lululemon athletica promotes Celeste Burgoyne to Executive Vice President, Retail, Americas

lululemon athletica inc.  announced in mid-December 2016 the promotion of Celeste Burgoyne to Executive Vice President (EVP), Retail, Americas, effective immediately. She continues to report to the Company’s CEO, Laurent Potdevin, and will be responsible for continuing to lead the Americas retail organization.

“Celeste is a powerful leader who embodies our culture, values and consistently delivers exceptional results through her experience, passion and deep knowledge of our operations across the Americas,” said lululemon’s CEO, Laurent Potdevin. “The Americas is our largest operation and remains a critical part of our future. I know Celeste’s leadership will ensure a laser focus on expanding our footprint, exploring new formats and creating new and engaging ways to connect with our guests.”

Burgoyne has been with lululemon since 2006 and most recently served as Senior Vice President, Retail, North America where she was responsible for overseeing all Canadian and U.S. Retail. Prior to that, she held the positions of Vice President of Store Operations and General Manager or U.S. Operations. Celeste started her career with Abercrombie & Fitch, where she held various positions during her ten years with the company, including most recently, Senior Director of Stores.

“With over a decade at lululemon, I am honoured to have the opportunity to continue leading our amazing teams into our next chapter in the Americas,” said Celeste Burgoyne, EVP, Retail, Americas. “I am as committed as the day I joined to the concept that our stores and our retail team are the heart of this business and the magic which fuels our success. Through constantly challenging ourselves to push boundaries, I am continually inspired by our team’s ability to elevate the guest experience as we bring product to life and drive deeper more powerful connections within the communities we serve. Together as a team, there is so much exciting opportunity ahead of us.”

Celeste Burgoyne holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Diego in 1996. An avid runner, road rider and yogi, Celeste and her two young boys are delighted to call Vancouver home with frequent visits to Whistler for all their snowy pursuits.

Honorary Doctorate for Fraunhofer President

Prof. Reimund Neugebauer received the Honorary Doctorate from the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven). The President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft was honored by the Faculty of Engineering for his scientific work in the fields of mechanical engineering and production engineering. The largest university in Belgium is also one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe

„It is a great honour and pleasure for me to receive this high academic distinction from the Catholic University of Leuven today. By receiving this recognition, I am very touched to become a part of the almost 600-year-old history of your excellent and important university,“ stated Prof. Neugebauer in his acceptance speech. Rik Torfs, Rector of the KU Leuven, distinguished the President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for his contribution to the reconstruction of the Saxon manufacturing industry following the German reunification, for his contributions in questions of energy, resource efficiency and sustainability in modern manufacturing, the establishment of international research networks as well as his leading role as a research manager in the manufacturing industry.Fraunhofer

Cooperation in research and teaching

Through research projects in mechanical engineering and production engineering, Fraunhofer is closely associated with the Belgian city of Leuven. Together with the KU Leuven, Europe‘s largest applied research organization is, for example, one of the drivers of the European research project „Added Value in Manufacturing.“ Organized as a knowledge and innovation community (KIC), the project is one of the five planned KICs of the current European Commission for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020. A deepening of the cooperation with the traditional Belgian university is also planned for new production processes, such as ECDM (Electrochemical Discharge Machining) and generative manufacturing.

KU Leuven and Fraunhofer go hand in hand with the training of young professionals: In the Erasmus Mundus program „Master of Science in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (EMM-Nano),“ the Belgian university, together with Fraunhofer Institutes in Dresden, is setting up a multidisciplinary approach in theory and practice for young scientists.

Fraunhofer is working closely with the „Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC)“ in Leuven, one of the largest research centres for nanotechnology and microelectronics in Europe. Both organizations are currently cooperating in 17 Horizon 2020 projects. One of the most important of these projects is PRIME (Ultra-Low PoweR technologIes and MEmory architectures for the Internet of Things). In this context, 18 project partners are working on cost-effective and energy-efficient applications for the Internet of Things.

Belgium‘s largest university with a long tradition

The Catholic University of Leuven (in Dutch: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, KU Leuven) is Belgium‘s largest university and one of the oldest universities in Europe. Its history dates back to the year 1425. As a leading European research university, it now offers a wide range of academic programs in Dutch and English and conducts high-quality, interdisciplinary research. More than 6000 researchers from over 120 countries are involved.

