CARW and ICSC are proud to present the State’s largest annual retail conference. Join us for an afternoon of featured speakers, industry roundtables, a project showcase, retail runway and the best networking with retail and commercial real estate professionals.  More than 400 attended the event last year from across the State and region.  This event is not to be missed!

Register Here


When: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 | 8:30a.m.-6:30p.m.
Where: Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Tickets: $95 Student | $130 Member | $225 Non-member
Retailers come for free!

Hotel Information:
Call 1-800-PAYSBIG and ask for the CARW-WI Retail Conference
or book online HERE and use the code: CAR04192018
Municipality Opportunities
Sponsorship Opportunities


8:30-9:30AM: Registration & Networking
9:30 –10:30AM:
Welcome and Robin Lewis, CEO of “The Robin Report” Sponsored by Husch Blackwell LLP
Roundtables Session (3, 20 minute sessions)
Lunch & Thomas Carrico, Mills Fleet Farm
Roundtables Session (2, 20 minute sessions)
2:30-3:45PM: Panel Presentation
 John Gurda, Milwaukee Writer & Historian
4:30-6:30PM: Networking Happy Hour – Sponsored by Founders 3 Real Estate Services

Presented by:

Keynote Sponsor

Networking Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors


Keynote Speakers

Robin Lewis
The Robin Report

Mr. Robin Lewis served as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs, headed up its retail consulting subsidiary, providing clients with strategic information and consulting on all sectors of retailing worldwide. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Mr. Lewis served as Vice President and Executive Editor of Women’s Wear Daily, where he researched and authored numerous feature articles spanning a broad range of subjects including globalization, strategic brand positioning, distribution and logistics, productivity and innovation and customer relationship management, all focusing on the retail industry. He originated and led Fairchild’s Strategic Information Services and the WWD CEO Summit series. His tenure at WWD led him to launch his consulting business, where he authored and published the monthly ROBIN REPORTS, a strategic report on retailing, as Editorial Director.

During this period, his strategic understanding and insights regarding the retail and related vendor industries, communicated through his keynote presentations as well as through frequent meetings with literally every major ‘C’ and senior level executive in the industry, established his reputation as a highly respected knowledge leader. He has over forty years of strategic operating and consulting experience in the retail and related consumer products industries. He held executive positions in strategic planning, business development and brand and marketing management at DuPont, VF Corporation and Grey Advertising.

Throughout his career, he has delivered keynote presentations to a wide range of Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and academia and is often quoted in various trade and consumer publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Time Magazine, the Chicago Sun Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Brand Week and Advertising Age.

He serves as the Chairman of Advisory Board at FashInvest, Ltd. He serves as a Member of Advisory Board at 72Lux Inc. He serves on the Board of Governors for the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Board of Directors for the Fashion Group International and on the Advisory Board of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. He serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Professional Studies, teaching a course titled: “The End of Retailing,” which is also the title of a book he co-authored with Michael Dart. Mr. Lewis holds a BS in Business Administration and a Special Field of Study in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Thomas Carrico
VP Real Estate & Construction, Mills Fleet Farm

Join us to hear from Thomas Carrico, VP of Real Estate and Construction for Mills Fleet Farm. He will discuss the 60-plus years of history behind Mills Fleet Farm and their expansion plans for the Midwest since being purchased in February 2016 by private-equity firm KKR & Co. To date, the retailer’s expansion has been gradual, adding six stores in the last 10 years, to bring its count to 36.  The company plans to double that number within the next five to six years and take Mills into new territory.  They plan to open five new locations in 2018.

In April, 2016, the company began construction on a $71.7 million, 1.12 million-square-foot distribution center expected to bring more than 284 jobs to Chippewa Falls in northwestern Wisconsin. The project was listed as the ninth largest economic development project in the state for 2017.

Thomas Carrico is Vice President of Real Estate and Construction at Mills Fleet Farm. Mills Fleet Farm is a value-based retailer of lifestyle merchandise that has been proudly serving farm, ranch and suburban customers in the Upper Midwest since 1955. Thomas brings over 25 years of experience to clients and team members to ensure successful real estate and facility operations management.

Carrico previously served as Vice President of Real Estate Development of ABRA Auto Body & Glass from 2013 through 2017. In this position, Thomas established internal Corporate Real Estate and Facilities function and directed national real estate and facilities operations. As member of the Acquisition Leadership Team, he created business strategy and drove the successful location and acquisition of new and existing stores (from 110 to 333 locations).

Prior to ABRA, Carrico had more than a 10-year career with Target, where he served as Regional Real Estate Manager of the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area. In this role, Thomas oversaw US Market real estate operations, directing multi-functional project teams, and driving successful location and acquisition of new and existing stores in 31 states.

