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Retail and Consumer Executives Dinner


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.:
Registration and Cocktails

6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.:
Dinner Program


Club 101
101 Park Ave
New York, NY 10178


Please contact Deborah Van at or 646-448-5428.


Retail and Consumer Products Industry Outlook

Join CohnReznick Retail and Consumer Products Industry partners and a panel of experts for our annual fall retail and consumer products executives dinner. Each year, this intimate dinner provides attendees with an opportunity to discuss and learn about key issues impacting the industry while enjoying dinner and conversation with industry peers.

Our expert panel will be led by Richard Schurig, CohnReznick's Retail and Consumer Products Industry Practice Director, on topics such as:

  • Outlook into 2014
  • Uncertain economic conditions
  • Hot industry sectors
  • Current shopping trends and drivers
  • Omni-channel integration
  • Merger and acquisition activity

Located on the first floor of midtown’s prestigious 101 Park Avenue, Club 101 offers an elegant setting and exquisite cuisine that surpass many of New York’s finest restaurants. Convenient to Grand Central Station, Port Authority, and Penn Station.


John Howard, CEO of Irving Place Capital
Irving Place Capital, formerly known as Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, is a private equity firm focused on leveraged buyout and growth capital investments. Since starting the Firm in 1997, Mr. Howard and his team have made a number of notable retail transactions including New York & Company, Aeropostale, Stuart Weitzman and The Vitamin Shoppe, to name a few. Mr. Howard is an expert with retail and consumer companies and has many years of experience in bringing value to his clients.

David Jaffe, President and CEO of Ascena Retail Group, Inc.
Ascena is a national retail holding company with $5 billion in annual sales and over 3,800 stores through its Justice, Lane Bryant, maurices, dressbarn, and Catherine’s brands. He joined the company in 1992, holding numerous positions of increasing responsibility until being promoted to President & CEO in 2002. David was responsible for spearheading the transition of dressbarn from an off-price discount store to a lifestyle specialty store brand. In 2005 he led the acquisition of maurices, in 2009 of Tween Brands, and most recently in 2012 of Charming Shoppes.

Michael Diamant, CEO and Co-Founder of Skip Hop
A recognized global baby products brand, Michael turned a $50,000 investment into a company with over $50 million in revenue. With a sketch of a diaper bag, Michael and his wife Ellen turned one product into a product line that includes everything from backpacks and toys to essential gear and bedding that is sold by specialty, chain, and online retailers worldwide.

Patrick O’Keefe, Director of Economic Research, CohnReznick
Patrick J. O’Keefe is Director of Economic Research at CohnReznick and serves as a strategic advisor to the Firm’s Chief Executive Officers and management committee. Mr. O'Keefe has extensive executive experience in the public and private sectors. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Labor, administering federal programs for worker training, employment-related insurance, and labor market services. He was the Deputy Director of the National Commission for Employment Policy and worked as a consultant with the Urban Institute. Mr. O'Keefe regularly appears on CNBC, Bloomberg Radio, and Fox Business News. He is quoted frequently in the press, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and

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