Aspire with Zipline: The Virtual Event

The cure for retail’s mid-year slump.

It’s officially the back half. Projects are piling up, deadlines are zooming by, field teams are already overloaded, and peak season is right around the corner.

How does a retail leader stay motivated and focused on what’s to come when they can barely keep their head above water?

Enter Aspire:

a virtual event for retailers who are looking for a little white space and a lot of motivation. We’ve curated an agenda full of top-of-mind industry trends, keynote speakers, peer networking, insightful discussions… and thrown in some cool swag to boot.

When: Thursday, October 13th, 2022

Where: Online from the comfort of your couch, kitchen table, or home office

What: A free (!) virtual experience for aspirational retail brands who want to think bigger about what they want to achieve in the back half and beyond.


9:00am PT12:00pm ET
Emily Lane, Head of Content at Zipline

9:05am PT12:05pm ET
Thinking Bigger in the Back Half
Melissa Wong, CEO & Co-founder at Zipline

9:10am PT12:10pm ET
Flock Together: Inside Allbirds’ winning employee experience
Scott Thomas, Sr. Manager, Global Retail Communications and Engagement at Allbirds
Moderated by Melissa Wong, CEO & Co-founder at Zipline

9:30am PT12:30pm ET
Retail Tech Trends to Watch
Cathy Hotka, Principal at Cathy Hotka & Associates
Joe Keenan, Editor-in-Chief at Total Retail
Mike Debnar, Principal, Retail and Digital Innovation at Medallia
Moderated by Michelle Wohl, VP of Marketing at Zipline

10:05am PT1:05pm ET
Peer Speed Networking

10:35am PT1:35pm ET
Holiday Shopping Sneak Peek: A look at 2022 consumer trends
Katherine Cullen, Senior Director, Industry and Consumer Insights at the National Retail Federation
Moderated by Amyra Rand, Senior Vice President of Sales at Zipline

10:55am PT1:55pm ET
Retail’s Responsible Reset
Michael Butensky of Accenture

11:10am PT2:10pm ET
Tactical Transformation: Getting buy-in for big changes
Amanda Astrologo, Partner at Parker Avery Group
Emily Lane, Head of Content at Zipline

11:30am PT2:30pm ET
Emily Lane of Zipline

Meet the Experts:

Melissa Wong

CEO & Co-Founder, Zipline

Melissa Wong is a retail veteran and consumer technology expert, having spent over 10 years focusing on retail communications at Old Navy. During her time in one of North America’s largest retailers, she focused on improving the way the company communicated with the field, ultimately improving store execution and driving sales. She now serves as the founder and CEO of Zipline, a leading retail communication and store execution solution loved by the most innovative brick-and-mortar brands in the world.

Amanda Astrologo

Partner, The Parker Avery Group

Amanda Astrologo has over 20 years of retail corporate and store experience, including key leadership positions in merchandising, planning, replenishment, and forecasting. Her broad experience encompasses retailers from various geographies and segments, including grocery, apparel, department store, specialty, and value Amanda’s deep knowledge of retail business processes and leading practices has proven instrumental in driving meaningful transformation in many retail organizations. She has individually penned and co-authored publications focused on merchandising, software selection, and inventory deployment. Amanda has developed close working relationships with clients including At Home, Belk, Kendra Scott, Orvis, Party City, The Fresh Market, and other major retail and CPG companies.

Katherine Cullen

Sr. Director Industry and Consumer Insights, NRF

Katherine Cullen is senior director of industry and consumer insights for the National Retail Federation’s research team. In this capacity, she leads NRF’s research on consumer spending and emerging retail trends and develops new research initiatives and partnerships.

Prior to joining NRF, Cullen worked in customer strategy and intelligence at Macy’s Inc., where she developed customer-centric strategies to inform assortment, marketing and distribution decisions for Macy’s womenswear brands. Cullen also spent six years in fraud and programs analysis for the Department of Justice and Department of Education.

Joe Keenan

Editor in Chief, Total Retail

Joe Keenan is the editor-in-chief of the Retail and Travel Group at NAPCO Media, which includes Total Retail, Women in Retail Leadership Circle, and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality. Previously, Joe served as senior editor at Reed Technology & Information Services.

