The Retail Revolution
Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 11:00am to Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 6:00pm

Portland skyline with Mt. Hood in background

On October 24, Portland is ground zero for the retail revolution. Thought leaders, technology innovators and entrepreneurs — together with Portland State students, faculty and staff — are coming together to explore practices that are reshaping the new customer-centric retail narrative. It will be a provocative afternoon of short-format talks, panel discussions, audience participation, hands-on demonstrations and podcasts, all designed to expand your consciousness and provide an action plan for a relevant and resonant future.

What does the retail of tomorrow look like? For the past two years, GMDC’s Retail Tomorrow initiative has endeavored to answer this question with immersion conferences in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and Boston. Featuring innovators and disruptors from Amazon, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Tesla and more, Retail Tomorrow has embraced the possibilities and ambiguities of the future, defining not just best practices, but next practices.

Now, GMDC is partnering with Portland State’s Center for Retail Leadership to bring Retail Tomorrow to Portland with "The Retail Revolution." For more than a decade, the Center for Retail Leadership has been writing the retail narrative by bringing business and academic thought leaders together with students. Today the Center serves as a proving ground — a place where ideas come to life; a moment of truth for innovation; where concepts meet customers and needs meet solutions.

Join us as passionate industry leaders from varying backgrounds take the stage at Portland’s iconic Revolution Hall. Retail will be activated and unpacked, revealing how cutting-edge technology and customer-centric approaches influence empowered buyers.

The proving ground will be palpable throughout the day, especially when local disruptors pitch their ideas for retail innovation. There will also be ample networking opportunities during the opening exhibition hall and closing happy hour.

Thursday, October 24, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., Portland, OR


  • PSU alumni can get $15 tickets by using promo code PSU2019. 
  • PSU students, faculty and staff should complete this form for FREE tickets to the event, while supplies last. 


New Seasons Market



Nestle Starbucks



Modern Adventure







8:30 - 11:00 - PRE-EVENT: Network of Executive Women presents Unconscious Bias. Separate registration required

11:00 -12:30 - Exhibitors, networking and culinary tasting curated by New Seasons Market and featuring local women-owned businesses

12:30-12:45 - Open/Welcome

12:45-1:05 - Keynote: Justin Forsett, Founder & CEO Showerpill & NFL Running Back 

1:05-2:00 - Startup Panel & Discussion

The shape of retail tomorrow inevitably will be sculpted by startup companies with a unique view of how commerce will be conducted and consumers will be influenced. In this session, we've pulled together three unique individuals to talk about their nascent companies:Trestle, which is enabling the application of social consciousness when making shopping decisions; Open Voice Network, which is looking to expand the smart speaker world pioneered by Amazon, Apple and Google and make it available to the broader retailing ecosystem; and Riff Cold Brewed, which is run by an experienced beverage team with a unique view of how to make in an impact in a crowded space. Listen to them explain their unique business propositions, and then come together in a conversation to talk about common and divergent experiences.

  • Jennifer Johnson, Founder, Trestle
  • Jon Stine, Open Voice Network
  • Steve Barham, Co-Founder, Riff Cold Brewed
  • Debbie Kim, Chief Business Officer, Booster Fuels
  • Moderator: Angela Jackson, Managing Director, Portland Seed Fund 

2:00-2:30 - Michael Sansolo, Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council 

The Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council, made up of a rotating group of some of the nation's most ambitious and innovative retailers, recently did a deep-dive into what the store of the future is likely to look like, with an eye toward charting a variety of paths forward for food retailers. This presentation by Michael Sansolo, research director of the North America councils, outlines many ways traditional retailers could employ artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and even robotics to enhance the shopper experience. The goal: serve as a catalyst for conversation, change, evolution and even a bit of revolution.

