Professional Learning Labs

All Learning Labs are held at The Stage.


10:30 AM

Navigating Surf Expo

Steven ‘Fish’ Fisher, Buyer Relations Director | Action Sports
Surf Expo is a big show and can be a little intimidating, especially to a first-time attendee. Whether this is your first time, or if you just need a few pointers on handling your time and schedule. Please join us for a quick briefing on the ins and outs of the show!

12:30 PM

Secrets to Evolving and Growing a Family Business

Glik’s has been a family-owned business for more than a century. Jeremy and Elliot Glik, who are in their 20’s and are the fifth generation to work at the company, recently joined their fathers, Jim and Jeff, at Glik’s. The four family members will share how Glik’s has transitioned to new generational ownership over the years, and offer tips about training the next generation, keeping the business in the family, and allowing the kids to influence the vision for the future.

Presented by Shop Eat Surf

2.00 PM

Leadership Unleashed: Mastering Advanced Communication as a Business Owner
This empowering talk will lead you through the following.
•  All challenges are opportunities.
• Proactive Positive Communication.
• Stress is a choice.

Mikke Pierson is the owner of Pierson Business Growth Solutions, which focuses on helping America’s small businesses define and achieve their goals. Mikke has been an entrepreneur since graduating UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Psychology. He is most known for founding ZJ Boarding House, an Internationally known surf, skate & snowboard business, which he owned for almost 30 years before selling to Billabong. Mikke also helped co-found the Board Retailer Association (BRA), which supported action sports businesses nationwide and led to Mikke teaching other retailers how to run their businesses better.

3:00 PM

Learning Lab: Experiential Retail
Location: The Stage

Presented by: Steve Shultz, Flip Flop Shops
It’s not always about the sale, but the experience you get from the brand or the retailer. Give them the unexpected, something to remember. Sit down with this panel of experts and gain insight into how your business can become an experience.


10:30 AM

Visual Merchandising Tips & Tricks
We’ll review a range of merchandising and space planning techniques. Trade standards that elevate the perceived value of your products and increase sales!

Michael Hale, CEO of retail REHAB, an interiors and design firm based in Los Angeles. Michael has 30+ years of experience in retail, with varying roles from operations, visual display, merchandiser, store & fixture design. His firm, retail REHAB helps small businesses, primarily retail stores, to create beautiful AND effective spaces. Driven by the function first, the spaces he creates are developed by strategic measures to enhance sales.
Visit for more info. Follow retail REHAB on instagram @_retailrehab

12:30 PM

Sand Wars: The Fight for Florida’s Beaches in an Age of Rising Seas

A discussion on the issues regarding beach renourishment, seawalls and the rising need for nature based solutions in Florida. A panel discussion with the Surfrider Foundation.

photo credit: Jeff Greene @matanzas_waterman

2:00 PM

BRA Retailer Roundtable

This helpful and relevant BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion will be moderated by BRA Chairman and owner of Modern Skate & Surf, George Leichtweis, and will feature Coco Tihanyi of Surf Diva, D. Nachnani of Coastal Edge, Jeff Plattman of CohnReznick, and Jaime Gassmann from Order Monster.  This incredible group of movers and shakers will address the following topics and more:

  1. “Tis The Season” – A Look back to the positives as well as the challenges of the Holidays.
  2. Steps to take now to prepare your store for Spring and Summer.
  3. Opportunities to continue to clear out old product and get your inventory under control.
  4. How to reward your employees’ good work that benefits both the retailer and the employee.
  5. How to leverage AI and other retail technologies



11:00 AM

Private label and Shop-Branded Product Panel Discussion

This remarkable Panel Discussion, which will address what to know about private label and shop-branded product opportunities plus common misconceptions and unique, high margin, and easy-to-sell shop-branded product ideas will be moderated by BRA Chairman and owner of Modern Skate & Surf, George Leichtweis, and will feature private label/shop branded product and process experts including:

  1. Bennett Flicker– SVP of Sales & Merchandising at Burnside/Scope Apparel Group
  2. Ryan O’Leary – CEO / Creative Director at Slant Six Private Label
  3. Dave Seehafer – private label resource at Global Wave Ventures
  4. Dan Polgreen – founder/owner at Roll Around Workshop