Cathy Hotka

Principal, Cathy Hotka & Associates, LLC

Cathy Hotka knows most of the retail chief information officers in North America, and creates opportunities for retail leaders to network with one another. Her firm creates networking events, summits, and parties, and helps technology companies create go-to-market strategies for retail. Clients include most of the largest technology companies throughout the world.

After starting her career in the White House and on Capitol Hill, Cathy turned to association work. She created the NRF CIO Council and NRFtech, which have changed the way CIOs converse. She established Cathy Hotka & Associates to create communities to facilitate constructive networking and finding new solutions to shared problems. Since then, she has created the Store Operations Council, the VP IT Council, and the newly-formed CXO Council.

Michelle Wohl

VP of Marketing, Zipline

Michelle Wohl is the VP of Marketing at Zipline. Michelle began her career in product marketing at GoLive Systems, a leader in Web technology that was acquired by Adobe. At Adobe, Michelle led product marketing for the Web products, and later, Adobe Acrobat. Michelle then went on to pursue her interest in mobile and joined Nokia as head of Platforms Marketing. Based in Helsinki, Michelle was responsible for marketing the SmartPhone platform to application developers all over the world. Later, Michelle joined Revinate, the leading marketing software solution in the hospitality space. Responsible for driving growth and adoption, Michelle grew the customer base to more than 35,000 hotels in four years. Michelle graduated from Cornell University with a BA in English.

Michael Butensky

Managing Director, Accenture

Michael Butensky is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Retail Strategy practice. Michael has exceptional depth in store operations, workforce planning, process design and re-engineering, revamping customer experience models, and retail operations organizational design. Throughout his consulting career, Michael has worked with many North American retailers in virtually all formats, including department store, specialty apparel, hard goods, and grocery. Prior to Accenture, Michael worked for Hudson’s Bay Company. Michael holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University.

Scott Thomas

Global Retail Communications and Engagement, Allbirds

Scott Thomas is a “retail lifer” with 15 years of experience in retail communication, employee engagement, and conference management. He spent several years at Old Navy and Gap before pivoting to the startup world, landing first at Stitch Fix and now Allbirds. In his current role, Scott manages global retail communication end to end including strategy development, content curation, and process implementation. He is excited to leverage his knowledge and experience to support the rapidly growing Allbirds retail fleet.

Emily Lane

Head of Content, Zipline

Emily Lane is Head of Content and a product evangelist at Zipline, working with customers and prospects to drive store execution and engagement through better communication. Prior to Zipline, Emily spent 10 years managing store communication at major retail brands like Gap and Old Navy.

Amyra Rand

SVP of Sales, Zipline

Amyra is the SVP of Sales at Zipline and brings 20 years of experience leading high-growth sales organizations across a wide variety of verticals in the software industry, including retail, enterprise resource planning, human capital management, healthtech, marketing. Her background in operational excellence brings a unique perspective to change management and scaling an organization. She graduated with as BA in Criminology, Law and Society from UC Irvine and has an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine.

Mike Denbar

Solution Principal, Medallia

Mike is a former Medallia customer from 7-Eleven, Inc. where he served in a joint role as Vice President/Co-founder of 7-Ventures as well as leader of the Digital Innovation team. He is known as a visionary and transformative thinker, Mike led 7-Eleven in defining the strategy for customer experience and innovation. Mike has an extensive background in CRM and VOC. He created a program at 7-Eleven called Digital Guest Experience which combined loyalty/CRM, Customer Experience Management, and mobile and social channels. He works with new and existing Medallia customers to leverage digital channels to expand their CX programs. Mike holds a degree in management information systems (MIS) from University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business and is a frequent guest lecturer at Texas A&M University on the topic of innovation.

Save your spot today!

*Please note that you must register by 9/29 to receive your swag box

Take the Store Enablement Assessment

Better store execution is closer than you think, and Zipline’s Store Enablement Assessment can show the way. Take the quiz and get your results in less than 10 minutes.

Start now!