CRE conference takes digital turn

An already impressive speaker lineup was further strengthened this week when executives from,, DataRank and Saatchi & Saatchi X were added to the lineup for the Emerging Trends in Retailing conference.

The event, put on each fall by the Center for Retailing Excellence at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, typically attracts a high caliber of speakers and this year organizers have outdone themselves. On Thursday, Center director Claudia Mobley said new additions to the agenda for the October 30 event included vp of marketing Brian Monahan, DataRank, Inc., co-founder and CEO Ryan Frazier, Saatchi & Saatchi X senior digital strategist Chance Chapman and former director of social media for Marcus Nelson.

Those additions bring a new digital element to a conference that already has a strong joint business planning flavor and includes noteworthy presenters such as Walmart’s chief merchandising and marketing officer Duncan Mac Naughton, Jeff Schomburger, president the global Walmart team at Procter & Gamble, Walmart’s largest supplier, and Dina Howell, worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi X. In addition, the program also features a joint business planning discussion by a quintet of senior Walmart merchants responsible for diverse categories including Walmart vp of candy and impulse merchandising Joe Grady, vp of alcoholic beverage merchandising Latriece Watkins, vp/dmm of consumer electronics Kevin Pate, vp/dmm of dairy and fresh business strategy and Sam’s Club vp of grocery and snacks Heather Mayor.

And not to be overlooked is Kathy Deck, director of the Walton College’s Center for Business and Economic Research. She will provide an insightful look at the state of the consumer and economic conditions to provide context for the entire conference.

The event is held at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development on the campus of the University of Arkansas where seating is limited so procrastinators risk being shut out. Those interested in learning more are encouraged to visit or contact

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