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Agenda Emerge Features P-Rod, Nas, HUF, Karmaloop, and Tom Campion as Keynote Speaker

Zumiez Founder and CEO Tom Campion speaks to the crowd at AGENDA Emerge


AGENDA Emerge Features P-Rod, Nas, HUF, Karmaloop’s Greg Selkoe, and Zumiez’ Tom Campion


AGENDA Emerge returned for a second time and drew another capacity crowd to the Center Theatre in Long Beach, Calif.

People rallied on the final night of the AGENDA show to hear about the struggles and successes of proven brand founders. AGENDA’s Aaron Levant describes the event as a tool to foster growth for the next generation of our industry’s creatives and entrepreneurs. He adds, “this is a great opportunity for the new generation of designers to learn from seasoned experts who have turned their brands into household names.” Group Y’s Mark Sperling, who co-produces the event with AGENDA, says attendance was at a max capacity of 800 people.

Keith Hufnagel, founder of HUF, opened the night being interviewed by host Felix Arguelles, and outlined the path of transitioning from pro skater to successful brand. His talk showcased a series of entertaining, if not sobering “cease and desist” letters that were definitely a comedic highpoint.

The next panel included skater Paul Rodriguez who was eventually joined by legendary Hip Hop artist Nasir “NAS” Jones. Nas discussed the voice-over he did for P-Rod’s Nike commercial, as well as his new Las Vegas sneaker boutique venture called 12AM Run.


Nas and P-Rod on stage discussing their Nike commercial collaboration and branding strategies.

The final two speakers shifted toward a larger-scale retail focus.

Karmaloop founder Greg Selkoe, a quick-witted presenter with an edgy Boston attitude, gives off the “make it happen at all costs” vibe generally associated with successful entrepreneurs. He touched on the challenges associated with raising capital and outlined how Karmaloop created such a productive and dedicated ambassador base.

The evening was anchored by retail veteran and Zumiez founder Tom Campion.

Everyone wishes that their boss was listening to Campion’s philosophy of building teams and recognizing employees. His theories of “pushing authority down” and building successful teams made it clear that Zumiez success hasn’t been a fluke. Campion’s open love for competitiveness and creating a winning culture give off the vibe of a legendary coach who builds legacy football programs at marquee universities.

Campion’s personnel strategies remain similar to those he outlined in an interview with Transworld Business three years ago. All of the lessons are still solid and worth another read.


The next installment of Agenda Emerge will take place in New York on January 23rd, featuring Marc Ecko of Ecko, Bobby Kim of The Hundreds, Jeff Ng of Staple Designs, Johnny Earle, aka Johnny Cupcakes. Check out the AGENDA Emerge site for more info and tickets.

Event co-producers GroupY’s Mark Sperling and AGENDA’s Aaron Levant.