Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Winthrop Group
- Laura Petrucci, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Winthrop Group, has spent twenty-five years consulting to retail, eCommerce, media, and automotive companies, and has worked in senior executive positions in Fortune 500 companies for more than ten years.
- Previously a Partner at the Marketing Corporation of America, Ms. Petrucci works with clients on issues such as corporate strategy, digital transformation, omni-channel strategy and implementation, new business development, strategic acquisitions/due diligence, sales and channel management, and brand equity extension. Ms. Petrucci’s clients have included: retailers such as Carter’s, Coach Inc., Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret, Tumi, J.C. Penney, The Gap, Banana Republic, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s (Federated Department Stores), DFS (Duty Free Shoppers), Old Navy, and Frederick’s of Hollywood; media companies such as Cox Enterprises (AutoTrader, Kelley Blue Book, Atlanta Journal-Constitution), IMAX, Tribune, Gannett, TEGNA, Universal Studios, Simon & Schuster, and McGraw Hill; manufacturers such as Levi Strauss, Sara Lee/Hanesbrands, Lacoste, Joseph Abboud, Monet, Johnson & Johnson, Fieldcrest Cannon, and Monsanto; and automotive companies such as Cox Automotive, Harley-Davidson, and Lincoln-Mercury.
- Prior to consulting, Ms. Petrucci held senior general management, sales, and marketing positions at American Express Retail Division, Time/Home Box Office, and Chase. During this time, she launched new businesses and established new sales and marketing organizations at both American Express and Home Box Office.
- Ms. Petrucci frequently creates and delivers leadership development programs for her clients’ mid-level and senior executives, utilizing the case study method and drawing on her prior experience as Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Stern School of Management. Topics addressed include leading transformation; strategic leadership; marketing strategy and action planning; and sales leadership and management.
- Ms. Petrucci has been named an Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners. She frequently appears in the media and at industry events as a commentator on marketing-related issues. In addition, she has served as a Director of the Harvard Business School Association of Southern California, the I Have A Dream Foundation – Los Angeles, and the Fashion Group International of Los Angeles, and as a Trustee-at-Large of the Marlborough School.
- Ms. Petrucci is a graduate of Princeton University and the Harvard Business School.
- Linda Geiger is a senior executive with 30 years of marketing and management experience, with extensive expertise in business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing strategy.
- Previously a Vice President for Wells Fargo Bank and Vice President Customer Marketing for a digital start-up, Ms. Geiger specializes in business strategy, marketing strategy, analytic insights alignment, organizational strategy, database marketing (a.k.a. big data), and product management. Her clients have included: Charles Schwab, Adobe (Macromedia), Gannett Co., Banana Republic, Borden Foods, Intuit, Edify, Wells Fargo Bank, Cox Enterprises (AutoTrader.com, Kelley Blue Book), Thermo Fisher Scientific (Life Technologies), Vendavo (OfficeClick.com), and Miller Huber Direct and Interactive.
- Ms. Geiger has managed numerous marketing groups responsible for marketing strategy and segmentation, digital development and management, advertising, database and direct response marketing, public relations (consumer and analyst communities), partner management, customer management, ecommerce, sales promotion and merchandising, and statistical modeling (retention, acquisition, cloning, cross-sell).
- As a consultant, Ms. Geiger has acted in interim senior management roles for companies going through management or strategic transitions: for example, interim GM for a newly formed division of an internet company. acting VP National Account Sales for a digital media company, senior executive during CEO transition for a digital media company, and Direct Response executive for internal client team.
- Ms. Geiger is valued by clients for her strategic thinking coupled with the ability to build and lead internal and external teams through successful implementation. Her consulting experience spans start-ups within complex organizations and turnarounds of troubled functions and/or divisions. She is often retained by clients on serial consulting projects leading teams to develop growth strategies for new business or revitalize existing ones.
