with Tyler Carlson

Tyler Carlson dives into stories with industry experts to discuss the intersection between retail and technology.

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Episode 008, December 3, 2018


008 Kevin Foreman, INRIX

Talk Highlights
  • Self Driving cars are coming whether you are ready or not.
  • Pick the industry that is winning and have more fun along the way.
  • Why does Amazon call it shipping instead of trucking?
Speaker Bio

Kevin Foreman lives with his family in Seattle, WA and serves as a VP at INRIX. INRIX is the global leader in connected cars and transportation intelligence. They provide information such as, which side of the road has more morning traffic?

Not only was Kevin one of the first 1,000 Facebook users and has an MBA from Harvard, but he also hosts legendary “fist bump Fridays” for his thousands of social media followers. Kevin is an excellent story teller and knows how to speak in a language that any audience can understand.

Show Notes
  • 1:41 – Evolution of Kevin’s career. From word processing in the 80s to AI in 2018.
  • 3:45 – 3 things we will never solve
  • 5:23 – Advice from Kevin on picking industries that are WINNING.
  • 8:15 – The “takeoff” of certain industries
  • 11:53 – Shipping vs. Trucking. Speaking in terms that your audience understands.
  • 14:02 – Pain is Opportunity. Why selling Advil is a lot easier than multi vitamins.
  • 16:00 – Self-driving Cars - they are coming and coming soon.
  • 18:30 – BMW i9. Was he able to park it without brake?
  • 20:30 – Go Play to Win
  • 22:45 – How to maximize a conference by getting organized.
  • 24:45 – Rapid Fire Questions

Episode 007, November 19, 2018


007 Adam Saxton, The Saxton Group

Talk Highlights
  • The mistake of rolling up your corporate identity to the brand you’re a franchise of rather than focusing on your company’s culture and what is under your control.
  • Having a mindset that you are a new neighbor when opening a restaurant in a new community.
  • The transition from focusing on site characteristics to focusing on the trade area when choosing new locations.
Speaker Bio

Adam Saxton has had restaurant and operations running through his veins ever since he can remember. As a fourth generation to continue the tradition of food service Adam and the rest of The Saxton Group carry on the tradition.

The Saxton Group. Founded in 1982 with just two Mazzio’s Pizza restaurants. In 2004, the Mazzio’s Pizza stores were sold, allowing The Saxton Group to fully focus on one objective: bringing the beloved McAlister’s Deli brand to Texas. Once The Saxton Group opened its first store in Longview, Texas the path of introducing the McAlister’s brand to Texans didn’t just grow, it took off. Today, The Saxton Group operates 75+ McAlister’s Deli locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. Over 25 of those locations are in the DFW metroplex.

Adam is an incredible leader who puts his employees and guests ahead of everything else. You can find him seeking out his customers on Twitter to get their feedback. Or promoting his team members from within to produce what is an unparallel company culture.

Show Notes
  • 1:28 - Growing up in the family business
  • 4:37 – What Adam observes when visiting restaurants and the thing he finds most important
  • 7:10 – Major takeaways Adam got from a keynote with Jeff Bezos of Amazon
  • 10:00 - When anecdotes and data disagree – which story is probably right?
  • 15:10 – Why Adam takes the time to acknowledge and interact with customers on his personal social media pages
  • 17:56 – Why The Saxton Group promotes within the company
  • 21:03 – The mistake that organizations make with employee retention
  • 22:25 – Lessons learned from building the culture at The Saxton Group
  • 25:21 – Changes in the process of site selection over the last 15 years
  • 32:53 – Mobile data at The Saxton Group

    33:26 – McAlister’s in the Houston area

  • 36:20 – Tyler show Adam his location services activity
  • 38:01 – Importance of giving back to nonprofit organizations and being a “good neighbor”

Episode 006, November 7, 2018


006 Chris Ressa, DLC Management Corp

Talk Highlights
  • Best advice for those trying to find their way in commercial real estate or brick and mortar, as well as, the best strategies for effective networking.
  • The difference between good and great retailers.
  • What is happening with big box? Major headlines and what do they mean.
Speaker Bio

Chris Ressa joined DLC Management Corp. in 2007. As Senior Vice President of Leasing, Mr. Ressa oversees leasing operations. During his tenure at DLC, his leadership has led to the successful repositioning of assets. His most notable leasing transactions have included TJX, Ross Dress for Less, Burlington Coat Factory, Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Kroger Company, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us, and Planet Fitness. Mr. Ressa received a BA in Economics from Rutgers University in 2005. He received his CLS (Certified Leasing Specialist) in 2010 and, in December 2012, became a member of the ICSC CLS Committee. His career started at The Sherwin-Williams Company as a Real Estate Manager handling the real estate for district/regional offices. Where he handled existing store renewals and new stores. He also worked for Ashkenazy Acquisitions as a Regional Leasing Manager where he was responsible for all leases in a portfolio of approximately 3.5 million square feet.

