The 2021 Judging Panel
Otto Ambagtsheer, CEO of VIA Outlets, joined the company in September 2018. His previous experience includes working as the Managing Director at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield for Benelux and as Managing Director Consumer Products & Services within Schiphol Group. Prior to this role, Otto worked as Director of Real Estate Development at Schiphol Real Estate. Otto is a graduate of London Business School and holds a Law Degree from Radboud University of Nijmegen.
Chris Browne Co-Founded Ted Baker in 1988 and headed up the retail team for over 30 years as the companies’ Global Retail Director. During this time Chris was responsible for many aspects of Ted’s unique style of retail and is considered to be one of the leading lights of the drive to create ‘Retail Theatre’. Chris left the brand in 2017 and has since been the Non-Executive Director of several companies including Angels Face, Skinnydip, Wherewolf and Andsons as well as providing Global Retail insight for several leading consulting firms and Private Equity houses. His Angel investments include a Padel Tennis Club in Australia and the recently launched ‘Jelly Drops’ hydrating sweets for Dementia sufferers. Previous to his Ted Baker career Chris worked for The Tube , a London based fashion shoe business and John Farmer Shoes, formerly part of The Clarks Group.
FOUNDER, PRESIDENT & CD
TIME OUT MARKET
When not travelling around the world, João Cepeda is based in Lisbon where he has founded the first Time Out Market back in 2014. Now, as the brand’s President and Creative Director, he ensures that the concepts three main features, design, architecture and curation, are kept alive in all our markets. Today, he is also an investor in various start-ups linked to the gastronomy sector and a columnist for Portuguese newspapers. João was previously Publisher at Time Out Portugal, Editor-in-Chief of Time Out Lisboa, the UK Chief Correspondent at the Portuguese News Agency and before that a reporter for several publications. He has a degree in Media Studies from Lisbon's Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
MD PREMIUM RETAIL DIVISION
umdasch the store makers
Roman runs the Premium division at umdasch The Store Makers. The Premium division includes several companies and productions throughout Europe and the Middle East making high end individualised retail environments. Roman enjoys working with his multinational teams covering many mentalities and cultures. He is proud to call some of the world’s best retailers long term clients. As a member of the umdasch Executive Board he holds overall responsibility for the Group.
GROUP DESIGN DIRECTOR
Michael Lewis leads +studio, the Brewer Smith Brewer Group (BSBG) design hub. He is a highly intuitive and creative design leader, focused on producing experiential architecture for people. Michael’s project portfolio includes Dubai projects The Beach, La Mer, the vision for Nikki Beach, City Walk, Ferrari World on Yas Island, and most recently for BSBG the award-winning VISA Headquarters building and SHA Emirates in Abu Dhabi.
Michael’s enthusiasm for all facets of design is instantly infectious, and he is a renowned motivator and mentor for talented young designers. His principles are founded upon an understanding of how people use and interact with space, and his work is targeted at creating an emotive connection between the architecture and the end user.
Xavier López Ancona
FOUNDER, PRESIDENT & CEO
Xavier Lopez Ancona is the Founder of KidZania, the company that developed a successful family edutainment concept which joins learning with entertainment through role-play. KidZania was founded with a very strong sense of community, with the idea to build safe venues where kids could get close to values and qualities such as creativity, independence, responsibility, and solidarity. KidZania is a 100 per cent Mexican brand with 27 facilities currently operating in 20 countries; with 10 more KidZania sites under development in countries such as France, Japan, South Africa and Canada. His previous professional experience includes the consulting company, Booz Allen & Hamilton, and GE Capital Mexico, where he was appointed Vice President of Equity for two years. Moreover, he participates as a member of the board of the School of Management of the Anahuac University in Mexico, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
PRESIDENT & CEO
USPA Global Licensing Inc.