- She is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
- Brad Grob has a proven track record in helping companies achieve significant revenue growth, both as a senior operating executive as well as growth consultant . His areas of expertise include growth strategy, sales, marketing, and new business development. He works with both Fortune 500 and emerging growth companies in a variety of industries including technology, internet, media, and automotive.
- Mr. Grob’s clients have included companies such as AutoTrader.com, Kelley Blue Book, Local.com, Cox Search, Xerox, AT&T, Manheim, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cox Enterprises, Fastclick (ValueClick), Gannett, TEGNA, Infotrieve, Battelle, ESCO, Industrial Metal Supply, La Petite Academy (Learning Care Group), AVID, and Whole Health Management.
- Prior to consulting, he served as EVP Marketing and Business Development for Emblaze Systems, a leading supplier of software solutions for streaming audio and video over the Web and telcom networks. He was responsible for Emblaze‘s strategic alliance and marketing activities. With other senior management, he took Emblaze public on the London Stock Exchange. The company went on to achieve $300M+ revenue annually.
- Mr. Grob also served as VP Business Development for Multicom Publishing, a leading electronic media software developer. He built new sales channels and established strategic alliances with major companies including Meredith Corporation, Home Depot, Disney Online, and GE, resulting in significant revenue increases. Multicom completed an initial public offering on Nasdaq during Brad’s tenure.
- Mr. Grob was Group Director, Market Development for Baker & Taylor, a billion-dollar software and media distributor. He was responsible for opening up new sales channels including mass merchants, computer stores, warehouse clubs.. During his tenure, Baker & Taylor’s software sales underwent significant growth with annual sales increasing from $40 million to $150 million and the attainment of the top market share.
- He also held management positions at Xerox Corporation in planning, sales and marketing. As a result of his activities, Xerox established new indirect channel Business Units which eventually generated annual revenues of $250+ million.
- Mr. Grob has served on the Board of Directors for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Most recently, he served as Board Chair for Learning Ally where he was a key driver in a major organization transformation to achieve a significant increase in mission impact while creating a long-term sustainable revenue stream and business model. Today, Learning Ally serves over 200,000 dyslexic and blind students at over 10,000 schools.
- Mr. Grob holds a Bachelor of Science degree in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from Duke University and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
- Julia Carroll is an expert on the Millennial and Gen Z consumer segments, focusing on their attitudes and behavior towards media, retail, eCommerce, and digital platforms.
- Ms. Carroll currently is researching a book on Gen Z entitled, Gen Z / Gen D[igital] – How Gen Z Will Change Your Business. The publication focuses on how Gen Z – the first generation of truly digital natives – differs from the Millennial generation, and what the implications are for business – especially in the retail, eCommerce, and media industries.
- Prior to joining The Winthrop Group, Ms. Carroll held an internship with Media Arts Lab, the advertising agency dedicated to Apple Inc. at Omnicom.
- A Portuguese and Spanish major, Ms. Carroll attended Princeton University and the Marlborough School. As a talented visual artist, she is the winner of numerous arts awards, including the prestigious Congressional Art Competition. Her winning portrait, “Sophia”, was displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
- For the last 30 years, Rob Edenzon has built and managed sales teams of all sizes. His experience has ranged from creating and managing worldwide networks of independent sales representatives to leading more than 300 employees in his sales organizations.
- Mr. Edenzon’s expertise encompasses every major area for developing and leading successful sales organizations, including: sales leadership; sales strategy and action planning; sales goals/metrics establishment; sales process design; hiring, managing, and coaching talent; sales skill development; territory design; compensation/incentives; field sales; inside sales; enterprise sales; account management; and sales force automation.
- Mr. Edenzon has worked with large companies such as Cox Automotive/Autotrader, Gannett, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Manheim, Overture, Yahoo!, Ticketmaster/CitySearch, Hearst-Argyle, and Baker & Taylor as well as growth companies such as HostedSupport.com, Cox Search, Fastclick (ValuClick), Tickets.com, Local, Inc., US Container, ESCO, Industrial Metal Supply, and Infotrieve.
