Click below to register for GELF NYC '18 on Sept 27th!

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We’re Back! On September 7th, the Global eCommerce Leaders Forum (GELF) community reconvenes in New York City for our 7th Forum. Building on the momentum from our February GELF NYC ’17, we’re excited to announce that GELF NYC will now be a post-Labor Day gathering. Every September GELF NYC will bring together leaders from online retailers and global brands selling direct-to-consumer in markets around the globe. And yes, GELF LA will move to February in 2018!

This September 7th, international ecommerce experts will share insights and best practices as the fast-growing GELF community networks throughout the day. Join us at Convene NYC Midtown – West 117 W 46th Street – as we explore how digital retail innovation is disrupting the world of commerce.

Interested in being a sponsor? Please contact

GELF speakers will deliver a mix of global ecommerce strategy and tactical cross-border To Dos. Spend the day discussing proven and emerging international ecommerce market entry and growth models, learning how localized marketing programs drive customer acquisition and engagement and how to optimize key operational aspects of your global commerce plan.

Together we’ll explore:

  • China Research. Results of the first annual GELF China E-Commerce research (based on surveys and interviews of global e-commerce leaders) will be revealed in our morning keynote and woven throughout the day’s program.
  • PLEASE PARTICIPATE in our China Ecommerce online survey now!
  • Prioritizing Market Entry. Whether it’s hot markets like China, emerging opportunities like Mexico or more mature markets in Western Europe, learn how global ecommerce leaders use demand signals on the ground and in the cloud to prioritize market entry and customize growth strategies
  • Branded Manufacturers Go Global. Direct-to-consumer brands of all sizes are balancing traditional retail distribution with emerging direct-to-consumer ecommerce opportunities around the world.
  • International Marketplaces. Global brands are also exploring (and re-examining) international marketplaces as are leading retailers and smaller online merchants looking to acquire new customers
  • Social media and influencer sites are proven ways to acquire and engage Chinese consumers.  Learn how marketers are working with cross-border innovators to connect with global millennials and the rising global middle class
  • Omnichannel on a Global Scale. Cross-border is not just about US outbound international shipping anymore. Explore how omnichannel retailers will use stores and other physical points of presence to refine and deploy global fulfillment operations in the years ahead
  • Localized Customer Experiences. Localization, personalization and AI are helping leading global brands improve the cross-border shopping experience and engage international shoppers
  • Evolving Cross-Border Platforms. Looking for a one-stop shop for a cross-border ecommerce solution partner? The Sept 7th GELF NYC ’17 is just that and more. Today’s booming international ecosystem of cloud commerce solutions, commerce agencies and best-of-breed software providers are boldly leading global ecommerce brands, experienced omnichannel retailers and start-up commerce ventures into new markets

Breakout sessions and hands-on workshops will follow our morning and afternoon keynotes and showcases. Our program offers ecommerce professionals strategic insights and deep dives into how experts are tackling their top cross-border challenges and how leaders are making the case for investing in global retail growth.

Before our late afternoon networking reception, we will wrap up with our popular roundtables and mentoring sessions.

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

Look Who's Coming to GELF NYC Sept 2017

Approximately 300 global e-commerce professionals are expected at GELF NYC Sept '17. Below is a sample of the brands and retailers that are already registered.


Are you interested in speaking at our Sept 7th GELF NYC '17? If you are an experienced executive from an online retailer or brand, please email Kent, Jim and Scott at

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  • Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Keynote Fireside: Global Ecommerce Evolution
  • Executive Leaders Keynote Panel
  • Global Customer Experience Showcase
  • Morning Break
  • Morning Breakout Sessions and Workshops
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Innovation Showcase
  • Afternoon Keynote Panel
  • Country Showcase
  • Afternoon Break
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions and Workshops
  • Roundtables and Mentoring Sessions: Expert Guidance/Insights
  • GELF Networking Reception
8 to 9AM
9 to 9:30AM
Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Welcome and Audience and Sponsor Thanks
  • How Key Global Ecommerce Trends Frame the Day’s Program
  • GELF China Research Overview


9:30 to 10AM
Keynote Fireside: Global Ecommerce Evolution: Where We've Been. Where We're Heading. How to Get There

Our Sept 7th GELF NYC ’17 opens with two international ecommerce leaders reflecting on how digital commerce is accelerating the global transformation of retail.  As shoppers increasingly purchase across borders via multiple devices, ecommerce pureplays, omnichannel retailers and manufacturers selling direct-to-consumer are re-invigorating their cross-border and international strategies.

