Ropes & Gray’s Consumer Brands Summit

Industries: Retail & Consumer Brands

Ropes & Gray’s Consumer Brands Summit will kick off with a panel led by prominent industry experts to discuss key issues and current events affecting the industry. Our experts will share “what keeps them up at night” and provide insights and practical tips to address everyday issues.

Following our main panel, we are excited to host interactive roundtable breakout sessions with leading industry experts in their respective fields to dive deeper into the following topics that will be touched upon in the main panel:

CLE Credit will be offered.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
3:30 PM Registration
4:00 PM Programming
5:45 PM Networking Reception

The Whitby Hotel
18 West 56th Street
New York, NY


Main Panel

han-ericaErica Han
Ropes & Gray

Erica Han is a go-to advisor for global companies and investors seeking to maximize brand value and protect brand reputation in commercial transactions. Co-chair of Ropes & Gray’s consumer & retail industry initiative, a partner in the firm’s intellectual property transactions group, and former senior IP counsel at a leading global sportswear conglomerate, Erica draws on her deep and varied experience to advise on complex deals involving brands and consumer products, ongoing brand strategy, and other intellectual property matters.

Clients across industry sectors—including consumer goods, private equity, technology, sports, non-profits, and health care—regularly turn to Erica for her unique skillset. Erica brings substantive knowledge, particularly in the areas of trademarks, publicity rights, and eponymous brands, coupled with experience across a range of transactions. She assists clients with licensing & collaborations, whole business securitizations and other debt transactions, commercial arrangements in connection with bankruptcy/restructuring, supply chain transactions, sponsorship deals, and M&A, among others.

Marcus-CraigCraig Marcus
Ropes & Gray

Craig Marcus co-chairs the firm’s consumer & retail industry initiative and capital markets group. A leading capital markets and private equity attorney, Craig is a trusted advisor to many prominent public companies—as well as some of the nation’s foremost private equity sponsors and alternative asset managers—in their capital raising and strategic transactions. Institutional investors also turn to Craig for sophisticated SEC reporting guidance related to their investment positions.

Craig has led a number of high profile initial public offerings, including Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin’ Brands, and has developed a particular expertise in navigating the IPO process for private equity portfolio companies. His innovation in all aspects of capital markets financing is especially valued by clients in the consumer retail, health care, industrials and technology industries. He has also been involved in several high-profile whole business securitization transactions, including the first of its kind over a decade ago.


Yen Chu
Chief Legal Officer
Tailored Brands

Yen is currently EVP, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Tailored Brands, the parent company for The Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, Moores (Canada) and K&G Fashion. Prior to joining Tailored Brands, Yen served as EVP and Chief Legal Officer of Equinox Group, overseeing all legal functions for brands, including Equinox Fitness, Equinox Hotels, SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, and Pure Yoga. Before Equinox, Yen spent 11 years at Ralph Lauren Corporation in various leadership roles and 9 years at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Yen is also currently a Board member of DirectWomen, the national non-profit with a mission to increase the representation of women lawyers on corporate boards.

Akiko Okuma
Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Head of Investor Relations

Ms. Okuma joined Vince in March 2014 and was appointed Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary in September 2020. Ms. Okuma also is Head of Investor Relations. Previously, Ms. Okuma held the position of Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since February 2017. Prior to joining Vince, Ms. Okuma was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in the firm’s New York and Tokyo offices.

David Shiffman
Partner and Co-Head of Consumer Retail
Solomon Partners

David has nearly 30 years of experience advising notable branded companies in the retail, consumer and business services spaces. David’s broad-based experience spans strategic advisory assignments (special committee, go-privates, shareholder activism, raid defense) as well as capital markets and merger and acquisition transactions. These include buy and sell-side assignments, public and private financings and restructurings. 

Paula Viola
General Counsel
Marc Jacobs 


Breakout Sessions

Trends in M&A

Jackie CohenJackie Cohen
Ropes & Gray

Jackie Cohen is a partner in the firm’s mergers & acquisitions group in the New York office. She guides public and private companies through complex mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures, carve-outs spin-offs, and strategic investments. 

