Learn more about the stellar lineup of industry experts and topnotch speakers you can find at the NRHA All-Industry Conference.
Eugene Andreassi is the Vice President of Retail Services for Benjamin Moore & Co., a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, North America's favorite paint, color and coatings brand. Andreassi leads the development and installation of next-generation retail store design, customer experience and merchandising concepts for Benjamin Moore’s network of independent paint and decorating and hardware retailers.
A life-long veteran of the paint industry, Andreassi brings over 33 years of experience to his position. After college, Andreassi gained experience managing paint and hardware stores in New York State. Since joining Benjamin Moore in 1991, Andreassi has held several key positions in Field Sales, Administration, Product Activation and Retail Services.
Throughout his career, Andreassi has leveraged his relationships with key retailers and industry partners to collaborate on program development and integration, including the current roll out of the Store of the Future. Andreassi holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Purchase College, State University of New York. Andreassi is on the Board of Directors for the Queens County Farm Museum in New York City.
Will Aubuchon, CEO of Aubuchon Hardware, headquartered in Westminster, Massachusetts, was elected to the NRHA board in 2014. He was introduced to his family-owned and -operated company as a child and became a full-time employee in 1999.
Dustin Kaehr is a retail motivator and consultant with over 17 years of experience working with independent hardware retailers, farm and agriculture retailers, national retail chains and small businesses. He frequently presents seminars and training sessions throughout North America on a range of topics including marketing, sales growth, employee retention and the customer experience. He also hosts workshops, breakouts and individual store evaluations and analyses.
At Kalypso, Al is responsible for bringing innovation and new product development services to the retail sector. He is a frequent speaker on the future of retailing and innovation.
Previously, Al served as a sales, marketing and business development director with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Retail and Consumer Practice in the Dallas office where he was involved in growing the firm's retail, restaurant and consumer products business. He has more than 30 years of consulting experience assisting retailers and branded suppliers with strategic growth and productivity improvement initiatives.
Al’s retail consulting experience includes developing strategies and implementation plans for improving market positioning, comp store sales, customer focus, competitive appeals, omnichannel transformations and merchandising economics. His experience with consumer products companies includes marketing, brand strategies, retail distribution and channel strategies, shopper insights, category management, introducing new products and advising clients on the success requirements for effective implementation of retail programs.
Before joining PwC, Al was a senior vice president of sales, marketing and business development at Kantar Retail and was responsible for existing and new client relationships. Prior to Kantar Retail, Al was with predecessor consulting companies Retail Forward and Management Horizons, a division of Price Waterhouse. Al also served as the director of Senn-Delaney, Arthur Andersen's retail strategy consulting practice.
Senior Partner, The Farnsworth Group
James Robisch is Senior Partner of The Farnsworth Group, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in the hardware, home improvement and building supply markets. Mr. Robisch directs all retailer/dealer and wholesale service activities for the firm including: customer intelligence, brand positioning, advertising, market expansion, customer satisfaction, consumer research, contractor satisfaction, market image, growth and strategic planning.
Mr. Robisch served for over twelve years with the National Retail Hardware Association and Home Center Institute where he held a number of positions including Director of Research Services and Director of Retail Marketing. He also served as Executive Director of the Do-It-Yourself Research Institute (now the Home-Improvement Research Institute), a non-profit group organized to develop industry information on the home improvement and repair products market.
Mr. Robisch was also Vice President of Group Services International, an international marketing and consulting company, where he directed their research and consulting programs.
Jim has consulted with over 1000 individual firms throughout the U.S., Canada and abroad. Clients include over 50 of the top 200 chains, and the largest wholesale groups. He has evaluated over 1000 trading areas and assessed over 10,000 retail stores and supply outlets. He serves on numerous industry and non-industry advisory boards.
Mr. Robisch obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and finance, and his MBA from Butler University.
