J. C. Penney executive chairman & SafeRock CEO open UNT’s 2015-16 Executive + Scholar Lecture Series
“Adversity is a Great Teacher” – interviewed by SafeRock chief executive officer Shah Karim, J. C. Penney CompanyExecutive Chairman Myron E. (Mike) Ullman III, opened the University of North Texas 2015-16 Executive + Scholar Lecture Series with a Q&A conversation about how challenges and obstacles in business and personal life can help individuals learn important lessons.
The event took place at 10am on Oct. 8 (Thursday) inside the ballroom of the UNT Gateway Center, located at 801 North Texas Blvd. in Denton. The event was attended by over 400 people, including students, faculty, and staff. During the 2-hour program, the speakers addressed questions detailing how both personal and business challenges can be used as a teaching tool toward success.
“The Executive + Scholar Lecture series inspires those who hear our passionate speakers relate their personal experiences to retail customer experiences, supported by the research of the scholars,” said Richard Last, senior director of UNT’s Global Digital Retailing Research Center.
Past speakers have included Kip Tindall, CEO of The Container Store, Jamie Nordstrom, President of Nordstrom Stores, and Geoffrey Rappaport, founder of Supercuts.
Sponsored by the Global Digital Retailing Research Center, the series pairs digital retailing professionals with research experts from UNT faculty, industry leaders and global scholars. Created in 2013 by the UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, it is the first center in the U.S. to focus solely on digital retailing.
About Mike Ullman
A retail veteran for more than three decades, Ullman has successfully led five major global enterprises in the United States, France and Hong Kong and has distinguished himself as a highly accomplished international retail industry leader. Prior to his initial term leading J. C. Penney, where he oversaw substantial online growth and achieved the greatest profitability in company history, Ullman served as directeur general of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (Euronext: MC.FR) in Paris. From 1995 to 1999, he was chairman and CEO of DFS Group Limited, the world’s leading travel retailer, majority-owned by LVMH. Prior to that, he served as chairman and CEO of R.H. Macy & Co., Inc. Ullman’s previous experience also includes leading the property developer Wharf Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. He assumed this role after posts at Federated Department Stores, including as executive vice president of its Dallas division. During his absence at J. C. Penney, the company faltered, but he returned in 2013 to lead a successful turnaround. Ullman also serves on the board of the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and he is a director of the Starbucks Corporation and chairman of the medical charity Mercy Ships International. His honors include an honorary doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and the John Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award from the White House Fellows Association.
About Shah Karim
An expert on big data, Karim is chief executive officer of SafeRock, a New Jersey-based company that provides analytic solutions to retailers to improve shareholder value and improve return on investment. He also is a leading researcher in omni-channel retail, mobile and digital solutions, U.S. retail sales, education technology and student engagement. He has authored and co-authored research published in CITI Research, Retail & Leisure International and Retail Solutions Online, and his recent bylined articles have appeared in Chain Store Age, Apparel News and Shopping Center Business. Since 2013, Shah has served on the board of governors for UNT’s merchandising and digital retailing program and theThink Tank for the program’s research center.
SafeRock is an analytics firm that advises preeminent US and international companies to improve company value and efficiency. Our focus is to improve Customer Engagement and Shareholder Value. Saferock helps unlock enterprise value – in a constructive, proactive manner.
Saferock has advised prominent retail clientele such as Hudsons Bay Company (owner of Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue), Panasonic, PetSmart, Toys ‘R’ Us, Babies ‘R’ Us, Christie’s, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and the US Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
The company licenses its ‘Best in Class’ SaaS analytics software to retailers. This system improves merchandising and marketing ROI for online and retail companies.
(L-R) Judith C. Forney, Dean and Professor College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, University of North Texas; Mike Ullman, Executive Chairman, J.C. Penney; Richard Last, Senior Director, Global Digital Retailing Research Center, University of North Texas; Shah Karim, CEO, SafeRock