Jackie advises on both domestic and cross-border transactions across many industries and verticals, including financial services, media and entertainment, retail and consumer products and technology. She also has extensive experience counseling on high-profile and business-critical shareholder activism, takeover defense and corporate governance matters.

fisher-tara-mTara Fisher
Ropes & Gray

Tara Fisher is a partner in Ropes & Gray’s mergers & acquisitions and capital markets practice groups. Tara represents public and private companies, boards of directors and investment banks with respect to mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters and securities offerings. Tara’s clients span a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and consumer retail. 

lapidus-stephanieStephanie Lapidus
Ropes & Gray

Stephanie Lapidus focuses her practice on representing private equity firms and public companies in connection with mergers, acquisitions, strategic investments and other general corporate matters in a broad range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, technology, consumer products, energy/infrastructure, and retail.


Charlie Hadid
Managing Director 
Morgan Stanley


Richelle Kalnit
Senior Vice President
Hilco Streambank

Richelle Kalnit is a senior vice president with Hilco Streambank, the leading authority on the valuation and disposition of intangible assets including brands, software, patent portfolios and digital assets. She manages intellectual property disposition engagements for the firm. Richelle has experience in the sale of intellectual property assets in bankruptcy, out-of-court sale processes, Article 9 foreclosure transactions, receiverships and assignments for the benefit of creditors, and is a frequent panelist and contributor on topics related to asset sales and intangible assets. She joined Hilco Streambank after having practiced restructuring law for more than a decade.

Social Media and Influencers

Kellie CombsKellie Combs
Ropes & Gray

Kellie Combs provides legal and strategic advice to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, food and cosmetic manufacturers, as well as health care providers and academic institutions, on a broad range of issues under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Service Act. She is a partner in the life sciences regulatory and compliance group and is also a co-chair of the firm’s cross-practice digital health group. Kellie has extensive experience handling matters implicating FDA promotional rules and the First Amendment and also advises clients on FDA regulatory submissions, regulation of digital health tools, drug and biologic exclusivity, expedited development and approval programs, and post-approval compliance. In addition, she routinely conducts regulatory due diligence and negotiates key regulatory deal terms in connection with a wide variety of transactions involving drug, device, dietary supplement, cosmetic, and other consumer product manufacturers. She also regularly advises on administrative litigation and government enforcement matters involving FDA-regulated companies.


Alison Flynn
Deputy General Counsel
Condé Nast

Alison joined Condé Nast as Deputy General Counsel in October 2022. In that role, she oversees the corporate and commercial legal teams as well as the legal teams based in Condé Nast's 11 markets outside the US. In previous roles, she worked at a logistics startup, a large family office and the M&A department at a national law firm.


brayley-douglas-200Doug Brayley
Ropes & Gray

Douglas Brayley is a partner in the employment, executive compensation and employee benefits practice and leads the firm’s employment litigation practice. Recently, Doug has been one of the key members of Ropes & Gray’s team advising clients on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the areas of workforce planning and cost reduction strategies, workplace safety, paid leave entitlements, anti-discrimination, and disability accommodation. Doug is a frequent commentator on employment law topics and has appeared in publications and media outlets including The New York Times, CNN, and CNBC.

Doug regularly represents employers in complex employment litigation matters, including wage and hour class actions, discrimination matters, whistleblower actions, disputes concerning restrictive covenants and trade secrets, and arbitrations and lawsuits brought by highly compensated senior executives. He has litigated before courts, arbitrators, and administrative agencies. He has argued dispositive motions and appeals, and has served as trial counsel in both state and federal court.


Keith Wexelblatt
Vice President, Labor & Employment – Americas
Thermo Fisher Scientific

Keith Wexelblatt joined Thermo Fisher Scientific as its new Vice President, Labor & Employment – Americas in June 2022. He works at its Waltham, Massachusetts headquarters. In this role, Keith directly manages a team that includes 4 employment attorneys for its over 50,000 colleagues in the United States, Canada and Latin America region. Prior to this new role, Keith worked for over 24 years at Reebok and for its parent adidas in various legal and human resources capacities. Keith was the Associate General Counsel and head of the Reebok legal team prior to its divestment from adidas in early 2022 to the Authentic Brands Group. Keith also led the global Human Resources team for one its subsidiaries, CCM Hockey, for a decade. Before Reebok, Keith worked as an associate in the Labor & Employment Departments for both Choate Hall and then Mintz Levin based in Boston. Keith graduated from Brown University and the Duke University School of Law.

Data Privacy

ed-mcnicholasEd McNicholas
Ropes & Gray

Edward McNicholas is a co-leader of Ropes & Gray’s data, privacy & cybersecurity practice. He represents technologically sophisticated clients facing complex data, privacy, and cybersecurity issues in litigation, investigative, and counseling matters. His clients include financial institutions, technology companies, insurance companies, branded pharma companies, healthcare providers, data brokers, and e-commerce retailers. In connection with COVID-19, Ed is advising clients across industries on issues of data protection, opportunistic cyber attacks, and contact tracing technologies.