J. Michael Prince is President & CEO of USPA Global Licensing Inc. In this role, Michael provides executive leadership overseeing the iconic sport inspired U.S. Polo Assn. brand, which has a $1.7bn global footprint and represented across 180 countries worldwide. He also oversees the company’s 1,100 global retail stores, digital commerce, global partnerships, as well as operational and financial management. Additionally, Michael assists with the company’s global broadcasting business that showcases high-profile polo matches reaching approximately 10 million viewers worldwide through multiple content platforms. Michael previously served as President & COO, as well as Board member at Cole Haan. Prior to joining Cole Haan, he served as COO of Guess Inc. He joined Guess Inc. from Nike, Inc., where he served as CFO of the Nike Affiliates division. Michael previously held the same position for Converse, Inc., a Nike subsidiary. Michael is also a Secretary of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County and works closely with Palm Beach County’s Sports Commission, Film Commission and Discover the Palm Beaches.
Having joined RLI in 2013, James has been involved in the Global RLI Awards for the last 8 years in various roles and has been a judge since 2017, in his role as Editor of the magazine. In 2021 the Global RLI Awards will be a Hybrid event, combining a "live" in-person ceremony with a "virtual" online component, as we move into this new ‘Era’ James is delighted to be a judge once again and is ready to carefully look through all of the nominations as we build up to the sixteenth edition of the Global RLI Awards, merging the power of face-to-face with the extensive audience reach that comes with a virtual element, one event two experiences.
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER & CO-CEO
Ali Rubinstein is the Chief Creative Officer and Co-CEO of Meow Wolf, an art collective that has transformed into an award-winning Arts Production Company. Before joining Meow Wolf, she served in several roles during her 22-year tenure at Disney, starting as a Production Designer and Creative Director in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Following these projects, she became the Executive Creative Director and Executive Producer for Shanghai’s Disneyland Castle and other Fantasyland attractions. Most recently, Rubinstein oversaw the creative of Disney’s Asia Region, serving as Executive Producer for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Disney resorts. Prior to her work at Disney, she worked in the film and theatre industries, serving as a production designer and set designer on various projects. Rubinstein holds a degree from Cal Institute of the Arts in Theatrical Set Design, and she currently resides in Santa Fe.
PRESIDENT & CMO
AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP
Nick Woodhouse is a marketing and creative thought leader with a proven ability to launch, reposition and transform iconic consumer brands. With over three decades of experience, Woodhouse’s background spans the retail, branding, sports, fashion, entertainment and marketing industries. Relentlessly results-driven, Woodhouse continues to be at the forefront of business and brand growth for Authentic Brands Group and its $14+ billion portfolio of global brands. As President and CMO of ABG, Woodhouse has forged a path alongside CEO Jamie Salter, establishing the company’s point of marketing differentiation early on, with a digital-focused strategy prior to the advent of social media into mainstream marketing. Through his innovative approach to brand development and commitment to the end consumer, Woodhouse has transformed ABG’s owned channels into powerhouse media platforms. He has an extensive background in buying, merchandising and operations and spent over two decades with Forzani Group Ltd. (FGL), holding a range of positions from associate to senior executive. With Woodhouse at the helm, FGL grew from 11 doors and $55 million in annual sales to over 500 doors with $1.7 billion in annual sales and became one of the world’s top five sporting goods retailers. Widely recognized for his achievements and contributions to the industry, Woodhouse is sought after for his expertise by the media, who routinely quote him and value his authoritative opinion. He is a standing nominee on Footwear News’ annual Power Players list, has been honored for his charitable work with the non-profit Delivering Good and is an active member of the LIM College Board of Directors.
FOUNDER & CEO
Bernardine Wu is the Founder and CEO of FitForCommerce, a specialised consultancy that helps hundreds of brands, retailers, malls, and meeting places accelerate their businesses through digital, e-commerce and omni-channel strategies, technology and innovation leverage and operational optimisation. Bernardine and the FitForCommerce team power The Innovation Office which curates emerging innovations for businesses and the NRF-FitForCommerce Omni-channel Retail Index - the industry’s premier retail and digital benchmark. As trusted advisors for over 13 years FitForCommerce has successfully maximised revenue and profitability for over 600 global clients in 42 countries.