Press Releases

Contact: Sonya Ruff Jarvis, 203-295-3385

January 10, 2019

The Summit bolsters its Advisory Council by adding new members

Four esteemed experts on ecommerce marketing and sales have agreed to join the Advisory Council of the Home Improvement eRetailer Summit, where they will lend their time and talent to helping the event move forward.

Scott Benedict is Groupon Goods’ Divisional Merchandising Manager. A 30-year industry vet, Benedict has held leadership positions with Walmart Global Sourcing and Procurement, and Sam’s Club. He is also a sought-after panelist and speaker.

Ryan DeChance is Director of Discovery at The Grommet, which identifies unique and innovative products across more than 20 categories to launch on its consumer and wholesale web platforms. In 2017, the buying group Ace Hardware invested in The Grommet and became a retail partner.

Elizabeth Ragone has been working in digital merchandising since 1998. As’s head merchant, she grew its annual ecommerce business to $450 million. Ragone is currently Senior Vice President-Direct to Consumer for Lenox. 

Curt Vitale is Account Manager for Firefly Buys, an ecommerce retailer that sells on such channels as Amazon,, eBay, and Google, as well as through its own website Vitale’s background includes stints with Armstrong World Industries and Nordstrom.

“I decided to serve on the Advisory Council because I think I can be helpful introducing new connections to the Summit as it grows in audience and richness of content,” says DeChance. “I’m excited to learn more deeply from those involved in the Summit and on the Council today. As a living, breathing example of the shifts that are already happening in home improvement today, The Grommet’s participation in the Summit will be necessary to stay on top of the trends and help guide the content to be beneficial for our participants.”

Each of the four new Council members had been involved previously in the Summit, either as an attendee, panelist, or speaker. “I have found the eRetailer Summit to be a great conference focusing on the constant changes in the online marketplace, the relationship between channel players and early adoption of retail technologies,” says Vitale.

Their additions expand the Council’s already considerable wealth of expertise in selling home-improvement products online. Continuing Council members include Brian Fricano of, Philip Brown of, Deborah Shearer of Table + Dine, and Mike Hargrave of and

“Our diversified roster of Council members will shape the eRetailer Summit’s content and format, and keep the event’s programming on the cutting edge of ecommerce trends,” says Sonya Ruff Jarvis, the Summit’s founder. “We continue to strive to provide the latest in meaningful and relevant best practices for retailers, distributors, and manufacturers.”

The Home Improvement eRetailer Summit is scheduled for November 6-8, 2019 in Chicago. Over the next months, watch for future releases on updates about the Summit. Please follow the Summit on Twitter @eretailersummit. For more information, please contact Sonya Ruff Jarvis at or 203-295-3385.

About the Home Improvement eRetailer Summit

The Home Improvement eRetailer Summit is the only face-to-face North American event that focuses on home improvement ecommerce through networking, education, and one-to-one meetings. It is designed for all types of retailers, manufacturers, distributors and industry professionals who are interested in gaining intelligence and insights on how to optimize the internet as a distribution channel to sell more home improvement products. The Summit is owned and operated by JC Event Group.

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The Summit bolsters its Advisory Council by adding new members

Download previous press releases here:

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