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Board of Advisors

Our Inspiration... Paul Singer

Paul Singer was the SVP and Chief Information Officer for SuperValu and Target Corporation. Paul committed himself to raising public awareness of how adoption can provide a safe home and loving family to the millions of orphans in the world, and to supporting organizations that are helping these orphans while waiting to be adopted. In 2003, he founded the Target Adoption Network, a networking group for Target team members who experienced adoption or are interested in learning more about adoption. He served as a board member for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) and the Joint Council on International Children’s Issues (JCICS). We lost this beloved friend, mentor and champion for vulnerable children in the summer of 2010. We are honored to build on his work.


Marc Millstein is founder and President of Retail Connections. He brings more than 25 years of hands-on experience in analyzing the most important developments within retail. His background includes 17 years with Fairchild Publications, now a division of Conde Nast Media, where he launched the technology and logistics sections in Supermarket News, and he was Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Executive Technology magazine. Marc and his wife have two adopted daughters from China.

Greg Buzek is the Founder and President of IHL Group, a retail technology analyst and consulting firm. He has 20 years of experience in market analysis product development, and consulting with Fortune 500 companies. Before starting IHL, Greg worked with NCR Corporation and Sensormatic Electronics as a marketing and development executive on store systems and security products. He founded the Grace 1:27 Orphan Ministry at his church and is active in supporting adoption, orphan care, and foster parents in his local community.

Vicki Cantrell, is SVP of Communities for the National Retail Federation (NRF). Prior to this she was COO of Tory Burch. Prior to joining Tory Burch in 2008, Vicki was CIO of Giorgio Armani in the US, where she implemented global systems and partnered to help define the improvements in the business, operations and customer relationships. She began her career in the industry as a buyer, followed by a major retail systems vendor during the early days of retail automation. She has held management and executive positions in a men’s clothing chain and a large international party goods chain, and then joined Gucci Group as the VP of IT, where she helped assimilate ten brand acquisitions. Vicki is a respected industry leader and has been an active member of the National Retail Federation CIO Council for the past ten years. She lives with her family in Randolph, NJ, and is also the proud grandmother of two adopted boys from Russia.

Randy Cucerzan is Sr. Director Information Technology for Genesco Inc. based in Nashville, Tennessee. Randy is responsible for IT Support Services including User Support, Store POS Support for 1300 stores, and Telecom support in addition to managing related projects and coordinating IT strategic planning. A Genesco Inc. retail veteran Randy started on the sales floor in a Genesco shoe store and has held various positions in store operations, marketing, merchandising, buying, and Customs compliance before moving to IT fourteen years ago. He was named a 2010 RISNEWS Pacesetter as a Retail Rising Star to watch. Recent projects have included a complete overhaul of store POS related hardware and persistent connection. Randy has been involved with RetailROI since the first SuperSaturday and was involved in the first RetailROI trip to Honduras for the Plan Escalon computer lab and several subsequent RetailROI trips since. Randy is also involved as a leader and adult training in Boy Scouts.

Board of Advisors

Cathy Hotka is CEO of Cathy Hotka & Associates, a retail immersive marketing consultancy. She creates networking events for retailers, and helps technology companies create effective go-to-market strategies for retail. After working on Capitol Hill and the White House, she has spent 30 years in IT, creating the NRF CIO Council. She has personal relationships with thousands of key retail leaders, and manages the Retail Insiders Party and dozens of retail events each year.

Jeff Roster is VP of Retail Strategy with IHL Group. With nearly 30 years of retail and technology experience, Jeff oversees IHL's retailer engagement, vendor briefings, and strategic IT services practice. Prior to IHL Jeff served as Vice President Industries – Retail for Gartner, Inc. where he was responsible communicating global IT trends in the retail, wholesale and consumer product industries, analyzes end-user requirements, and consulting on strategies with IT vendor clients. In his role at Gartner he was selected as one of the 25 Most Influential People in Retail by Retail Info Systems News (RIS) magazine and is on the Executive Technology Power 50 list. Jeff also received the coveted Gartner Thought Leadership award for IT research. Before joining Gartner, Jeff worked in logistics and process improvement for Mervyn’s. As an operations manager, he developed benchmarking and total quality management initiatives, as well as operational budget analyses. Jeff serves on the Board of Advisors for Retail Orphan Initiative.

Giri Durbhakula is Chief Information Officer for National Pen Company. Prior to National Pen, he was Vice President IT, Multi-Channel and Supply Chain for Petco. In his role, he was the IT Business Partner for Merchandising, Marketing, eCommerce and Supply Chain. Giri has also served as the CIO for Charlotte Russe and was in various executive roles in companies such as Intuit, Gateway and Targetbase. He has industry experience in Retail, Financial Services and High Tech and has experience in all aspects of the Information Technology discipline. He has over 20 years of experience and has been an industry practitioner, management consultant and a vendor (software and hardware) and brings a unique perspective to bear in helping solve business problems that enable strategic business growth for companies and has been involved with RetailROI for 5 years.