Retail Solutions Inc. names Bert Clement as CEO

Retail Solutions, Inc. (RSi) announces that its Board of Directors has appointed Bert Clement as the new Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors. Co-founder and former CEO Jonathon Golovin, Ph.D., will assume the role of Chief Strategy Officer and will continue to serve on the Board.

“RSi is in a great position and this is fantastic timing for Bert to be Chief Executive Officer. This is a very dynamic period for RSi and the Board has selected a strong leader to foster our growth and really drive execution,” said Golovin.

Bert ClementBert Clement has led a strong executive management career combining strategic, operational and tactical finance experience. Clement has also been a trusted advisor and business partner to Board members, CEOs and global business unit leaders by understanding and traversing operational and market issues arising in businesses undergoing rapid growth. He is known for his expertise in devising pragmatic financial, operational and transactional strategies as well as world-class team building, operations and IT automation while always remaining committed to customer service excellence. Clement has proven success in delivering long-term revenue and profit growth in highly competitive domestic and international markets.

“I am honoured to lead RSi and look forward to driving our business to the next level. As the global market leader in the Retail Execution space, RSi will continue to innovate and maximize value for our customers and retail partners,” said Clement. “It’s an exciting time to be leading the team toward future successes while continuing the focus on our customers’ needs and market innovation.

“Bert is the perfect fit for the next stage of growth we will see with RSi. While the company has seen tremendous growth under Jon Golovin, the board is excited and has full confidence in Bert’s ability to lead RSi to new levels of success,” said Brian Ascher, Partner at Venrock and RSi board member. “Bert brings the perfect blend of executive management expertise and financial acumen that will help pave the way for RSi to continue to dominate its category, both domestically and internationally.”

Retail Solutions, Inc. (RSi) turns retailer data into opportunity – in the store, on the shelf and with shoppers worldwide. Designed to enable sustained operational excellence and to automate the path to purchase, RSi’s proprietary algorithms, business processes and suite of intelligent, cloud-based applications help the world’s leading consumer goods manufacturers and retailers listen and respond quickly to consumer demand – ensuring the right product is in the right store, at the right time. Each day, the RSi platform processes billions of records from over 175 major retailers in more than 150000 locations around the world and turns this data into actionable insights for immediate, automated decision-making. From solving out-of-stocks to driving inventory down, from optimizing sales strategies to determining marketing ROI, RSi improves operational excellence and drives sales. More than 500 global retailers and CPG companies, including such household names as Colgate-Palmolive, Nestlé, the Procter & Gamble Company and Unilever trust RSi.

New Euratex President Klaus Huneke reveals his programme

EURATEX welcomes Klaus Huneke as its President taking the office in January 2017 for a two-year term. Huneke, succeeding Sege Piolat who headed EURATEX during the last two years, pointed out: “Serge Piolat achieved impressive results in strengthening the voice of the European textile and clothing industry. To further enhance our industry my intention is to focus on few strategic priorities such as better communication towards policymakers and stakeholders on the excellence of our innovation and sustainability, enhancing EU competitiveness and greater participation of companies in innovation”

Klaus HunekeKlaus Huneke has an extensive international experience in the textile industry. He made a remarkable career at Heimbach, a large technical textiles producer in Germany. Having started his path as an engineer in the petrochemical industry, in ‘90s he joined Heimbach where he was a CEO until his retirement. Mr. Huneke has been engaged in numerous actions aimed to advance German industry, especially been the Vice-president of the German textile employer’s association since April 2000. Klaus Huneke has also been actively involved in representation of textile and clothing industry at the European level, acting as a Board Member since 2013 and Vice-President Treasurer of EURATEX since 2015.

He is intimately convinced that “the textile and clothing industry need more and better Europe to maintain its competitiveness ahead of the world competitors. It will be our task to make clear to EU policymakers the value of maintaining strong, innovative and competitive textile and clothing value chains in Europe. I hope under my Presidency to convince to have greater coherence among policies and to favour targeted and efficient support more in line with textile and clothing companies’ needs and capabilities.”

Klaus Huneke is persuaded that working in coherence and as a team with the entire membership along the strategic priorities of the industry, namely trade, innovation and sustainability would bring better results. This should encourage textile and clothing SME’s to be more active in world markets and in showing their innovation to the policymakers and their customers thanks to the work carried out in good intelligence with the European Confederation.

