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Michael Gilson

Michael Gilson is an international leader with over 30 years in the fashion, apparel and home industry.  Mr. Gilson plays an integral role at Cormac Advisory Services LLC specifically focusing on due diligence, day to day operations and business strategies.  Prior to founding CAS he served as Vice President of Private Brands, Strategy and Global Sourcing Operations for Hudson’s Bay Company (parent of Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Home Outfitters and Galeria Kaufhof).


Before Hudson’s Bay Company, Mr. Gilson served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Smart Apparel US, a men’s design and wholesale company, where he oversaw corporate offices as well as design, product development, logistics, corporate social responsibility and manufacturing operations in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Mr. Gilson also worked for over 20 years at May Merchandising Company and May Department Stores International, where he ultimately advanced to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. His resume also includes stints at Deloitte and Berdon LLP as a senior audit manager.

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Jonathan Greller joined Cormac Advisors in January of 2019 and serves as President & COO. Jonathan focuses on the most transformational challenges in our clients businesses.  In addition Jonathan will be focused on First Sale. A duty reduction program designed to reduce the dutiable value of eligible products imported into the United States.

Prior to a strategic advisory role at Sam Edelman & Retail Worx Jonathan Greller served as President of Saks OFF 5TH & Gilt at Hudson's Bay Company. Prior to this Jonathan served as senior vice president at Lord & Taylor/Hudson's Bay. With over 25 years of experience at HBC and Lord & Taylor, Jonathan was well-positioned to lead Saks OFF 5TH as it embarked on a significant growth initiative. Under his leadership, Saks off 5th enjoyed four years of consecutive growth, adding $500 million dollars in sales. In addition Jonathan assumed the role of President of upon the acquisition in Early 2016.  In 2008 Jonathan Created & led Black Brown 1826 with world renowned designer Joseph Abboud.  In addition Jonathan was responsible for driving total private brand sales and maximizing profit margin. Oversee Creative design, product development & merchandising processes of both Men’s, Women’s, Home & Licensing.

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Globally Based Resources

A design and branding expert, Marie Rao has held a number of esteemed roles within the fashion industry and is looked to as a leading voice. Currently, she serves as Chief Executive Officer of MRao Design Consulting Group. Previously and most recently, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Women’s Private Brands for Hudson’s Bay Company, designing womenswear for two of North America’s most iconic department stores: Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay.

Ms. Rao has spent her career in retail and design leadership functions across the world. Prior to joining Hudson’s Bay Company in November 2012, she served as Chief Design Officer at New York & Company from 2007 to 2010. Concurrently, she served on the Board of Directors for Crocs from 2006 to 2008.

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Donna Spillane is a seasoned industry professional with over 30 years experience as a global sourcing executive, with a focus on product development, pre production and manufacturing. As a respected leader, Donna's talents for understanding the strategies necessary to support product and financial growth and change has afforded her the opportunity to work among industry giants such as Calvin Klein, Isaac Mizrahi, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, J Crew, The Limited, Lord & Taylor and Alice&Olivia.  


Her career resume reads like a who's who in the apparel industry, with Donna’s success attributed to her ability to keep her eye on the proverbial ball.  Her keen negotiating skills, her ability to create, build and maintain a global sourcing network and her instinctive strategic and pro-active methods has kept her on the cutting edge of the apparel and accessories markets.


Alessandro De Giusti is an entrepreneur and business manager with fifteen years of international experience in multiple industries including logistics, import-export and finance.  Currently in charge of the NY office of the global freight forwarding company Savino Del Bene, Alessandro also founded Sextant , a consulting start-up for financial trading products in Europe.


Alessandro studied International Logistics and completed his Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration before attending a Management Consulting course at Bocconi University in Italy.  He completed his studies with a Master of International Business at HULT Business School in San Francisco focusing on consulting methods, project and supply chain management.

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Kevin Lee holds an MBA and a M. Sc. in Computer Science.  Thanks to his dual degrees, he adds business value, international perspective and leadership skills to his supply chain and technical foundation.  He shows balanced perspective in both Business and Technical aspects.

Kevin has a specialty in Strategic Planning, International Business Development and Supply Chain project management.


