Join GELF Accelerate: A Global Growth Summit on Thursday March 25th!

100% Dedicated to Cross-Border

and International E-Commerce

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Full-Speed Ahead!

One theme was clear from just about every global ecommerce leader that spoke at GELF Oktoberfest back in October 2020; the pandemic has super-charged the growth of ecommerce. Yesterday’s three-to-five year growth plans are today’s three-to-five month priorities.

As shoppers flood digital channels around the world, global ecommerce leaders are capturing this unprecedented consumer demand by strengthening digital programs ranging from top of the funnel acquisition and engagement to post-order delivery and returns.

Retail ecommerce organizations also need to grow their headcount as quickly as reasonably possible while juggling the need to onboard new ecommerce technology partners while upgrading existing solutions.

GELF Accelerate is all about helping global ecommerce leaders prioritize and execute on the massive digital opportunities created by this accelerated growth. GELF’s mission remains the same as ever; help these leaders share insights and intelligence about how the cross-border ecommerce community is overcoming good-to-have challenges and growing global retail sales.

GELF has fast-tracked the evolution of our own educational and networking programs. For instance, our new DTC Leadership Showcase launched at GELF Oktoberfest with the express purpose of accelerating the exchange of information & ideas about how leaders are growing their teams and redeploying crucial assets in the middle of a pandemic.

GELF Accelerate speakers will deliver a mix of strategic insights and tactical cross-border To Dos about their global retail expansion practices. Learn how to prioritize the key operational aspects of your global commerce plan and how to organize your team to execute them successfully.

Together we’ll explore how to:

  • Anticipate and prepare for disruptions to global supply chains and retail distribution networks
  • Accelerate digital commerce strategies and onboard technologies and solutions can help your team seize new global opportunities and mitigate risks
  • Succeed in today’s multi-platform world by working with leading cross-border ecommerce platforms and global distribution partners
  • Balance incumbent traditional wholesale retail distribution models with emerging direct-to-consumer ecommerce opportunities
  • Re-prioritize which international markets offer the greatest upside as global trade growth resumes

Bring your experiences and questions. Leave with insights and answers.


Planning Ahead? NYC 2021 in Sept is a Go!

Although the GELF community will take a hiatus from GELF LA 2021 this coming February, we’re all looking forward to getting everyone together again to share insights and advice at GELF Accelerate this spring.  We also cannot wait to return to New York City on September 30th for GELF NYC 2021!

In the meantime, we’re launching our first spring virtual GELF summit on Thursday, March 25th – from 1PM to 5PM ET. Join the GELF community as we dive into a series of engaging keynotes, actionable panel discussions and fast-paced workshops and breakouts.

Taking GELF to the Next Dimension!

February’s GELF LA 2020 was by far our biggest and best West Coast Forum yet. The audience increased over 50% –  thanks in part to a growing number of brands selling direct-to-consumer (DTC) that joined us – and a record-setting number of sponsors and partners supporting the cause! We will be back in Los Angeles in February 2022!

GELF Oktoberfest launched our first foray into the virtual world of ecommerce technology summits. The GELF community loved how the virtual aspect allowed us to include voices of global leaders from around the world.

Tom Davis, the head of digital and omnichannel at Cartier zoomed in from Switzerland with a provocative look at the future of retail, Retail is Dead. Long Live Retail! Unmasking Retail’s Future as Global Ecommerce Takes Center Stage. Provocative thought leader Hendrik Laubscher, CEO and Founder of Blue Cape Ventures, was kind enough to join us from South Africa for Grounding the Future of Global Ecommerce in Today’s Realitiesa no holds barred look at key cross-border themes defining the future of cross-border.

We are thrilled to see the GELF community keep growing and really look forward to building on the momentum from GELF LA 2020.

We’re all in a virtual world for the first-half of 2021, so GELF remains committed to reaching out and embracing virtual opportunities to hear from enthusiastic leaders representing leading retail and DTC brands from around the world and the innovators tackling a wide range of challenges.

For now, let’s kick back and learn from the unique perspectives and experiences shared by the global ecommerce leaders who are leading the retail world into its next chapter of growth. Learn more about emerging global opportunities and how cross-border ecommerce best practices will accelerate the retail industry along the path ahead and into its next growth curve.

Interested in being a speaker or sponsor? Please contact and

In the meantime, stay connected with the GELF community by joining us at the Global E-Commerce Tech Talks podcast!

Look Who's Attending GELF Accelerate

Below is a sample of the brands and retailers that attended GELF Oktoberfest, our Fall virtual summit. Stay tuned for the brands attending Accelerate!


