list; and plays an integral role in the development of topics, content and programming for Forbes CMO Practice events throughout the year, particularly the annual, invitation-only Forbes CMO Summit.
Jenny was named one of Top 20 Women in Marketing by Agency Spotter in 2017. She is a member of the Leadership Council of the Media for Social Impact Summit; co-host of Wharton Business Radio’s “CMO Spotlight;” a member of the 2017 Midas Executive Jury; and a member of the CMO Outlook Advisory Board.
Jenny’s career experience includes editorial posts at premier business publications such as Advertising Age, Sales & Marketing Management, Business 2.0 and Chief Executive.
A recipient of the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award, her areas of focus have included marketing, advertising and sales; leadership and management issues; digital and emerging media; talent development; health care; and legislative and regulatory issues in multiple industries. She serves as a guest speaker, panelist and moderator at industry events and has provided commentary for various media outlets.
Jenny received a Master of Science degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism in 1994 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature/Creative Writing from Miami University in 1992.
Principal, McMorran Strategists
Kathy Murray is an experienced and creative business growth executive, angel investor and advisor. She applies her sales and operational skills to achieve significant cooperation, operational efficiencies and revenue in order to increase each firm’s growth strategy. Kathy is Principal of McMorran Strategists, LLC. Earlier, Kathy held C-Suite roles at publicly-traded firms and partnerships – Aetna, PwC and FARO – in sales, business development and operations.
Other current affiliations include: Board Member Daily Gazette (a Schenectady family-owned media firm), Chair of Executive Forum and Founder of Executive Forum Angels, Immediate Past President of Harvard Business School Women’s Association of NY, Trustee on the University of Rochester Board and Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association. Kathy is a frequent speaker/instructor on business development, angel investing, innovation, strategic thinking and building relationships. One of her better angel investments has been in TempBuddy, a Saas Enterprise Software for temp firms, is based in Dublin, Ireland.
Kathy received a BA in Math and General Science from the University of Rochester and the Advanced Management Program Degree from Harvard Business School.
Former CEO, Victoria’s Secret
Cynthia Fields knows a thing or two about dresses. She began her career at a regional Ohio department store after graduating from Miami University in Ohio. Working her way up the ranks in several department stores around the country, learning all there was to know, Cynthia came to the mecca of the fashion business, NYC. From day one, Cynthia was fascinated by retail, merchandising, buying and in particular — dresses. Her hard work, drive and voracious appetite for learning led her to the world of catalogs. She had found her passion – a business where everything she lived and breathed – merchandising, inspirational photography and creative copy – all combined with data-driven analytics to produce sales — heaven!
Cynthia joined the fledgling catalog division at Victoria’s Secret in 1984, and in her 12-year tenure there as the leader of the DTC division increased its revenues from $50 million to nearly $1 Billion. When she started, she quickly realized that a broader mix of apparel would significantly increase revenues and profitability. Along with other clothing categories, she introduced dresses and the styles she developed became an instant and powerful success. It was this success that earned her the role of President and CEO of the catalog division.
After leaving VSD, Cynthia stayed involved and engaged, whether serving on prestigious boards or involved in her philanthropic activities. She noticed that busy, career women were challenged with finding a great dress. A great dress has nothing to do with price, but everything to do with how it makes you feel. The right cut, with the right material, expertly tailored and exquisitely made are her signature style. Cynthia knows the power of a great dress, the confidence that comes with looking and feeling fabulous … owning the room.
This busy New Yorker, business-woman, and philanthropist, grew tired of having to settle for dresses that did not fit … even at a high price tag. She was not alone. In true Cynthia style, she decided to change that, and so in the Fall 2017 Cynthia Fields launched the brand that carries her name — featuring dresses with modern, classical styling that are all about looking and feeling your best.
Ireland is long known for its art and creativity. WearingIrish has given me exposure to a different type of Irish creativity: fashion.
ELIZABETH QUARTA DePAOLO
Former OVP of Corporate National Media Relations, Bloomingdale’s and Director of Press and Media Relations, WearingIrish
Elizabeth is a proud wife and mother of five young children, currently residing in New York City. She was formerly the Operating Vice President of Corporate National Media Relations for Bloomingdale’s.
Elizabeth spent ten years at the iconic retailer where she began as the Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Public Relations. During her time there, she moved through various positions in the Public Relations Department from managing Corporate Philanthropy to handling National Media Relations. She also acted as a company spokesperson on various occasions, appearing on ABC’s The View, NBC’s Weekend Today Show and New York 1’s Home Report among others.
Previous to Bloomingdale’s, Elizabeth began her career at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She was a Development Assistant in the Special Events and Gift Planning Departments before being promoted to Development Associate.
Elizabeth was a board member for Housing Works as well as a member of the Alumni Marketing Advisory Committee for Holy Cross and currently sits on the board of The International Preschools. She’s also worked closely with HELP USA to organize an annual Toy Drive in conjunction with IPS.
Elizabeth is a graduate of The College of the Holy Cross and holds a B.A. in Sociology.
LYNN PERRY WOOTEN
Peter J. Nolan Dean and Professor of Management and Organizations, Cornell University
Lynn Perry Wooten is the Peter J. Nolan Dean and Professor of Management and Organizations for Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Prior to joining Cornell University, she was on the faculty at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business for almost two decades. At the Ross School of Business, she served as the Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Excellence and Clinical Professor of Strategy, Management & Organizations. In this role, Lynn was responsible for developing and implementing transformational educational experiences for Ross students inside and outside of the classroom through curricular initiatives, academic advising, student life activities, leadership development, and career planning.
Lynn’s current research bridges theory and practice and focuses on positive organizing routines, diversity management practices, and crisis leadership, and her research has been published in journals such as Academy of Management Journal, American Behavioral Scientist, Human Resource Management, and Organizational Dynamics. She has also written a book on crisis leadership, Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis (with Erika James) and co-edited the book Positive Organizing in a Global Society: Understanding and Engaging Differences for Capacity Building and Inclusion (with Laura Morgan
Roberts and Martin Davidson). Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), Society of Human Resource Management, and Ford Foundation. Through her applied research projects, she has worked with many organizations including Whirlpool, Google, and General Motors. She was also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Council of Michigan Foundations
and partnered with foundations to develop inclusive leadership practices, diversity management systems, and equity policies.