Klaus Huneke firmly believes that the EU textile and clothing companies should use more the opportunities offered by Euratex, the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing and their networks in terms of innovation and tools developed to help SMEs to improve their competitiveness. Euratex  will  keep  doing its utmost  to  increase   companies’ access to the European programmes by trying to simplifying as much as possible the access to such opportunities and by supporting regional initiatives having a European-scale such as RegioTex to increase the offer of European textile and clothing systems-solutions to the market.

The EU textile and apparel companies produce top quality products and innovative goods thanks to their advanced know-how and the respect of the EU stringent sustainability rules. This is recognised by the growing share of exports outside of the EU-28 markets and Huneke is adding: “Did you know that the EUR 44.5 billion EU textile and clothing exports do represent in 2015 the equivalent of 300 Airbus A350 at the typically discounted market prices while we produce only 35 of A350 on a yearly basis? This is the type of communication that can help improving the image of the industry to firstly attract young workers in our industry to increase the value of our products and secondly should encourage policymakers to strive for an international level playing field for the EU textile and clothing products. We will communicate more about the European products’ excellence and responsiveness to social challenges.”

EURATEX new President counts on the support from both the national associations and the European institutions to realise his ambitious programme and enhance the growth of the European textile and clothing industry.

Faust Capobianco IV joins the J. America Board of Directors

J. America announced on January 10, 2017, that Faust Capobianco IV has joined their Board of Directors. Mr. Capobianco is a 22-year veteran of the team sports licensing industry.

Capobianco was previously the President of Majestic Athletic, a preeminent designer, manufacturer and marketer of licensed team sports apparel for the major sports leagues and leading colleges in North America. Majestic Athletic is also the official outfitter of Major League Baseball.

Over the course of his career, Capobianco has achieved notoriety within the U.S. sports licensing and marketing industries including being named to Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal’s  “Forty Under 40” list of influential young executives (2005, 2006), as well as Sporting Goods Business’  “Forty Under 40” list (2009).

When asked about joining the J. America Inc. Board of Directors  Capobianco stated: “I appreciate the confidence which the management of J. America andFaust Blue Point Capital Partners have shown in me through this appointment.  J. America continues to provide the markets in which it operates with a powerful combination of a responsive service-oriented culture and deep market insights, supported by formidable operational and financial resources.  I look forward to supporting the company’s experienced and entrepreneurial management team, as they continue to drive growth for their licensors and retail partners.”

Tom Pitera, J. America’s Chairman of the Board said, “J. America is very pleased to have Faust join our Board.  Faust has years of experience in the licensed apparel industry and his market and product knowledge will be a great asset as we continue to grow the J America business.”

Since its founding nearly 25 years ago, J. America has grown to become one of the largest licensed apparel companies in the United States. One of the leading sportswear companies to the collegiate, resort, military and corporate markets, J. America is also the global apparel licensee for John Deere and the exclusive apparel partner of The Ohio State University. The company is a leader in corporate social responsibility and is an active member of the Fair Labour Association as a Participating Company.

J. America is a portfolio company of Blue Point Capital Partners.

IKEA Canada announces Marsha Smith to Lead Canadian Organisation

Home furnishings retailer IKEA Canada is pleased to announce that Marsha Smith, a 13 year veteran of the IKEA organization, has been appointed as President of IKEA Canada effective February 6, 2017

“It is a huge privilege to have the opportunity to lead the Canadian organization and be part of continuing what has been a fantastic growth story,” stated Smith. “I look forward to my role in the exciting chapter ahead as we look to double the number of IKEA stores in Canada and create a better everyday life for the many Canadians.”

With a proven track record of leading teams that create significant growth and expansion, Marsha is eager to bring her insights, gathered from working at IKEA United Kingdom and Ireland for many years, to the Canadian market.

With passion and determination for success- one of Marsha’s first business priorities is get to know each co-worker across the country and immerse herself into the Canadian retail landscape.

“I look forward to meeting with every one of our Canadian co-workers across all units and collaborating in order to ensure a successful expansion journey, together taking the IKEA brand into previously uncharted areas of the country,” continued Smith.

Marsha SmithMarsha began her IKEA career in 2004 as Customer Service Manager in the Birmingham store. She held various roles at this store within the Customer Relations, Finance and Operations departments before transitioning into the role of Store Manager in 2011. In early 2014, Marsha moved to the Republic of Ireland where she became the Store Manager of IKEA Dublin. During her time in this role, Marsha lead the store to significant growth, including leading the Market Penetration Plan process for Ireland, which triggered the start of expansion in this market for the first time in eight years. The business has grown significantly, experiencing 44 per cent cumulative growth over the past three years and it continues to grow.

