UNCG’s Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS) will host its third annual Industry Summit, sponsored by VF Jeanswear, on Thursday, March 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Elliott University Center’s Cone Ballroom C.

The one-day summit, focusing on innovation, features a panel discussion by top VF Jeanswear executives, a product innovation competition and a reception for students to network with industry leaders. The event is free and open to the public.

The panel, titled “What’s the Big Idea? Generating Innovation in the Apparel Industry,” will be moderated by Shonna Brackett, director of innovation at VF Jeanswear. Panelists include RJ Baer, category manager of youth apparel; Bryan Chapman, director of Walmart sales; Kimmy Davis, marketing manager of in-store marketing; Sebrina Hernandez, vice president of retail marketing; Jimmy Shafer, vice president and general manager of youth apparel; and Sudhakar Puvvada, vice president of innovation for the new VF Innovation Center.

“The vision of the summit is to provide students with an opportunity to interact with senior-level industry professionals and to gain experience solving a real-world business problem,” said Dr. Nancy Hodges, Burlington Industries Professor and head of CARS.

While the competition is specifically for undergraduate CARS students, the panel discussion and reception is a great opportunity for students of all majors.

“Students across the university will benefit from hearing from high-level professionals who are involved in creating and managing innovation on a daily basis,” Hodges said. “The summit offers an opportunity for students in any major to consider how innovation is important to their own professional development and career-related goals.”

CARS students participating in the product innovation competition will receive the case 24 hours in advance. Teams of two to three students will be tasked with developing and marketing an innovative product and will present their final projects to the executives, who will serve as judges. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams.

For more information and to view the full agenda, click here. To learn more about CARS at UNCG, visit bae.uncg.edu/cars.


Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Relations
Photography by Trisha Kemerly, Bryan School of Business and Economics