Show Notes
  • 0:00 – How Chris’ wrestling coach lead him to a position at Sherman Williams
  • 1:16 - Tech at your disposal “The intersection of Tech and Mortar was just scratching the surface.”
  • 4:12 - Advice Chris would give his younger self.
  • 5:23 - How did he know that real estate was a passion of his?
  • 7:09 – The greatest tool in the industry
  • 10:32 – Tips and best strategies for networking
  • 14:43 – Importance of speaking in terms that people will understand
  • 17:43 – Chris’ advice to new brokers
  • 20:31 – The difference between good and great retailers
  • 22:42 - What fundamentals is tech having the biggest impact on today?
  • 25:50 - Susceptible to embrace technology?
  • 26:52 - Examples of tech changes in real estate
  • 29:26 - What does Chris see happening with big box?
  • 29:36 - Rapid Fire Questions

Episode 005, October 24, 2018


005 Gregg Katz, The Shopping Center Group

Talk Highlights
  • How Gregg’s retail background lead him to where he is today, The Shopping Center Group
  • Why businesses should look at technology, mapping and general infrastructure when building the bridge between technologies and brokers
  • Headed into The Shopping Center Group with an open mind Gregg starts tackling the job bringing in a new mapping platform
  • Why is mobile and movement data so important in today’s day and age?
Speaker Bio

For twelve years Gregg Katz had worked hand-in-hand with an award-winning GIS & Analytics company, The Shopping Center Group. As the Director of Innovation and Technology there, he has developed a forward way of thinking. This allows him to create an infrastructure for data, analytics, GIS, mobile technology, marketing/branding, and research by leveraging information and tools. This ultimately aligns the company’s tactical plans for future growth with the needs of the company’s employees and consumers. Not only does Gregg manage his own team of 35 employees but he also does Tenant Representation and Consulting. He consults with national, regional and local companies – AT&T Mobility, The Children’s Place and Whole Foods. Utilizing his market expertise and relationships he helps locate, negotiate, and purchase the perfect location for his clients.

Show Notes
  • 0:57 – How Gregg ended up at The Shopping Center Group
  • 7:35 – Out of Hand Burrito Stand Location Deciding
  • 10:15 – Emergence of new technologies
  • 12:34 – Compare and contrast Orlando back in the day to here in 2018
  • 16:01 – College Help: Broker Advice
  • 18:18 – Broker Help: Broker Advice Continued
  • 21:01 – First Initiatives
    24:12 – House Renovation
  • 25:29 – Advice to yourself six years ago
  • 29:09 – Mobile and Movement Data
  • 32:52 – Rapid Fire

Episode 004, October 10, 2018


004 Jim Balis, CapitalSpring

Talk Highlights
  • What sets apart a good franchisor from a great one?
  • Jim’s reaction to those who respond to the question “Why are you doing it that way?” with “Because that is the way we have always done it”.
  • The results of a company being resistant to technology.
Speaker Bio

Jim Balis leads CapitalSpring’s Strategic Operations Group, supporting due diligence, portfolio management, and industry knowledge building initiatives. He has several decades of management and turnaround experience in restaurant industry. Prior to joining Capital Spring, Jim was Founder and President of RMG a boutique advisory and turnaround firm serving the restaurant sector. He has directed numerous turnarounds and has acted as interim CEO or Chief Restructuring Officer for 15 restaurant companies. He began his food service career in high school, during which he held multiple management positions for local restaurants in New York. Jim holds a BA from Duke University.

Show Notes
  • 1:13 – Jim’s story around founding the Restaurant Management Group
  • 4:15 – Areas in need of improvement that are common among organizations
  • 6:56 – Questions Jim initially asked when he began working with a business
  • 7:55 – Why the traditional way of doing something isn’t always the RIGHT way of doing it
  • 9:33 – Things that Jim pays attention to when visiting a restaurant that most people would not.
  • 10:52 – The degree of attention to detail that speak to the level of leadership and culture of a company.
  • 11:52 – Jim’s opinion on internal promotes versus external hires.
  • 13:48 – Suggestions for finding new team members that will bring talent to a company and also fit the desired culture.
  • 14:26 – The importance in developing your team members.
  • 16:15 – What sets apart good franchisors and great franchisors?
  • 18:43 – How technology changed the relationships between Franchisees and Franchisors.
  • 20:41 – The transition from manual to automated work within restaurant management.
  • 22:14 – Whether people were hesitant to embrace technology in the early days and how the reactions have changed.
  • 25:45 – Rapid fire questions
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