John Gurda
The Making of Milwaukee

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown since 1972. He is the author of twenty-one books, including histories of Milwaukee-area neighborhoods, industries, and places of worship. Gurda’s most ambitious efforts are The Making of Milwaukee, the first full-length history of the community published since 1948; and Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, a geographic companion that has quickly become the standard work on grassroots Milwaukee. Together the books total more than 900 pages and feature 2,000 illustrations. The Making of Milwaukee was the basis for an Emmy Award-winning documentary series that premiered on Milwaukee Public Television in 2006.

In addition to his work as an author, Gurda is a lecturer, tour guide, and local history columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. His undergraduate degree is a B.A. in English from Boston College, and he holds an M.A. in Cultural Geography and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The common thread in all of Gurda’s work is an understanding of history as “why things are the way they are.”

Roundtable Topics

  • Challenges of Negotiating a TIF with Public/Private Interest
    Doug Buck (Quarles & Brady LLP)
  • Construction Costs
    Pat Christenson (Horizon Retail Development)
  • Cost Control in Creative Reuse of Retail Properties
    Dave Schwartz (Innovative Construction Solutions, Inc.)
  • Expanding Restaurants
    Andrew Prater (Mid-America Real Estate-WI, L.L.P.)
    Tom Bruss (Founders 3 Real Estate Services)
  • Expanding Retailers
    Ross Koepsel (Founders 3 Real Estate Services)
  • Financing Strategies (Permanent, Construction & Conventional)
    Adam Newman (Landmark Credit Union)
  • Foxconn & Development Opportunities in Eastern Racine County
    Sam Schultz (Mount Pleasant)
    Jordan Brown (RCEDC)
  • Green Bay/Fox River Valley Market Update
    Garritt Bader (Green Bay Real Estate)
    Ed Bowen (The Morgan Partners)
  • Investment Sales
    Carly Gallagher (Mid-America Real Estate-WI, L.L.P.)
  • Lessons Learned from Mixed-Use Development
    Mark Lake (Wangard)
  • LOI Clauses
    Harold van Ommeren (Caleres)
  • Madison/Dane County/Janesville/Beloit Market Update
    Max Jacobson (Mid-America Real Estate-WI, L.L.P.)
    Jesse Schluter (Wisconsin Commercial Real Estate)
  • Milwaukee Bucks’ Entertainment District
    Blair Williams (WiRED Properties)
  • Net Lease Sales
    Adam Connor (Marcus & Millichap)
  • New Market Tax Credits
    Hal Karas (Husch Blackwell LLP)
    Rebecca Mitich (Husch Blackwell LLP)
  • New Trends in Grocery
    Brienna Cotton (Kroger)
  • Property Assemblage for Development
    Scott Yauck (Cobalt Partners, LLC)
  • Retail and Restaurant Site Selection
    Patrick Cairns (Kohl’s)
  • Role of Entertainment in Shopping Centers
    Katie Falvey (Marcus Corporation)
  • Strategies for Modern Retail Developments
  • Suburban Milwaukee Market Update
    Brian Vanevenhoven (NAI MLG Commercial)
    Scott Satula (Mid-America Real Estate-WI, L.L.C.)
  • Tax Deferred Exchanges and the New Tax Code
    Anna Barsky (IPX 360)
  • Third Ward/Downtown Market Update
  • Virtual Reality and the Real Estate Deal
    Chris Gallagher (Eppstein Uhen Architects)

Retail Event Planning Committee

Jay Blom, Founders 3 Real Estate Services
Patrick Cairns
, Kohl’s
Brad Dallet, Husch Blackwell LLP
Matthew Jahnke, Jahnke Property, Inc.
Tracy Johnson, CARW
Joe Kleiman, Mid-America Real Estate-WI, LLC
Ross Koepsel, Founders 3 Real Estate Services

Mark  Lake, Wangard Partners, Inc.
Tom Makarewicz, Marcus Corporation
Matt Medvecz, The Boerke Co.
Eric Mouton, CBRE
Adam Newman,
Landmark Credit Union
Scott  Satula, Mid-America Real Estate-WI, LLC
Kevin Schmoldt, NAI MLG Commercial

Scott Schnuckel, Kohl’s
Dave Schwartz, Innovative Construction Solutions
Cory Sovine
, Colliers International
Harold van Ommeren, Caleres
Brian Vanevenhoven, NAI MLG Commercial
Ben Weiland, CBRE

About CARW
CARW is the voice of commercial real estate brokerage and related professionals in Wisconsin.  Founded in 1993, CARW is dedicated to the success of our members by providing invaluable educational opportunities, countless networking experiences, data exchange, and public policy advocacy.

CARW is a trade association representing more than 700 members from 200 Wisconsin businesses including REALTORS®, accountants, appraisers, architects, attorneys, bankers, builders, contractors, developers, environmental specialists, title insurance companies and other industry related businesses.  CARW REALTOR® members are part of the REALTOR® network, the world’s largest professional association with over 1.1 million members worldwide and over 15,000 just in the State of Wisconsin.

About ICSC
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials.

Click here for a recap of last year’s 2017 conference.

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