Prior to IKEA, Marsha worked in sales within the automotive industry and was attracted to IKEA after learning about the company’s culture and values and seeing the strong connection to her own personal values. As well, Marsha was drawn to IKEA’s down-to-earth environment, where hard-working individuals can thrive and be successful.

IKEA is a leading Swedish home furnishing retailer with 375 stores in more than 50 countries worldwide, which are visited by 884 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 12 stores, an eCommerce virtual store, 6 Pick-up and order points in Quebec City and southern Ontario and two Collection Points in Halifax and Saskatoon. The company also recently announced plans to open stores in Halifax and Quebec City. Last year, IKEA Canada welcomed 28 million visitors to its stores and 88 million visitors to the website. Founded in 1943, IKEA’s business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them.

responsAbility Investments AG strengthens its Executive Management Team

responsAbility Investments AG, the asset manager specialising in development investments, has appointed Roland Pfeuti as Head Investment Solutions & Sales and a member of its Executive Management team. The Swiss specialist in private equity and sustainable finance will be responsible for the investor-oriented areas of the business, Investment Solutions and Sales.

Roland Pfeuti is joining responsAbility from Asia Climate Partners L.P. in Hong Kong, a joint initiative of Robeco, ORIX Corp. and the AsianRoland_Pfeuti_responsAbility_Investments_AG Development Bank, where he served as Managing Director, Private Equity. He previously held positions at RobecoSAM Private Equity, Bank Julius Baer and Credit Suisse/Credit Suisse First Boston in New York, London, Zurich, Sydney and Melbourne.

Rochus Mommartz, CEO of responsAbility Investments AG, stated: “In the coming years, responsAbility wants to mobilise even more capital for the investment themes of energy and sustainable agriculture and, in particular, to achieve growth in the area of private equity investing. Roland Pfeuti worked in the field of climate investments for the last 15 years and has an excellent understanding of the needs and expectations of our investors.”

Roland Pfeuti added: “As a specialist in development investments, responsAbility has a very strong platform for growth both in the area of fixed income and in private equity. responsAbility’s main investment themes have enormous growth potential and are experiencing extremely high levels of demand. I look forward to working for responsAbility.”

Roland Pfeuti assumed his new position at the start of January 2017.

responsAbility Investments AG is one of the world’s leading asset managers in the field of development investments and offers professionally managed investment solutions to both private and institutional investors. The company supplies debt and equity financing to non-listed firms in emerging economies and developing countries.

responsAbility currently has USD 3.2 billion of assets under management invested in over 550 companies in 96 countries. Founded in 2003, the company is headquartered in Zurich and has local offices in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Lima, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Nairobi, Oslo and Paris. Its shareholders include a number of reputable institutions in the Swiss financial market and its own employees. responsAbility is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.

iRobot Names Elisha Finney to Board of Directors

iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in consumer home robotics products, today announced the addition of Elisha Finney, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), to its board of directors. Ms. Finney brings more than 25 years of financial and technology-related expertise to iRobot as the company focuses on a strategy of growth and allocating capital that maximizes shareholder value.iRobot Logo

Finney’s management responsibilities at Varian Medical Systems include corporate accounting; corporate communications and investor relations; internal financial and compliance audit; risk management; tax and treasury, and corporate information systems. She joined Varian in 1988 and was named vice president of finance and CFO in April, 1999. In January, 2005, she was promoted to senior vice president and given additional management responsibility for the corporate information systems group. Ms. Finney was named executive vice president of Varian in February, 2012. She recently announced her intention to retire from Varian when a successor is named, which is expected to occur during the fiscal year 2017. Ms. Finney also serves on the board of directors at ICU Medical and previously served as a board member at Altera Corporation, Thoratec and Laserscope.

Elisha W. Finney“Elisha’s deep financial background, coupled with her knowledge of information systems and manufacturing, will be tremendous assets as iRobot continues to expand internationally, scale its connected product line and maximize value for its shareholders,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “Elisha is a valuable addition to iRobot’s team, and we are excited to welcome her to the board.”

“I am excited to join iRobot and work with its leadership team and board as the company expands its operations worldwide,” said Ms. Finney. “Consumer robotics, while already a proven category, possesses even more opportunity for household needs, and I look forward to becoming a part of the company’s success in the years to come.”

iRobot also announced that Andrea Geisser and Gail Deegan will be stepping down from the company’s board of directors when their terms expire at the next Annual Meeting of Shareholders, currently planned for May 2017.