2:30 - 2:45 - Break 

2:45 - 3:15 - Craig Dubitsky, CEO, Hello 

3:15 - 4:00 - Omnichannel Panel & Discussion

This conversation will start with a pointed question: Is the term "omnichannel" obsolete - or at least inadequate - for a time in which consumers have so many choices, and retailers of all stripes in all venues are having to make revolutionary changes in their business models in order to compete? We will talk with executives from companies that have taken the big view of the consumer landscape and have reinvented themselves in order to be both relevant (appealing to the mind) and resonant (appealing to the heart) to their customers. In this conversation, moderated by MorningNewsBeat "Content Guy" Kevin Coupe, we will examine not just issues of technology and infrastructure, but also the cultural adjustments that brands need to make in order to compete effectively in both the short-term and long-term futures.

  • Jillian Wendt, Director, Trade Marketing, adidas
  • Karyn Wright, Sr. Director, Nike App, Nike
  • Luis Vargas, CEO and Founder, Modern Adventure 
  • Moderator: Kevin Coupe, Founder and Content Guy, MorningNewsBeat 

4:00 - 5:00 - Pitch Competition (apply to pitch!)


  • Jaime Schmidt, Founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, and Co-Owner and Investor, Color 
  • Lori Hunter, Local Finds and Special Events Manager, New Seasons
  • Greg Parsons, Senior Director of Home and Product Development, Kroger
  • Laura Fischer, Business Analysis Manager, Brand Solutions, Nestle/Starbucks

5:00 - 5:20 - Keynote: Heidi Dohse, Sr. Program Manager, Google

5:20 - 5:45 - Innovation in Retail Wrap Up

  • Tom Furphy, CEO/Managing Director, Consumer Equity Partners
  • Kevin Coupe, Founder and Content Guy, MorningNewsBeat

In this closing session, Tom and Kevin will engage in a lively conversation that will bring together the themes and ideas expressed during the day. The result - attendees will be able to leave with actionable innovation-centric concepts that they will be able to apply to their businesses, and a new understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in the world of Retail Tomorrow.

5:45 - 6:00 - Pinot noir toast sponsored by Columbia Distributing

Agenda is subject to change.


Justin ForsettJustin Forsett, CEO & Co-founder, ShowerPill

From the backfield to the boardroom, NFL Pro Bowler Justin Forsett has morphed from football standout and fan favorite to successful entrepreneur and businessman. No stranger to hard work, perseverance and beating the odds, the 9-year NFL veteran is the CEO and co-founder of ShowerPill, a thriving activecare brand that he helped build into a multi-million dollar business. Since retiring from the NFL in May 2017, Forsett has transitioned into a full-time role with ShowerPill, most known for its Body Wipe, an extra-thick, disposable wipe proven to kill 99.9 percent of germs. With the product available for purchase at more than 1,000 locations, he has been at the helm of numerous impressive strategic relationships and sales partnerships, including with Target stores nationwide. Forsett has served as the face of ShowerPill in countless media appearances, most notably on ABC’s Shark Tank, FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN and Cheddar, as well as featured in Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, to name a few. Forsett is also an accomplished professional motivational speaker. Drawing from his personal experiences on the field and beyond, the talented dynamo is inspiring thousands around the globe with his stories of overcoming adversity, teamwork and leadership. His roster of speaking engagements includes Verizon, Wells Fargo and Finish Line, among others. And on football Sundays, the former running back can be seen as a sideline reporter for the Baltimore Ravens. But at the cornerstone of Forsett’s professional accomplishments is his commitment to giving back. Whether he’s personally distributing ShowerPill body wipes to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, donating time and money to charitable organizations or encouraging at-risk youth in underserved communities, philanthropy remains a priority for the Mulberry, Florida native. Forsett is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s “Crossover Into Business” program and holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, where he played collegiate football. He resides in Frisco, Texas with his wife Angela, a former Cal volleyball player, and their three children.

Jennifer JohnsonJennifer Johnson, CEO, Trestle

Jennifer Johnson, MPH has 6 years experience leading teams designing and implementing large, multi-state programs managing $6M budgets. She was the brain behind the innovative implementation of state workforce programs that have earned national acclaim and received ongoing funding and stellar third-party evaluated outcomes. Jennifer has a personal mission to meaningfully alter the systems in which we as humans operate to improve our chances for an engaged, healthy, and happy existence. She is currently living this out by founding Trestle - leading her team of seven to design the complex systems that make it easier to buy from companies who operate with our most important ethical values.


