8 people guiding great conversations at NRF Retail Converge

Master moderators make the human connection

Some of the most important roles at any conference are the session moderators. A good moderator keeps the conversation flowing, controls the quality of responses from the speakers, and makes sure the audience gets the most out of the session.

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Register now for NRF Retail Converge to join these sessions in June!

But being a moderator at a virtual event is especially important — and challenging. Ensuring the audience is engaged and interested during a virtual event takes tremendous skill on the part of even the most seasoned of moderators. And helping with the human connection — i.e., “getting through the glass” — can be especially difficult.

NRF’s new virtual show NRF Retail Converge will feature a slate of moderators who know how to facilitate engagement between the speakers and the audience, and deliver memorable conversations that will continue long after the sessions are over.

Sara Eisen

As co-anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” Sara Eisen has racked up interviews with some of the most prominent names in the financial world, including Phil Knight, Leon Black, Janet Yellen and Christine Lagarde. So she’s more than ready to sit down at NRF Retail Converge with Best Buy’s former chairman and CEO Hubert Joly to discuss the retailer’s spectacular turnaround under his stewardship. Through her expert interviewing skills, Eisen will help Joly share memorable stories, leadership lessons and practical advice for putting purpose at the heart of business. 

Learn more: The heart of business: Leadership principles for the next era of capitalism

Courtney Reagan
Courtney Reagan,
CNBC’s Senor Retail Reporter

Stephanie Mehta

Fast Company Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Mehta is no stranger to the world of high-profile conferences. As a deputy editor at Vanity Fair, she launched the Founders Fair conference for female entrepreneurs and curated the invitation-only New Establishment Summit. At NRF Retail Converge, Mehta will moderate a one-on-one chat with UPS CEO Carol Tomé about how UPS is moving the world forward by delivering what matters.

Learn more: Partnership paradigm: Delivering operational excellence at the speed of retail

Courtney Reagan

As part of her coverage of the retail sector, CNBC’s Senor Retail Reporter Courtney Reagan has interviewed the CEOs of Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s, The Home Depot, Gap Inc., Burberry, eBay, JCPenney and many others. Reagan will add another impressive name to the list when she sits down for a fireside chat with Bed Bath & Beyond President and CEO Mark Tritton to talk about how he is steering the retailer to drive change in sales, profitability and customer growth.

Phil Wahba
Phil Wahba,
Senior Retail Writer for Fortune

Learn more: Anatomy of growth-driven transformation

Phil Wahba

Big companies are Phil Wahba’s beat: The senior retail writer for Fortune covers retail, consumer goods and restaurants, focusing on how companies including Kohl’s, Target and Walmart are re-inventing themselves in a changing world. Wahba will moderate two sessions at NRF Retail Converge, a panel discussion with leaders from Gap, Albertsons and Total Wine & More on how they successfully adapted and survived the retail challenges of 2020, and a Wednesday fireside chat with Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass on her strategic vision for the company’s long-term growth.

Learn more: How Gap Inc., Albertsons and Total Wine & More successfully navigated the greatest disruptor of our lifetime, evolved and prepares for the future; Leading in the new normal

Kate Rogers

Kate Rogers
Kate Rogers,
CNBC Reporter

For the last seven years, CNBC’s Kate Rogers has covered the restaurant industry, small businesses and entrepreneurship for the network, appearing on CNBC’s Business Day programming and providing daily stories and videos to CNBC.com. So Rogers is the perfect moderator to guide a one-on-one discussion with Southeastern Grocers CEO Anthony Hucker. Rogers will speak with Hucker about SEG’s journey of transformation, how to build trust from within a business, and why putting people first is the bedrock of his company’s long-term strategy.  

Learn more: Southeastern Grocers explores a future fueled by trust

Lauren Thomas

Lauren Thomas is a retail reporter for CNBC with a focus on mall-based retailers, the apparel industry and retail real estate. Thomas will moderate two back-to-back sessions with retail leaders at NRF Retail Converge. First, she will sit down with Nordstrom Rack’s President Geevy Thomas to explore how the off-price brand serves a diverse range of customers in personalized ways while creating an unmatched digital presence in the off-price space. Following that, Thomas will delve into Macy’s omnichannel ecosystem with Chief Store Officer Marc Mastronardi.

Jill Manoff
Jill Manoff,
Editor-in-Chief for Glossy

Learn more: Nordstrom Rack: Building a new off-price business model for the modern customer; The role of stores in a digitally led ecosystem

Jill Manoff

Should retailers be on TikTok and if so, how can they tailor their campaigns to engage and convert this coveted audience? Glossy Editor-in-Chief Jill Manoff will use her expertise in retail technology to guide this panel discussion featuring TikTok’s Matt Cleary. Retail leaders from Hollister and Kate Spade New York will provide lessons, takeaways and practical insight on how to appeal to TikTok users.

Learn more: TikTok – the phenomenon that is, and how to make it work for retailers and brands.


Emma Court

Emma Court
Emma Court,
Reporter for Bloomberg News

For the past year, Emma Court has been at the forefront of reporting about COVID-19 for Bloomberg News, including the push to scale up virus testing, deadly new surges and fledgling reopening efforts. In addition, she has reported extensively on how the health care industry is evolving and the challenges new business models represent to the status quo. Court will delve into that issue during a session featuring Carolyn Witte, CEO and co-founder of women’s health care startup Tia, and Walgreens Boots Alliance Senior Vice President, Global Chief Innovation Officer Vish Sankaran. 

Learn more: The consumerization of healthcare: Transforming the patient experience

To hear all these moderators and learn from retail leaders at NRF Retail Converge, register for the event, to be held virtually June 21-25.

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