Our speakers explore their organizations’ “flight paths” as they evolve from cross-border to international to global organizations.  They discuss how their organizations deal with challenges and opportunities that include limited resources, a dependence on international partners and friction between sales growth objectives and brand guidelines.

Then we segue into a conversation about how these executives are leading their organizations’ push to grow their China ecommerce business.


  • Ali Husseini VP, Global,
  • Nathan Isaacson, Global E-Commerce Senior Manager, New Balance
  • Moderators: GELF co-founders Jim Okamura and Kent Allen
10 to 10:30AM
Executive Leaders Keynote Panel

Our executive panel will analyze and discuss findings and conclusions from GELF’s in-depth research on China. We look beyond the sometimes over-hyped China Ecommerce opportunity to explore why leaders are revisiting first generation operating models in China – and how they exploring new ways to reach Chinese consumers.

Our panelists explore how their organizations are balancing opportunities to grow sales with the need to control the brand promise. Learn how these executives are grappling with org design and staffing challenges as they ramp up operations in China.

Gain insights into how leading retailers and brands are navigating the partner and platform ecosystem in China.

Ali and Nate are joined on stage by:

  • Cindy Shen, Sr. Dir, Global Ecommerce & CRM, Benefit Cosmetics
  • Kai Li, VP, International, REVOLVE
  • Jon Azrielant, Director of Marketing,
10:30 to 11AM
Global Customer Experience Showcase

Our panel of international executives provide research findings and insights into how leaders are improving international and cross-border shopping experiences.

They discuss how brands and retailers are localizing merchandising features/functionality on ecommerce sites and honing content and social sites to craft stories and lifestyle messaging that engages different types of shoppers around the world.

We also examine how retailers and brands are improving operational aspects of cross-border ecommerce to make the digital shopping experience more convenient and personalized.

  • Michelle Frank, Senior Manager, Global Ecommerce, HARMAN International
  • Lauren Freedman, SVP, Digital Strategy/Chief Merchant, Astound Commerce
  • Carolann McKay, Senior Manager, International eCommerce
11 to 11:15AM
Morning Break
11:15 to 11:45AM
Global Ecommerce Technology Breakout Session

Our breakout session takes a deeper dive into how and why both multi-portfolio brands like Choice Brands and creative start-ups with explosive growth like Sprayground are taking advantage of new cross-border opportunities to engage with and transact globally across ecommerce, mobile, in-store and other distributed commerce touchpoints.

  • Russell Wollam, CIO, Choice Brands Group
  • Matthew Merrilees, Managing Director, Sales at FedEx Cross Border
11:45 to 12:15PM
Global Ecommerce Technology Workshop: Deep Localization - The Key to Optimizing Cross-border Conversion Rates

Curious about how the world’s leading retail brands are effectively localizing their offering and establishing best practices to grow their international B-to-C sales?

Learn how to optimize the cross border shopping experience on your site and grow international sales in a fast and seamless way via success stories featuring up and coming global retail brands.

  • Amir Schlachet, Co-Founder and CEO, Global-e
11:15 to 11:45AM
International Marketing Breakout Session 1: International Customer Acquisition

GELF’s international marketing track opens with our presenters discussing how to acquire international customers – both those that brands already know (via retail partners) and those that are new to the brand.

Learn how to plan and execute the right media mix and marketing campaigns to reach international shoppers. Gain insights on putting together business plans and ROI targets for international customer acquisition – and successfully pitching them to your executive team.

  • Kai Li, VP, International, REVOLVE
  • John Sellwood, VP of Sales (USA), Search Laboratory
11:45 to 12:15PM
International Merchandising Strategy Workshop: Localizing Product Content for Global Audiences

Picking up on themes from our Global Customer Experience Showcase, we explore how retailers and brands are taking a digital-first approach to overcoming a growing set of international merchandising challenges.

Learn more about how both retailers and manufacturers/brands that have traditionally sold via global distribution partners are localizing and otherwise optimizing product content to engage cross-border and international shoppers.

  • Andy Carpenter, VP, Ecommerce, Kids II
  • Lauren Freedman, SVP, Digital Strategy/Chief Merchant, Astound Commerce
  • Rob Gonzalez, Co-Founder & VP Business Development, Salsify
  • Simon Kinsey, Commercial Director, Translate Media
11:15 to 11:45AM
Strategy Breakout Session: Global Expansion 101

Relatively new to cross-border and international ecommerce? This session is for you!