He has over 15 years of diverse work experience in both technical and managerial areas internationally; he planned and implemented Supply Chain and IT strategies of many industries including financial, telecommunication and retail business. He performed outstanding achievements and significant contributions in his workplaces.


Kevin is a wonderful team player who brings professionalism and enthusiasm to his working environment.  Moreover, he is always eager to continuously learn and grow. 


Shelly Evans is a Human Resources generalist with over 20 years of experience in all areas of HR management.


The unique and most important aspect of Shelly’s approach to recruiting, is that she thinks of it as if she is employed in the company, and she will only submit candidates that she believes, if hired, can become long term employees, and add value to the organization.


Expanding beyond talent and building great cultures has been a big part of Shelly’s career. Her ability to align employees at all levels in an organization, to commit and deliver to the Company’s goals, help to make the company successful.

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Rahul Bhargava is a veteran in the Sourcing industry having an experience spanning 30 + years. He has headed offices for major US retailers in the Indian Sub- Continent.


A graduate in Commerce with a major in Business Administration from the University of Calcutta, he has been an entrepreneur for the last 15 years with diverse interests in Telecommunications, apparel and home goods sourcing and is currently involved in manufacturing of active wear for his domestic market. 


In addition he is also involved currently turnkey refurbishment and renovations in the hospitality industry. 


He has represented retailers such as The May Co Stores, Dillard's, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Land's End, Marks and Spencer to name a few.


Over the course of her 20-year career, Christiane has become known for her transformational leadership within top apparel  enterprises, driving process improvement and bottom-line growth initiatives in challenging international arenas. Her success is owed not only to her industry expertise, which covers core areas such as strategic sourcing, product management, quality management, and supply chain management but also to her passion for excellence and a strategic business mindset.


After completing an apprenticeship with Deutsche Bank, Christiane decided to launch a new career within the apparel industry, earning an Engineer’s Degree in Clothing Technology from the FHTW in Berlin, Germany. Upon graduating she joined Bon Prix Handelsgesellschaft MBH, one of the top ten mail order providers in Germany. There she learned the fundamentals of the garment industry, gaining a solid grounding in both product development and quality control.

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Mr. Tsang worked for May Department Store International’s  Hong Kong  office as Vice President for Administration for 16 years, overseeing finance, supply chain, information technology,  vendor documentation and corporate social compliance.  Subsequently promoted to Vice President Regional Operations, Asia/India/Sub-Continent.  Prior to joining MDSI/HKG, Simon spent time at Associated Merchandising Corporation (AMC) as Administration Manager in charge of finance, logistics, information technology, human resources and general office administration. 


Before settling into the apparel industry he spent time at Orient Overseas Container Line as an assistant manager in various departments such as cost control, pricing, joint venture, container and slots allocations.  Presently he serves as Director of a HK buying and exporting agent in fashion accessories with clients in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Central America.  Simon graduated from Chinese University of Hong Kong holding a Social Science Bachelor degree in Economics and Business Administration.

Ryan’s natural fascination with the intersection of retail and technology has led to a career of inspiring and leading brands to be on the forefront of the evolving "connected retail" environment. 


Ryan currently serves as the President and CEO of Trimfit, a children’s wear brand distributed through global retailers and etailers. Additionally, Ryan leads Emerging Brands and Licensing for Lamour Group’s portfolio of global brands including Joe Fresh and New Balance. Prior to joining Lamour, Ryan was in charge of the core department store strategy at Lord & Taylor / Hudson’s Bay Company / Saks.


Cigdem has over 25 years of extensive global sourcing, retail, marketing and management of fashion apparel, accessories and home products experience.  Over the years, Cigdem built a strong expertise and recognition across the major   global sourcing and retail markets with her leadership skills.  She has been in various senior management positions with her strong ability to evaluate and execute successful business strategies in both the existing and new business arenas.


Cigdem has a comprehensive marketing experience built on foundation of strong merchandising skills and proven ability to maximize consumer needs.  She has always been an integral part of dynamic, and challenging businesses.


