Speakers 2021


Joe Derochowski, Vice President, The NPD Group

Joe Derochowski is vice president and home and home improvement industry advisor for The NPD Group. Joe has been following behavioral trends on a wide variety of categories, developing a unique perspective on what consumers do and why they do it. Driven by this insight and his own passion, Joe has been helping manufacturers and retailers identify opportunities for growth for the past 30 years, from product innovation to new marketing and merchandising opportunities. Joe’s background in all facets of business gives him the ability to connect the dots between the consumer and the marketplace, and help companies understand today’s trends while anticipating future demands.

In addition to working closely with manufacturers and retailers throughout the home industry, Joe is a frequent speaker at industry conferences where his combined consumer and industry-driven approach drives the insights he provides. He is also regularly quoted in both trade and national media publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, HomeWorld Business, and HBS Dealer.

Joe received his undergraduate degree from GMI Engineering & Management Institute and an MBA from Michigan State University. In addition to his tenure at The NPD Group, he has experience working for General Motors Parts, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, and Nielsen. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Joe is married with two children and makes his home in Chicago, Illinois.


Sam Borgstadt, Director of eCommerce, Onestone

Sam Borgstadt is a Director of eCommerce for OneStone. He leads retail adaptation and growth for clients across Ecommerce platforms to help optimize their online presence and drive sales. Previously, Sam worked for Walmart Inc in finance, strategy, and ecommerce. He leads the Nashville office specializing in brand growth across all channels, specifically Home Depot, Amazon and Walmart.com.

Jimmy Barber, VP of Client Management, Onestone

Jimmy Barber is the VP of Client Management for OneStone – a multi-platform ecommerce agency. Jimmy has a background in the natural and organic industry, as well as sporting goods and home improvement. He specializes in helping translate ecommerce into practical steps for a brand to take, helping ensure they adapt in this next evolution of retail. He is an avid skier and lives in Denver, Colorado.


Scott Sinclair, Director of eCommerce, Onestone

Scott Sinclair is a Director of eCommerce for OneStone. He has a wealth of knowledge and years of experience managing brands through a multi-platform ecom jungle. Scott has a background in digital marketing and is skilled at guiding his clients through every aspect of the ecommerce world including item management, content optimization, marketing, reporting and overall sales strategy. When he is not scouring best seller lists, you can find him on the slopes or at a concert!

Asa Farquhar

Asa Farquhar, Vice President of Assortment Growth, Spreetail

Asa Farquhar is the Vice President of Assortment Growth at Spreetail. His areas of responsibly include Business Development, Market Research, and New Vendor Acceleration. Asa has a long buying career in many categories in both physical retail, ecommerce, and distribution. Asa has been with Spreetail for over 3 years and graduated from Doane University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration.


Nicole Reich, VP of Marketing & Sales, Retail Bloom

VP of Marketing & Sales for Retail Bloom, Nicole oversees all growth and business development aspects of Retail Bloom’s Wholesale and Managed Services marketplace teams. She is passionate about helping consumer staple brands strategically craft plans for optimal eCommerce growth and has honed her ability to guide organizations through their respective challenges and opportunities across the value chain. On Amazon, she is proficient assisting brands with all areas of inventory fulfillment, brand protection, content optimization, and advertising for both 1P and 3P accounts.


Rob Mitchell, President & CEO, Vista Railing Systems

Rob Mitchell is President & CEO of Vista Railing Systems Inc., one of North America’s leading manufacturers of quality railing systems for both residential and commercial markets in aluminum, glass, cable, and mixed materials.

Rob earned his bachelor’s degree from University of British Columbia and then continued with post graduate studies in business at Simon Fraser University. Rob’s professional career begin at Sauder Industries (now Metrie) where he quickly grew through the ranks in sales, operations, and management. Rob’s career continued to grow and develop as he took on increasing roles in business development, strategy development, and execution, while gaining diverse market experience across North America, Asia Pacific and Western Europe.

Rob currently sits on the boards of Vista Railing Systems holding company and BC Wood Specialties Group.

An avid skier, tennis player, cyclist, and past rugby player, Rob lives in North Vancouver with his wife, two daughters and two black labs.

Brian Fricano, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Supply.com

Brian Fricano is chief executive officer and founder of Sustainable Supply, an online B2B retailer selling more than 1 million building and maintenance products. Brian has more than 18 years experience in the B2B marketplace including working for W.W. Grainger and the Bradley Corp. Over the past 8 years Brian has bootstrapped his company from a small start-up to a successful mid stage e-commerce retailer. He’s lead his team through multiple website redesigns & launches, software integrations, and the implementation of a new cloud based ERP system. Launched in 2009, Sustainable Supply earned a top 1,000 ranking on Inc. magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies for four years in a row and in Internet Retailer’s top 1,000 ranking six years straight. Sustainable Supply was also nominated for an Internet Retailer Excellence Award in 2016 for best B2B Website.


