OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER MARKET 2010 WHAT WOMEN WANT (AND HOW TO CONVINCE THEM YOU’VE GOT IT) PANEL PRESENTATION BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Panelist Sharon Leicham is the author of Merchandising Your Way to Success and How to Sell to Women. She consults nationally with manufacturers and retailers to help them improve their merchandising and display with the result being increased profitability. She began her career with Royal Robbins retail and then moved to the wholesale division serving as National Sales Manager. While at Specialized Bicycled Components she headed global and trade marketing, establishing Specialized concept shops and point of purchase materials. At Sierra Designs she headed the apparel division and worked with retailers to ensure sell through of Sierra Designs products. She has served as Merchandising Editor for Outdoor Retailer magazine and SNEWS, and writes and speaks about visual merchandising for a number of trade magazines and shows. Panelist Kim Walker, co-founder and owner of outdoor DIVAS has over 16 years of retail experience. She launched outdoor DIVAS, the first women's-specific outdoor and snow sports shop, with partner Michael Callas in 2002. In addition to offering the best technical women's-specific gear and apparel, outdoor DIVAS also educates women with a line-up of classes and events. Kim is called upon to contribute to product design for notable outdoor and ski industry manufacturers and she speaks regularly at industry events including the Outdoor Industry Rendezvous and at SIA's annual summit. She was also recognized in SBG Magazine's "Top 40 Under 40" and was recently elected to the OIA's Board of Directors. In her free time, Kim loves to play outside. Mountaineering near her Boulder home-base has taken Kim to the summit of more than half of Colorado’s fifty-four 14,000 foot peaks. She is a multiple marathoner, expert skier, enthusiastic mountain biker, and mother. Panelist Elizabeth Howland is the principal and founder of andHow, a marketing firm specializing in helping companies market more effectively to women. She formed andHow because she believes that if companies would be willing to listen, set aside stereotypes and clearly and consistently communicate their brand values to their segment(s) of the women’s market, they would be practically assured of success. Over the past four years, andHow has developed brand strategies for companies in the apparel, sports, wine, financial services and personal care industries. Prior to founding andHow, , Elizabeth spent several years in executive positions for multi-channel retail firms including Genesis Direct, Triplex Direct Marketing and Gymboree. She was also VP of Marketing at Athleta, where she directed all marketing functions and led the design and production of the Athleta catalog and e-commerce store. She developed and managed customer research programs, including an in-depth customer survey and facilitation of focus groups, which showed the power of gaining feedback from women in real world settings. She lives in Petaluma, California and enjoys serving on the Board of Friends of the Petaluma River, rowing, sailing and playing the mandolin in a bluegrass group. Panelist Thayer Sylvester co-founded the beach lifestyle apparel brand Carve Designs in 2003 with her lifelong friend Jennifer Hinton. Prior to founding Carve Designs, she worked for Alpine Investors, LLC, a $150M private eEquity firm for whom she managed portfolio companies, secured credit facilities, and developed sales strategies and operations systems. Early in her career, Ms. Sylvester worked for Nonstop Solutions and The Gillette Company. Ms. Sylvester earned a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She currently lives in Northern California with her husband and two young daughters. When she’s not busy as the CEO of Carve Designs, you can find her enjoying the outdoors with her family. Panelist Beth Kepler characterizes herself as a research-driven designer and takes pride in identifying white space in the market, defining its parameters and building brand identity to match. She founded Studio Iugo in 2005 after successful stints with Nike and The North Face, and has done color trend, merchandising and product design work for clients including: Timberland OP, Keen, Chaco, Mammut, Jansport, Oakley, Camelbak, Petzl, Timbuk2,and Wrangler. During her 12-year career in the outdoor and design industries, Beth has seen dozens of great products fizzle internally before getting to market because the strategy was unclear to the stakeholders. This compelled her to emphasize clear product concepts, tied to consumer need and trend, from inception of design. When it comes to women's product, Beth says there is both greater potential for success and larger margin for error than there is with men's product because of the variety in both consumer taste and shape. In addition to managing her business, Beth enjoys Sudoku, climbing, singing, sewing, skiing and playing with her daughters from her Golden, CO home. Moderator Kristy Holland is the Editor in Chief of Women's Adventure magazine, the only sports, travel, and lifestyle magazine published specifically for active women. She's passionate about inspiring women to explore the outdoors by sharing advice and stories that empower and create community. Kristy's outdoor have included stints as a search and rescue volunteer, the first-mate of a tall ship, a Tibetan-school teacher, and the navigator of an adventure racing team. She has worked for and written for magazines including Portland Monthly, Chicago, Backpacker, and Bicycling. She currently lives within walking distance of Boulder Colorado's Flatirons—which she climbed for the first time this July.
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