Vlad Kaplan is senior financial executive with over 16 years in the retail, fashion and apparel industries.  Mr. Kaplan plays a vital role at Cormac Advisory Services LLC specifically focusing on accounting, budgeting, financial analysis and (internal/external) reporting. Mr. Kaplan is currently Vice President of Finance and Administration for Smart Apparel US.  Before Smart Apparel US, Mr. Kaplan served as the Director of Finance for Designer and Lifestyle divisions of Kellwood Company, where he oversaw all financial aspects of division’s operations. Mr. Kaplan also worked for over 6 years at Macy’s Department Stores, where he advanced to Director of Financial Planning and Analysis role.


Mr. Kaplan earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from CUNY Brooklyn College and Master of Science in Management of Technology (Innovation in Retail) degree from NYU. Mr. Kaplan resides in New York City metropolitan area. 


Joseph Narendran Vanigasooriyar is a skilled Senior Director with over 20 years experience in fast paced business environments in multiple disciplines such as finance, logistics & freight, human resources.  His experience includes stints in Auditing, Banking & Finance as well as the apparel industry, both in retail & manufacturing.


Most recently Mr. Vanigasooriyar was employed at Smart Shirts Ltd as Finance Director & Regional Controller for Sri Lanka and Cambodia.  Smart Shirts is a multinational apparel company, catering to global brands such as Ralph Lauren (Polo) and Thomas Pink, where in addition to overseeing finance & logistics related functions, was also involved in due diligence work on planned mergers / acquisitions of the group, managing the legal, corporate and statutory dealings of the company.

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Alessandra graduated Cum Laude while obtaining her Associates in Applied Science degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandising from the Fashion Institute of Technology.  After a study abroad in Florence, Italy wherein she studied International Business and Art History at a prestigious fashion university, she transferred and went on to receive a Bachelors in Applied Science degree from New York University Stern School of Business with a double major in International Business and Marketing.  Alessandra then earned her Juris Doctorate degree from St. John's University School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in New York, California, The District of Columbia and Connecticut. 


She has been Corporate Counsel in the litigation and regulatory departments at Sempra Energy and Long Island Lighting Company and an associate at two NYC law firms, Huber Lawrence &Abell and Orenstein &Brown.  Alessandra is currently the principle at her own firm, Alessandra M. Messineo Long & Associates, LLC. 

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Lillian is an experienced Talent and Change Management professional with proven leadership in driving targeted HR strategies.  While well versed in the full cycle of HR disciplines, an area of focus has been supporting and driving accelerated growth in the digital retail environment with manpower sourcing and integration, building a dynamic culture attractive to digital talent, and positively driving change and retention. Lillian successfully led the HR team in the building of the enterprise from start-up operation to thriving ecommerce website (2008-2014). 

Lillian brings successful hands-on experience in the merging of operations and manpower, as part of a strategic company goal. This has included planning appropriate headcount and selection for a newly combined organization, managing downsizing, forging and educating a new, forward-looking integrated culture. Lillian was a key partner in planning and executing the integration of the Digital and Store enterprises into a single Omni channel operation at Bloomingdale’s (2014-2016).

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Beth Bogulski is a senior professional with 20 years of experience in product development, buying and brand management. She has built and managed profitable businesses for the home in key item and collection categories across multi-retail channels.

Beth is a respected leader and mentor developing and managing quality and high performing teams with a stellar retention rate. Beth’s strength and expertise lies in creating a vision, gaining alignment through collaboration and communication to achieve company goals. She has held various positions in buying and product development for Kohl’s, Macy’s and QVC.

Prior to joining Cormac, Beth was with Kohl’s for eight years. She managed and expanded exclusive brands in several categories for Food Network, Chaps, Vera Wang and other high profile brands.


Jimmy Chan is a design executive with over 20 years experience in designing and building footwear and Accessory collections.  His scope of knowledge spans design of women’s and men’s footwear, handbags, small leather goods, product development & trend forecasting.


Most recently Jimmy was Vice President of Design for the Nine West group, leading and managing multiple brands within the portfolio including the lead brand Nine West.

He has travelled the world and partnered with some of the best factories and material vendors in Italy, China and Brazil.  Jimmy’s strengths and expertise are creating a cohesive vision for a brand, aligning proper costing to size of the collections and collaborating with partners to execute and deliver on a timely basis.


Over the course of his career Jimmy has worked on, and created collections for industry leaders such as Nine West, Talbots, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.

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