Blair Budlong, CEO/Visionary, DecksDirect.com

Blair Budlong is the CEO & Visonary of DecksDirect. Founded in 2003, DecksDirect was created with the sole purpose of offering a smoother and all-around better deck building experience for everyone, from a first-time builder up to a professional contractor. Headquartered in Minnesota, DecksDirect is a family-owned business featuring a growing team of deck experts with real industry experience. Blair received his MBA from the University of St. Thomas Business School and attended the executive program at Harvard Business School.

Mike Hargrave, Senior Merchant, Goedeker’s

Mike Hargrave is the Senior Merchant at Goedeker’s. Goedeker’s is one of the largest independent retailers of discount appliances in the nation. They offer kitchen appliances, washers and dryers, furniture, lighting, plumbing fixtures, and mattresses. Prior to Goedeker’s, Mike was the Senior Director for Hardlines Merchandising, Online at Sears Holdings Corporation. He led the merchandising efforts for six online business for three websites, representing over $1.3B in annual sales. He was also accountable for the online customer experience and driving efforts to achieve online KPI’s as the customer moves through the purchase funnel. Mike has been named to Home Improvement Executive Magazine’s “Top 100 Retail Executives” two years in a row.

Jay Patel, Senior Director, Category Management, Zoro.com

Jay Patel is a Sr. Director of Category Management at Zoro.com, a fast-growing ecommerce platform that reaches the multi-billion dollar B2B market through a B2C customer experience. Jay recently joined the team in August 2018 where he oversees a wide variety of categories which is fueling Zoro’s endless assortment strategy. Prior to joining the Zoro team, Jay spent 7.5 years at Groupon Goods, where he oversaw a wide variety of categories, including Consumer Electronics and Sports & Outdoors, as well as building the Groupon Goods Marketplace team. He loves to build high energy, high impact teams that always strive to think outside the box.

Elizabeth Ragone

Elizabeth Ragone, Digital Consumer Leader, Direct-To-Consumer General Manager, Boscov’s

Elizabeth Ragone began her career in Digital Merchandising in 1998 when no one knew really what Digital Merchandising was. As Head Merchant of landsend.com, she grew the E-commerce business to $450M, and then co-founded Fair Indigo, a multi-channel start-up featuring organic and fair trade apparel and home goods. She has worked with brands such as Ann Taylor, Chico’s, FAS, HSNi and is now with Lenox shaping a Digital landscape that lends commerce, community and content into a whole new customer experience.


Curt Vitale, Account Manager, Firefly Buys

Curt Vitale is an Account Manager for Firefly Buys, an e-commerce retail company that sells and Brand manages on numerous channels including: Amazon, Walmart.com, eBay, Google, and Fireflybuys.com. Curt has provided Firefly Buys with dependable expertise in B2B account management for 8 years. His extensive background knowledge stems from previous employment with prominent brands such as: Armstrong World Ind., Faconable, Nordstrom, and Waste Management Bagster with G2 Worldwide.

Michael McLarney

Michael McLarney, Founder and President of HARDLINES

Michael McLarney is the Founder and President of HARDLINES, the premier source for information on hardware and home improvement retailing in Canada. He is also Managing Director, Canada for the North American Hardware & Paint Association. With 30 years of experience analyzing and reporting on the retail home improvement industry, Michael is considered the leading retail analyst for Canada’s home improvement sector. He oversees the Hardlines Information Group, which includes the weekly HARDLINES newsletter for retail executives, Hardlines Home Improvement Quarterly magazine for dealers, Hardlines Dealer News and a range of reports that analyze the trends and growth within the industry. He also founded the industry’s “Outstanding Retailer Awards” and the annual Hardlines Conference. As Managing Director of NHPA Canada, Michael represents that association and the training and services it offers to independent dealer-members in Canada.

A dynamic and thought-provoking speaker who has presented at business conferences in the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe, Michael has been quoted in many of North America’s leading business publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programs across the country. In 2011, he received the Industry Achievement Award from the Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association of Ontario.

Sonya Ruff Jarvis

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, Founder, eRetailer Summit, Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants, Founder / President of JC Event Group

Sonya Ruff Jarvis is Founder of the Home Improvement eRetailer Summit, an annual face to face event devoted exclusively to understanding the digital influence and learning to leverage the internet as a distribution channel, specifically for the home improvement marketplace. In addition, Sonya is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants, LLC which provides customized consulting services in strategic development, marketing and promotion. Sonya is also the Founder/President of JC Event Group, an events management company that focuses on creating, facilitating, managing and producing original events.

Sonya has been a part of the b-to-b retail industry, working across all types of retail formats and categories, for nearly 30 years; and, is a veteran to the event management industry.

An expert in the field, Sonya has been published in numerous retail industry b-to-b publications. Sonya is a book author of Mindful Minutes: A Marketer’s Journey Through Business and an anthology Mentoring Moments: 14 Remarkable Women Share Breakthroughs to Success both published by Enhanced DNA Publishing.

Sonya earned her M.B.A. in Marketing from New York Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Communications from Hiram College. She and her husband, Scott Jarvis, an attorney, have a daughter and reside in Connecticut.

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit.