Retail Design Experts from Calvin Klein, Burton Snowboards, Lululemon to Discuss ‘Future of Cannabis

BOSTON, April 30, 2019 – In its ongoing efforts to use education to break stigma and create opportunities for a diverse and inclusive cannabis industry, ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education is proud to announce details and speakers for its next event, “The Future of Cannabis Retail Design.”

The panel discussion features four expert design professionals from the northeast who have worked for some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Calvin Klein, Burton Snowboards, Juicy Couture, MTV and Phish. The evening’s conversation will cover practical suggestions retail operators, whether they be in dispensaries, CBD boutiques or ancillary products, can consider when undertaking a design or redesign, how design choices can impact the customer experience, and finally, what the future of cannabis retail design holds. The discussion will be followed by a questions-and-answers session and general networking.

“This stellar panel of design experts have created retail experiences for some of the world’s most recognizable household brands,” said Beth Waterfall, executive director at ELEVATE Northeast. “We hope their shared expertise will give our region’s cannabis leaders another competitive differentiator and help them set the retail experience standards cannabis patients and consumers will connect with for years to come.”

Moderator Sam Aquillano is the Founder and Executive Director of Design Museum Foundation a national, nomadic museum operating across three branches — Boston, Portland, San Francisco — and growing across the country. Their mission: bring the transformative power of design everywhere. Design is everywhere, so the museum has no permanent address — instead, Sam and his team turn the museum inside out and transform the city into the design museum with exhibitions, events, and more.

Heather Boesch is a Senior Director at IDEO, where she helps organizations of all scales become relentlessly customer-centered and leverage design as a competitive advantage. Educated as both an architect and an economist, Heather co-leads IDEO’s Spatial Experiences practice, where she works with clients across industries and markets to bring their brands to life through integrated digital and physical experiences. Her recent work includes designing a new home for a Fortune 50 financial services company, helping a Major League sports team imagine future fan experiences at the stadium, and designing a flagship digital concept store for a luxury fashion retailer.

David Gruning has excelled as a leader in marketing, retail and experiential eventing for over 20 years. He has worked in-house and as an independent consultant with areas of expertise in: public relations, consumer marketing, retail design, celebrity & influencer outreach, digital & social media, special events, advertising, strategy & budget management. David has done work with Calvin Klein, Swarovski, Vogue, DeBeers, Moet Hennessy, Giorgio Armani, Saks Fifth Avenue, Trunk Club, Vince, BLK DNM, Moschino among many others.

For more than twenty-five years, Michael Jager, Founding Partner/Chief Creative Officer of Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (formerly JDK Design) and Vermont’s first awarded AIGA Design Fellow, has been creating and collaborating with brands, driven by the idea that design distinction matters most. His collaborative output for a multitude of today’s most recognizable and relevant brands—including Burton Snowboards, Microsoft’s Xbox, Nike, Levi’s, Phish, MTV, Virgin, Lululemon, Yara, Seventh Generation, and Patagonia—is recognized worldwide.

Penelope Nam-Stephen is a Cannabis and Consumer Goods executive with almost two decades of experience. She has held senior executive positions at Cache, Burberry, Juicy Couture, and Ascend, and in those positions was responsible for product merchandising, strategy, financial planning, product conception and commercialization, buying and inventory management, branding, pricing, positioning, supply chain, and marketing.

“The Future of Cannabis Retail Design” takes place on Wednesday, May 8 at the Cambridge Innovation Center, 50 Milk Street in Boston, MA. The event is sponsored by Sprout, Toasted Collective, Different Leaf magazine, Sensi Magazine and Burns & Levinson LLP.

To learn more about the event and to purchase tickets, visit:

About ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education

Currently in the process of becoming a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education was created to support the regional industry’s need for workforce and community education, advocacy and networking in a professional and inviting atmosphere. And because cannabis businesses cannot succeed without inclusion of multiple perspectives, an educated community, and informed customer base, ELEVATE’s mission is to empower underrepresented populations to work and lead in the cannabis industry, and to empower our communities to be educated customers and responsible consumers. Learn more at


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