|12:00 PM - 1:00 PM||US Eastern|
|11:00 AM - 12:00 PM||US Central|
|10:00 AM - 11:00 AM||US Mountain|
|9:00 AM - 10:00 AM||US Pacific|
|4:00 PM - 5:00 PM||UTC|
A candid conversation with two industry leaders about the critical need for brands to amplify diversity and inclusion right now. What’s at stake for brands amid national unrest over racial injustice? How does a brand ensure they’re on the right side of conversation — and history? Why the apology is imperative.
Portia Blunt - Director of Apparel Operations, New Balance
Portia Blunt leads New Balance's apparel operations and is responsible for go-to-market operational execution, global materials development and innovation. Portia first joined New Balance in 2008 and has over 19 years of experience as a product and design professional. She has had a broad range of experience within the sports and apparel industry. Early in her career, she held various roles as a clothing designer and product manager for the United States Marine Corps, as well as numerous corporate roles at New Balance within product development & Innovation. Portia has spoken at various colleges, conferences and forums spotlighting innovation and diversity within the footwear and apparel industry over the years.
James Whitner - Owner, Social Status and A Ma Maniére
James Whitner is the owner of buzzy streetwear boutiques Social Status, A Ma Maniere, A.P.B. and Prosper. A native of Pittsburgh, Whitner has staked his claim as one of the most successful specialty retail entrepreneurs. His apparel and footwear stores’ stock highly sought-after brands and collaborations — from Dior and Balenciaga to Tier 0 Jordan and Nike — putting his name on the map among hardcore sneakerheads and fashion connoisseurs alike.
Sheena Butler-Young - Deputy Editor, Footwear News
Sheena Butler-Young is the deputy editor at FN. In addition to breaking some of the industry’s biggest business stories — including Adidas’ diversity and inclusion challenges and the Payless bankruptcy — she interviews top fashion executives, designers and celebrities, including Katy Perry, Christian Louboutin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Prior to joining FN, Butler-Young was a writer for the Hartford Business Journal and has spent time in television production, serving as a producer for Emmy-award winning public affairs talk show “In Contact.”