The GRIN Community

Welcome. We are the Global Retail Insights Network - a community committed to helping retailers and brands achieve greatness on the world stage. Accelerate your global journey by joining the top experts in global commerce. This is an adventure, and we’re glad to have you with us.

Carl Miller

Managing Director

How the GRIN Works

The GRIN is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit membership organization. The GRIN is driven by one goal: to help global retailers and brands become leaders through collaboration and knowledge. Our member-based organization provides the data and insight needed to help brands benchmark their global performance, and take actionable steps to becoming a leading global player.

Our Guiding Principles

  • The GRIN’s culture is one of respect, fun, and constant curiosity. We are open and honest with each other, with our members, and with our community.
  • We continually educate ourselves and our community on the many issues that touch global retail.
  • We bring the industry’s most inspired thinkers and curious minds together to foster innovation and collaboration.
  • We thrive in diverse environments and we work to develop all GRIN members.

How does the GRIN make money?

The GRIN makes money through retailer and vendor online platform fees, event sponsorships, coaching programs, and foundation support.

What does the GRIN
do with its money?

The GRIN allocates approximately 20% of its funds for marketing to create awareness, 30% to operations, and 50% to educational development including workshops, research and networking events.

Advisory Board

Simon Backhouse

Laura Cochran

Angela Yore

Simon Backhouse is the US Territory Manager for ASOS.  ASOS is a global fashion giant that burst on to the scene in the UK in 2000.  The business trades 80,000 product lines across: womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories, jewellery and beauty.  The ASOS ambition is to be the World’s No.1 online fashion destination for 20-somethings, through their restless approach and commitment to being a truly global retailer: ASOS ship to 237 countries and have specific sites targeting: USA, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Russia and China.  Simon has worked in fashion retail for the last decade and is currently responsible for the overall: growth strategy, trading, delivery proposition, pricing and site localization of the ASOS US business.  Simon has a strong commercial finance background, holding the roles of Head of Retail and Head of Trading at ASOS, before heading up the New York operation in early 2015.  Earlier in his career, Simon worked for the Arcadia group working across a number of brands including: Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge.

Laura Cochran is the Global Director of Retail Solutions in TransPerfect’s NY office. Cochran has spent over ten years working with multinational companies that require language and communication services for multilingual and multicultural audiences. Cochran specializes in providing services to global retailers, from electronics to cosmetics, including: Ralph Lauren, GAP, Nikon, Canon, Estee Lauder, Avon Products, Tiffany & Co., Colgate-Palmolive, lululemon, PepsiCo, and Coach. She plays an integral role in providing consultative advice and customizing processes ideally suited for firms attempting to launch products in a global marketplace. At TransPerfect, Cochran has assisted in the development and growth of the company’s suite of services, creating culturally appropriate marketing campaigns for diverse audiences, as well as taking on a leadership role within GlobalLink™ Technology sales management team. Through her experience, she offers unique insight into the complexities of language and mentality of global cultures. Cochran has a B.A. from New York University where she majored in Francophone Studies.

Co-founder of SkyParlour Communications. Angela is a veteran in the art of Strategic Marketing Communications and Public Relations for tech businesses having practiced for 20 plus years. During this time she is proud to have raised the brand profile and market positioning of numerous tech businesses from start-ups through to market leaders. Before co-founding SkyParlour PR and Communications in 2009 and most recently SkyParlour Advisory in 2014, Angela held directorships and management positions at Xerox, Océ , 2ergo, Payzone and ReD (now part of ACI). Angela enjoys being the EU representative on the Global Retail Insight Network (GRIN) advisory board. She lives in the heart of Cheshire, UK, and in her spare time when she’s not travelling she is a taxi driver for her 10-year-old son ferrying him to various sporting matches.

Jason Johnson

Josh Krepon

Timothy M. Lee

Jason Johnson has over 15 years experience in working with technology companies and is currently CFO and Director of Business Development for Motion Global Limited, a leading global e-retailer for designer eyewear based in Shanghai, China. Since joining Motion Global in 2012, the company has achieved significant international growth and expansion, including operating websites in 35 countries around the world. Prior to Motion Global, Jason was CFO of Braintree Payments, a fast-growing online payments company that sold to Paypal in 2013. Jason has also held executive positions with other technology companies in the logistics and telecommunications industries. Jason began his career with 5 years at Deloitte & Touche. Jason has lived in China for 4 years and has advanced Chinese language skills.