Lynn is an alumna of the University of Michigan (PhD). She received her undergraduate degree from North Carolina A&T State University and her MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Lynn Wooten is an active member in a number of national volunteer leadership organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Jack & Jill of America, Ann Arbor Junior League and The Links Inc.
Former Market Editor, The Donegar Group
Alison Carreon is the West Coast and Pacific Rim marketing manager at the renowned branding firm Siegel+Gale. Combining her forte for business and for marketing to connect and relate with people is what fuels her professional pursuits. Alison is a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), where she studied Merchandise Product Development and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. Prior to joining Siegel+Gale, Alison was the West Coast Marketing Manager for 24 Seven, a global creative staffing agency. She co-founded WEAR to CLICK, a digital destination highlighting the most notable sites in fashion. Previously, she held the role of Market Editor at Directives West, the West Coast trend forecasting division of The Doneger Group, where she also held the position of Women’s Contemporary Market Analyst. She was the Valedictorian of her graduating class, and received the prestigious Merchandise Management Award as well as the Business Management Award. Additionally, she is a faculty member at FIDM in the Department of Visual Communications, where she instructs the Trends: Past, Present & Future course.
Broadcaster, RTE and BBC
Colm Flynn is an Irish broadcaster working across RTÉ and BBC. Originally from Ennis in Co. Clare, he regularly reports on ‘Outlook’ on the BBC World Service, a show with over 20 million listeners worldwide. His work with ‘Nationwide’ and the ‘TODAY Show’ on RTÉ has brought him to every corner of Ireland covering a huge variety of stories. Over the past ten years, he has traveled to every continent interviewing people abouttheir extraordinary lives.
Senior Director, Transformation Innovation, PepsiCo
Ciara has over 20 years experience in world leading FMCG organisations. She has extensive experience leading brand marketing for major global brands within the alcohol and food categories. She is an innovation expert who specializes in developing transformative innovation platforms to drive brand growth. She is highly focused on the start up and entrepreneurial world in her current role delivering Transformative innovation. She has a huge passion for supporting women whether that be mentoring women within Pepsico and Female Founders in start up organisations. She is a strong advocate and practitioner of Responsive Working to drive new ways of working .
Co-chair of the Program Committee of the Women’s Forum of NY
Felice Axelrod is a consultant to Bloomberg, providing special project and management services to both corporate and nonprofit entities, including fundraising and event production. She managed special events for the Bloomberg for Mayor campaign in 2009. Felice also consults with nonprofit organizations on fundraising, event production, marketing and strategy and is currently working with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Rudin Center for Transportation at NYU, Everytown for Gun Safety, Cities of Service and the Lupus Research Alliance, among others.
From 2000-2008 Felice was a Senior Vice President for Corporate Events, Philanthropy and Protocol at Lehman Brothers in New York. Prior to joining Lehman, she was Assistant to the President and Director of Special Events at Mount Sinai NYU Health as well as for the Mount Sinai and NYU Schools of Medicine. Previously, she worked in fundraising, special events and public relations for the Museum of the City of New York and the New York Public Library.
Felice served as Mayor Bloomberg’s representative to the Brooklyn Academy of Music board from 2010 through 2013. She currently serves on the boards of Finch College, Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation, Jeffrey Modell Foundation and the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center and is co-chair of the Program Committee of the Women’s Forum of NY. She is the past president of the Council of Protocol Executives (COPE), a nonprofit organization for professional event planners and protocol officers. Also, Felice is a Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant certified by the Washington School of Protocol.
Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer, Navy Exchange
Rich has a long history of engaging with today’s consumer, developing and executing long term strategic growth plans, creating impactful marketing, developing new products & brands, leading cultural change, and building world class teams. He currently serves at the Chief Merchandising & Marketing Officer for the Navy Exchange, a $2B global retailer. In his role, Rich leads the buying, planning, marketing and e-commerce teams and serves on the NEXCOM executive team, playing a key role in the cultural and digital transformation of the organization. Prior to joining NEXCOM, Rich was the founder of PDB Advisory Group & the Brand Co-Lab, where he served in an advisory role with brands, helping to develop their strategic marketing efforts, “purpose driven” branding, consumer insights & engagement, and organizational excellence. Prior to PDB, he served as the SVP of Marketing, Licensing & E-Commerce for Haggar Clothing Co, and as the VP of Men’s & Kid’s Private Brands at JC Penney. Rich has his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and is currently earning his MBA at William & Mary’s Mason School of Business. Rich has won several awards, including a CMO Innovation Award from The CMO Club and was a CMO of the Year finalist in Dallas / Fort Worth. He has served on several university and non-profit boards, and currently speaks, writes, and mentors on the subjects of marketing, innovation, brand development and customer engagement.
Natalie Lee is a consultant to apparel and accessories brands. A merchant with over 15 years of experience in luxury and contemporary women’s and men’s fashion, she started her career at Saks Fifth Avenue before going on to leadership roles in buying and merchandising at Band of Outsiders, Halston and Gilt Groupe. Part of the founding team of Gilt Groupe, she built and managed the core Women’s business from $0 to over $100m during the company’s first two years.
Director, The Northern Ireland Bureau
Norman Houston is the Director/Counselor of the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, D.C. Norman has over 38 years of experience working as a senior official in the Northern Ireland Civil Service, including 13 years working in a diplomatic role.
Norman’s early career included spells with the Industrial Development Board (i.e. the predecessor to Invest NI), where he managed the organization’s public relations campaigns in Asia Pacific and its trade development activities in Continental Europe. This is his second posting to Washington, D.C.; he was the First Secretary at the Bureau from 1998 to 2002.
Norman has spearheaded the Executive’s international strategy in the U.S. and Canada since 2007; during Northern Ireland’s longest period of continuous devolved government in over 40 years. Norman was the first Northern Ireland diplomat to escort the First Minister and deputy First Minister into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush in December 2007. Norman facilitated similar meetings with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during their tenure in the White House, as well as with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He has built up the Bureau’s profile on Capitol Hill and with various branches of the U.S. government, including the White House, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Norman has also developed the Bureau’s footprint in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles and New York.
