Keynote Speakers

You don’t want to miss this year’s FOCUS General Session speakers! There will be something for everyone as they discuss innovative new technologies, customer-focused business strategies, the supply chain of the future, servant leadership and building deep, thoughtful connections within our communities. Don’t forget to check out our Breakout Session, where you can discover more success stories from JDA customers.

Girish Rishi
Girish Rishi
Girish Rishi, Chief Executive Officer, JDA Software
Girish Rishi is Chief Executive Officer of JDA Software. Rishi joined JDA in January 2017 from Tyco International, where he was responsible for the firm's global retail solutions business and North America building automation business, which had more than $4 billion in annual revenue. Prior to his role at Tyco, Rishi was senior vice president for the Enterprise division of Motorola Solutions where he transitioned the portfolio to new application frameworks that delivered a compelling user experience. Previously, he held positions of increasing responsibility in early-stage, high growth companies, including at Symbol Technologies, where he led the EMEA theater. He serves as a board member of Digi International, is a member of the board of directors at UI Labs, and the board of regents at the University of Hartford. He holds a master's degree in public policy from Johns Hopkins University, a master's degree in business administration from the University of Hartford and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Mumbai.

Abstract: Exceeding Customer Expectations with a Digital Supply Chain

Desikan Madhavanur
Desikan Madhavanur
Desikan Madhavanur, Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer, JDA Software
Desikan Madhavanur  is JDA's Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, responsible for the company's product solution strategy, with a charter to invest in and develop JDA's current market-leading solutions in the areas of planning, execution and retail while harnessing the collective power of cloud, IoT, analytics and big data to bring new solutions to market that deliver real-time, actionable insights and customer value. Madhavanur  joined JDA  from CA Technologies, where he served as Senior Vice President and Business Center head for Data Center Orchestration. There he had P&L and growth responsibility for a business unit focused on driving modern application delivery, deployment, management, user adoption and profitable monetization.  Prior to CA, Madhavanur served as GVP of Engineering, Emerging Technologies and GM of Products & Strategy at E2Open. He has also held leadership positions at JP Morgan and i2 Technologies, where he spent four years as the lead product manager for collaborative supply and demand planning solutions.  He holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from Annamalai University in India, a Master's degree in systems and industrial engineering from the University of Arizona and an MBA from the University of Texas.

Abstract: The Cognitive, Connected and Cloud Ready JDA Solution Vision

Scott Kelly
Scott Kelly
Scott Kelly, History Making U.S. Astronaut and Retired U.S. Navy Captain
Captain Scott Kelly's epic Year in Space solidified his status as one of the greatest pioneers in history. Now, in his acclaimed speech appearances, he brings audiences to the edge of their seats with transcendent insights that inspire and challenge them to dream big, test the status quo, and "choose to do the hard things."

One of a select group of Americans who embody a defining moment in the nation's history, he captivated the world and seized the imagination of millions during his record-breaking voyage—proving that the sky is not the limit when it comes to the potential of the human spirit. On his trip, Scott, together with his identical twin brother Mark on Earth, paved the way for the future of space travel and exploration as the subjects of an unprecedented NASA study on how space affects the human body.

With awe-inspiring stories from space and personal reflections on leadership, teamwork and testing limits, Scott inspires others to believe that they can reach any goal, no matter how ambitious or audacious. As he looks back on the expedition that shuttled him into history books, audiences revel in the presence of a true American hero and gather unique takeaways on persistence, resilience and self-determination that transform the way they view their own journey through life.

Abstract: Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery

Mike Walsh
Mike Walsh
Mike Walsh, 21st Century Business Designer and CEO
Mike Walsh is the CEO of Tomorrow, a global consultancy on designing companies for the 21st century. He advises leaders on how to thrive in the current era of disruptive technological change.

A true global nomad, Mike travels over 300 days a year worldwide, researching trends, collecting innovation case studies and presenting on the future of business. He previously founded Jupiter Research in Australia, and has also held senior strategy roles at News Corporation in the Asia Pacific Region.

Mike's best-selling book Futuretainment, published by Phaidon was the winner of the design award by the Art Directors Club in New York. Mike's latest book is The Dictionary Of Dangerous Ideas. Each week he interviews provocative thinkers, innovators and troublemakers on his weekly podcast, Between Worlds.

Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith, President and CEO, L.L.Bean
Steve began his career in 1992 at J. Walter Thompson in New York City. He moved to Maine in 1997 and rose to become the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Resort Sports Network. In 2002, he began his retail career at Hannaford Supermarket and this launched nine years at the Delhaize Group where he gained experience in merchandising, commercial planning, marketing and customer relationship management in the US and Belgium.

In 2011, Steve joined Walmart International as SVP and General Manager of Sam's Club and Chief Marketing Officer for Walmart China in Shenzhen, China. There he gained general management responsibility, integrating e-commerce into the core business and improving annual sales growth. A year later, Steve became Chief Customer Officer of ASDA (part of Walmart International), a $30+ billion food, fashion and general merchandise omni-channel business in the United Kingdom. In 2015, Steve became Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer for Yihaodian (part of Walmart Global Ecommerce), a pure e-commerce business located in Shanghai.

Steve is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he studied Art History and Physics. He grew up in Westchester County, New York and Amherst, Massachusetts. He spends summers on Canada Lake in the Adirondacks at a lake house that has been in his family for generations.