Josh Krepon has more than 12 years of experience in the digital space, the last 9 of which have been in retail ecommerce. Josh most recently joined Cole Haan in March, 2014 as VP of Global Digital Commerce. Prior to joining Cole Haan, Josh was the Global Director of Digital Commerce at Tory Burch where he spent 3.5 years developing and growing a global digital business. His work included a site re-platform and redesign, launching international shipping capabilities, release of mobile and in-store applications and expansion of ecommerce and local fulfillment in Europe. Earlier in his career, he held positions at Victoria’s Secret, Ralph Lauren and the Corporate Executive Board. Josh earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Kenyon College. He lives in New York City with his wife and two girls.

Timothy M. Lee is Vice President of Global Strategy at SP eCommerce – a part of the Singapore Post Group, which is backed by the Alibaba Group. He heads up strategic initiatives, mergers & acquisitions, alliances, payment services, and China. He has 17 years of experience managing global e-commerce, and has lived most of the past 10 years in Asia. Before he moved to Asia, he headed up the global e-commerce teams of both Visa and American Express. He has also done strategy consulting at PwC and launched multiple start-ups in Silicon Valley. He holds 7 e-commerce related patents. He received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg school and his undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley.

Brad Mathewson

Marshall Porter

Sharif Sleiman

Brad Mathewson is theVice President of Sales Fulfillment & Business Development for DHL eCommerce Americas. Since joining DHL in 2001, Brad has held several leadership positions including Vice President Global Accounts and Western Regional Sales VP. In these roles he has supported targeted Fortune 500 companies and helped them grow through logistics by reaching new markets around the world. In his current role he is leading the team building new innovative E-Commerce solutions to fulfill the supply chain from shared use fulfillment, to x-border marketing strategies, to e-facilitation and all the way to global returns. Prior to his experience in Logistics, Brad spent 18 years in Telecommunications in various roles managing everything from Customer Service to Product Management to Sales. Brad holds a B.A. in Business Management and Industrial Engineering from Oregon State University.

Marshall Porter is the President of Spring, a global marketplace connecting brands directly with consumers. Previously, he was SVP and GM of International at Gilt Groupe, an online retailer based in the United States, where he was responsible for the growth of the international business including consumer cross-border shipping and international partnerships. He previously served as the Vice President of Business Development at Gilt Groupe, where he built and managed Gilt Groupe’s business development team, devised business development strategies, and forged long-term relationships that benefitted Gilt and its partners, including Starbucks, Volkswagen, Target, Virgin America, Klout, and many more. Mr.Porter joined Gilt with extensive experience in mobile and eCommerce, having previously led the mobile business at Digital Fountain that was acquired by Qualcomm and before that at Handango, where he was primarily responsible for key global partnerships, development strategies, driving key infrastructure initiatives, launching new business units, and global partnerships. Marshall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from TCU and holds a masters degree in Management, Economics, and International Relations from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Sharif Sleiman has over 15 years of experience in the eCommerce and Marketplace industry having held various leadership roles in operations, supply chain and logistics. Sharif Sleiman is currently the Vice President of eCommerce Operations at Staples [NASDAQ:SPLS], where he is responsible for the expansion of products offered online and for driving the global eCommerce content creation, order management and logistics strategy to meet customer and business demands. Prior to joining Staples, Sharif was the Senior Director of Operations and Supply Chain for the Global Goods business at Groupon [NASDAQ:GRPN], where he scaled a global logistics team for a 1-year-old business. Previously, he held various leadership positions at eBay [NASDAQ:EBAY] with responsibilities in Logistics, Supply Chain, Cross Border Trade, Sustainability and Global Procurement. Sharif holds an MBA in Finance from the University of North Carolina and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University. He also has a filed Global Shipping Platform patent.

Tony Shan

Kelland Willis

Eric Tam

Tony Shan is the Head of U.S. Business Development & Merchandising at VIP.com (NYSE:VIPS), an online retailer based in China, where he is responsible for setting up U.S. operations and partnering with U.S. brands and retail platforms to conduct cross-border sales to VIP’s over 100 million registered customers. Prior to joining VIP.com, he served as the Merchandising and Marketing Lead for the apparel & footwear business at Quidsi Inc., an Amazon subsidiary that operates multiple eCommerce sites such asDiapers.com and Soap.com. Tony first ventured into the global retail space when he was managing the licensed categories at Coach, Inc. across all global business units. He started his retail career in traditional brick-and-mortar stores merchandising and planning at Macy’s and Mervyn’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tony received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and his undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley. He is currently based in New York City.