Panelists advise firms that are somewhat new to international ecommerce about how to make the case for global expansion.

Leaders from brands and retailers of different sizes and states of maturity share insights about the dynamics driving their international growth initiatives and the models they are exploring as they prep to go global – or prepare to ramp up existing international programs.

  • Ethelbert Williams, CMO, InstaNatural, LLC
  • Carolann McKay, Senior Manager, International eCommerce, American Eagle
  • Patrick Gill, CEO of Tackle Direct (eCommerce Outdoors)
  • Evan Wright, Business Development Manager, Avalara
  • Melissa Campanelli, Editor-in-Chief/Content Director, TotalRetail (moderator)
11:45 to 12:15PM
Digital Media Workshop: Successfully Scaling Digital Media in China

Curious about the Chinese consumer shopping journey – and how to connect with these brand-savvy shoppers?

In this session, you’ll learn about how to initiate and scale your digital media efforts in China and overcome many obstacles within the region. You’ll learn about the nuances to the Chinese market and be inspired by the story of how Merkle and Arrow partnered to create B-to-B and B-to-C programs that have caught the attention of the C suite.


  • Learn about the Chinese Digital Media Landscape, including Baidu and WeChat
  • How to launch and scale your program in China to drive results
  • How ecommerce differs in China from other Global Markets


  • Na’im McKee; Sr Marketing Manager, Data & Analytics, Performance Marketing; Arrow Electronics
  • Jon Azrielant, Director of Marketing,
  • James Arredondo; Director, Client Development; Merkle
12:15 to 1:45PM
Lunch and Networking
1:45 to 2PM
Afternoon Innovation Showcase

What can US retailers and brands learn from the Chinese online shopper? Lilia Wu from ShopShops will showcase how retail stores are playing an innovative role in interactive shopping strategies.

Our panelists will discuss their experiences with how live streaming helps cross-border shoppers learn about their products, brand stories – and the people behind the stories.

2 to 2:30 PM
Afternoon Keynote Panel

Our panelists have lead one of the world’s top global brands, Calvin Klein, into new international markets. Calvin Klein has found that being “on brand in the customers’ eyes” takes a tremendous amount of planning and coordination with internal teams, country teams and go-to-market partners.

Calvin Klein works closely on ecommerce initiatives with existing retail partners while also launching its own direct-to-consumer international ecommerce sites that are localized to consumers preferences in both mature and emerging markets.

We open the session by exploring Calvin Klein’s push into Canada; where Calvin Klein sells through wholesale and retail partners as well as via its own storefronts. Our panelists will speak to the planning process and how internal organizational dynamics and external partner relationships helped define the brand’s path towards success.

Join us as our panelists speak to

  • The importance of doing your homework, especially on the competitive front
  • How the right strategy for entering a new country requires considering a blend of entry models
  • How market entry models differ on a cost and margin basis
  • How to balance internal/DIY dynamics vs. relying on partners
  • How pricing and FX strategies can create internal and external friction
  • The right time and way to look at partnering for international expansion


  • Janelle Spatz, Sr. Manager of Operations – Ecommerce, Calvin Klein
  • Andrea Elliott, Founder, Retail Resources
  • Ahmed Naiem, Chief Commercial Officer at eShopWorld
  • Kent Allen, GELF Co-founder (Moderator)
2:30 to 3PM
Regional/Country Showcase: LATAM and Mexico

The GELF community has a strong and growing interest in LATAM ecommerce, ranging from large markets like Mexico and Brazil to up-and-coming markets like Argentina, Colombia and Chile. Our panel will explore how ecommerce opportunities south of the border are starting to open and how LATAM free traders are leading the way.

We will also examine whether large global powers like China are surging ahead of the US when it comes to tapping into digital growth opportunities in LATAM.

  • Lily Varón Forrester Analyst
  • Ilan Bajarlia, Co-Founder & General Manager of NocNoc Group
  • Andrés Groisman, Co-Founder & CEO, NoiseGrasp
  • Jorge Quiroga, CEO, BlackSip
3 to 3:15 PM
Afternoon Break
3:15 to 3:45PM
Brand Innovation Breakout Track 1/Session 1

What’s next when it comes to fueling the next stage of cross-border sales growth?

We explore how global retail brands are embracing digital transformation as the international customer journey crosses borders and blends physical and digital touchpoints. We dive into why brands are growing more comfortable selling on international marketplaces and how new digital retail partners are changing the global retail game.