GELF Accelerate debuts Thursday. March 25th from 12:30PM to 4:30PM ET featuring great keynotes, insightful fireside chats and engaging panel discussions.

If you'd like to speak, please email us at (for retail executives) or (for solution/service providers & agencies). Thanks!

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  • 12.30PM ET Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • 12:45PM ET Executive Leaders Keynote Panel: Re-prioritizing Global Ecommerce Opportunities
  • 1:30PM ET Afternoon Keynote Fireside: Following the Smart Money
  • 2PM ET Cooking Up Strategic Growth: A Cross-border Case Study with Made In and Flow Commerce
  • 3PM ET Cross-border Operations: Fighting Friction on All Fronts
  • 3:30 PM ET Global Growth Showcase: LATAM
  • 4PM ET DTC Leadership Panel: Re-Accelerating Global Ecommerce Growth
12.30PM ET to 12:45PM ET
Welcome to GELF Accelerate! GELF's Opening Remarks

GELF’s co-founders welcome our audience and set the virtual stage for our spring  Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum by exploring key global ecommerce trends framing the day’s program.

12:45PM to 1:30PM ET
Executive Leaders Keynote Panel: Re-prioritizing Global Ecommerce Opportunities

Our executive leaders keynote panel discusses how they are re-trenching and re-prioritizing global expansion plans.  We start by exploring whether regional and country priorities are changing as markets around the world look beyond the pandemic.

As global retail expands globally, DTC cross-border operations, international marketplaces and in-country sites all factor into the mix.  For some brands, traditional international distribution partners play an important role; but these roles are transforming with the times. Our panelists share their POVs on how digital is disrupting global distribution and how they are growing international sales as new go-to-market partners and platforms take share from traditional retail wholesale partners.

We explore how the pandemic has changed the customer journey and how global ecommerce leaders are using customer-centric strategies to tune their products and marketing operations to new global buying behaviors.

Lastly, we discuss how leaders are growing their global teams and redeploying crucial assets as ecommerce moves to the main stage of global retail.


  • Elizabeth Krause VP Digital, Speedo and Pentland Brands
  • Tassie Christopher, VP International Business Development, Paula’s Choice
  • Kellie Swanton, VP International Expansion at Reformation
  • Jodi Watson, Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, SmartCanister & Board of Directors, Dakota Supply Group
1:30PM to 2PM ET
Afternoon Fireside: Following the Smart Money

After persevering through an unprecedented digital commerce growth surge, global ecommerce leaders are lifting their heads to look at the road ahead. Our afternoon fireside welcomes two venture capitalists who share their perspectives on the next phase of international ecommerce growth.

We explore the key environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations guiding their DTC ecommerce portfolio companies and their future investments in global ecommerce infrastructure innovations. Learn more how their focus on sustainability is guiding their investments in fulfillment and logistical innovations designed to enhance the post-order experience for cross-border shoppers.

Our fireside conversation examines how the pandemic has transformed customer journeys in markets around the world.  Scott and Crystal discuss which consumer’s buying behaviors they believe are temporary and which will be longer lasting.

We wrap up by prioritizing the “tech stack” investments ahead that will accelerate retail leaders around the next bend in the road to global ecommerce growth.


  • Scott Friend, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures
  • Crystal Huang, Principal at New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
2PM to 2:45PM ET
Cooking Up Strategic Growth: A Cross-border Case Study with Made In and Flow Commerce

With e-commerce booming worldwide, several studies have found that well over half of online shoppers worldwide have made an online purchase from another country over the past 12 months. But many brands have found cross-border e-commerce to be a challenging endeavor, sometimes resulting in high risk and cost. Managing all the factors that play into executing a successful cross-border strategy can be overwhelming, and operational hazards abound if brands aren’t careful. 

This session will examine the cross-border journey of cookware brand Made In, which was founded in 2016 by two lifelong friends. With a rich heritage in U.S. kitchenware manufacturing, the brand garnered international attention for its fusion of high-quality, traditional European design and production with a modern, unique American style.

CEO and co-founder of Made In Chip Malt will discuss the brand’s cross-border opportunity and its strategic approach to global expansion. Flow Commerce CEO and co-founder Rob Keve will  contribute his analysis of the broader cross-border market as well as trends that drive success in international e-commerce.

In this session attendees will come away with: 

  • Insights into leveraging a rich brand narrative to attract international shoppers
  • Strategies for launching cross-border for incremental business growth
  • Actionable steps for launching, managing, and optimizing a cross-border presence


  • Chip Malt, Co-Founder and CEO, Made In
  • Rob Keve, Co-Founder and CEO, Flow Commerce
2:45PM to 3PM ET
3PM to 3.30PM ET
Cross-border Operations: Fighting Friction on All Fronts

Although the global pandemic accelerated the boom in online shopping, other global trade, regulatory and operational headwinds continue to create friction on multiple fronts.  All too often the end-to-end cross-border shopping experience bears the brunt of the negative impacts.

