New York, NY – January 10, 2020 – ICR, a leading strategic communications and advisory firm serving more than 650 private and public company clients, today announced the panel discussions at the 22nd annual ICR Conference. The conference will take place January 13th – 15th, 2020 at the Grand Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida.

“For more than two decades the ICR Conference has served as the most comprehensive forum for exchanging knowledge and insights on corporate strategy and industry trends for the year ahead,” said Tom Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, ICR. “This year’s panels and keynote speakers will offer timely analysis, insight and substantive discussion points on some of the most pivotal business topics in the coming year.”

The ICR Conference agenda will look closely at big picture trends and changes that are taking place. In addition to a world class three-day conference program comprising more than 170 company presentations, the event will feature several collaborative panels which will cover a variety of thought-provoking industry hot topics, including restaurant and retail technology, how changing consumer demands are impacting retail and food, the rise of SPACs, IPO preparedness, and the growing cannabis industry.  The topics and panelists are as follows:

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: How “Brick & Mortar” is Evolving to Succeed in 2020 And Beyond
Hear from landlords and real estate experts on the state of the market, and how property owners are keeping centers vibrant with active retail concepts, entertainment, and “live-work-shop” solutions.

  • Moderator: Stephen Swett, Managing Director, ICR
  • Ben Schall, President & CEO, Seritage Growth Properties
  • Cameron Pratt, Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer, Foulger-Pratt
  • Nick Wibbenmeyer, Managing Director, Regency Centers
  • Rachel Wein, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, WeinPlus

The Year of SPACs
Explore the current state of SPACs and how companies are increasingly looking to partner with SPACs as an efficient route to the capital markets.  Hear about how institutional investor interest in SPACs continues to grow, appreciating the ability to learn a great deal about the targeted business acquisition and to acquire a larger position versus a typical IPO, due to the structural nature of a SPAC.

  • Moderator: John Jannarone, Editor-In-Chief of IPO Edge and CorpGov
  • Leon Wagner, Chairman & CEO, LW Partners
  • Christopher Bradley, Managing Director, Mistral Equity Partners
  • David Sgro, Senior Managing Director, Crescendo Partners
  • Luis Solorzano, Partner & CEO, Acamar Partners

2020 Proxy Season Preview & State of ESG
Panel discussion on emerging 2020 proxy season topics and issues, shareholder activism trends, the rapidly changing ESG landscape, and how institutional investors like State Street evaluate issuers on these fronts (corporate governance/proxy voting, ESG assessment, activism/proxy contests).

  • Moderator: Phil Denning, Partner, ICR
  • Lawrence Elbaum, Partner, Shareholder Activism, Vinson & Elkins
  • Lyndon Park, Managing Director, Head of Governance Advisory Solutions, ICR
  • Caitlin McSherry, ESG Analyst, Asset Stewardship, State Street Global Advisors

Real Products, Real People: Exploring Consumer Engagement & Influencer Strategies with Lifestyle Brands
Discussion with three of today’s fast growing lifestyle brands on how they are connecting with their consumers and leveraging influencers to drive growth and connectivity to build long-term customer loyalty.

  • Moderator: Alecia Pulman, Managing Director, ICR
  • Tom Nolan, President of Kendra Scott
  • Savannah Sacks, CEO of TULA Skincare
  • Amy Shecter, CEO of Glamsquad

The Off-Premise Boom: How restaurants are evolving to answer consumer demand
The shift to off-premise dining continues in the restaurant industry, forcing leading companies to adapt and evolve in order to serve their customers how they want, where they want.  Hear from leaders in the restaurant space on the latest innovation in off-premise, covering topics from third party delivery, streamlined technology, off-premise kitchens and where the industry will go from here.

  • Moderator: Liz DiTrapano, Managing Director, ICR
  • Nick Kenner, Founder & CEO, Just Salad
  • Jim Collins, CEO, Kitchen United
  • Hudson Riehle, SVP, Research & Knowledge Group, National Restaurant Association
  • Noah Glass, Founder & CEO, Olo
  • Janelle Sallenave, Head of Uber Eats, US & Canada

NPD: Retail Trends
Join NPD Group for an update on retail trends informed by data, prescriptive analytics and industry expertise.

  • Don Unser, Retail President, NDP Group
  • David Portalatin, Vice President, Food Industry Advisor, NDP Group

Your Digital Journey: Practical Insights on Achieving Digital Goals
According to RSM’s 2019 digital transformation survey, almost 90% of c level executives view digital transformation as the most important or among the most import strategic initiatives for their company.  Yet, 70% of these executives are somewhat or very concerned about their company’s ability to achieve its goals relative to digital strategies.  Join RSM for a practical discussion of the survey’s results and what you can do to ensure you can meet your digital goals.