Norman was born and raised in Larne, County Antrim. He has an adult daughter and son. He has a First Class Honors Degree in Modern History from the Open University.
Christina is co-founder of Primary, a new direct to consumer, vertically integrated kids clothing brand. Primary is the go-to for better basics in a rainbow of colors without logos, slogans and sequins — easy to shop and replenish as your kids grow. As one of the first employees at Quidsi, she previously led marketing for Diapers.com and went on to help launch nine additional ecommerce sites in verticals such as health & beauty, home, and children’s clothing. Prior to Quidsi, she was a Brand Manager at Kraft Foods. Christina is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Pennsylvania. She has two kids, age 12 and 15.
Style Expert and Fashion Consultant
For ten years, Brooke served as Bloomingdale’s Women’s Fashion Director, overseeing both accessories and women’s ready-to-wear. She was responsible for determining the trends, discovering emerging talent, directing the merchandise selection for the company nationwide and coming up with innovative partnerships. Brooke’s passion for product development and editorial vision was a strong focus during her time at Bloomingdale’s. She was an integral force behind private brand development in both ready-to-wear and accessories and in building Bloomingdale’s prestigious and successful 100% exclusive campaign from the ground up. Brooke traveled to London, Milan and Paris seasonally to bring the best of the collections to the Bloomingdale’s customer.
Brooke works closely with brands and designers to strategically improve their business holistically. In April 2017, Brooke joined a fashion start-up, Fitz, as SVP Fashion Director. In January 2018, the company was sold to Tradesy, a premiere online peer-to-peer re seller of women’s fashion.
Brooke began her career in Vogue magazine’s accessories department as an Assistant Editor. In 2003, she joined InStyle Magazine where she held the position of Accessories Editor.
Brooke is an active contributor to the media, appearing regularly on The Today Show, Inside Edition and Good Day New York. She brings an authentic, approachable and knowledgeable presence to her on-air segments. Brooke graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English and Theater Arts.
Senior Consultant, The Medici Group
Sandra Shih is a senior strategy and business development executive with 15+ years of experience in media, technology, and retail. An early employee at Gilt Groupe, she is currently an independent consultant specializing in innovation and growth with a wide range of clients including Fortune 100 companies, start ups, and institutional investors. She also serves on a number of start up advisory boards. Sandra has a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Founder, The Social Sparkle
Holly Granofsky was born and raised in New York and has lived inside the world of jewelry her entire life. Following both her father and grandfather into the business her knowledge comes from both sides of the counter. Her career has been forged over 25 years and includes such venerable companies such as Braunstein, Aurafin/Richline, The Aaron Group, Verigold Jewelry and JBDM Diamond. Her business partnerships span the top retailers across North America ranging from high end department and specialty retailers to E-tail, shopping networks and Luxury Independents.
Most recently, she is credited with applying her strong networking and relationship building abilities to produce a unique event format that directly matches retailers to manufacturers and brands. These events have provided a fresh approach that moves business forward for both the supply and sales side.
Holly’s favorite past product achievement was the creation of The Alexandra Gem Collection for JC Penney, introducing a mix of fine gemstones, precious metals and crystal, revolutionizing the industry and pioneering the acceptance of mixing fine and fashion materials! Other notable achievements include the creation of the CFDA 15th Anniversary Charm collection, Priscilla Presley fashion jewelry for QVC, Rock & Redemption for Sears, The Robert Baum Collection for Men for Kay Jewelers, and Jones New York Fine Jewelry for all Department Stores in the USA.
She is an active member of the Accessories Council and The New York Jewelers Group where she has served as their President, Vice President and Board Member. She is a graduate of GIA for Gemstones. She has traveled extensively and has formed partnerships in Asia, South America, Turkey and Europe. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Marketing from Boston University.
Drawing from her vast experience Holly founded the strategy company, The Social Sparkle, in 2010 specializing in the fine and fashion jewelry industry serving clients, who want to expand, create and optimize their jewelry opportunities. Her services include sales development, sales strategy, product development, merchandising, market identification, and sourcing.
Founder, PJ Rizzo and Co., LLC and formerly President, Bergdorf Goodman
Peter Rizzo began his career as a buyer at Barneys New York and soon found himself the protégé of Fred Pressman, the visionary merchant CEO of the family business. By 1985, Peter Rizzo was SVP and GMM, head of Barneys’ legendary men’s business. He oversaw the opening of several Barneys flagships, including Barneys Japan in Tokyo. As business prospered and expanded Peter Rizzo was named EVP of Barneys worldwide in the late 90’s, with responsibility over women’s, men’s, fragrance and beauty and Chelsea Passage (home, textiles and giftware).
In 1999, Peter Rizzo was named President of Bergdorf Goodman and he led a prodigious reinvention of the tired, dusty grande dame on Fifth Avenue into one of the most progressive and increasingly profitable operations in the industry. Peter expanded its customer base by attracting a younger, fashion-forward customer, while retaining the existing fine apparel customer base. This was achieved through a curated assortment of contemporary high fashion in women’s apparel, accessories, beauty and home. Under his leadership, Bergdorf Goodman launched the Bergdorf Goodman Magazine, a bold innovation in marketing that forever transformed the image of the store across women’s, men’s, fragrance, beauty and home.
In December 2003, Peter Rizzo joined IC Isaacs & Company as CEO and became Chairman six months later. Peter Rizzo turned this small public company around in its first year. Peter Rizzo brought Isaacs back into the black in 2004 with a $6.2 million profit, a $7.9 million change from the prior year. He strengthened the design teams, transformed shipping policies, improved sales forecasting, reduced exposure and created much needed financial visibility. Sales increased more than 25% and 2004 saw the stock climb from a low of $0.36 to an all-time high of $8.42.
