University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

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2017 Trends in Technology Conference

This 2017 conference showcased the future landscape of retail with insight from today's industry leaders on how the current generation of shoppers are dictating constant change from the supply chain to the last mile of delivery.


Date and Location

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
John Q. Hammons Center
3303 South Pinnacle Hills Parkway
Rogers, Arkansas

Presenting Sponsors



Nathalie Walton 

Nathalie Walton | Strategic Partnerships, Google

Nathalie Walton works with retail partners, data providers, and mobile tech companies to secure revenue-generating partnerships. Previously with eBay’s Incubation/Innovation team, she specialized in launching new business ideas and scaling existing business.

Ben Emmrich 

Ben Emmrich | Business Development, Google

Ben Emmrich manages strategic partnerships with top-tier retailers, with a focus on building Google Express (GSX). He is a founding member of the GSX overnight delivery team, leading all negotiations with parcel carriers.

Brigid McDermott 

Brigid McDermott | Vice President of Blockchain Business Development, IBM

Brigid McDermott started her career with IBM in 2006. Currently, Ms. McDermott is the Vice President of Blockchain Business Development and Ecosystems. In this role, Ms. McDermott is responsible for developing and managing all ecosystem and partner relationships around IBM’s innovation in Blockchain. Formerly, Ms. McDermott was Vice President of Corporate Strategy where she was responsible for defining the IBM strategic vision and execution plans for selected services and solutions.

Jamie Iannone 

Jamie Iannone | President and CEO,

Jamie Iannone began his current e-commerce leadership role with in 2014. He brings a wealth of insight into accelerating online growth and enhancing Sam’s Club members’ ability to shop anytime, anywhere. Jamie is evolving along the company’s vision of becoming the technology format for the next generation of shopper.

Blake Woolsey 

Linda Dillman |  former CIO, QVC

Linda Dillman brings a first-hand look into the future of retail, specifically when digital retail does not have the brick and mortar support or presence. Her understanding of how this plays into the customer experience, as well as the direct impact on supply chain/reverse logistics, will be invaluable to suppliers and retailers alike.


Nick Handrick | Head of Operations, Starship Technologies

Nick Handrick serves as Head of Operations for Starship’s Washington, D.C. market. He oversees both local delivery and Starship's remote operations center.  With an extensive background in operations, Nick served as head of a Maryland-based contracting firm before launching and leading same-day delivery operations for Google Express in D.C.  He has spent much of his life and career in the D.C. metro area.

Rix Ryskamp 

Rix Ryskamp | CEO and Founder, useAIble

Rix is a life-long entrepreneur and inventor. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner in technology and other industries. He has several patents in his name and has been developing software for over 25 years. His continued commitment to innovation shows in the companies he creates and the products he invents.

Blake Woolsey 

Blake Woolsey | Executive Vice President, Mitchell Communications Group

As leader of Mitchell, Blake uses her strong leadership and collaboration skills, coupled with a broad knowledge of the industry to help clients achieve their goals. She is responsible for oversight of three teams: Hyper-Local Activation, Creative and the Center for Training, Business and Leadership Excellence. In her role, she works closely with global brands to become a part of their local communities through hyper-local activations.

Additional Sponsors