1 Gina Sanders, President and CEO, Fairchild Fashion Media, welcomed everyone and gave an excellent introduction to the conference.
2 The conference took place in the Plaza Hotel's Grand Ballroom and the subject was LEADERSHIP.
3 CEO'S and executives from the world of merchandizing and retail attended the conference.
4 The ballroom is an excellent place for such a conference - comfortable, good acoustics, pretty, and efficient.
5 The first speaker was Ron Johnson, CEO of J.C. Penney Inc. Here he is awaiting his turn on stage.
6 Ron Johnson always wears jeans, a white shirt, and a grey V-neck sweater - all purchased at J.C. Penney.
7 The messaging for the conference was clear and useful - a famous quote from our short-lived, but vital President John F. Kennedy.
8 Edward Nardoza, Editor-in-Chief, WWD, spoke second. He gave an overview of what was to be expected for the two day seminar.
9 Edward Nardoza is an astute and very good editor-in-chief. WWD is an influential and very widely read publication for fashion, retail, and merchandizing world wide.
10 Ron Johnson speaks effortlessly and clearly. His speech was directed at lessons he learned from his former boss, the legendary Steve Jobs.
11 Steve told Ron that significance has real meaning. There is never anything small to do. With this belief, Steve reinvented Apple and all of its products.
12 Marathon - Take a lot of time and focus for everything, even if that means 5 to 7 years. Organize very carefully. Be totally involved and always realize that it is OK to start over, if need be.
13 Butterfly - Steve managed his life like a butterfly. He ran Pixar two days a week and "floated" over to Apple for three.
14 Intimacy - Steve was a very private person and if you needed to talk to him after office hours, you could call him after his kids went to bed.
15 Truth - Always be truthful to yourself and to those around you. This is Steve at his amazing 2005 Stanford commencement speech.
16 Details - Pay attention to details and set standards for everything both big and small. This slide is of the innovative glass staircase in the Soho Apple Store in NY City - a design so novel that it's patented.
17 Ron talked about the importance of simplicity, intuition, and the inevitable. He said that the journey is the reward and that a store should be about what the customer looks for and leaves with.
18 The new J.C. Penny logo - Stores need new ideas, new brands, and new and unique products.
19 After his talk, Ron sat down to answer audience and host queries. Again, his demeanor was lively and direct and extremely friendly.
20 The audience was quite enraptured by his remarks.
21 Ron is attempting to "revolutionize" American retail and the way goods are sold in stores. He understands the pressure put on retail by Amazon, which is the behemoth online shopping experience started not long ago by Jeff Bezos.
22 Ron spoke about his experience building the hugely innovative and successful Apple stores.
23 Husband, father, and original thinker and doer, Ron now has the huge challenge of rebuilding one of America's most venerable stores in a new image.
24 One of my favorite "paparazzi" - he was busy taking photos all day.
25 Professor Gary Hamel - He is amazing! A vibrant speaker, he had so much to say about leadership and used cartoons and as well chosen comments to teach us all things we don't focus on enough.
26 "It's up to you now, Miller. The only thing that can save us is an accounting miracle.
27 He made the point that Steve Jobs, Larry Page, nor Mark Zuckerberg would have succeeded as they have if they had worked for Bill Gates. They needed their own forum to develop and build giant companies.
28 "I'd be happy to give you some innovative thinking. What are the guidelines?"
29 The Professor spoke about some real stumbling blocks in business.
30 "Really, I"m fine. It was just a fleeting sense of purpose--I'm sure it will pass."
31 And now for a very different speaking approach - Mickey Drexler, the legendary and hugely successful retail innovator
32 Mickey led Gap to greatness.
33 Micky is funny and highly engaging. He spoke about how most people underestimate the importance of creativity. You must always listen to associates, customers, and critics. And above all else, you must respect your customers. They are your most important visitor.