In October 2008, Peter Rizzo was brought in by CEO Steve Sadove at Saks Fifth Avenue to help reinvent its private label business. Peter established a portfolio of new owned brands which consisted of women’s apparel, women’s accessories and men’s apparel. Through a combination of customer-relevant design, improved sourcing, and faster speed to market, revenues grew to over $200M yearly from $35M just a few years prior. In January 2017, Peter established P J Rizzo and Company LLC with the goal of sourcing, developing, and helping bring to market concepts and brands.
MAGGIE CHAN JONES
CEO and Founder, Tenshey, Inc.
Maggie is a seasoned C-level executive specialized in marketing, business transformation and technology. She is also an entrepreneur, and the Founder and CEO of Tenshey, Inc., a tech-enabled startup with a mission to advance gender diversity and leadership development through executive coaching. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she was the first woman to become the global chief marketing officer (CMO) of SAP, responsible for leading SAP’s advertising and brand experience, sponsorship’s, digital marketing, strategic events, customer audience journey, and field and partner marketing functions across all markets. During her tenure at SAP, Maggie led the transformation of the SAP brand to becoming the world’s 21st most valuable brand, delivered double-digit growth in marketing contribution to business, and advanced people skills development to compete in the digital economy. She was also an executive sponsor for diversity and inclusion in the CEO Board Area and part of the SAP Innovation Roundtable. Prior to joining SAP, Maggie served as the inaugural CMO of North America region at Level 3 Communications, where she led the transformation of the marketing function by sharpening the focus on more profitable customer segments, and creating customer-journey oriented marketing programs. Maggie spent over seven years at Microsoft Corporation before joining Level 3, where she was the marketing director of U.S. Cloud Services and Office 365. Prior to her role at Microsoft, Maggie held leadership and marketing positions at Sun Microsystems and ADIC. Maggie has been frequently recognized as an industry thought-leader. She was honored as the 15th of the World’s Most Influential CMOs by Forbes in 2017. She was acknowledged for creativity and storytelling by the CMO Club Awards, named a Top Ten CMOs on Twitter, Top Ten Most Interesting B2B Executives, Top Woman in Brand Marketing, and Woman of the Year. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Johnson NYC Club at Cornell University. Maggie received her undergraduate degree in business management from Binghamton University and holds a master of business administration (MBA) degree from Cornell University.
Editor, Irish Country Magazine
Jennifer Stevens is the editor of Irish Country Magazine. She has been a journalist and editor for 18 years and has previously edited Irish Tatler, U magazine, has written for the Herald, The Irish Independent, The Sunday Tribune and regularly appears on Irish TV. In December Jennifer was recognised by her peers and won ‘Editor of the Year’ at the annual Magazines Ireland Awards.
Founder, Retro Flame
Erika Fox is a Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger/YouTuber at Retro Flame who is currently based in New York. Through blogging, she has worked with brands such as Tom Ford, Google, Land Rover USA, Vera Wang & Samsung and has been featured in a wide range of national and international publications including Teen Vogue, Seventeen and The Sunday Times STYLE Magazine. Her current overall fan-base is now almost at 200,000 followers.
DEE MC LAUGHLIN
Formerly Vice President of Global Marketing, Forever21
Dee Mc Laughlin is a results-focused brand and digital marketer with 20 years experience in marketing, brand management, digital and business development within retail, media, entertainment and finance at Virgin Group of Companies, MTV Networks, Forever 21 and now at Capital Group.
She recently joined Capital Group as Global Head of Creative, Design and Branding. Capital Group is among the world’s oldest and largest investment management organizations, with $1.7 trillion in assets under management. Her teams are responsible for leading sales and marketing communications, developing and building thought leadership through multi-channel distribution, strategic positioning of the Capital Group brand, creative design development, and transformational customer experiences through user design and CX initiatives.
Prior to this she led fashion brand Forever 21’s worldwide marketing, branding, social media, public relations, digital and end-to-end customer experience initiatives. Her team oversaw strategy and content development, global promotions and loyalty, global ecommerce, brand communications and media relations, PR, social media and advertising for all marketing channels, store openings and events, philanthropic initiatives, and drove the brand through omni-channel integrations in 56 countries.
During her tenure at Viacom, she was Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing & Creative for MTV Networks/CMT. She oversaw all aspects of marketing and creative for the network with a focus on brand stewardship, and creative and strategic alignment across all channels.
Preceding MTV, Mc Laughlin spent a decade leading the overall marketing strategic direction at one of the world’s most progressive companies, the Virgin Entertainment Group. As vice president of marketing for Virgin, she directed all offline and online promotions, brand creative, advertising and media, partnership strategies, social media, PR strategy and market research. Mc Laughlin began her career in journalism.
She is a Founding Member of the Woman’s Leadership Group (WLG), and a member of the Internet Marketing Association (IMA). She is an Ambassador of The CMO Club and a Member of Women in Cable and Telecommunications (WICT) and is a graduate its eminent Betsy Magness Leadership Institute. She served on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters and is a volunteer. She is also a volunteer/fundraiser for the LA Food Bank. She mentors and sponsors the college education of kids in Johannesburg, South Africa, through the CIDA Foundation. A native of Ireland, Mc Laughlin moved to London, Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, and then returned to her home in LA.
Founder, Rachel Roy
Rachel Roy is the founder & creative director of her eponymous brand and a tireless activist for using your voice to encourage change and to design the life you wish to live. Created in 2004, Rachel has built her ready-to-wear and accessories business into a globally recognized brand with product categories including contemporary, curvy, outerwear, jewelry and swim. Rachel is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Rachel founded Kindness Is Always Fashionable, an entrepreneurial philanthropic platform to help women artisans around the world create sustainable income for their families and communities. In 2018 Rachel was named a UN Women Champion for Innovation, and works for the UN advocating gender equality and focusing attention on these and related issues. Rachel nurtures young design talent globally through her work with the Who’s Next/Vogue Mexico, WoolMark Prize and CFDA incubator programs. She is an advisor to World of Children a national nonprofit organization that serves underprivileged children. Rachel is a sought after speaker on entrepreneurship and philanthropy and has shared her story at forums ranging from the White House to the Fortune Most Powerful Women conference. Rachel has been recognized by the Accessories Council with an ACE AWARD for best brand launch as well as Mattel’s 10 Women to Watch and numerous best dressed honors including Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List. Rachel has also been recognized for her innovative brand and film work by AdWeek Media and the LaJolla Fashion Film Festival. Rachel has been a contributing columnist to Huffington Post and InStyle magazine. Rachel’s work has been featured on CNN, The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and numerous other publications. In 2015 Rachel wrote, Design Your Life.
