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ICR Announces Schedule and Panels for the 2019 ICR Conference


ICR, a leading strategic communications and advisory firm serving more than 650 private and public company clients, today announced the schedule for the 21st Annual ICR Conference, one of the largest investment conferences of the year. The event will take place January 14th “ 16th, 2019 at the Grand Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The annual growth company event will commence with public company presentations on Monday, January 14thand Tuesday, January 15th followed by private company presentations on Wednesday, January 16th. A comprehensive conference schedule, including public and private company presentations and breakout sessions, can be found by visiting

For the past 21 years the ICR Conference has served as the most comprehensive forum for exchanging knowledge and insights on corporate strategy and industry trends for the year ahead, said Tom Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, ICR. The event has grown exponentially since its inaugural year in 1998 and we are proud to have assembled a record number of management presentations over a three-day period. Additionally, this years panels and keynote speakers will offer a timely analysis, insight and substantive discussion points on some of the most pivotal business topics in the coming year.

The ICR Conference agenda will look closely at big picture trends and changes that are taking place. In addition to a world class three-day conference program comprising more than 160 company presentations, the event will feature several collaborative panels which will cover a variety of thought-provoking industry hot topics, including restaurant and retail technology, how changing consumer demands are impacting retail and food, and the growing cannabis industry. The topics and panelists are as follows:

CEO Panel

Hear from leading CEOs about their key takeaways from 2018 and their views on the year ahead on topics such as approaches to customer acquisition and engagement, the real estate environment and digital strategies.

  • Christopher J. Baldwin, Chairman, President and CEO of BJs Wholesale Club and Chairman of the National Retail Federation
  • Joel D. Anderson, President and CEO of Five Below
  • Chris Rondeau, CEO of Planet Fitness

A View from the Ground: How Retail Centers are Adapting to Changing Consumer Demands

Consumer patterns are evolving, but a brick and mortar presence remains key to most retailers. Hear from a diverse group of leading retail landlords and leasing professionals on how they are adapting their strategies to keep their centers vibrant, what drives leasing demand, and whats in store for 2019.

  • Moderator: Stephen Swett, Managing Director, ICR
  • Benjamin Schall, CEO & President, Seritage Growth Properties
  • James Taylor, CEO & President, Brixmor Property Group
  • Thomas McDonough, President & COO, Tanger Outlet Centers
  • Randy Willis, Open Realty Advisors

Putting the AI in Retail

Depending on who you speak with, retail is either undergoing a renaissance or in need of resuscitation, due to a myriad of long-standing issues, new challenges and varying perspectives. No matter the perceived state of retail, one thing is for sure “ AI is coming to the industry in a big way, with the potential to not just improve current processes and decision-making, but to create entirely new experiences, revenue streams, and customer value. In this session, a panel of technology vendors will share experiences from the field as they attempt in earnest to put the AI in retail.

  • Moderator: Tim Brown, former President & COO, Chobani
  • Panelist: Paul Breitenbach, CEO, r4 Technologies
  • Panelist: Jonathan Crane, Chief Commercial Officer, IPsoft
  • Panelist: Ben-Ami Gradwohl, Ph.D., Co-Founder & CEO, Cognovi Labs

The Bifurcated Consumer: What Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers Are Looking for from Food to Entertainment

Brian Todd, President of the Food Institute, will be speaking about how different segments of the population spend their money on eating, drinking, and leisure activities. Brian has been featured on The Today Show, NBC, CBS, PBS, and NPR and has been quoted in Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Supermarket News, and Progressive Grocer. The Food Institute is an information service for the food industry and the financial community, established in 1928. The Food Institute disseminates industry information ranging from consumer issue to retailer insights and economic issues and forecast through its daily Today In Food, its weekly report, seminars and webinars, reaching over 100,000 industry professionals.

Private Company Panel: Capturing Distracted Customers in a Disrupted World

Hear from some of our Private Company presenters on the state of the consumer, compelling growth distribution strategies, capturing new customers and keeping current customers loyal and engaged.

  • Tom Patterson, Founder & CEO, Tommy John
  • Alex Faherty, Founder and Co-CEO, Faherty Brand
  • Andrew Blackman, COO, Tophatter
  • Andrew Dudum, Founder & CEO, hims
  • Jeremy Morgan, CEO, Elements Massage

Understanding Blockchain

Join RSMs Chris Jones for a discussion of blockchain across the sectors, including retail, restaurant, food and beverage and apparel. He will cover the basics of blockchain, how and when it may impact each sector and what you should be doing now to prepare.

