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Passionate Speakers, Provocative Conversations.

Great Networking & Key Connections with Global DTC and Cross-Border Ecommerce Leaders!

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What is the Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum – or GELF as we’ve become known to our community?

GELF’s thought leadership programming and our premier networking opportunities are 100% focused on growing international retail and cross-border DTC/ecommerce sales.

GELF’s annual in-person events in Los Angeles (mid to late February) and New York City (late September/mid October), GELF’s Regional Dinner Series and other in-person networking & on-demand virtual programming brings together global ecommerce leaders who are passionate about extending the reach of their digital commerce globally.

If you’re just starting to expand your company’s ecommerce reach globally – or have been selling online internationally for years – GELF is for you and your team. Whether you sell direct-to-consumer (DTC) or via a blend of DTC ecommerce sites, marketplaces and traditional B2B wholesale partners, GELF offers retail ecommerce organizations an opportunity to connect with and learn from senior retail executives.

Since launching in 2014, the GELF community has come together dozens of times to also explore regional growth opportunities (GELF LATAM in Miami) and conduct deep dives into the most intriguing global markets (GELF’s China Ecommerce Workshop).

Curious about GELF’s thought-leadership driven programming? Check out video recaps of keynote firesides, executive leaders’ panels, regional and marketing showcases and more at GELF’s YouTube Channel.

Want to hear more? Check out the Global Ecommerce Leaders Podcast. If you’re a global ecommerce leader at a direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail brand, don’t be shy about reaching out and getting involved with GELF’s podcast or event programming! Email us at

GELF’s Resource Center also provides insights on Strategy & Planning, easy access to GELF Downloads, Regional Updates, Interviews with Global E-Commerce Leaders and a Community News section. Check it out – and let us know if you’d like to get involved!

Why Join our Global E-Commerce Leaders Forum Community?

What makes GELF unique is our 100% focus on international retail expansion and cross-border DTC/ecommerce. 

GELF brings together the voices of US global ecommerce leaders and digital commerce thought leaders and influencers from across North America and all around the world. Since 2014, GELF has been producing content, research and networking opportunities that are 100% focused on growing international retail and cross-border DTC/ecommerce sales.

We are Specialists in Global Ecommerce

Digital innovation and global/cross-border DTC ecommerce are exploding globally – for all types of retailers and brands. 

Keeping pace with change in markets around the world can be as daunting as it is exciting for digital professionals. Whether it is digital innovation emerging from China or managing channel conflict in maturing markets like Western Europe, global trend watching requires a specialized community of digital professionals. Building and nurturing these connections is GELF’s mission and the passion of our community!

One of the GELF community’s most exciting dynamics is the upside potential of global omnichannel, which is growing. International ecommerce is still maturing, but gaining share quickly as the global economy rebounds from economic headwinds and digital transformation accelerates.

Other ecommerce conferences and communities look at the entire digital retail ecosystem. GELF brings together leaders that manage international retail expansion and cross-border DTC/ecommerce operations. We provide them a forum to learn and share information as they network and build their global business.

Speakers at GELF events hail from the world’s top retail ecommerce brands and include the most exciting innovators in the digital commerce world.  Their willingness to share their global ecommerce expertise and their passion for building cross-border community helps GELF deliver high quality content, actionable insights and valuable relationships.


We’ve learned a lot from the GELF community since we published the industry’s first benchmarking study on international ecommerce expansion on 2008. Since then, GELF founders have spoken at retail ecommerce conferences around the world including CommerceNext, Shoptalk,, NRF, Global Ecommerce Summit (Spain), Online Retailer Conference (Australia), Retail Council of Canada, NACS (Singapore and the UK), and VTEX Day, LATAM’s premier ecommerce conference.  

GELF’s consultants have advised global brands and startups alike, including leading organizations like Nike, Adidas, Luxottica Retail, Harley-Davidson, Baccarat, Wahl Clipper, Chantelle and more.

How to Get Connected & Become Involved

Peer networking and sharing insights has helped drive community-building among digital retail professionals from the earliest days of ecommerce. This openness is one reason that the global ecommerce community is so unique. 

GELF is proud to provide a range of events and programs to encourage networking and raising the profile of our members.


Job #1 is to get involved! We’d love to hear your international ecommerce stories, past or present, and how they’ve shaped your career. Here is how you and your colleagues can become part of the growing GELF community:

1) Speak at GELF Events – If you’re interested in sharing your cross-border and international ecommerce experience, email us at GELF speakers represent a broad array of global brands, hot new DTC start-ups, beloved retailers and innovative marketplace sellers. Check out GELF’s past events for a much more expansive overview of GELF speakers!

2) Participate in GELF’s Regional Workshops – In 2019, GELF launched its Regional Workshop Series with GELF LATAM in May and GELF’s China Ecommerce Workshop in September. We’re always open to suggestions about new regional events, so don’t be shy to reach out with ideas! If you’d like to like to speak, sponsor or just attend our upcoming regional workshops, feel free to email us at or

3) Lend your voice to the Global Ecommerce Leaders PodcastGet out ahead of the curve and join GELF’s podcast series.  Whether you’re a seasoned cross-border pro or an up-and-coming global ecommerce executive, we’d like to help you share your international insights. Email us at and tell us your story!