Co-Founder & Principal, Harrison & Shriftman
Lifestyle expert Elizabeth Harrison co-founded Harrison & Shriftman in 1995. With offices in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, H&S is a full-service agency specializing in integrated global communications, with dedicated media, experiential, influencer/celebrity and social/digital services. Known for setting the benchmark for ground breaking, press-worthy events, H&S redefined the industry by marrying celebrities and tastemakers with brands, bringing them press, advocacy and ultimately prestige. Over the years, Elizabeth has worked closely with world-class brands including: Booking.com, Juicy Couture, Jimmy Choo, Mercedes-Benz, W Hotels, and Bacardi. A 2002 top entrepreneurial leader in Inc. magazine’s list of 500 fastest growing private companies, H&S joined Omnicom Group in 2003 and in 2011, became Ketchum’s complementary sister-agency.
Elizabeth is also a co-author of several successful books and is frequently invited to share her luxury branding expertise at high-profile conferences and summits. In April of 2008, Elizabeth was a panelist at Harvard Business School’s Retail & Luxury Goods Conference and was invited to Harvard’s Dynamic Women in Business Conference to speak on an entrepreneurship panel. She has returned to Harvard many times, most recently to speak at Harvard’s 5th Annual CEO Roundtable: Building Leading Brands and Driving Growth. Elizabeth has also served as a panelist for Step Up Women’s Network’s “View from the Top” seminar.
In her spare time, Elizabeth is an active supporter of numerous charitable organizations. She has served on the board of Love Heals and the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education, and also works closely with the Ars Nova Theater Group. A native New Yorker, Elizabeth lives in Manhattan and is married with two daughters.
Founder, Pink Slip Power
Margaret Mary Luce started her career as a Ford model and actress. Walking the runway for designers such as Dolce and Gabbana and Valentino. Her lust for life and travel made complete sense to her Irish-born parents. Her father, Patrick Bastick hales from Westmeath and her mother, Marjorie Mannion from Galway.
Besides her professional focuses, Margaret is dedicated to improving the lives of others through volunteering at her favorite charities for over 20 years. She is a long-time board member of CARP Inc, (Comprehensive Alcohol Rehabilitation Center) and The Fern House, genuinely believing everybody deserves a second chance in life. Despite her glamorous lifestyle, her philanthropic undertakings help her stay grounded and compassionate.
Her latest endeavor, Pink Slip Power, is a promotions and consulting business whose main goal is to inspire a life of independence.
She currently resides in Jupiter, Florida and New York with her husband and children, John Conrad and Margaret Claire.
Margaret is incredibly proud of her heritage and the artistry of the Irish and is grateful to be invited in to WearingIrish by Margaret Molloy.
Editor, IMAGE Magazine
Having started her career in film, Rosaleen McMeel segued into TV for several years before the publishing world came calling. She worked on a number of leading national magazine titles before taking on her current role as editor of IMAGE Magazine in 2013. As challenging as it can be editing Ireland’s premier women’s glossy, Rosaleen gets to indulge her love for the fashion industry – the craft of couture, storied fashion houses and emerging designers – on a daily basis. Far from seeing fashion as frivolous, she believes that it occupies a very special space at the heart of contemporary culture, one that provides employment, an opportunity for creativity, communication, personal pleasure and functionality. When it comes to fashion, as with the arts, Ireland punches above its weight in terms of the talent it produces and Rosaleen considers it an honour to help promote and champion these exceptional creatives and their work through the pages of IMAGE magazine.
Senior Advisor, Engagement Strategy, Lincoln Center
Perry Hewitt is an established leader in digital strategy, with experience in both corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Her focus is on driving sustainable change to enable academic and cultural communities to adapt and thrive through digital transformation. She currently serves as Senior Advisor, Engagement Strategy at Lincoln Center.
Perry most recently led marketing at ITHAKA, an organization advancing global higher education through innovative use of digital. As Harvard University’s chief digital officer, Perry conceived and led digital strategy for marketing, communications, and engagement for the general public, media, and alumni worldwide.
Perry currently serves in a number of leadership roles at the intersection of marketing, technology, and entrepreneurship. She is a board member of Junior Achievement U.S.A., a trustee at the Harvard Club of New York, and an advisor at the Harvard Business School’s Digital Initiative. She advises students, startups, and cultural institutions; she also writes and speaks on topics including managing digital transformation from cultural change to AI, marketing and content strategy, women and leadership, and the social web.
She has lived and worked in Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and now lives in New York City.
Chief Marketing Officer, Keds
Emily joined the Keds team in 2015 as chief marketing officer of the iconic footwear brand. She is responsible for driving the strategic development and creative execution of Keds’ global marketing initiatives including retail development, omni-channel marketing, eCommerce, PR and content. Emily was recently recognized on the Business Insider 50 Most Innovative CMOs in the World, via the AdWeek 50 List and as a “CMO Rising Star” at the 2015 CMO Awards for her marketing leadership.
Prior to joining Keds, Emily led the e-commerce and omni-channel marketing teams at Rebecca Minkoff, with a focus on consumer marketing. She was a leader in the creation of the brand’s innovative NYC flagship “store of the future” and architect of the company’s digital strategies and new online experience. Additionally, Emily’s career history includes over ten years of experience leading global brand teams at worldwide agencies (Ogilvy, Digitas and Arnold) as well as marketing leadership roles with the Estee Lauder Co. and Unilever.
Emily frequently lectures at Columbia University (where she holds her MBA) and The Stern School for Business (NYU), and has spoken at numerous industry events such as Shop.org, NRF, Google Retail Summit, and SXSW. She holds a BA from Wake Forest University, and lives in Boston with her husband and two children.
