The running boom is real, and the women’s business specifically presents a major opportunity for brands competing in the market — both with consumers and within their workforces.
To address this opportunity, FN has gathered female leaders within the running industry for “Community Spirit: A New Inclusive Era in Women’s Running,” a conversation that will take place virtually on March 31 at 3 p.m. ET.
The group includes Klarna head of merchant success Raji Behal, Saucony president Anne Cavassa and Altra community and partnerships manager Shanna Burnette. Moderating the discussion is Peter Verry, FN’s senior news and features editor, athletic and outdoor.
Key topics the panel will discuss include how brands and retailers are shaking up their own ranks to include more women and women of color in their top leadership ranks, how a diverse group of female runners are banding together to support and mentor each other, how brands will continue to ignite excitement around the category in a post-pandemic world and how virtual marathons and other new ideas have taken shape during a time of change and challenge.
Read on to learn more about the speakers.
Behal, who joined Klarna in July 2020, leads of one of its merchant success teams stateside focused on delivering high-growth solutions for 70 enterprise merchants including Macy’s, Foot Locker, LVMH and others. Additionally, she is on the Two Ten Associate board of directors, which she has been a member of since 2017. Behal — who was selected this month as a 2021 Amazing Women in eCommerce by Yotpo — more than 13 years of experience in the field, which included a stop at Macy’s where she was the VP of the leased division, managing its largest partnerships with brands including FinishLine, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
With more than 20 years of brand building experience, Cavassa took over as Saucony’s president in May 2018. The executive, who is an avid runner, is also the president of the Saucony Run for Good Foundation, which was established in 2006 to help combat childhood obesity by providing financial support to community-based youth running programs. Cavassa has long been a prominent figure within the athletic and outdoor markets, holding executive roles at Brooks, Timberland, Nike, Reebok and others prior to joining Saucony.
At Altra, Burnette manages partnerships, advocacy, communications and more in her role as community and partnerships manager. The expert marketer, who has more than 10 years of experience in the field, is also the co-founder of the nonprofit Clean Sport Collective, which celebrates and creates awareness for clean sport, and has 5,000-plus people and organizations in its community. Burnette has a history as a competitive runner, winning four state championships in high school, where she was recruited to run for the University of Colorado.