Jon StineJon Stine, The Open Voice Network

Jon Stine leads The Open Voice Network, a non-profit global association dedicated to artificial intelligence-enabled voice assistance that is open: standards-based, interoperable, accessible to all, and data-protected. He brings to this role more than 30 years of global leadership and study in retail and consumer goods business and technology. Jon’s industry knowledge was first shaped in the womenswear apparel business, as he headed sales of a well-known national brand to leading US department and specialty stores. In 2000, he joined the Intel Corporation to create and head its first global outreach to the retail and consumer goods industry. He guided retailers in the United States, Europe, India, and China on the topic of digital transformation, and co-founded both the Metro Group Future Store Initiative in Germany, and the Pan-Pearl River Delta Initiative, the latter creating the first transparent, RFID-enabled Guangzhou-to-Bentonville value chain. He joined Cisco Systems retail-CPG consulting team in late 2006, and later headed Cisco’s North America consulting practice for retail-CPG. In 2014, he returned to Intel as the Global Enterprise Sales General Manager for the retail, hospitality, and consumer goods industries. He stepped away from Intel at year-end 2018 on behalf of The Open Voice Network. Through the years, Jon has worked directly with customers across the Americas, Western and Central Europe, Middle East, India, China, and Japan, as well as delivery partners in hardware, software, services, and consulting. When not traveling on business, he resides in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Steve BarhamSteve Barham, Co-founder, Riff Cold Brewed

Steve is a proven entrepreneur focused on launching, building, and scaling pioneering companies. As co-founder and SVP of Sales and Revenue at mPower, he helped create one of the world’s earliest Robo-advisors, enabling consumers access to affordable, institutional-quality investment advice. Later Steve joined (NASDAQ: YDLE) to lead their client, revenue, and professional service organizations. In 2008 Steve joined LinkedIn and was involved in early-stage monetization efforts and became their first expat when he and his family moved to Australia for four years. During this time Steve led LinkedIn Talent Solutions expansion throughout Asia-Pacific, entering new markets and building teams and offices in Australia, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and China where revenues grew from $0 to over $140 million in less than five years. Today Steve's focus is on helping early, and mid-stage companies succeed. He leverages his experience to help founders and executive teams in areas such as enterprise sales, SaaS, marketing, customer success, talent acquisition, sales effectiveness, international expansion, organizational culture, managing hyper-growth, and venture capital fundraising.

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Debbie KimDebbie Kim, Chief Business Officer for Booster Fuels

Deborah Kim is the Chief Business Officer and President of Consumer at Booster Fuels, where she oversees sales, growth, and overall customer experience for Booster’s 20K+ customers across 20+ cities and hundreds of corporate campuses. As the chief evangelist for Booster, Deborah helps partners to leverage mobile fueling as both an employee benefit and a powerful incentive to influence employee behavior. Prior to joining Booster, Deborah was Head of Partner Growth at Enjoy Technology, working hand-in-hand with Enjoy’s retail partners to design and deliver the ideal at-home onboarding experience for their products. A former investment banker, she has also held senior positions across Sales, Marketing and Innovation at Apple, Citigroup, and Index Systems (acquired by Stripe).
Deborah received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Brown University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where she also ran her first of 12 Boston Marathons. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.

Angela JacksonAngela Jackson
Managing Director and Co-founder, Portland Seed Fund Executive Director, Entrepreneurial & Industry Engagement, Portland State