Tom Litchford, Vice President of Retail Technologies at NRF where he leads and manages NRF's Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) and the exclusive, invite-only CIO Council. He is responsible for developing and enhancing strategic programs, activities and relationships with retail and technology communities domestically and internationally. Prior to taking the role at NRF in July of 2012, Tom was at Microsoft Corporation, where he directed the planning, development and execution of strategic partnerships in the retail and hospitality industries. He also held other key Microsoft industry positions including marketing manager, marketing and channel director, and most recently industry director for retail and hospitality for the company's Enterprise Partner and Industry Solutions Group. Prior to joining Microsoft, Litchford was director of business impact modeling for NCR's Retail Solutions Group, where his team worked with retailers to help them understand the business impact of implementing various technologies.

Brendan O’Meara is the Managing Director of the Worldwide Retail Solutions Group for Microsoft. Since joining Microsoft in 2001, Brendan has played a key role in developing Microsoft’s Retail industry strategy. He is responsible for defining Microsoft’s Point of View for the Retail industry, in addition to managing Microsoft’s solution selling strategy and partner offerings, including Store Systems, Customer Centricity (CRM/Loyalty), Digital Marketing, and Retail ERP. In 2002, he founded the Dynamics Retail product unit of the Microsoft® Business Solutions division at Microsoft Corp. Prior to joining Microsoft, Brendan worked for 12 years in a variety of IT positions including chief technical architect with The Spiegel Group. As a native and long time resident of the Seattle area, and graduate of the University of Washington, O’Meara, likes to bike, run and hike, and enjoy the Great Northwest lifestyle with his two young children. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, including Information Technology and Marketing.

Ed Collupy, Vice President of Information Technology for The Pantry, Inc. convenience store chain, based in Sanford, NC, directs and manages all of their systems and technology efforts company-wide. He has more than 25 years of retail technology experience in the grocery and convenience store channels, with the past 12 years focused on bringing system solutions and leading The Pantry’s technology plans through their rapid growth from 400 stores to over 1,650 stores. In 2007 he was named by Convenience Store News as their Top IT Exec of the year. He also serves in advisory roles on the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Technology Council and on various Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) efforts. After a pilgrimage visit to Uganda in 2002, Ed became a founding board member of Share The Blessings, Inc., a North Carolina-based non-profit organization (www.Share-The-Blessings.org), that has built over a dozen wells and assisted hundreds of children, many orphaned, through various educational initiatives in Uganda.

Paula Paravecchio, EMEA Managing Director for the Distribution & Services Industry at Microsoft, is responsible for driving the EMEA time zone Industry Strategy for growth in the Retail, Hospitality, and Consumer Goods verticals. Her focus is on customer and partner engagement, adoption of Industry Solutions in the industry verticals, and on the support of EMEA’s sales efforts in existing accounts and emerging markets. Paula joined Microsoft in October 2002 as the Regional Sales Director for the US subsidiary; in 2005, she served as their Worldwide Industry Manager for Store Systems; and in 2006, she launched Microsoft's Store Systems worldwide, and then served as the GM for the Retail & Hospitality team worldwide. Paula has over 25 years of experience in the Retail & Hospitality Industry as an IT executive, a Management Consultant, and Sales/marketing Leader.

Michelle Schooff is a global retail marketing director for SAP. She is responsible for the marketing strategy, messaging, and positioning for SAP Retail solutions in the global marketplace. With over 15 years experience in technology and marketing, Michelle builds strategic marketing plans that drive growth, innovation and revenue. Michelle joined SAP in 2011, after over 12 years at Lawson Software. Prior to her current role, Michelle held positions in marketing leadership, marketing communications, alliance relations, public relations and instructional design with a concentration in retail technology. Michelle’s career experience is supported with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and systems management from Minnesota State University—Mankato, MN.

Rose Spicer is the Senior Director of Americas Retail Marketing at Oracle and Marketing Advisor for RetailROI. Rose is responsible for customer marketing, referencing, demand generation, advertising, partner marketing and the event strategy for Retail. Prior to Oracle, Rose held a variety of positions within the marketing organization of Manugistics. With over 13 years of experience in technology marketing, Rose is proud to lend a hand and marketing expertise to such a worthy cause as RetailROI.

Isaac Krakovsky is a Partner in Kurt Salmon’s Retail Technology practice. He has over 22 years of experience as a trusted advisor to the retail industry. His expertise includes technology implementations, project management, retail business processes, and business case development.
Prior to joining Kurt Salmon, Isaac spent 5 years at SAP where he successfully developed SAP’s credibility with retailers and helped guide SAP to a leadership position in the industry. While at SAP, he helped many retail companies refine their application architecture and IT strategies to better align with and support corporate objectives. Isaac also spent 10 years with Deloitte’s and PwC’s technology consulting practices in leadership roles advising retail executives on driving value from technology investments, and business process improvements. Prior to consulting, he spent 7 years in the retail industry in various management roles including Planning, Merchandising, Store Operations, Supply Chain and Corporate Operations.