- Consistently a top 5% performer throughout his career, Mr. Edenzon has had many significant successes including:
- Expanding a North American sales team from seven to twenty-five cities in nine months
- Turning around a field office from last place performance to first in three months
- Creating the first outbound telesales groups at three major organizations; GTE, Citysearch and Overture
- He applies this expertise to his clients’ specific challenges to ensure best practices are executed to drive significant revenue growth.
- Alliah Livingstone is a marketing, strategy and research professional with significant line experience in media/publishing and consumer products. She has particular expertise in digital platforms and digital marketing.
- Ms. Livingstone has worked with a variety of clients leveraging her digital expertise, including COLOUR, Narrative Agency, Oui Shave, and Good Hair.
- A former Brand Manager with EOS Products and Procter & Gamble, she also served as Senior Analyst for Time Warner Sales & Marketing (now Time Inc.) In these roles, she had responsibility for functions spanning market strategy, digital marketing, e-commerce, data analytics/insights, consumer and customer research, product development, and sales development.
- Ms. Livingstone is a graduate of Harvard College, cum laude, and the Harvard Business School. She also has served as a repeat judge for the Effie Awards, the preeminent global award in marketing communications.
- Elaine Loring is an experienced consultant with expertise in business-to-business and consumer marketing strategy, product and brand positioning, market intelligence, and customer and competitive research.
- Ms. Loring has worked with a diverse group of companies including Gannett, Kelley Blue Book, AutoTrader.com, Coach Leatherwear, Sara Lee, The Gap, Joseph Abboud, Charles Schwab, Manheim Auctions, Isidore Electronics Recycling, Internet start-ups and the Internet arm of established retailers.
- Her experience across industries supports her ability to address a broad range of business issues and enables her to guide clients toward creative, practical solutions.
- She has been involved in the Internet world since 1984 when she co-founded a local website in Pasadena. More recently, she owned and operated Allegria Design, a floral design company.
- Prior to joining The Winthrop Group, Ms. Loring served in financial management and strategic planning roles at NBC and Warner Bros.
- Ms. Loring began her career in education and non-profits, working at The Brooklyn Museum and at The Smithsonian Institution.
- Ms. Loring holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a BA degree in Art History and Psychology from Duke University.
- Wendee Lunt is a senior marketing and business development executive with extensive experience helping clients identify global growth opportunities through product development, brand positioning and licensing. Her experience includes senior roles with multi-channel marquee brands including Tiffany & Co., Coach, Judith Leiber, and Tumi, as well as collaborating with clients such as Dylan’s Candy Bar, Fossil, Tracy Reese, and Vivienne Tam.
- Her clear understanding of the retain customer, especially the luxury consumer, helps companies increase brand equity and share of wallet. Her experience crosses a range of industries, from fragrance to furniture to jewelry and luggage.
- As Tumi’s Vice President of Global Marketing and New Business Development, Ms. Lunt led all marketing, consumer research, segmentation, e-commerce and social media. She also focused on developing new products and establishing strategic relations with brand-enhancing licensing partners.
- Ms. Lunt established and ran Licensing divisions at Coach and Tumi, developing strategic partnerships with leading brands such as Jonathan Adler, Movado, Mini Cooper and Ducati. She also has extensive international experience at companies like Judith Lieber, Tory Burch, and Dylan’s Candy Bar.
- She started her career as a merchant, training at Abraham & Straus and rising to head of International Merchandising at Tiffany & Co. for the Watch and Gift businesses.
- Ms. Lunt is a Director of Marketsmith, Inc., an integrated marketing services firm, and a founding member of the Advisory Board at The Bronx Academy of Letters, a charter school in the South Bronx.
- She holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
- Reina Meucci is a unique blend of a creative merchant and a visionary design leader in the fashion retail business. She has 25 years of management and consulting experience with a proven track record of building and growing businesses in fashion, retail, and accessories.
- Ms. Meucci has held leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies, including GM, head merchant, design director, and sourcing leader. Having served as a senior executive at Gap, Ann Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, Elie Tahari and Cole Haan, she has experience with vertically integrated, wholesale, and retail companies.