  • Chris Shaker, Retail Analyst and Partner, RSM
  • Chris Jones, Consumer Products Technology Leader, RSM

Retail Panel
Hear how technology is enabling success and driving growth for retailers.

  • Moderator: Joe Teklits, Managing Partner, ICR
  • Lauren Cooks Levitan, Chief Financial Officer, Faire
  • Christine Hunsicker, Chief Executive Officer, CaaStle

Public Company Cannabis Panel: Delivering Profitable Growth & Shareholder Value in 2020
2019 was perhaps a “tale of two years” for the global cannabis industry. What began as a year of capital raises, go-public transactions and significant acquisitions quickly turned, and by fall, many operators found their stock price depressed and public equity markets to be effectively closed.

With dramatic change, however, comes the opportunity for high-quality operators to stand out. In 2020, many operators find themselves focusing on fundamentals to rebuild their equity value and capture share with consumers. Hear from leading public cannabis company CEOs about their views on an industry in flux, and how their companies plan to acquire capital and drive growth in 2020 and beyond.


  • Michael Filippi, CEO, Spectacle Strategy


  • Moderator: Tim Streeb, SVP, ICR
  • Brendan Kennedy, President and CEO, Tilray
  • Irwin Simon, Chairman and CEO, Aphria
  • Kevin Murphy, Chairman and CEO, Acreage Holdings

IPO Do’s & Don’t
Two leading capital markets lawyers from Latham & Watkins will discuss the steps necessary in preparing a company for a successful IPO. They will discuss some tales from the trenches of going public, including what it takes such as documentation, filing, governance, and communications.

  • Moderator: Michael Benjamin, Partner, Latham & Watkins
  • Adam Gelardi, Partner, Latham & Watkins
  • Frank Maturo, Chairman, ICR Capital

Cannabis Private Investor Panel: Opportunities in the New Reality
Hear from some of the earliest and most successful private investors in cannabis as to why 2020 will be the most fascinating year yet for the industry, and what private companies can thrive in the downturn and emerge as leaders in health and wellness, consumer brands and services, agTech and other verticals.

  • Moderator: Jeff Bernstein, Managing Director, ICR Capital
  • Jeanne Sullivan, General Partner, Arcview Venture Funds
  • Alain Bankier, active investor and Board member

Private Company Cannabis Panel: Strategic Planning in a Capital Constrained Environment
While demand for cannabis and hemp product remains strong, and the legal industry continues to grow very rapidly in what should be a less cyclical sector, the current capital crunch is likely to force meaningful consolidation of both market share and enterprise value.  Hear from some of the industry’s top leaders as to how they will manage their businesses, and their capital, to emerge as one of the real winners coming out of the downturn in what will be a massive multi-sector industry worldwide.

  • Moderator: Jeff Bernstein, Managing Director, ICR Capital
  • Patrick Horsman, CEO, Integrated CBD
  • Kyle Detwiler, CEO, Clever Leaves
  • Jeff Kirwan, President, HERBL Distribution Solutions

To view the public company schedule and panels, please visit here. The private company schedule and panels can be viewed here.

Sponsors of the 2020 ICR Conference are Baird; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Barclays; William Blair; BMO; B. Riley; Citi; Cowen; Credit Suisse; Deutsche Bank; Goldman, Sachs & Co; Guggenheim Partners; Jefferies; J.P. Morgan; KeyBanc Capital Markets; Morgan Stanley; Piper Sandler; Raymond James; RBC Capital Markets; RSM; Stephens; Stifel; SunTrust Robinson Humphrey; Telsey Advisory Group; Wells Fargo; Latham & Watkins; Duff & Phelps; The Sage Group; and Vinson & Elkins LLP.

The event is by invitation only. To request an invitation, please visit or email

About The ICR Conference
The ICR Conference is a unique platform where public and private company management teams, institutional investors, sell-side research analysts, investment bankers, private equity professionals and select media connect and network with one another as the year begins. The event is one of the largest investment conferences of the year, featuring presentations by more than 170 public and private companies, with attendance regularly exceeding 2,500. For more information please visit

About ICR
Established in 1998, ICR partners with companies to execute strategic communications and advisory programs that achieve business goals, build awareness and credibility, and enhance long-term enterprise value. The firm’s highly-differentiated service model, which pairs capital markets veterans with senior communications professionals, brings deep sector knowledge and relationships to more than 650 clients in approximately 20 industries. ICR’s healthcare practice operates under the Westwicke brand ( Today, ICR is one of the largest and most experienced independent communications and advisory firms in North America, maintaining offices in New York, Norwalk, Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, San Diego and Beijing. ICR also advises on capital markets transactions through ICR Capital, LLC. Learn more at Follow us on Twitter at @ICRPR.

Media Contact:
Cory Ziskind

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