Featured Speakers


President, SageBerry Consulting/Forbes Contributor

Steve Dennis is a strategic advisor, speaker and writer on retail innovation and the future of shopping. As President of SageBerry Consulting, Steve works with retail, luxury and social impact brands to create compelling growth strategies. Prior to founding SageBerry, he was the chief strategy officer and head of multichannel marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group.
As a speaker, Steve has delivered keynotes on five continents, sharing his perspective on what it takes to be truly remarkable in the age of digital disruption. He is also a contributor for Forbes magazine and has been named a top global retail industry influencer by multiple groups.

Steve received a BA in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School..

Director of Construction, L Brands

Eric Russell is Director of Construction at L Brands, responsible for over 250 store build-outs on the Bath and Body Works program last year.  He is the point person for GC strategy and activity across all L Brands banners, totaling more than 400 projects.  

Eric previously led construction for Luxottica / Nextore, where he was accountable for the development and build-out of all divisions’ projects including Lens Crafters, LC inside Macy’s, Sunglass Hut, SGH inside Macy’s, Oakley, and more.  
Eric is a veteran member of the SPECS Advisory Board, actively involved in the content planning for each year’s event.



Founder, McDonald Marketing

Kelly McDonald is a marketing and advertising specialist and considered one of the nation’s top experts in consumer trends, generational differences and leveraging the customer experience.  She is the founder of McDonald Marketing, which has twice been named one of the “Top Ad Agencies in the U.S.” by Advertising Age magazine and ranked as one of the fastest-growing independently owned companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine.

Kelly has been featured on CNBC, in Forbes Magazine, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, on CNNMoney.com and on SiriusXM Radio.  Her client experience includes iconic brands such as Toyota, State Farm, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Miller-Coors and Sherwin-Williams.  In addition to her extensive public speaking experience, she is also the author of three bestselling books:

Her latest, "How to Work With & Lead People Not Like You,” was #9 on the list of Bestselling Business Books of 2017.
Her first, “How to Market to People Not Like You,” was #7 on the list of Bestselling Business Books of 2011.
Her second book, “Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You,” was #5 on the list of Bestselling Business Books of 2013.

Kelly is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  She now lives in Denver, Colorado.  When she’s not speaking and traveling for business, she enjoys hiking in the mountains and being outside.  And shopping for high heels.