- Ms. Meucci has led teams of merchants, designers and sourcing executives. Her approach consists of establishing a clear vision, creating focused strategies, and executing against those plans to achieve successful results.
- She has been responsible for turning around the performance of business units for Gap, Elie Tahari and Cole Haan. She also has led start-up businesses for new brand concepts within Gap and Ann Taylor (i.e., Forth & Towne and Ann Taylor Footwear, respectively).
- As a consultant, she offers a broad range of expertise. She has advised venture capital firms on acquiring companies, and served in more creative roles as an interim GMM and creative director.
- Ms. Meucci is a graduate of Bryant University.
- Setsuko Ogata, an associate of The Winthrop Group, is a senior consultant specializing in direct and digital marketing, retail, and cross-cultural marketing strategies. Over a career spanning thirty years, she has worked with American, European, and Japanese companies to create and build businesses.
- Ms. Ogata has extensive experience in retailing, eCommerce, and direct marketing in both the U.S. and Japanese markets. Specifically, she has assisted American and European companies in finding suitable Japanese partners for retailing brands in categories such as fashion and tableware; she has negotiated joint ventures or strategic alliances for brands which require exclusive free-standing or in-store shops; and, she has a track record in developing direct response and eCommerce businesses and promoting database marketing technology in Japan.
- Most recently, Ms. Ogata has been involved heavily in evaluation of and negotiation with emerging digital customer management technology companies.
- Ms. Ogata’s clients span a wide range of industries, from upscale designers such as Ferragamo to large Japanese trading companies such as Mitsubishi.
- As a consultant, Ms. Ogata has been affiliated with Roland Berger Japan (previously Vaubel & Partners Ltd.) and McKinsey & Company. She also has held internal consulting and marketing positions with Mitsubishi Corporation, CPC Japan, and Helene Curtis Japan.
- Ms. Ogata holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Cornell University.
- Robin Plotkin’s twenty five years of experience in marketing, branding, and business development spans both the client and consulting side of business. As a consultant, Ms. Plotkin has worked with Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of industries, including for-profit education, financial services, utilities, chemicals, heavy industry, transportation, telecommunications, and consumer goods.
- Fluent in Spanish and French, Ms. Plotkin has applied her strategy, business development, marketing, customer research, and communication expertise to many organizations. She has directed international projects for companies as diverse as Zurich Financial Services (Switzerland), Cemex (Mexico), Banco Nacional (Brazil), Lexiquest of France (France), and Deutsche Bank (Germany). Other clients have included Manheim (Cox Enterprises), La Petite Academy, Monsanto, EMC, US Steel, and Ryder Systems, Inc.
- Prior to becoming a consultant, Ms. Plotkin held executive positions with several multi-national companies, among them Citibank, where she developed and implemented a new global identity program for The Citibank Private Bank worldwide.
- In addition to her work with the Winthrop Group, Ms. Plotkin has previous consulting experience as a Senior Strategist for the Publicis BOS Group and Wolff-Olins, and as a Vice President at Siegel & Gale and Addison, Seefeld & Brew.
- Ms. Plotkin also has direct experience in the Real Estate industry, having earned her real estate agent’s license in the State of New York and worked as a Real Estate agent earlier in her career.
- Ms. Plotkin holds a BA (with honors) from Tufts University and an MBA from New York University, and studied at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and the University of Barcelona. Always an advocate for literacy, Ms. Plotkin is an Orton-Gillingham trained tutor for reading-challenged children and adults.
- Judy Stewart is a proven general manager and senior merchandising executive with more than 30 years of working at top levels of retail and manufacturing companies. She is a specialist in strategically repositioning businesses for professionally managed growth by refocusing companies to successfully capture changing customer profiles, market conditions, and competitive opportunities.