Publisher, Hardware Retailing
Vice President of Publishing, North American Retail Hardware Association
Dan Tratensek is the publisher of Hardware Retailing magazine and the Vice President of Publishing for the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA). NRHA is a trade organization representing the $300 billion retail hardware/home improvement industry in the United States and Canada, and has published Hardware Retailing, the industry's leading trade magazine, for more than 100 years.
In his position as publisher of Hardware Retailing, Tratensek has the opportunity to visit with independent retailers of all types and sizes and shape the editorial direction of the magazine to meet the needs of the independent retailing market.
This monthly, how-to management magazine is circulated to more than 43,000 hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the United States. The publication's mission is to provide information to its readers that will help them become better and more profitable merchants.
In addition to his role on Hardware Retailing, Tratensek also oversees NRHA's other publishing projects, which include a range of special interest publications, contract publishing titles, online content and more.
Prior to his current position, Tratensek worked as an editor and reporter for Hardware Retailing and has been involved in business journalism and news reporting for the past two decades.
Mary Walter is a renowned business change agent, talent developer, and leadership coach. With over 20 years experience in helping managers to become exceptional leaders, she has the secret to accelerating leader’s development and transforming results. Mary serves clients with a focus on measurable change, and solutions that align with the business model and customer priorities. Mary serves as a true change catalyst, creating alignment and commitment across functional groups and sustainable change throughout the organization.
Mary is particularly good at accelerating leadership effectiveness through targeted coaching, assessment and improvement of team dynamics and performance. In addition, she is skilled at business process improvement, leadership and strategy alignment, and leadership training. Mary is a dynamic speaker with experience motivating and shifting the thinking of small groups as well as several thousand attendees.
Mary has deep experience across the retail industry, having worked for Ross Stores, Gap Inc., Target, and Macy’s. Prior to launching her firm, Mary led the stores organization as GSVP for Ross, inspiring 50,000 associates to deliver unprecedented results in operating margin, customer service, and employee engagement.
Balancing the customer experience and efficiency, Mary develops solutions for retail clients to move business forward, with a focus on results and top-line sales. With experience in strategy, best practice and method improvement development, Mary brings a nimble and strategic approach to deliver results. Most importantly, Mary knows how to ensure that great strategy is executed exceptionally well, creating aligned, enthusiastic teams committed to new solutions.
Mary holds an MBA from Northeastern University, and a BA in Political Science from Humboldt State University.
You can reach Mary via email at email@example.com, through her website, or on her LinkedIn page.
Executive Director, Retail Leadership Institute, NRHA
A home improvement industry veteran, Scott has spent the past 20 years developing programs and services to serve NRHA's mission of helping retailers become better and more profitable merchants. During his tenure, Scott has spearheaded the development of NRHA's industry-leading training programs. He was also instrumental in developing content for NRHA's PlanItDIY Consumer Awareness Initiative. Scott has a B.A. in Journalism from Indiana University's School of Journalism and was formerly editor and associate publisher of Hardware Retailing magazine. Before that, he served as editorial director of custom publications for the association, where he was in charge of launching national B2B and B2C publications for companies such as Ace Hardware, Distribution America and United Hardware.
Kit Yarrow, Ph.D.
Consumer Psychologist, Professor and Consultant
Kit Yarrow, Ph.D., is an award-winning consumer psychologist, professor and consultant. She is the author of the best-selling book, Decoding the New Consumer Mind (Wiley, 2014) and co-author of Gen BuY (Wiley, 2009). Kit also writes about consumer behavior for Time and Money magazines. As a widely recognized authority on the psychology of consumers—and on the millennial generation in particular—Kit is regularly quoted in a variety of media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Good Morning America.
Kit’s home base is Golden Gate University in San Francisco, where she is professor emeritus. Her unique ability to apply clinical psychology to the field of behavioral economics has won her four endowed research professorships and recognition as the 2012 Outstanding Scholar of Golden Gate University. She has also been a visiting professor at the Helsinki School of Economics and has taught consumer behavior at leading universities around the world. As a consultant, Kit fielded research for and advised a wide range of organizations including Westfield Malls, General Electric, Del Monte and Merrill Lynch.