KJR Home draws its creative vision and market knowledge from founder and CEO Ken Rood, who launched the company to apply his expertise in helping brands, manufacturers and retailers around the globe expand their impact in the home and lifestyle sectors.
Previously, Ken was President of Ralph Lauren Home, a division of Polo Ralph Lauren, where he successfully built the industry's leading home furnishings brand. During his tenure, he led Ralph Lauren's entry into the home furnishings category and grew it into a $1 billion global brand.
Among his achievements was the strategic segmentation of the company's home business, positioning Ralph Lauren Home in the luxury retail and interior design trade, as well as the conceptualization and development of LAUREN Ralph Lauren into the world's largest department and specialty store designer home furnishings brand. Additionally, Ken launched RL Paint at Home Depot and other specialty paint stores, and grew Ralph Lauren into the largest designer home furnishings brand in Europe and Japan.
Sought after by premier designer, fashion and celebrity brands for his comprehensive experience and knowledge, Ken is a corporate board member, a guest lecturer at prestigious design schools, and has received an entrepreneurial award from a respected international college.
Ken has long favored a collaborative, team-based approach to business-an approach honed during his college basketball days. He was elected into the Hofstra University Basketball Hall of Fame, having captained the first Hofstra basketball team to earn a bid to the NCAA tournament. He currently ranks as the #12 all-time scorer in school history.
He resides in New York City with his wife Cora Mae.
Steve Goldberg has over 30 years of senior management, marketing and merchandising experience in retail, e-commerce, direct marketing, and global brand development. Most recently, he was Vice President at ABC Home, the iconic home furnishings emporium in New York City and Florida, where he was responsible for Merchandising, Marketing, Store Operations and Advertising.
Steve began his career at Allied Stores (now Macy's), where he became Vice President and GMM of its Home business. He then joined American Express as Vice President and General Manager of the Merchandise Services Group. Over ten years, he helped to build the unit into a direct-to-consumer powerhouse that achieved over $700 million in sales.
After serving as President of the Luxury Group at direct marketing company Hanover Direct, he became President of the Lifestyles Group of Redcats, a $1.6 billion catalog and e-commerce division of Paris-based Pinault Printemps Redoute (PPR). The Group quickly became the fastest growing business within the firm. Steve has also held leadership roles at key retailers and marketers including Bloomingdales and Le Gourmet Chef.
He is a graduate of Brooklyn College, City University of New York, where he received a BA in Political Science. He also completed advanced studies at the Wharton Business School. Steve has been a past Trustee of the Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, NY, and has been a guest speaker and lecturer at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Partnership for the Homeless.
Ken Mesnik spent the first 20 years of his career in the department store industry with Macy's, May Company and Federated Department Stores. From concept to market, Ken used his strong knowledge of brand-building, product development, sourcing and marketing to help Macy's achieve profitable growth in private brands. As Senior Vice President of Macy's Corporate he was responsible for the development of the private-brand Home, Men's and Children's businesses, which under his leadership grew to over $1 billion in sales. He spearheaded the brand development of Charter Club, Alfani and INC, as well as The Cellar, which became the premier destination for housewares in the United States.
Later, Ken became the Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing for Brookstone, where he developed the design lab and was responsible for the growth of brookstone.com and the Airport stores. As the Chief Merchandising Officer for Mikasa, he launched the Ralph Lauren Tabletop business and created the Truck brand of tableware and housewares.
Immediately prior to joining KJR Home, Ken was the CEO of Gracious Home in New York, where he led the profitable expansion of the home retailer into the Chelsea neighborhood, and successfully launched gracioushome.com.
Ken is a graduate of The University of Tennessee where he majored in Marketing and Finance and played baseball. He and his wife Joyce reside in New York City.
With 30 years' experience in design, product development, merchandising and licensing, Liza Carter is a well-recognized name in the international textile industry. She has held senior executive positions with a variety of premier fashion and home furnishings businesses, where she increased market share and profitability while boosting brand image through enhanced product design and quality.
Liza was a key part of the management team operating a successful global network of licensors for the Vera Companies. After leaving to become Creative Director for one of the licensors, she returned to Vera to serve as Senior Vice President & Creative Director for Vera Scarves and Accessories. She oversaw all six divisions of company, including the introduction of the Perry Ellis Collection of Scarves, Anne Klein and World Wildlife Fund. During her tenure, business increased by 150%.
Throughout her career, Liza has developed product lines and programs for companies such as Liz Claiborne, JC Penney and Hallmark. While serving as a creative director for Schumacher's finished product division, sales doubled in three years. As the design and merchandising leader for Folia Fabrics, she oversaw international product development as well as the design studio. Most recently, she spent nearly a decade as Vice President of Design for Ralph Lauren Fabric, Wallcovering and Trimmings.
Liza grew up in a large Virginia family on the banks of the Rappahannock River; she later received a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Today she is active in teaching inner-city children how to cook, while working to increase awareness of child hunger through her affiliation with The Association to Benefit Children.
LICENSING VISION, Venice, Italy
Alessandro Ragazzi has built an impressive 20-year career in Communication, Licensing and Brand Development-as well as strong expertise in the European and Asian markets-with major brands such as Benetton, Fiat, Yahoo and Mediaset. This experience led him to found Licensing Vision in Venice, Italy.
On a national and international level, Alessandro's company serves diverse sectors in all consumer product categories. Licensing Vision has collaborated with renowned brands to create hundreds of products and implement global licensing and brand extension programs.
Alessandro began his career at Fiat Auto, one of the world's largest automotive companies. Then, as a Communications expert, he joined the renowned Italian company Publitalia, a division of the Mediaset Group and a leader in media and television, with annual turnover of over of €50 million.
He later managed all commercial relations for Fabrica, the Research and Communication Center for the Benetton Group. As Director of Benetton Licensing and Brand Development, he led a team of 15 people and was responsible for all of Benetton's brands including United Colors of Benetton, Undercolors of Benetton, Sisley, Playlife, and Killer Loop. Here he helped to build a business that achieved more than €260 million in wholesale revenue.
Alessandro graduated with a degree in Commerce and Economics from Ca' Foscari University in Venice. He and his wife Alessandra reside in Padua with their four lovely children.