- Ms. Stewart is experienced in hands-on consulting as well as creating and executing strategies for start-up concepts, turnarounds, chapter 11s, and fast growth companies. Her capabilities range from coaching the executive team, to focusing on key aspects of the forward business vision, to serving as interim executive management, to performing due diligence for the Board and the key equity partners.
- As a consultant, she has served as acting CEO or GMM for a wide range of upscale to mass market businesses including Hanky Panky, Halston, DKNY Kids, Joan and David, Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Retail, Bolton’s, Winkelman’s, Montgomery Ward and Rimmel London in Wal-Mart. She has also directed creation of unique brand equity extensions for Coty Beauty, The Rockefeller Center Group, Daffy’s, North American Bear, Fisher-Price, and Rave Girl (tweens).
- In addition, Ms. Stewart has worked with senior executives at Polo Ralph Lauren, Tumi, Today’s Man, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Mrs. Field’s Cookies, Bosley, Frederick’s of Hollywood and others to develop specialized customer-oriented growth strategies.
- Notably, Ms. Stewart is the past creator and President/CEO of Kids “R” Us (now Babies “R” Us), the children’s apparel subsidiary of Toys “R” Us. She also was President/CEO of August Max, a national contemporary women’s apparel chain where she repositioned the floundering company from a regional retailer to a profitable national enterprise. Earlier in her career, she held various executive and merchandising positions at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s in New York City.
- Ms. Stewart is a member of the World President’s Organization and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Young President’s Organization (YPO). She is a co- founder of The Good Dog Foundation and is on the Advisory Board of Directors of the Stamford Center for the Arts. In addition, she is a member of the Retail Marketing Society and Trends Fashion Group.
- Ms. Stewart holds a B.A. degree from Northwestern University.
- A former Vice President with the Walt Disney Company, Lynn Tavarozzi is a marketing and general management professional who provides strategic thinking and effective management to focus, grow, and optimize businesses. Her expertise includes brand strategy, media/entertainment, retail and eCommerce, technology, startups, and corporate enterprise.
- Ms. Tavarozzi’s clients have included Disney’s corporate brand and strategy groups, NordstromRack.com|HauteLook, Silicon Valley startups, Club Penguin/Disney Interactive ( #1 kids virtual world), Kelley Blue Book (Cox Automotive), and Gannett. Projects have included brand strategy, consumer positioning, marketing plans, segmentation, consumer research, global launches, leading cross-functional teams, distribution strategy, business intelligence, online monetization, and optimization of research and franchise management across Disney divisions.
- Ms. Tavarozzi’s line management experience includes several leadership roles with Disney. There she ran brand management for the $500 million video rental business, retail marketing for home entertainment, and internet group marketing, where she led research, advertising, synergy, and web analytics for a dozen media and ecommerce sites, including Disney, ABC, and ESPN. Other experience includes consumer and business marketing positions with Liz Claiborne Optics and IBM.
- Ms. Tavarozzi is a graduate of UCLA and the Harvard Business School.
- Mario Tota’s professional successes are derived from single-minded focus on revenue attainment. He has accomplished this through his skillful management of highly-successful sales organizations.
- Mr. Tota’s core expertise lies within design, development and execution of comprehensive sales plans resulting in high-performance field sales teams. Further, his strengths lie in planning, recruiting, training and motivating teams of all sizes.
- With cross-industry experience, Mr. Tota has built and rebuilt teams of sales specialists in media, travel, manufacturing and technology. From a group of 100+ national manufacturing reps to a multi-national team of media sales executives, he has displayed a strong ability to drive beyond revenue objectives.
- With the development of 5 national sales organizations to his credit, Mr. Tota has routinely employed a customer focused selling philosophy, comprehensive account management programs and sophisticated CRM technology. He is credited with launching the Travelocity business (a division of the Sabre Group) as well as units of InterActive Corp (Citysearch.com), Internet Solutions Worldwide (an AT&T Company), American Airlines, and Ansett Australia Airlines.
- Mr. Tota’s clients have included Gannett, AutoTrader.com, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, TEGNA, Weatherbug, and Knight Ridder Digital (Real Cities Network.)