Angela Jackson is co-founder and managing director of the Portland Seed Fund, a top-performing private/public seed fund with 4 funds/$24 Million under management. The Fund has invested in ~100 high growth, capital-efficient companies in sectors including technology, energy, health and consumer product, primarily in the Northwest, including The Riveter and Auth0, its first unicorn (on paper!). Since 2011, the portfolio has realized numerous accretive exits while achieving stellar metrics for place-based investing/economic impact and backing diverse teams. Ms. Jackson has also shaped Portland State University's innovation and entrepreneurship presence in Oregon for the past nine years, most visibly through its award-winning Business Accelerator and signature student invention competitions. Ms. Jackson recently became a venture partner in Portfolia, a new women-led investing model based in San Francisco and investing nationally. Earlier in her career, she was a founding investor in Oregon Angel Fund and advised/invested in companies in multiple sectors, leading to several of the largest liquidity events in the region. She was a president of the Portland chapter of Keiretsu Forum, a Principal at Emergent Fund, and served as Chair of Angel Oregon, a premier angel investment competition. She was named 2018 Tech Champion of the Year by Technology Association of Oregon, and a Woman of Influence in 2015 by Portland Business Journal, and was a delegate to the US State Department's Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, India. She serves on the boards of Lumen Learning, the Oregon Film Board and the Angel Capital Association, and is a frequent judge/mentor for entrepreneur pitch competitions locally and globally. Ms. Jackson credits her serial entrepreneur family history with her comfort in the trenches of early stage entrepreneurship and investment. She holds a B.A. in English and history from Boston University and a M.A. in environmental studies from University of Oregon.

Michael SansoloMichael Sansolo, Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council

Countless studies and years of work with some of the world’s most innovative companies gives Michael Sansolo a unique and diverse view of the changing nature of trends impacting shoppers, employees, competition, economics, supply chains and management. A long-time senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute and now a consultant, speaker and author, Sansolo has traveled the globe working with companies on adjusting to new market conditions. He currently serves as the research director of the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils of North, working with these groups on emerging business topics such as social networking, emerging technology and changing consumer wants and needs. Sansolo recently authored Business Rules! a collection of diverse and useful lessons in business success. Stories are gathered from companies of all sizes and lessons from professional sports, Broadway Theater, a New York City catering company and pop star Lady Gaga. Previously, Sansolo co-authored The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies, a book that identifies creative lessons in leadership, marketing and workplace dynamics gleaned from movies as varied as The Godfather and Young Frankenstein. Topics in the book include ethics, brand building, crisis management, outside-the-box thinking and diversity. Sansolo also writes a weekly column on wide-ranging business trends for, a daily blog with nearly 35,000 readers.

Craig DubitskyCraig Dubitsky, CEO, Hello

Hello’s founder and CEO, Craig, is obsessed with design, transformational brands, and making stuff that elevates the every day. He was an early investor and board member in Method, the co-founder and creative lead at eos, the CMO of Popcorn, Indiana, and a board member of the Art Directors Club. He is Chairman of Lexicon's Advisory Board because he digs names, and was named to Advertising Age's Creativity 50 as one of the Most Influential and Innovative Creative Thinkers and Doers. Craig's a lover, not a fighter, and started hello because he was tired of hearing about a war in his mouth. Specialties: Proven ability to identify and exploit meaningful "white space" opportunities across various consumer sectors. Running between the legs of giants. Turning commodities into desirables.

Karyn WrightKaryn Wright, Nike

Karyn Wright is a retail, digital and branding executive with 20 years of corporate experience. She has a history of steering successful initiatives, creating and driving digital strategy, and surpassing targets that transform business and result in astronomical growth. Prior to Nike, Karyn served in a variety of leadership roles at Gap, Inc., including digital director at She also served as Lucy activewear’s director for digital and in-store merchandising.



Luis VargasLuis Vargas, CEO & Founder, Modern Adventure

Luis Vargas is one of the world's premier experiential travel executives and thought leaders. He has built and helped scale meaningful travel businesses with world-class brands such as Backroads, Disney, The Clymb and REI. Luis has served on the non-profit boards of Sustainable Travel International, Adventure Travel Trade Association, and the Adventure Cycling Association. He is the Founder and CEO of Modern Adventure, a VC backed travel company based in Portland, OR. Luis is a member and Chapter officer of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a mentor for the Future Leaders Academy for the Outdoor Industry Association. He also actively invests in, and is a Board Advisor to early-stage travel startups. Luis spoke at TEDxPortland to inspire people to invest in experiences instead of more stuff and his talk has over 1.3M views. He is a graduate of UCLA Anderson School of Management and is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. He deeply values community, and actively invest time, and resources, in those that have the power or potential, to inspire, convene, and be catalysts for change.