Ed has significant experience with investigations and class action litigation related to cybersecurity incidents, as well as enforcement actions by the FTC, state Attorneys General, the SEC, OCR, Data Protection Authorities outside of the U.S., and other government agencies. He leads internal investigation and litigation matters that frequently involve complex, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-national litigation issues, particularly federal court jurisdictional and constitutional concerns related to the First and Fourth Amendments. Ed has experience dealing with Internet and information law matters involving data breaches, ransomware, online brand protection, trade secrets, social media, e-commerce, Internet governance, and national security issues. 


Jennifer Wilen
Vice President of Legal


ESG and Supply Chain

Samantha ElliottSamantha (Sam) Elliott
Ropes & Gray

Sam is an associate in Ropes & Gray’s ESG, CSR & business and human rights compliance practice. Sam began her legal career as a corporate associate, specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Having focused on corporate responsibility and sustainability for the past few years, Sam now uses her corporate foundation to advise clients on ESG matters. 

phillips-rachel-dRachel Phillips
Ropes & Gray

Leading capital markets attorney Rachel Phillips helps her clients navigate their most critical and challenging transactions and governance issues. Public companies, private equity sponsors, private equity portfolio companies, underwriters and selling shareholders alike look to Rachel for guidance through the complexities of securities transactions of all types. Her sophisticated transactional insight and wide-ranging compliance knowledge and experience has made her a particularly valued advisor to issuers in Canada and other countries planning initial or follow-up offerings in the United States. Rachel’s experience encompasses the full range of strategic transactions, including initial public offerings, follow-on offerings involving equity and debt securities, and mergers and acquisitions. Her practical approach to closing deals and extensive experience with all phases of transactional negotiations bring welcome efficiency to clients’ critical strategic transactions.


Tanya Levy-Odom
Managing Director, Deputy Head
BlackRock Investment Stewardship (BIS) Americas

Tanya Levy-Odom, Managing Director, is Deputy Head of BlackRock Investment Stewardship (BIS) Americas. In this capacity Ms. Levy-Odom represents BIS Americas in all its activities as it engages with companies to promote effective governance and create value for clients. She also has direct coverage responsibility for the Consumer Sector and oversees the BIS Americas Consumer/Technology team.

BIS evaluates the corporate governance of companies in which BlackRock invests, including the assessment of environmental and social factors material to a company’s business operations. The team engages companies and others in the investment stewardship ecosystem to promote the governance and business practices aligned with long-term value creation by the companies in which BlackRock invests on behalf of clients.

Prior to joining the BIS Americas team, Ms. Levy-Odom served as the Executive Director of Investor Relations at Time Inc. Additionally she served as the firm’s Corporate Responsibility Officer. Prior to joining Time Inc., she was a Vice President and Domestic Equity Analyst at Alliance Bernstein, responsible for equity forecasting and stock recommendations in the Consumer sector.

Randi Roberts
Vice President & Associate General Counsel
PVH Corp.

Randi Roberts has over 20 years of experience in corporate compliance and ethics program management in the public and private sectors. She is currently Vice President & Associate General Counsel at PVH Corp., a New York-based, Fortune 500 global apparel and fashion company, whose iconic brands include Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. In this role, Randi has global responsibility for leading, managing and designing PVH’s corporate compliance program, and leads a global team that manages all aspects of its compliance program, with a focus on anti-corruption, supply chain due diligence and regulation, economic sanctions and export controls, internal investigations, conflicts of interest, compliance training and communications. Prior to joining PVH, Randi was Senior Compliance Officer for 2 ½ years at Criteo, a publicly traded French ad tech company, where she led its global compliance program, and travelled extensively to conduct training, risk assessments and internal investigations. Before Criteo, Randi was Vice President of Compliance for 12 years with NBCUniversal, a global entertainment company, where she managed key components of its global compliance program. In this role, she served as a company ombudsperson, led major internal investigations, conducted M&A compliance due diligence in many acquisitions, and designed and implemented a best-in-class, automated Intermediary Management System. She has also worked in private practice as a litigation associate at a major NYC law firm; as a special counsel and special prosecutor with a NYC agency responsible for investigating fraud, waste and abuse within the NYC public school system; and as a consultant in the Fraud Risks & Controls Group at PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

Randi received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law.

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