Dean, Omnicom University and Founder, Omniwomen
Over the course of Janet’s years (too many to count) in advertising, her ability to collaborate has proven to be of incredible value as she has traveled the world on behalf of her agencies and clients.
Janet joined Omnicom in 2004 as Executive Vice President with oversight responsibility for many of their largest clients. In this role, she fostered and facilitated integrated solutions through multiagency collaboration; she interceded on behalf of both agencies and clients to develop solutions to any ongoing partnership issues; and tapped into Omnicom’s network of specialist agencies to bring ideas unique to their discipline to the clients.
In January 2012, John Wren asked Janet to become Dean of Omnicom University, Omnicom’s pre-eminent leadership development program. She agreed, and it has been an amazing privilege from the get-go.
On April 1, 2014, Omniwomen was launched. It is now a global movement with chapters being launched all over the world. The Omniwomen Global Advisory Council, which Janet is Chair, is populated with some of the most senior women leaders in Omnicom. Omniwomen’s mission is to drive advancement of women to senior leadership roles throughout the Omnicom network.
Prior to joining Omnicom, Janet was Senior Vice President, International Group Account Director, at DDB Worldwide with responsibility for the McDonald’s business in the 44 countries outside the US in which DDB serviced them. Her career started in the mailroom of a small advertising agency in Fairfield, Connecticut, after she graduated from Boston University with a degree in health care administration.
As passionate as Janet is about her role at Omnicom, she is equally passionate about her philanthropic pursuits. Janet is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the New York Women’s Foundation, the nation’s largest Foundation focused 100% on bettering the lives of women and their children and is a member of the Advisory Board of Take the Lead, a national organization dedicated to women in leadership.
President, American Express Travel
Audrey is the President of American Express Travel, one of the largest multi-channel consumer travel agencies in the world. She is responsible for delivering travel and lifestyle services through a network of over 9,000 advisors, overseeing the digital travel booking experience, travel benefits and programs, and marketing and engagement strategies for the premium Card Member base.
Prior to joining the Travel business, Audrey led the Global Commercial Payments and Consulting Services organization, bringing break-through products, features and services to businesses of all sizes internationally.
Audrey’s first foray in the Commercial business was leading OPEN Customer Acquisition, where she transformed small business customer acquisition and prospect engagement to drive innovations in digital marketing.
Audrey has earned many of American Express’ top awards and was inducted into the company’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
As an advocate for women in business, Audrey proudly serves as Chair for the New York Women’s Interest Network (WIN).
Audrey is an Honors graduate of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland where she received her Master’s in Marketing Management.
Co-Founder, Irish America Magazine
Patricia Harty founded Irish America Magazine along with publisher Niall O’Dowd in October 1985. Among Harty’s many interviews in the past 32 years are Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, Wall Street guru Peter Lynch, best-selling author Pat Conroy, Hollywood legend Gregory Peck, corporate titan Jack Welch and Ford Motor Executive Chairman William Clay Ford.
In 2017, Harty received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. On October 19, 2015, the 30th anniversary of Irish America, she was presented the Eugene O’Neill award by the Irish American Writers & Artists Association. In 2009, Harty received the Ambassador Award from the St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke, Massachusetts for her work “to promote the relationship between the people of the Republic of Ireland and the people of the United States.”
She was twice honored by the Office of the Comptroller of the City of New York for her “outstanding journalistic contributions to the Irish community in New York and throughout the United States.”
And in 2000, she was made a Citizen of the Bronx by Fernando James “Freddy” Ferrer, the Bronx Borough President.
Harty, who is a native of Tipperary, serves on the board of Glucksman Ireland House, NYU’s center for Irish studies. She also serves on the Irish Repertory Theater’s Advisory Board, and on the committee for the annual Women of Concern Luncheon which raises funds for the Irish relief organization Concern Worldwide.
In addition to her book, Greatest Irish Americans of the 20th Century, Harty contributed essays to Being Irish: Personal Reflections on Irish Identity Today, edited by Paddy Logue, and The Irish Face in America by Julia McNamara.
CEO & Co-Founder, Kong Digital
Robert Kelly is CEO and founder of Kong Digital – the creators of Kongalytics – a digital marketing platform that uses organic social data to drive pinpointed advertising campaigns and maximise ROI.
Founded in 2013 and winner of numerous awards including Intertrade Ireland’s National Seedcorn Award, Kong Digital has expanded rapidly and currently has a presence in Ireland, London, US and China. Robert is a serial entrepreneur and has a track record in building SaaS companies including Heart Rhythm International (HRI).
Robert has significant experience in building an online presence for clients. He truly believes in understanding the deep insights from online activity which provides the ability to harness organic social media campaigns to drive paid media campaigns and track the impact on SEO performance and ROI. Robert is an expert in this area and has spoken on numerous advisory panels. Global clients include Universal Music Group who manage over 450 of their artists social and ad accounts via Kongalytics.
Vice President for Consumer Retail, Enterprise Ireland
Catie has been in living in the US for almost 3 years and has just moved to NYC where she works as Vice President for Consumer Retail at Enterprise Ireland. Previously Catie was living and working in Boston for Enterprise Ireland where she successfully collaborated and partnered with major global pharmaceutical and healthcare companies to support Irish enterprises expand their business in the US. Catie is originally from Dublin and is a graduate of Trinity Collage having completed her degree in Business and German. She is excited to be living in New York and eager to get involved and support the Wearing Irish initiative.
As CEO of TPN, Sharon Love has built an agency unmatched in the shopper/retail marketing sector. TPN has experienced significant growth under Sharon’s leadership over the past 30 years, having grown from 20 employees in one office to 300+ employees in nine offices throughout the U.S and UK. Her curiosity and passion for the relationship between brands and customers and her “everything matters” leadership approach has enabled Sharon to build and maintain some of the industry’s longest-running, most productive client relationships, along creating an internal culture of respect and collaboration that attracts and retains a dedicated and talented group of marketing professionals.
To Sharon, “retail is a verb.” It’s not a place, but an experience and a state of mind where people can shift into shopping mode anywhere, at any time. Sharon focuses TPN on curating the best retail technology and innovation for her clients, brands and retailers, that continually optimizes and redefines what shopping means to customers.
