Education Sessions
Tuesday, October 18

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Keynote Speaker

Roadside Revival

Stephanie Stuckey, CEO, Stuckey's

10:30AM CT – 11:15AM CT

If you went on road trips in the old, pre-interstate South, you’ve probably been to a Stuckey’s.

Sylvester Stuckey started with a pecan stand in Eastman, Georgia, in 1937, and turned it into a chain with nearly 400 stores in 30 states. Stuckey's was known for deliberately kitschy souvenirs, clean restrooms, and its famous pecan log rolls.

But in the late ‘70s, after the family sold the chain and it went through a couple of corporate mergers, Stuckey’s started to dwindle. As of a couple of years ago, it was down to barely a dozen stores.

Then Stephanie Stuckey, Sylvester’s granddaughter, stepped in. Two and a half years ago, she set aside a career as a lawyer and former state legislator to buy her family’s old company back.

Join this keynote presentation to hear about the importance of branding (including personal branding!), taking risks, and being persistent about making a comeback.  


Bust to Boom: Retail Rebounds Hard Post-Covid

Garrick Brown, Retail Economist and Economic Forecaster

1:30PM CT – 2:15PM CT

The retail and restaurant world were ground zero when the pandemic hit in 2020. Along with hospitality and air travel, the retail and retail real estate world faced outsized challenges both from lockdowns and the overnight shifts in consumer behavior that COVID wrought. This came after years of eCommerce disruption that was already challenging select retail sectors as we moved into a new omnichannel reality.

The new reality is that retail closures and bankruptcies in 2022 will be at their lowest levels in nearly a decade. Meanwhile, planned growth is exploding—with expansion rates not just on pace to surpass closures for the first time in years, but likely to triple them in the year ahead. That growth isn’t just coming from the retail categories that thrived during the pandemic. It is also emerging from a new crop of digital native brands and a rising wave of independents from experiential/entertainment concepts to restaurants of all types looking to rebuild segments that were challenged through no fault of their own as consumers chimp at the bit for a return to normalcy. Retail isn’t just recovering in 2022. It’s rebounding hard.

During this session we will break down where that growth will occur and the implications for retail properties from malls to outdoor shopping centers and every asset class in between.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain updates on store closures, industry bankruptcy levels, and eCommerce growth.

  2. Learn where multi-site growth is expected in 2022.

  3. Understand industry challenges due to accelerated rebound growth.

Wednesday, October 19

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Keynote Speaker

Greatness Grows Best in The Shadows: A Story of Perseverance and Hope

Justin Forsett, NFL Pro Bowler, Entrepreneur, Broadcaster, Philanthropist, and Family Man

8:00AM CT – 9:00AM CT

You’ve heard the expression, “It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count; it’s how many times you get back up.” Now imagine getting “knocked down,” or in this case, fired, eight times in nine years…AND STILL coming out on the VERY TOP of your game. Justin Forsett is a product of persistence. “Undersized and overmatched,” Justin went from poverty to peak performance through hard work, grit, perseverance, and hope. In his riveting presentation, you’ll learn the tools you need to not only overcome just about any obstacle, but also thrive through it and come out a winner.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn tangible steps and actions to excel in the midst of adversity.

  2. Gain an understanding of how to persevere and thrive through disappointments.

  3. Take away a new sense of hope, focus, and determination to grow greatness.

ConnexFM Around-The-Horn Roundtables

Members from the Canadian, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Technology, and Retail Councils

10:30AM CT – 11:15AM CT

Come be a part of these around-the-horn roundtables discussing current challenges and solutions facility managers are facing within the different sectors of the facilities management industry.

Topic: Challenges, Solutions, & Trends in the Facilities Management Ecosystem

Purpose: This learning opportunity will define current challenges, solutions, and trends facility managers are experiencing in their daily and strategic operations. 

Benefit: Learn best practices, new ideas, and new solutions from your industry peers.