Theatro’s Advisory Board of retail industry and technology experts provides essential input in our overall innovation and business strategy. Members of our Advisory Board include:
Christina Van Houten
Christina brings over 20 years of technology business strategy with particular expertise in market analysis, go-to-market strategy, product investment roadmaps, and field enablement. Christina has keen eye for what drives the retailers key omni-channel strategies and is currently the Vice President of Industry and Solution Strategy at Infor. Prior to Infor, Christina has held a variety of leadership roles with IBM, Netezza, Oracle and ProfitLogic. Van Houten earned a BA in Government and Theology from Georgetown University and received an MBA in Business Strategy from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
David A. Ressinger
David is our longest serving Advisory Board member and has been working with Theatro since the early days. David has nearly twenty years working with retail executive leadership, operating management, corporate and regional support teams and front-line associates building capabilities and improving business performance. Prior to his work with Theatro, David held roles as Senior Manager with Arthur Andersen’s Senn-Delaney retail practice and has been a partner with several boutique consultancies where he has worked with multinational retailers, private equity firms, suppliers and vendors on discovery, development, testing and large-scale implementation of people, process and technology driven initiatives across channels and business functions. Ressinger holds a BA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin and received an MBA from DePaul University.
David M. Gottlieb
David has spent his entire career working with retailers to harness the power of predictive analytics to improve merchandising, planning, supply chain and store operations. David understands the importance and the impact of analytics on the day-to-day retail operations to make better-informed decisions to help grow the business. Currently, David is Senior Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations at Quri, a retail intelligence and analytics company. Prior to Quri, David has held a variety of Retail Industry leadership roles at Market6, IBM, Netezza, Oracle and Accenture. David is an alumnus of Johns Hopkins University where he earned a BA in Psychology.
Lesley is currently the VP of Strategy & Business Development at XCCommerce, an Omni-channel promotions solutions company. In her current role, Lesley is responsible for balancing strategic vision, go-to-market plans, and micro-detail focus on customers’ needs to deliver the most appropriate product solutions that ensure sustainable value and profitability. Prior to XCCommerce, Lesley’s dynamic career has been focused on commanding strategic Retail initiatives for industry-leading companies such as Oracle, Retek, and PCMS Datafit, with leadership roles focused on global go-to-market and product strategy, business development, alliances, channel management, and sales and marketing.
John is currently a Managing Director at Bowen Advisors, a mergers & acquisitions and strategic advisory firm focused on growth technology companies, where he leads the firm’s communications, mobile and SaaS practice areas. Prior to Bowen Advisors, John spent 14 years in various technology companies, including Brooktrout Technology, SnowShore Networks, NMS Communications and Lotus Development Corp, where he served in senior marketing, business and corporate development roles. John received a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Transient (Tran) Taylor most recently became EVP and CHRO for Nationstar in May, 2015 after serving six years as Chief People Officer (CPO) for Travelocity. Tran has led the human resource organization for one of the world’s largest mortgage servicing providers and on-line travel agencies. He is responsible for all human capital planning and directing human resource initiatives for the global enterprise at Nationstar and served in a similar capacity for Travelocity. His career experience spans leading within large corporate structures, divisional operating units, to smaller start-up environments.
Over the past twenty five years, and most recently as Chief People Officer at TVL and EVP and CHRO at Nationstar, Tran has been instrumental in the design, implementation and execution of HR initiatives in dynamic, high-growth business environments. Tran has focused his career on transforming human resources departments from staff functions to strategic business partners, driving business acumen, transformational change, and mastery of critical leadership competencies and behaviors throughout the HR organization to best serve the business’s strategy. Key accomplishments include Board-level accountability, leading enterprise-wide change efforts, reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, Tran has successfully developed and implemented plans to attract, motivate, and retain a high-performing, engaged workforce via talent management, organizational and leadership development, and employee engagement initiatives. In 2006, Alliance Data was recognized as a “Best Place to Learn” by the American Society for Training and Development as a result of developing Leadership Academies for the enterprise. In multiple years Travelocity was recognized as a “Best Place to Work” in San Antonio and Wilkes-Barre, PA.
Tran received a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from West Virginia University. He has also completed various executive and accelerated leadership programs and completed the Executive Strategic Human Resources Planning series at the University of Michigan Business School.
Michelle excels in developing and implementing transformational strategies to drive profitability. As a Partner at Kurt Salmon leading the North America Retail and Global Brands business, she works with top retailers and brands to develop innovative solutions that drive profitable, long term growth. Her core areas of expertise include:
- Consumer Insights and Analytics
- Retail and Brand Strategy and Organization
- Inventory Optimization
Her deep experience inside the industry provides clients with invaluable insights. As Vice President Omnichannel at Macy’s Inc., Michelle led major cross-channel initiatives for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores and online organizations. Working at the Walt Disney Company earlier in her career solidified her experience in product development and identifying market expansion opportunities to help grow revenue and expand their consumer base.
Michelle feels passionately about helping others and is actively involved with non-profit organizations tied to both professional and social issues. She is a member of the Consortium for Operational Excellence in Retailing (COER), a collaboration between Wharton, Harvard Business School and leading retailers to advance global business practices. Michelle is an Advisory Board member at REVTECH Accelerator, which advises retail tech start-ups on go-to-market strategies. In addition, Michelle volunteers through Executives In Action to provide strategic guidance to non-profit organizations and sponsors two children in Sierra Leone through Child Fund International.
Michelle cares deeply about causes that support women and children in need and provides economic empowerment. Michelle has traveled the globe pursuing her personal passion for photography, through which she captures moments tied to humanitarian and social concerns.
Ed Zander has spent more than 35 years in the technology sector. He has played a key role in shaping some of the major paradigm shifts in technology that impact the world today. These include the move from mainframes to minicomputers; minicomputers to workstations; PCs to networking and to the internet; hardware to software; and the revolution in wireless devices and mobility.
Ed was most recently chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Motorola. During his four-year tenure, he made the RAZR the best-selling cell phone in history and reshaped Motorola’s image worldwide with the popular “Hello Moto” campaign. During his four years the company doubled its revenue and achieved double digit earnings for the first time in over a decade.
Prior to Motorola, Ed was president and chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems until 2002. During his 15 years at the company, he grew Sun to $18 billion in revenues; established the company as number one in the server market; and built it into the pre- eminent supplier of network software infrastructure with Solaris and Java.
Before Sun, Ed worked at Apollo Computer as VP of Marketing and Data General in a number of marketing and engineering positions.
Ed was also managing director at Silver Lake Partners, in 2003 a leading private equity fund, and has served on the board of directors for several technology companies.
Today he is a director of Seagate Technology and NetSuite Inc. and is an investor and board member of early stage companies. Ed also served as chairman of the Technology CEO Council in Washington D.C. and has been on a number of civic and philanthropic boards. Ed is a member of the Board of Trustees at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute .
Ed received an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a master’s degree in business administration as well as an honorary Ph.D. from Boston University. Ed and his wife, Mona, have two sons and reside in Carmel, California.