Sharon spends a good part of her time with TPN clients including Hershey, Bank of America, The Clorox Company and PepsiCo looking for what’s next for their brands, shoppers and customers at retail.
Love donates her personal time and resources to causes focused on bettering the lives of women and children, including a 12 year Board tenure as a trustee of The Women’s Sports Foundation. She is happily married and splits her time between a city she loves (New York) a mountain to hike up with her dog (in northwestern Connecticut) and an airplane carrying her to her next adventure.
ANALISA LEONOR BALARES
CEO, Chief Innovation Officer and Founder, Womensphere
Analisa Leonor Balares is CEO, Chief Innovation Officer and founder of Womensphere, and Chair of the Womensphere Foundation. She leads the Womensphere Innovation Leadership Lab (WILL) and Womensphere Incubator Network (WIN), being built globally to inspire, train and empower 1 million women and girls by 2020 in leadership, innovation, sustainability, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & design, mathematics). Analisa has also been Convenor of the Womensphere Summits and Womensphere Festival, and Creator of the Womensphere Global Codefest, Global Artfest, and Global Videofest, the world’s largest empowerment initiatives for women and girls to leverage STEAM for the Sustainable Development Goals. She is Creator and Curator of the Global Expert Mentoring (GEM) Project, and Chair of New Champions 5050, a global initiative for gender equality bringing together men and women to join forces in creating an egalitarian, sustainable world. Analisa has been honored as a UBS Global Visionary and as an Outstanding Woman Leader by the Society of Foreign Consuls of New York. In 2012, she was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. She has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in America and in the World, and honored with the Madam CJ Walker Leadership Award by the US National Minority Business Council. Analisa previously worked at Microsoft, at Goldman Sachs’ High Technology Investment Banking where she helped execute $1.5 billion in IPOs and M&As for technology companies, and at Milestone Capital Management where she worked on the 85 Broads platform (now called Ellevate). Analisa serves as a Commissioner of the Women’s Refugee Commission, Advisory Board Member of Music Beyond, and is an elected Member of the Women’s Forum of New York, the International Women’s Forum and Women Moving Millions. She is also a NASA Datanaut, and experiments with NASA data from earth and planetary sciences, to astronomy and space science. Analisa is an alumna of Harvard Business School (MBA), Mount Holyoke College (Economics & Mathematics), Lester Pearson United World College (International Baccalaureate), and Manila Science High School.
Vice President of Quest at Liberty Fairs
Lizette Chin is a fashion industry veteran serving the better to luxury menswear sector for over 25 years. Currently she is Vice President of Quest at Liberty Fairs; a contemporary dual-gender trade event in New York and Las Vegas. Prior to Liberty Fairs, Lizette served as VP of Menswear for UBM and oversaw MR Magazine and the MRket trade shows for 12 years until early 2017. She stared her career at ENK International where she led The Collective, ENK’s upscale menswear show in the 90’s and early 2000’s.
She resides in New York City and has always had a passion for the fashion business.
Onmi Buyer – Jewelry and Watches, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF FIFTH
Jennifer Koche is the Buyer of fine jewelry, fashion jewelry and watches for Saks Fifth Avenue OFF FIFTH and Gilt Groupe. She is responsible for driving their lucrative accessory business for both brick & mortar and dot com channels. She previously held buying positions for Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook, Barneys New York and Club Monaco. She is a graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications.
Senior Advisor, The Boston Consulting Group
Maureen Mitchell is a Senior Advisor with The Boston Consulting Group working in their Asset & Wealth Management practice area, specializing in organizational transformation, global distribution and product development. She has been a strategic leader in the investment industry for more than 30 years working with companies such as GE and Bear Stearns.
Her work has included guiding teams through M&A, culture change, and the introduction of new technologies and performance management systems. Additionally, she has done extensive work with senior professionals on career transformation and acceleration.
Maureen is the former President of Global Sales & Marketing for GE Asset Management. She is widely recognized for her thought leadership coupled with rigorous execution. She possesses strong distribution, product development, regulatory and compliance oversight experience with large global platforms, and has worked across market channels and geographies, including the Americas and EMEA.
Maureen has extensive board experience and is currently a Trustee of the Natixis/Loomis Sayles Mutual Funds and a Director of Fieldpoint Private Bank & Trust. She is a former Governor of the Investment Company Institute.
A passionate advocate for education, Maureen is a trustee of the 21st Century Foundation for The City College of New York and was awarded Mentor of the Year in 2015 by She’s the First. She has been named to Irish America magazine’s Business 100 list recognizing the top Irish-American and Irish-born U.S. executives, and in 2016, as one of the 50 Top Power Women in the U.S.
Maureen is a frequent speaker on investing, business transformation, client management, operations best practices and women’s leadership.
Social Media Manager, Conde Nast’s Teen Vogue
Michaela O’Shaughnessy is the Social Media Manager at Conde Nast’s Teen Vogue. Hailing from Galway originally, Michaela previously worked for MTV where she managed the brands visual accounts as well as created and implemented social coverage plans for major tentpole events such as the VMAs, EMAs, and the Golden Globe Awards. Personally, she has a following of over 15K across social platforms, including her successful blog entitled ‘Life of a Lady Bear’ where she shares a range of content covering everything from career advice, recommendations for things to do in New York and her takes on the latest fashion trends.
Founder, ME Jewelry & previously Operations Department, Tiffany & Co.
Mary Enright has almost two decades experience in the jewellery industry in Ireland, her boutique jewellery design studio ME Jewellery was documented for two television shows and her jewellery designs have featured in print media alongside designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Channel and Dior. Mary’s work has been showcased at international shows in London and New York. She has worked with some of the finest goldsmiths and jewellery designers in Ireland and also with the iconicTiffany & Co. Following the success of her solo jewellery exhibition in New York in 2017 Mary relocated to the US where she continues to create one of a kind fine jewellery pieces exclusively for private clients.
Chief Marketing Officer, Richline Group, Inc.