  • Ethelbert Williams, CMO, InstaNatural, LLC
  • Richard Gilbert, Director, SME Partnerships & Bus Dev, N. America, Payoneer
  • James Thomson, Partner, Buy Box Experts
3:45 to 4:15PM
Brand Innovation Workshop Track 1/Session 2

Retail isn’t dying; instead it is rapidly transforming as the age of global disruption accelerates. This panel continues the conversation about how more large and mid size consumer brands and manufacturers are ramping up plans to sell direct-to-consumer in markets around the world.

Some are working together with existing retail distribution partners on ecommerce innovations while others are going direct and/or working with a new generation of retail entrepreneur. Learn more about the future of digital retail from our cross-border panel of global-natives.

  • Jeremy Liebowitz, Division CEO, Global E-Commerce, Newell Brands
  • Evan Blumenthal, Director, Global Business Development, Lion Brand Yarn Co.
  • Guido Campello, CEO, Cosabella
3:15 to 4:15PM
Consumer Insights Breakout: Optimizing the International Customer Journey

Effectively engaging cross-border and international online shoppers starts by understanding how customer journeys differ from one another – whether they’re crossing borders, devices or other shopping touchpoints.

Our panel discusses how the data underlying global customer journeys can help retailers and brands improve the cross-border and international shopping journey.  We open by exploring Worldpay’s Global Payments Report from Q1 2017 and how the rise of local and global alternative payments methods are 1) providing leaders with key insights in consumer preferences around the world – and 2) helping build trust among consumers seeking more authentic online shopping experiences.

Our panel will then study how several international brands are addressing weaknesses in UI designs to even out customer journeys that weave across ecommerce and mobile sites and in the store.

The post-order experience matters too! Our panel concludes by examining how leaders are innovating when it comes to managing delivery and international returns.

  • Ian Wisbey, Senior Consultant Retail Payments, Worldpay
  • Patrick Eve, Managing Director, ZigZag Global
  • Douglas Suvalle, Glassbox Digital
4:15 to 4:45PM
Roundtables and Mentoring Sessions: Expert Guidance/Insights
4:45 to 5:30PM
GELF Networking Reception

Below are the global e-commerce leaders who will be sharing their expertise, insights and experience at GELF on Sept 7. More to be added soon!

If you are an experienced executive from an online retailer or brand and are interested in speaking at our Sept 7th GELF NYC '17, please email Kent, Jim and Scott at

Ali Husseini

VP, Global,

Cindy Shen

Sr. Dir, Global Ecommerce & CRM, Benefit Cosmetics

Kai Li

VP, International, REVOLVE

Michelle Frank

Senior Manager, Global Ecommerce, HARMAN International

Ken Natori

President, The Natori Company

Carolann McKay

Senior Manager, International eCommerce, American Eagle Outfitters

Nathan Isaacson

Global E-Commerce Senior Manager, New Balance

Janelle Spatz

Sr Manager of Operations - Ecommerce, Calvin Klein

Liyia Wu


Russell Wollam

CIO, Choice Brands Group

Andrea Elliott

Founder, Retail Resources

Josh Gartner

VP of International Corporate Affairs,

Harlan Bratcher

North America Business Consultant,

Melissa Campanelli

Editor-in-Chief/Content Director, TotalRetail

Andy Carpenter

VP, Ecommerce, Kids II

Guido Campello

CEO, Cosabella

Lily Varón

Analyst, Forrester Research

Ethelbert Williams

CMO, InstaNatural, LLC

Jorge Quiroga

CEO, BlackSip

Na'im McKee

Senior Marketing Manager, Data & Analytics, Performance Marketing, Arrow Electronics

Patrick Eve

Managing Director, ZigZag Global

Jon Azrielant

Director of Marketing,

Lauren Freedman

SVP, Digital Strategy/Chief Merchant, Astound Commerce

Evan Blumenthal

Director, Global Business Development, Lion Brand Yarn Co.

Ian Wisbey

Sr Business Dev Manager, WorldPay Americas

Richard Gilbert

Director, SME Partnerships & Bus Dev, N. America, Payoneer

Amir Schlachet

Co-founder, CEO, Global-e

James Thomson

Partner, Buy Box Experts

Simon Kinsey

Commercial Director, Translate Media

Evan Wright

Business Development Manager, Avalara

John Sellwood

VP Sales, USA, Search Laboratory

Kent Allen

Co-Founder, Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum

Jim Okamura

Co-Founder, Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum

Convene NYC Midtown West

117 W 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

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