4) Join GELF’s Executive Lunch Discussions and other Global Ecommerce Leaders Meet-ups – Do you miss networking at industry events and learning from old colleagues and new friends? GELF’s private virtual executive meetups offer a relaxed, informative and insightful environment where leaders can share insights, discuss industry research, ask questions and get to know each other.


5) Participate in Global Ecommerce Research and Benchmarking Studies – GELF’s mission is facilitate learning and sharing about cross-border expansion strategies and the supporting best practices driving global ecommerce growth. Primary research is core to this mission and we place the GELF community in the middle of every study we produce. 

6) Contribute to GELF’s Thought Leadership White Papers and Case Studies about Global Ecommerce Expansion

GELF has been creating thought leadership content articulating the importance of investing in cross-border ecommerce operations and international retail expansion for over a decade.

GELF’s content marketing services include a combination of publication formats ranging from research-centric reports and white paper to multi-media formats including video and infographics. Content marketing deliverables educate audiences about key global & cross-border retail & ecommerce trends, opportunities & market dynamics.

GELF’s Diversity Spans the Globe

As global retail brands redouble their efforts to connect directly with shoppers at home and abroad, GELF is committed to providing a digital forum where ecommerce leaders can share, learn and adapt their international strategies to these uncertain times.

GELF is pleased to see our community grow beyond its roots among global ecommerce leaders based in the US. We’ve been excited to see more leaders from DTC brands and traditional wholesale-focused retail distributors join the community in recent years. Titles attending GELF events are also diverse; spanning business disciplines and departments and representing the energy and passions that exist across retail organizations (as highlighted in the analysis below).

In the weeks and months ahead, GELF will be working closely with global ecommerce leaders, their solution provider partners and other industry influencers to create engaging and actionable content. Join us as we help the GELF community make new connections and tighten existing relationships.

Much like our speakers do at live events in LA and NYC – and at GELF’s private networking dinners across the country – the GELF community will use our GELF Tech Talks digital forums to deliver a mix of strategic insights and tactical cross-border To Dos about their global retail expansion practices.

If you’re passionate about global ecommerce, join us for an ongoing series of programming and timely content designed to help the GELF community continue to thrive. Bring your experiences and questions. Leave with insights and answers.

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 during our GELF Tech Talks Spring Virtual Programming Series, please email us at

Interested in being a sponsor? Please contact

GELF would like to pass along our thanks, thoughts and best wishes to all of the companies below that have attended our past events in LA and NYC and GELF's virtual events.

If you'd like to get involved in GELF, email us at!

Join us September 29th at GELF NYC '22

Interested in the programming at a GELF event? Check out GELF LA '22

We're working on the program for GELF NYC '22 which will be a full day on September 29th 2022

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  • Current State of Global DTC and Cross-border Ecommerce in Key Markets around the World
  • The Path Ahead as International Markets Navigate the Aftermath of the Recent Pandemic
  • Insights into New Global Shopping Journeys as Consumers Re-engage with a New Generation of DTC Retail Ecommerce Brands
  • Insights and Intelligence about How Global Ecommerce Leaders are Getting Closer to the Next Generation of Shoppers
  • And more! Let us know what topics you'd like to explore at!
September 29th 2022 from 8AM (Breakfast) to 6PM (Closing Reception)
The GELF NYC '22 Program starts at 9AM - don't be late!

GELF NYC ’22 will feature keynote speakers, firesides and breakout panel sessions with global ecommerce leaders.

Register at

If you are a retailer or executive at a branded manufacturer or brand selling DTC internationally and would like to speak, please email us at

Thanks to all the global ecommerce executives that have spoken at GELF events! A special shout-out to GELF keynote speakers and advisors listed below!

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! Solution/service providers interested in participating in GELF's programming can contact us with topics/ideas at

Tom Davis

Global Digital Operations Director, Cartier

Stacy Reece

Chief Digital Officer, Boardriders

Fred Neil

Global Head of Engagement Marketing, Amazon Music

Janelle Spatz

Director of Operations - Ecommerce, PVH Corp.

Nathan Isaacson

GM Digital, New Balance

Michelle Frank

Director, Global Ecommerce, HARMAN International

Martin Suter

Global VP, Marketplace, ABInBev

June Pai

GM, APAC, Manduka

Jeff Lord

Sr Dir of Global eComm & Retail, Burton Snowboards

Rita Hudetz

COO, Universal Standard

Gary Penn

Global VP of Digital and e-Commerce, Nixon

Isabella Mann

Vice President of Marketing for Asia, PANDORA A/S

Charlie Cole

Chief Executive Officer at FTD

Emma Lawson

VP of E-Commerce, Huda Beauty

Jose Farinas

Presidente Latin America & Global Manager, Wahl Clipper