Mr. Hanna is Chief Marketing Officer of Richline Group, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Company.
Mark graduated from NYU Stern with an MBA in Marketing and began his 45 years in the jewelry industry. He has had experience in all facets of management, manufacturing, marketing, sales and compliance.
Prior to this position, he has served as EVP Sales and Marketing for both Bel-Oro and Michael Anthony Jewelers and President of Leach & Garner International. In 2012, he was honored as one of US’s top 200 CMOs and again in 2015 as CMO of Year, Corporate Social Responsibility, by the CMO Club.
Mark is an active speaker and advocate on responsible issues including UL Responsible summit, MJSA Responsible panels, JIS Team leader, FJATA , USWTA, Ethical Metalsmiths, Pure Earth and Fairmined Gold advisory.
He, additionally, serves as a board member of Special Olympics, USWTA and the Responsible Jewellery Council plus is an active member and contributor to Manufacturing Jewelers Association and the CMO Club.
Digital Strategist, Big Spaceship
Lorna is a New York based Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger and a Senior Analyst at a Big Spaceship – A leading digital agency.
Through her blog, Lorna shares her love of fashion and travel, and provides an insight into life in New York. She has worked with brands including Rue La La, Dorothy Perkins, Cluse, Otter Box, Rachel Roy, and Blue Mercury.
In her day to day role she mines insights and helps craft brand and campaign strategies for some of the biggest global brands. Most recently her focus has been on YouTube, where she has been leadings analytics across the account.
Lorna holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from NUI Galway. Her research focused on Millennials Relationships with Fashion Brands. Her research has been published in top academic journals.
Director of Events, WearingIrish NYC 2018
Andrea is a New York based marketing executive who returns from a career break to manage the WearingIrish NYC 2018 Event. She brings a depth of knowledge of global event management from positions at Irish technology firms while based in Ireland, New York and California. Andrea graduated from University College Dublin with a masters of business studies in Marketing.
COLIN PETER O’RIORDAN
Digital Marketing Consultant, Text100
Colin is a Digital Marketing Consultant for Global Communications Agency, Text100, where he specializes in Social Media and Content.
Prior to moving to New York, he provided marketing consultancy to several brands across the pharmaceutical, tech, fashion and food industry. Colin is passionate about all things visual and in his spare time provides freelance photography services.
Originally from Killarney, Co.Kerry, he holds a BComm in Commerce from University College Cork and a Masters in Marketing Practice from National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG).
PEGGY JO DONAHUE
Founder, Peggy Jo Donahue
Peggy Jo Donahue, a writer by trade, creates content for the websites, blogs, and social networking feeds of various jewelry industry publications, associations, and private clients. She is the former editor in chief of both Professional Jeweler and JCK magazines, and is the author of five books. While serving as an editor, she was invited as a guest of Enterprise Ireland to attend Showcase Ireland in Dublin, where she was able to view and learn about the jewelry, silver, and glassware of contemporary Irish designers.
Tamara McCleary is the CEO of Thulium, a global marketing and digital consulting agency specializing in social media, brand amplification, and influencer marketing. Tamara also serves as a unique advisor and consultant to a variety of leading global technology companies such as Verizon, IBM, Mercer, SAP, Dell EMC, AWS, Huawei and Ericsson. Named the #1 most influential woman in MarTech by B2B Marketing, and featured as Entrepreneur Magazine’s 10 Online Marketers to watch in 2018, her reputation for creating powerful digital brand recognition is unparalleled.
CEO & Co-Founder, Lafayette 148 New York
Deirdre Quinn is the CEO and Co-Founder of Lafayette 148 New York, a New York based women’s apparel company named after the Soho street where it is still headquartered today.
Founded in 1996, the brand prides itself on its ability to bring affordable luxury to professional women across the globe, fusing luxurious fabrics and outstanding craftsmanship with a new aesthetic that draws from the dynamism of the city where it was founded. For quality control and timely delivery, the company owns its factory in Shantou, China. Having drawn on both her professional experience and her personal values, Deirdre has built a company that is entrepreneurial, team-oriented and multi-cultural.
Deirdre has a degree in Fashion Design, and prior to Lafayette 148 New York held senior positions with Liz Claiborne, Escada, and Donna Karan. Deirdre is committed to education as a means to create value for the future and serves on the Board of the School of Dreams, an elementary school near their production facility in Shantou, China that provides an equal opportunity for quality education to all children of migrant workers in Shantou, China. The School of Dreams is funded by Lafayette 148 New York.
Deirdre was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2010. She also serves as an Associate Partner with the Partnership for NYC, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to bringing business and government together to create a better life for the people, businesses, and communities of New York. Deirdre is also a proud member of C200, a committee comprised of the world’s most successful female corporate leaders and entrepreneurs.
In the summer of 2016, Deirdre was honored as the regional winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the category of Retail and Consumer Products. As the winner of this prestigious business award, she was recognized for taking Lafayette 148 New York to the top, acting as a true mentor to her team, and for her continued contributions to our global community.
Co-Anchor, Bloomberg Markets: European Close
Vonnie Quinn is the co-anchor of “Bloomberg Markets: European Close” and an anchor of Bloomberg Markets Americas daily, engaging with global discussions on economics, finance, investment, and geopolitics.
Born in Co. Limerick, Vonnie moved stateside in 2004, joining Bloomberg in 2006 after the completion of her studies at Columbia University, where she earned an M.A. and M.S. in journalism. Now internationally recognized, she has been awarded the ABC Frank Reynolds Fellowship, a French government medal, a Swiss Government Scholarship, and a National University of Ireland Travelling Studentship.
The family of Vonnie’s father is based in Clooneybeirne, Co. Roscommon, and her mother’s in Nine-Mile-House, Co. Tipperary. “My mother was the first Tipperary woman to be hired as a Pan American air-stewardess,” says Vonnie. “My dad traveled the world as chief civil engineer for Ireland’s electricity supply board. I’m proud to continue the family tradition of representing an Irish upbringing (full of music, dance, culture and education) on a global stage.” She adds, “Being Irish, to me, means having an unbounded curiosity about the world.”