Heidi DohseHeidi Dohse, Sr. Program Manager, Google

Heidi Dohse, Sr. Program Manager at Google, works with the Cloud Healthcare & Life Sciences organization. She is a professional heart patient and the founder of Tour de Heart. Tour de Heart is a non-profit that provides education and resources on how to use digital health tools / apps that empower individuals to live active and healthy lives. Heidi is passionate about improving patient outcomes and uses her athletic events as a way to inspire other heart patients and show what is possible. She partners with physicians and researchers around the world to provide insights regarding the patient experience and ideas for engagement. She travels globally educating audiences on the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), data and healthcare. Heidi is a trailblazer. In 1982, Heidi was diagnosed with a rare heart arrhythmia. She underwent a successful AV ablation procedure leaving her heartbeat 100% pacemaker dependent. Heidi had open chest surgery in 2010, and with the help of her pacemaker, wearable devices, and applications she had the data she needed to get from the hospital bed to the finish line of a 50-mile bike race. Armed with her heart rate data and trained analytics, she now competes in endurance cycling events around the world. Having completed multiple 200 mile single day bike races and multi-day MTB stage races, her next personal challenge is training her pacemaker to run and swim complete her first IRONMAN event November 2019.

Tom FurphyTom Furphy, CEO, Consumer Equity Partners

Tom is CEO and Managing Director of Consumer Equity Partners in Seattle, WA that is building companies and capabilities to drive the next generation of consumer marketing and commerce. Within the portfolio, Tom is CEO of Replenium, a product replenishment platform designed to transform the traditional center store into an automated service. He also serves as Chairman of Ideoclick, Inc., an ecommerce agency that helps over 200 manufacturers, included some of the largest household brands, go to market through Amazon and other key ecommerce platforms. Tom currently serves on the board of directors of Regency Centers (NASDAQ:REG), the preeminent national owner, operator, and developer of shopping centers located in affluent and densely populated trade areas. Tom was an early investor and board member at BevyUp, whose technology is redefining the customer experience across retail channels. BevyUp was acquired by Nordstrom in March 2018. Prior to CEP, Tom was at Amazon as Vice President, Consumables and AmazonFresh, where he was responsible for building and running the company’s Grocery, Health & Beauty and AmazonFresh businesses. Prior to Amazon, Tom was the founder and CEO of Notiva, a Software-as-a-Service collaboration platform for retailers and their suppliers to manage business-to-business transactions, which sold to Oracle. Tom broke into retail through various senior management roles at Wegmans Food Markets.

Kevin CoupeKevin Coupe, Founder, Morning News Beat

Kevin Coupe is a writer who for more than 30 years has been bringing to audiences all over the world a wealth of experience, sharp storytelling skills, provocative and contextual insights, unique worldview and serious levity about the world of business and consumers. He is the author of “Retail Rules! 52 Ways To Achieve Retail Success," a guidebook for competing effectively and efficiently on Main Street. And he is the co-author, with Michael Sansolo, of “The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies,” which uses film narratives to teach about leadership, marketing and surviving the workplace. For more than 17 years, he’s had his own website/blog – – launched before the word "blog" was coined. MNB provides “business news in context, and analysis with attitude” to more than 30,000 subscribers all over the world. An independent survey ranked MNB as the “top industry news and information site.” Kevin is the host of “Retail Tomorrow,” a new podcast that features innovators from the worlds of retail, brands, technology, and academia, focusing on the new ecosystem driving the retail industry into the realities and possibilities of tomorrow. Kevin also is an adjunct faculty member of Portland State University’s Center for Retail Leadership in Oregon, where he has been teaching a summer marketing course for more than seven years. In addition to speaking at hundreds of conferences in the U.S. and abroad and reporting from 49 states and six continents, Kevin has been a daily newspaper reporter, magazine writer/editor, video producer, bodyguard, and clothing salesman. He has supervised a winery tasting room (happily), run two marathons (slowly), driven a race car (badly), learned to box (painfully) and acted in a major (but obscure) motion picture. At present, Kevin is working with Michael Sansolo on a sequel to “The Big Picture,” to be published in 2019. The title: “THE BIGGER PICTURE: Business & Life Lessons from the Movies, TV, & Popular Culture.” He is married with three grown children, and lives in Connecticut.



