Center for Retail Transformation Team

Navigating the Transformation of Retail, Together

The Center for Retail Transformation team aims to be the foremost academic institution driving transformation in retail.

The Center's leadership, advisory council, and affiliate faculty are working together to develop educational programs for current and future retailers, to generate impactful research addressing critical issues in retail, and to foster partnerships and collaborations with the retail industry, trade associations, and other governmental actors.  

Leadership and Staff

Center leadership, consisting of the Center director and associate director, are responsible for the management of the Center. Working with the advisory council and affiliate faculty, the Center’s leadership guides the education, research, and industry outreach activities of the Center to achieve our vision of addressing emerging challenges caused by the transformation of retail. 

  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Gautham Vadakkepatt

    Associate Professor, Marketing
    Additional Roles: Director of the Center for Retail Transformation

    Gautham Vadakkepatt is an associate professor within the Marketing Area and the director of the Center for Retail Transformation in the School of Business at George Mason University.

Advisory Council

The Center for Retail Transformation Advisory Council, consisting of senior leadership from traditional and new retailers, retail solution providers, and industry experts, was established to support the Center’s mission and activities designed to help businesses navigate the transformation of retail.  

  • George Mason University School of Business Partner Michelle Bacharach

    CEO and Co-Founder, FINDMINE  

    Michelle is CEO and Co-Founder of FINDMINE, an award winning software platform that uses machine learning to scale product curation for the world's top retailers.
  • Global Retail Influencer Ricardo Belmar

    Global Retail Influencer

    Ricardo Belmar helps retail organizations realize business value from technology investments by optimizing infrastructure from store systems to unified commerce and beyond to deliver omnichannel customer experiences and drive digital revenue.
  • George Mason University School of Business Partner Navjit Bhasin 

    CEO and Founder, Newmine  
     

    Navjit is a visionary expert in strategy, technology, operations, and change management. As a veteran entrepreneur and an active angel investor, he has worked in hands-on roles for several global retailers and consumer brands.
  • George Mason University School of Business Partner Steve Carboni

    Senior VP, Rappaport  

    Steve is the Senior VP at Rappaport and provides direct oversight and management of the team responsible for leasing Rappaport’s portfolio of approximately 50 shopping centers located throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
  • George Mason University School of Business Partner Christiana DiMattesa 

    Senior Director, Marketing, UnderArmor  

    Christiana is an innovative and award-winning Retail Marketing Executive with 20+ years of high-impact marketing strategy, execution and leadership.
  • George Mason University School of Business Partner Emily Erkel

    Co-Founder and CMO, LePrix  

    Emily is Co-Founder and CMO of LePrix, the leading wholesale resale platform. Emily leads marketing and branding efforts of the company. Emily has over 15 years of retail strategy experience.
  • George Mason University School of Business Partner Alex Garcia

    VP of Strategy Transformation, Bed Bath and Beyond  

    Alex is currently the VP of Strategy Transformation at Bed Bath and Beyond where he is focused on transformation of BBY. Prior to joining BBY, he was the VP of Global Supply Chain at Target and before that Senior Director of Global Analytics Test and Learn Team at Walmart.
  • George Mason University School of Business Partner Hugo Gilbert

    Leasing Manager – DCA and IAD Airports, MarketPlace Development 

    Hugo Gilbert led Cushman & Wakefield’s Washington, DC retail platform, providing brokerage services for some of the region’s most prominent retail opportunities and tenants throughout the Washington and Baltimore market.
  • Mark Hastings, Chief of Stores at Blains Farm & Fleet

    Chief of Stores, Blains Farm & Fleet

    Mark Hastings is Chief of Stores at Blains Farm & Fleet. His background includes a portfolio of experiences across several enterprise and field operational leadership roles.
  • George Mason University School of Business Partner Kurt Herkert

    Regional Manager, Terminix   

    Kurt is performance-driven and resourceful operations director with multifaceted experience in sales, marketing, community outreach, training and development, merchandising, business development, and inventory, retail, P&L, and territory management.

Affiliate Faculty

The affiliate faculty, consisting of faculty with expertise across the many domains of retail, assist the Center in achieving its goals of providing transformational educational opportunities and producing cutting-edge research. 

  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Russell Abratt

    Professor, Marketing

    Russell Abratt is a professor within the Marketing Area in the School of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Mehmet Altug

    Associate Professor, Information Systems and Operations Management

    Mehmet Altug is an associate professor within the Information Systems and Operations Management Area in the School of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Placeholder Image

    Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Program Director
    Additional Roles: Associate Professor, Information Systems and Operations Management; Dean's Scholar

    Ioannis Bellos is the MBA program director and an associate professor within the Information Systems and Operations Management Area in the School of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Cheryl Druehl

    Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Research
    Additional Roles: Associate Professor, Information Systems and Operations Management

    Cheryl Druehl is the senior associate dean for faculty affairs and research and an associate professor within the information systems and operations management area in the School of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Jessica Hoppner

    Area Chair, Marketing
    Additional Roles:
    Associate Professor, Marketing; Dean's Scholar

    Jessica Hoppner is the area chair and an associate professor within the marketing area in the School of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Sharaya Jones

    Assistant Professor, Marketing

    Sharaya Jones is an assistant professor within the Marketing Area in the School of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Mahesh Joshi

    Associate Professor, Management
    Additional Roles: Academic Director, Executive Development Chief Risk Officer program

    Mahesh Joshi is an associate professor within the Management Area in the School of Business at George Mason University. He is also the president of Joshi International, Inc., a consulting firm that provides strategic and entrepreneurial advice to clients.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Tarun Kushwaha

    Professor, Marketing

    Tarun Kushwaha is a professor within the Marketing Area in the School of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Laurie Meamber

    Associate Professor, Marketing

    Laurie A. Meamber is an associate professor within the Marketing Area in the School of Business at George Mason University.
  • George Mason University School of Business Faculty Nirup Menon

    Professor, Information Systems and Operations Management

    Nirup Menon is a professor within the Information Systems and Operations Management Area in the School of Business at George Mason University.