Kelland Willis is a 10 year global retail veteran. She got her start in Beijing at one of China’s first luxury websites, 5lux.com, where she ran a number of editorial content channels. As a high-tech import/export consultant at Larkin Trade, where she worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Commerce, she not only perfected her Mandarin, but her global retail skills, as well. Upon returning to the US, Kelland spent nearly three years at Forrester Research covering the retail industry with a laser-sharp focus on China. Today, Kelland is launching SAP Anywhere – SAP’s first global SMB commerce solution.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Eric has been a part of the digital (r)evolution since the mid-90’s. As the former CEO/Co-Founder of a boutique digital agency to senior executive roles with tech start-ups and other digital agencies, Eric continued to evolve his digital expertise. In 2013, after 17 years of digital experience, Eric joined Benefit Cosmetics (an LVMH brand) as VP of Global Digital, managing a team of 40+ cross-functional, digital experts. His team has responsibility over Global Web (responsive sites rolling out for 45 international markets), Ecommerce (5 international markets), Digital Marketing, Digital Creative and Development, and Content Development (photo, video and copy). Eric is a Cal alum and continues to reside in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and son.

Mary Ghobrial

Larry Luk

Mark Batty

Mary is the Chief Commercial Officer of Souq.com, the largest eCommerce platform in the Arab world, featuring more than 400,000 products across categories such as consumer electronics, fashion, household goods, watches or perfumes. She is responsible for creating, communicating, executing and sustaining strategic initiatives. Mary has held previous roles at Procter and Gamble, Pepsi International and Showtime.

Larry Luk leads e-Commerce at Calvin Klein. He is responsible for starting up and expanding the Calvin Klein e-Commerce business in the Asia Pacific region. His mission is to complete the Calvin Klein customer ecosystem by linking the strong social presence of the brand with e-Commerce. Larry has extensive cross functional experience in various international brands, his most recent role was to launch online store for Ralph Lauren across Japan, South Korea and rest of Asia Pacific countries.

Mark is Head of International Development at Boden, where he is responsible for developing Boden’s international markets in Germany, France, Australia and emerging markets, including China.

Boden is the British catalogue and online retailer launched in 1991 by founder and CEO Johnnie Boden with just eight menswear products. The brand quickly expanded into womenswear and childrenswear and now has over 1.5million customers worldwide. Boden’s stylish clothing and accessories are available to buy via catalogue in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Australia and Austria, and online in over 60 countries.

Prior to joining Boden Mark worked at Asos for 3 years, the last 2 as Territory Manager for Russia & New Markets, where he launched the local websites (Russia and China) and was responsible for digital marketing channels as well as local partner and agency relationships.

His role prior to that at Asos was International eCommerce Sales Manager, responsible for developing the strategic 6 international markets of the US, Australia, Germany, France, Italy & Spain. Mark has worked in various Digital Marketing roles at Woolworths, Biglight and Mexx in the Netherlands where he lived for 5 years.

Mark graduated with a degree in Business Management from Newcastle University in 2001 and was also a professional footballer for Sheffield Wednesday FC in the 1990s.

Sinead Berry

Charlie Wade

Sinead Berry is eCommerce Director at pure-play luxury womenswear retailer, Avenue 32. Launched in 2011, Avenue 32 is an innovative online shopping destination featuring a hand-picked edit of internationally-celebrated fashion houses and emerging designers. Avenue 32 ships to 165 countries worldwide, featuring express delivery and free returns as standard. With more than 12 years’ experience in fashion and eCommerce, Sinead has worked across content, development and digital marketing strategy, for retailers large and small, including: Anthropologie Europe, Cult Beauty and Cancer Research UK. Sinead is currently responsible for the strategic growth of the business globally, focussing on web development and digital marketing.

Charlie is Business Development Manager at ASOS, a global online fashion and beauty retailer that ships to 237 countries and has 80,000 products from both its own-label and third-party brands. He joined the company nearly four years ago, initially as Menswear Marketing Manager in London, where he launched a number of exciting and innovative campaigns targeting millennial men. His move to New York – where he is responsible for growing market share – has now given him experience of eCommerce and retail in the US and Europe. He has a wealth of digital marketing expertise having worked agency-side previously, partnering with names such as Clarks, Silver Cross, Samsung, Tesco, ASDA, T.M. Lewin, and more. He has advised clients across a range of digital marketing techniques, outlining how they can positively impact the relationship that retailers have with their customers. In addition, he has contributed to publications such as Econsultancy and produces an ongoing round-up capturing the best initiatives from the US each month.

The GRIN is dedicated to expanding global retail through knowledge and collaboration. As the premiere global community for commerce professionals, the GRIN fosters cross-border expertise, leadership and innovation.