Cannabis Investing: Capitalizing on a New Global Asset Class

2018 was a year of tremendous change and visibility for the global cannabis industry. The spotlight shined brightly on this new global asset class and investors poured money into the sector leading to lofty expectations and valuations. Dozens of companies raised significant capital and tapped into the public equity markets to strengthen their balance sheets and execute their growth strategies. Hear from leading public cannabis company CEOs about their views on the industry and how their companies plan to drive growth in 2019 and beyond.

  • Moderator: Vivien Azer, Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst Specializing in the Beverage, Tobacco, and Cannabis Sectors, Cowen
  • Brendan Kennedy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tilray
  • Rishi Gautam, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MJardin Group
  • Alex Coleman, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, TILT Holdings

Emerging Cannabis Panel: Private Cannabis Companies Poised for Growth in 2019

A new wave of private cannabis companies are poised for growth in 2019. This past year saw many companies go public, but whats in store for private cannabis companies in 2019 and beyond? Hear from some of the sectors most promising and innovative private companies about their plans to deliver value to the industry and grow their businesses through a myriad of product and service offerings.

  • Moderator: Evan Eneman, Chief Executive Officer, MGO/ELLO Alliance
  • Stephen Boyd, Chief Executive Officer, Growpacker
  • Jon Gross, VP of Corporate Development, Mile High Labs
  • John Denniston, Executive Chairman, Shared-X
  • Greg Rovner, Chief Executive Officer, Heally

ESG Beyond the Acronym: What Companies Need to Know in 2019

  • Moderator: Phil Denning, Partner, ICR
  • Dan Romito, Global Head “ Investor Analytics, Nasdaq
  • Lyndon Park, Head of Corporate Governance Advisory, ICR
  • Michael Littenberg, Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Chris Earnest, Partner, Compensation Advisory Partners

For over two decades, the ICR Conference has engaged the management teams of more than thousands of premier public and private growth companies, institutional investors, sell-side research analysts, private equity professionals, sponsoring investment bankers and select media each year, to network, discuss industry trends and share their strategies. Past attendees have benefited from the three-day event, which is valued for its dynamic format featuring main stage presentations from the innovators and entrepreneurs of todays leading companies, followed by interactive breakout sessions.

Sponsors of the 2019 ICR Conference are AlixPartners, Baird, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, William Blair, BMO Capital Markets, Citigroup Markets & Banking, Cowen and Company, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Duff & Phelps; Goldman, Sachs & Co, Guggenheim, J.P. Morgan, Jefferies LLC, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Latham & Watkins LLP, Morgan Stanley, North Point Advisors, Piper Jaffray, Raymond James, RBC Capital Markets, Ropes & Gray LLP, RSM, Stephens Inc., Stifel; SunTrust Robinson Humphrey; Telsey Advisory Group; The Sage Group, True Search and Wells Fargo.

The event is by invitation only. To request an invitation, please visit or email [email protected]. Follow the ICR Conference on Twitter at @ICRPR and join the conversation using the #ICRConference hashtag.

About The ICR Conference

The ICR Conference is a unique platform where public and private company management teams, institutional investors, sell-side research analysts, investment bankers, private equity professionals and select media connect and network with one another as the year begins. The event is one of the largest investment conferences of the year, featuring presentations by more than 150 public and private companies, with attendance regularly exceeding 2,300. For more information please visit

About ICR

Established in 1998, ICR partners with companies to execute strategic communications and advisory programs that achieve business goals, build awareness and credibility, and enhance long-term enterprise value. The firms highly-differentiated service model, which pairs capital markets veterans with senior communications professionals, brings deep sector knowledge and relationships to more than 650 clients in approximately 20 industries. ICRs healthcare practice operates under the Westwicke brand ( Today, ICR is one of the largest and most experienced independent communications and advisory firms in North America, maintaining offices in New York, Norwalk, Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, San Diego and Beijing. ICR also advises on capital markets transactions through ICR Capital, LLC. Learn more at Follow us on Twitter at @ICRPR.

Larisa Bruno
[email protected]

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