Jaime SchmidtJaime Schmidt, Founder of Schmidt’s Naturals
Co-Owner and Investor, Color

Jaime Schmidt is an entrepreneur and the founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, a brand of natural personal care products that she started in her kitchen in Portland, Oregon in 2010. Jaime is known for modernizing natural personal care products, including the customer-favorite deodorant, and bringing them to the mainstream market. Under her leadership, Schmidt’s grew into a household name lining the shelves of retailers including Target, Costco, Whole Foods, Walmart and CVS across 30 countries. In 2017, Schmidt’s partnered with CPG giant Unilever, with Jaime continuing as the brand’s founder. Today, Jaime is focusing her efforts on helping emerging entrepreneurs pursue their own dreams. In June 2019, Jaime launched Supermaker, an editorial-driven platform that celebrates diverse, independent brands and creators, and hosts conversations that empower progressive values in the workplace. Jaime is also the co-founder of Color, an investment portfolio that supports diverse and underrepresented founders, and co-owner of local entrepreneurial collective Portland Made. She is regularly profiled in prominent press including Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes and Fast Company. Jaime is an inaugural member of the Inc. Founders Projectand has also been recognized as 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (Goldman Sachs, 2017 & 2018), PNW Entrepreneur of the Year (Ernst & Young, 2017), Women of Influence (Portland Business Journal, 2018) and Executive of the Year (Portland Business Journal, 2017).

Lori HunterLori Hunter, Local Finds and Special Events Manager, New Seasons

Lori Hunter is the Local Finds and Special Events Program Manager for New Seasons Market. She is responsible for developing the neighborhood grocers’ local small-batch product offerings and events, providing local producers one-on-one mentorship and support to grow their business and create unique food experiences for our community. With an extensive background in culinary retail, her passion is supporting small local vendors and helping them navigate the complex world of the grocery business. As a native New Yorker, Lori made her way to the Pacific Northwest via diverse roles in the food and beverage industry in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Scottsdale, Arizona. She is happy to call Portland home, where she loves to discover local finds at neighborhood markets and enjoy delicious, seasonal meals from talented chefs in our community.

Laura FisherLaura Fischer, Business Analysis Manager, Nestle

Laura Fischer is a Business Analysis Manager at Nestle Coffee Partners division of Nestle. Her area of focus is the Foodservice Channel, where she provides forecasting, business case and decision support for senior leadership. Laura also has a robust background in CPG finance, most notably at Craft Brew Alliance in Portland, OR, where she served in several business, strategy and financial analysis roles supporting Brand Management and Retail Marketing. Prior to that, Laura spent five years in the Wind Turbine industry, working in FP&A and Sourcing Finance. Laura received her Master’s in Business Administration from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Greg ParsonsGreg Parsons, Senior Director of Home & Product Development, Kroger

Greg Parsons is the Senior Director of Home for the Kroger Company. In this role, he leads a dynamic team in developing and delivering the go to market home strategies to support Kroger Restock. Greg joined the Kroger family of stores in 1987 working in the apparel department at Fred Meyer, one of two Kroger divisions with multi department store formats combining grocery, home, garden, beauty, apparel and pharmacy all into one amazing customer experience. Prior to his current position, Greg spent years leading the general merchandise product development teams who exploded the penetration of exclusive private brands throughout the home and apparel divisions in Kroger. With more than 30 years of experience, Greg considers his legacy to be the impact he has had helping his teams deliver strong results and the professional partnerships he has forged across the globe. Greg, a native Oregonian, and his wife Linda, enjoy spending time with their two sons, Jake and Ethan.