Steve is very active in outdoor sports and enjoys a wide variety of activities. He and his family are excited to be back in Maine where they have deep ties and where they can embrace their love of the outdoors and commitment to community.

Abstract: Business Transformation and Omni-Channel Advantage at L.L.Bean

Johan Smits
Johan Smits
Johan Smits, Director Global Planning, HEINEKEN
Moving from S&OP to IBP is fundamentally changing the way Heineken plans their business and helps them to get a grasp on complexity and volatility. It helps them deal with demand and supply making them more ready to respond to business challenges with scenarios and smart segmentation. Moreover, Heineken is working to achieve value rather than volume in order to boost business performance, foster entrepreneurial behavior and to help beat the competition.

Johan Smits started his career working with a Strategy and Change Management consultancy, focused on supply chain transformations in FMGC. After that, he held various senior operational supply chain roles in the Dutch and International Export organization, also managing the E2E supply chain and planning/S&OP. Since 2011 he has been responsible for Heinekens’ global S&OP expansion and became the senior manager for Global Planning, part of the Global Customer Service and Logistics leadership team. Under his leadership, Heineken has moved up to global expansion of Integrated Business Planning, and high maturity across the globe.

Abstract: S&OP to IBP in a digitized world @HEINEKEN

David Simchi-Levi
David Simchi-Levi
David Simchi-Levi, Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT and Chairman of Opalytics, MIT
Considered one of the premier thought leaders in supply chain management and business analytics, Professor Simchi-Levi's research focuses on developing and implementing robust and efficient techniques for operations management. He has published widely in professional journals on both practical and theoretical aspects of supply chain and revenue management.

Professor Simchi-Levi served as the Editor-in-Chief for Operations Research (2006-2012), the flagship journal of INFORMS and for Naval Research Logistics (2003-2005). He is an INFORMS Fellow, MSOM Distinguished Fellow and the recipient of the 2014 INFORMS Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice; 2014 INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section Practice Award; 2009 INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section Prize and Ford 2015 Engineering Excellence Award.

Professor Simchi-Levi has consulted and collaborated extensively with private and public organizations. He was the founder of LogicTools which provided software solutions and professional services for supply chain optimization. LogicTools became part of IBM in 2009. In 2012 he co-founded OPS Rules, an operations analytics consulting company. The company became part of Accenture in 2016.

Abstract: JDA, Google and MIT: Partnering to Bring the Future of Supply Chain Forward

Heather Sheehan
Heather Sheehan
Heather Sheehan, Executive Director , AWESOME
Heather Sheehan is Executive Director of AWESOME, the senior executive supply chain women’s network, and owner of consulting firm Crispy Concepts LLC. She is the former co-chief procurement officer for Danaher Corporation. Heather has over 30 years’ experience in manufacturing and transportation and also held leadership positions with Honeywell, Union Pacific and NCR. She is on the board of AWESOME and is past Chair of the Board of Directors of CSCMP. She earned degrees from Penn State (BS) and Carnegie Mellon (MS).

Scott Penberthy
Scott Penberthy
Scott Penberthy, Director, Applied AI, Google
The digital revolution is moving fast – how do you best capitalize on the opportunities now? Machine learning, data science and AI are changing the game for companies and consumers. It is at the heart of the collaborative work that Google and JDA are doing to power the digital supply chain of the future and drive extraordinary business value for customers worldwide. Hear how this space is evolving and about the work Google and JDA are doing to help with the transformation your business

Abstract: Driving NEW Business Value with AI

Suzanne Toepfer
Suzanne Toepfer
Suzanne Toepfer, JDA Users Group President
Suzanne Toepfer is the Director of Merchandise Systems at Chico’s, FAS and the Users Group President. She is an active member of both the Allocation and Enterprise Planning Special Interest Groups and previously held the role of Users Group Vice President for two terms. Suzanne has been with Chico’s FAS for eight years and guides the enterprise systems responsible for merchandising, allocation, and merchandise planning across stores, e-commerce and outlet channels. The company, through its brands – Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma – is a leading omni-channel specialty retailer of women's private branded, sophisticated, casual-to-dressy clothing, intimates and complementary accessories.

Mark Jeffries
Mark Jeffries
Mark Jeffries, Event Host, Author and Communications Expert
Mark Jeffries is a trusted adviser and communications consultant to some of the world's largest and most successful organizations. He speaks at and moderates conferences, summits, sales meetings, user forums and conventions all over the world for clients including IBM, Ernst & Young, SAS, HP, Zurich Insurance, Gartner, Microsoft, Royal Bank of Canada, Deltek, Proxicom, and Bank of America.

Mark is an entertaining and experienced event Host; and author of the book, "The Art of Business Seduction", which offers practical soft-skill communication advice and effective presentation skills. Dividing his time between The United States, Canada and Europe, Mark's ideas, inspiration and guidance are sought across virtually all industries.

For general questions about FOCUS 2018, visit our FAQs. For questions or changes regarding your registration, please contact us at or call 1.800.696.9317.
JDA FOCUS Wins Gold!

JDA FOCUS was named the best event of 2017 by the Best in Biz awards! JDA FOCUS was awarded the Gold by a distinguished independent panel of journalists and industry analysts who evaluated the event’s content, attendee engagement and impact, news coverage and more! FOCUS 2018 promises to be even better, so what are you waiting for? Register today!
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