J. C. Penney executive chairman opens UNT's 2015-16 Executive + Scholar Lecture Series

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 15:24

What: "Adversity is a Great Teacher" – J. C. Penney Company Executive Chairman Myron E. (Mike) Ullman III, opens the University of North Texas 2015-16 Executive + Scholar Lecture Series with a Q&A conversation about how challenges and obstacles in business and personal life can help individuals learn important lessons.

When/Where: 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 8 (Thursday) in the ballroom of UNT's Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd. in Denton.

Cost: $50 for the general public and $25 for non-UNT college students. UNT students attend for free with student ID. Cost includes parking.

Contact: Lisa Wallace, director of development for the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, at 940-369-7051 or Lisa.Wallace@unt.edu.

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, executive chariman and board member of the Plano-based J.C. Penney Company, will be the opening speaker for the University of North Texas Executive + Scholar Lecture Series in a talk titled "Adversity is a Great Teacher." In a Q&A, he'll be joined by Shah Karim, chief executive officer of SafeRock, which provides analytic solutions to retailers to improve shareholder value and improve return on investment. 

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 8 (Thursday) inside the ballroom of the UNT Gateway Center, located at 801 North Texas Blvd. in Denton. During the event, the speakers will address questions detailing how both personal and business challenges can be used as a teaching tool toward success.

"The Executive + Scholar Lecture series inspires the those who hear our passionate speakers relate their personal experiences to retail customer experiences, supported by the research of the scholars," said Richard Last, senior director of UNT's Global Digital Retailing Research Center.

Past executives have included Supercuts founder Geoffrey M. Rappaport, Nordstrom Stores president Jamie Nordstrom and The Container Store CEO Kip Tindell.

Sponsored by the Global Digital Retailing Research Center, the series pairs digital retailing professionals with research experts from UNT faculty, industry leaders and global scholars. Created in 2013 by the UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, it is the first center in the U.S. to focus solely on digital retailing.

About Mike Ullman

A retail veteran for more than three decades, Ullman has successfully led five major global enterprises in the United States, France and Hong Kong and has distinguished himself as a highly accomplished international retail industry leader. Prior to his initial term leading J. C. Penney, where he oversaw substantial online growth and achieved the greatest profitability in company history, Ullman served as directeur general of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (Euronext: MC.FR) in Paris. From 1995 to 1999, he was chairman and CEO of DFS Group Limited, the world's leading travel retailer, majority-owned by LVMH. Prior to that, he served as chairman and CEO of R.H. Macy & Co., Inc. Ullman's previous experience also includes leading the property developer Wharf Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. He assumed this role after posts at Federated Department Stores, including as executive vice president of its Dallas division. During his absence at J. C. Penney, the company faltered, but he returned in 2013 to lead a successful turnaround. Ullman also serves on the board of the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and he is a director of the Starbucks Corporation and chairman of the medical charity Mercy Ships International. His honors include an honorary doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and the John Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award from the White House Fellows Association.

About Shah Karim

An expert on big data, Karim is chief executive officer of SafeRock, a New Jersey-based company that provides analytic solutions to retailers to improve shareholder value and improve return on investment. He also is a leading researcher in omni-channel retail, mobile and digital solutions, U.S. retail sales, education technology and student engagement. He has authored and co-authored research published in CITI Research, Retail & Leisure International and Retail Solutions Online, and his recent bylined articles have appeared in Chain Store Age, Apparel News and Shopping Center Business. Since 2013, Shah has served on the board of governors for UNT's merchandising and digital retailing program and the Think Tank for the program's research center.

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