“Andrea and Gail have made significant contributions to iRobot over the years, and we wish them the best as they move on to new opportunities. As they step down, the recent additions of Elisha and Andrew Miller, along with the financial expertise that they both bring, ensure that the Board is fully represented and in a strong position moving forward,” stated Angle.

iRobot previously announced the naming of Andrew Miller, executive vice president and chief financial officer at PTC, to its board of directors in September 2016.

iRobot designs and builds robots that empower people to do more. The company’s home robots help people find smarter ways to clean and accomplish more in their daily lives. iRobot’s portfolio of solutions features proprietary technologies for the connected home and advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence.


eBags Co-Founder & EVP Peter Cobb joins National Retail Federation Board

eBags, the industry-leading e-tailer and travel gear expert, reports its Co-Founder & EVP Peter Cobb has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Retail Federation (NRF).  Announced during the trade organization’s 106th annual Retail’s BIG Show in New York City  Peter will serve a three-year term. Cobb co-founded eBags in 1998 and was essential in creating the original business plan, raising capital and mapping out how a humble startup would become the leading online retailer for the travel goods industry

“Peter has been committed to helping eBags stand the test of time, which was started out of his basement 17 years ago,” says Mike Peter CobbEdwards, eBags’ CEO. “His steadfast drive and ability to stay at the forefront of all things retail is one of the reasons eBags continues to stay ahead of the innovation curve. We are pleased to announce that he will accepting this important post with the National Retail Federation and look forward to supporting him as he helps build the retail of tomorrow.”

Peter is past chairman of NRF’s, the leading trade association for digital retail, and past chairman of the Travel Goods Association, which presented him the TGA Award in 2009 for outstanding service to the travel goods industry.

“Retail is critical to our economy, accounting for one out of every four jobs in America, yet there remain challenges in advancing the retail agenda,” said Cobb. “Whether it is by impacting legislation, advocacy, education, or thought leadership, I look forward to helping NRF shape a stronger retail future.”

“Peter Cobb is an e-commerce pioneer whose innovative spirit has kept him ahead of the rapid changes transforming the way people around the world shop for goods,” said NRF President & CEO Matthew Shay. “With his standout success building a best in class e-commerce brand and selfless devotion to guiding the industry, I’m excited to have Peter’s voice at the table as we advance the NRF agenda on jobs, innovation and consumer value.”

eBags is at the leading edge of mobile technology implementation, with mobile web interaction growing at 70 % per year.  eBags’ own Brand’s sales grew at 53 % in 2016; 96 % of customers say they would recommend eBags Brand products to a friend.  The company has deep and lasting relationships with 900+ brands and drop-ship fulfillment capabilities that allow for market leading selection of brands and SKUs.

About eBags: With more than 17 years in the travel goods industry and 29 million bags sold, eBags is the leading online retailer of luggage, backpacks and travel-related accessories. The company is devoted to helping its customers find the perfect travel gear for any journey. Ranked a top luggage retailer in 2016 by Consumer Reports, eBags features more than 90000 products from over 900 brands, including Tumi, Samsonite, Bose, Kenneth Cole, Patagonia, The North Face, PrAna and more.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing USD 2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Under Armour announces Vice President of Investor Relations

Under Armour on January 17, 2017, announced Lance Allega as the company’s Vice President of Investor Relations. In his role, Allega will be responsible for communicating Under Armour’s growth strategy, financial performance, operating model, key business metrics and plans for building long-term shareholder value to investors, analysts and other external audiences. He will be based out of Under Armour’s Global Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland and will start on January 23

“As we continue our global expansion, it is critical that we further sharpen our ability to communicate our vision of growth and expertise in managing our diverse portfolio of strategic investments,” said Kevin Plank, Chairman and CEO of Under Armour. He adds “Lance has a proven track record in the industry and I’m excited to add new talent to our seasoned team of leaders in the Company.”

Lance AllegaAllega joins Under Armour after serving as head of investor relations and strategic accounts for VF Corporation based in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has more than 20 years of experience in investor relations, finance, operations and brand management, including senior management roles at Nike, Oakley, Sony and Accenture. He holds an M.B.A. degree from Pepperdine University and a B.A. degree in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Under Armour, the originator of performance footwear, apparel and equipment, revolutionized how athletes across the world dress. Designed to make all athletes be

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