Join our panel as we discuss how global ecommerce leaders are juggling regulatory changes, Brexit,  payment and international fulfillment as they enter new markets and re-visit  operations in existing markets. We debate whether retails’ secret for success has changed from location, location, location to logistics, logistics, logistics.


  • Gilles, Ferrande, Sales Director, An Post Commerce
  • Yele Olatunbosun, Strategy and Business Development Senior Manager, Zalando
  • Chris Ziomek VP, Sales Passport Shipping
3:30PM to 4PM ET
Global Growth Showcase: LATAM

The path ahead is defined by taking care of family, friends and neighbors. When it comes to taking care of business, our neighbors to the south represent the world’s fastest growing global ecommerce opportunities according to industry analysts.

GELF welcomes Matteo Ceurvels, Research Director, Latin America & Spain at eMarketer as we explore opportunities in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru. We help you analyze markets to prioritize and why?

After an opening trends deck, we examine how the pandemic has accelerated the shift from entrenched brick-and-mortar shopping in LATAM to digital. We tackle whether the shift to ecommerce has legs – and whether the delivery infrastructure in LATAM can hurdle persistent logistical constraints.

We discuss questions from the GELF community about which cross-border ecommerce models work best in which country and how LATAM marketplaces fit into the growth model.

We look at how to balance investments between cross-border operations and customer engagement – and how social fits into the digital marketing mix. We wrap up by exploring which local  partners can help you take your LATAM ecommerce plans to the next level of growth.

Guest Analyst/Speaker:

  • Matteo Ceurvels, Research Director, Latin America & Spain, eMarketer


4PM to 4:30PM ET
DTC Leadership Panel: Re-Accelerating Global Ecommerce Growth

GELF’s closing DTC leadership panel features several ecommerce leaders who shared their ambitious international growth plans last February at GELF LA 2020.  Our panelists will discuss how the pandemic temporarily sidetracked their global ambitions – and how they are re-accelerating their global growth today.

Supply constraints were the main culprits for the global expansion slowdowns, but the impacts were felt differently. We compare how both fast-moving Digital Native DTC brands like Newton Baby and well-known global brands like Adam & Eve/PHE and Fender are managing supply and distribution friction as global ecommerce comes back online in a big way.

We also examine the different global ecommerce platform approaches driving these businesses, the relative international strengths of Shopify and Salesforce commerce platforms – and whether Shopify and Amazon are on a collision course.

Lastly, our panel looks ahead to new international market destinations for 2021. Learn how that they are building community via social apps and influencers and improving the post-order shopping experience as their global growth resumes.


  • Aaron Zagha, CMO, Newton Baby
  • Greg Dalby, VP eCommerce, Fender Musical Instruments Corp
  • Glenn E. Mersereau, Head of Ecommerce & Merchandising, Adam & Eve
  • Vince Santo, Managing Partner and President, The Maze Group

Thanks to the speakers below for joining us at GELF Accelerate on March 25th

If you are an executive at an online retailer or brand selling direct to consumer and would like to share your cross-border and international ecommerce experiences, please email us at! Although GELF speakers are primarily retailers and brand executives, we are able to include select leaders from our sponsor partners in the program as well. If interested in sponsoring GELF Accelerate, please contact

Greg Dalby

VP eCommerce at Fender Musical Instruments Corp

Elizabeth Krause

VP Digital, Speedo and Pentland Brands

Vince Santo

Managing Partner and President, The Maze Group

Crystal Huang

Principal at New Enterprise Associates (NEA)

Chip Malt

CEO, Co-Founder at Made In

Tassie Christopher


Scott Friend

Partner at Bain Capital Ventures

Kellie Swanton

VP International Expansion at Reformation

Matteo Ceurvels

Research Director, Latin America & Spain, eMarketer

Jodi Watson

Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, SmartCanister & Board of Directors, Dakota Supply Group

Glenn E. Mersereau

Head of Ecommerce & Merchandising, Adam & Eve

Rob Keve

CEO & Co-Founder, Flow

Gilles Ferrandez

Sales Director, An Post Commerce

Yele Olatunbosun

Strategy and Business Development Senior Manager, Zalando

Chris Ziomek

VP, Sales Passport Shipping

Aaron Zagha

CMO, Newton Baby

Kent Allen

Co-Founder, GELF

Jim Okamura

Co-Founder, GELF

Scott Silverman

Co-Founder, GELF

Stay Tuned for Your Virtual Invite!

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