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TEMPERATURE TAKING: The Year So Far, The Year to Come

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2018 is shaping up to be a complex year for luxury brands.

After two decades when annual economic growth averaging nearly six percent, Goldman Sachs predicted economic growth for 2018 to be up only slightly more than 2016's 2.5 percent. Bank of America predicted three strait years of modest declines of home value starting in 2018. Factor in European turmoil after the Brexit vote and the U.K.'s special election in June, the unsettling polarization of America in the aftermath of one of the most contested elections in U.S. history and the predictions for the 2018 economy are, if not bleak, at best mixed.

Even so, the top one percent are getting richer and spending at unprecedented rates. The still-anemic spending of the aspirational customer (household incomes up to $300,000) has caused luxury brands to aggressively focus on marketing to their very best customers ($1 million and up liquid).

The “new normal” for the luxury market is growth of 3 percent to 4 percent, and total luxury spending surpassed 1 trillion euros by the end of 2015, led by accelerating sales of luxury cars, hotels and fine art, according to Bain.

Traditional brand loyalty is waning as the best luxury buyers become more discerning and demanding. Online buying and social media continue to challenge brands to be more innovative in their marketing. As the disparity between ‘the haves’ and ‘the have nots’ continues to widen, public pressure on luxury brands to give back and keep a sharp eye on manufacturing, environmental and corporate citizenship practices will continue to increase.

In 2018 how have luxury brands reacted? How are they reengineering and better integrating their marketing strategies and tactics? How are they better serving their best customers?
Join us and a panel of C-Suite executives representing a range of segments of the luxury market on Tuesday, June 19 for a compelling discussion of these important trends. Do please come prepared to weigh in with your own thoughts on 2018 - THE YEAR SO FAR, THE YEAR TO COME.

TEMPERATURE TAKING: The Year So Far, The Year to Come

about the speakers

Elaine D. Papas

Founder and Senior Partner

The Law Office of Elaine D Papas

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Throughout her career, a unique background as an attorney, international business developer, chief compliance officer, governmental advisor, psychologist, entrepreneur and arbitrator,Elaine has served as a calm steadying force, discreet, integrated management of complex global affairs and strategic knowledge with in-depth regulatory and international business expertise. She has been responsible for driving innovation and best practices in C-Suite offices, for-profits, non-profits and governmental matters.  Elaine’s approach is a collaborative and creative one with strategic planning and cross-disciplinary leadership.  Elaine has a history of bringing fresh ideas to top management inspiring their teams to achieve greater performance and profitability.  
Developing, implementing or expanding global markets requires a senior executive knowledgeable and experienced with international business practices, international marketing and the international legal environment. As an attorney with international marketing experience, Elaine is uniquely and has the knowledge to assess international regulatory and other external risk factors and the experience to propose solutions.
Elaine’s career and real-world experience includes measurable successes in industry groups including: Investment Advisor, Strategic Financial Planning, new product launch into the U.S. market, Trust & Estate, Business Development, Relationship Management, Trusts & Estates, compliance, Dispute Resolution, Securities, Philanthropy, Wealth Asset Supervision, Real Estate, and Psychology. 
She has been leveraged as a thought-leader through TV news group interviews, guest lecturing, and has been published in professional journals.
On a personal note, Elaine loves to travel, speaks two languages and has dual citizenship, U.S. and EU.  She is involved in community services helping in Super Storm Sandy relief, literacy programs, under-privileged children, gender equality, substance abuse programs, Lose Your Blues, Meals on Wheels, Fashion4Development and others.

Eleonora Paulsen


Gruppo Italia

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Before founding Gruppo Italia in December of 2000, Eleonora had over ten years of experience in the design industry, working with leading showrooms in selecting high-end European brands for curated collections, designing & creating their special marketing programmes and also working as a marketing consultant for key companies within NYC design & construction.  Through this experience and a passionate dedication to bring unknown factories to the American market and to create a new way for large projects & clients to have fully customized production, utilizing the highest quality of materials and engineering coming from the leading production factories in Italy, she founded Gruppo Italia. Discovering and developing relationships with factories both large and small in Italy, and creating collaborations between them, the member factories of Gruppo Italia continue to grow and strengthen, fueled by a shared passion to bring the best of Italian design & production to our projects & clients...
Eleonora continues to quietly change the way larger projects & clients can realize their visions through total customization, using a Private Label approach to the production of all elements that the Gruppo Italia consortium of factories & quarries provides.
Eleonora received her degree in Interior Design from The New York School of Interior Design.
An avid FormulaOne & futbol fan (sorry - it’s not soccer), she may not answer calls during key Wold Cup or UEFA matches!
Traveling throughout Italy is yet another of Eleonora’s many passions. Enjoying the unmatched beauty and the richness of history in every moment is an important facet to who Eleonora is & what she brings to her company, clients & their projects.

Faith Hope Consolo

Chairman- The Retail Group Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Douglas Elliman Real Estate

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An expert in trend-spotting, neighborhood transformations, sales and leasing and all things fashion, Faith Hope Consolo is far more than the Chairman of the Retail Leasing and Sales Division at Douglas Elliman in New York. She’s also a powerful voice in the global community.
It’s no wonder smart investors, entrepreneurs, developers and top-tier fashion icons – such as Cartier, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, Versace, and Saint Laurent – rely on Consolo’s comprehensive expertise for their strategic business positioning, retail planning and prime visibility for the highest reward. 

With a far-reaching proficiency as an author, advisor, roundtable leader and speaker, mentor and dealmaker, the Queen of Retail, as Consolo is known, has a keen insight on fashion’s retail landscape, from regional trends and influences, to global shifts and the revitalization of retail corridors domestically and abroad.  

A trusted mentor, Consolo is a board member of the national Commercial Real Estate Women’s Network (CREW), for whose New York chapter (CREW New York) she serves as chairman emeritus. Her guiding voice has been embraced by real estate, specialty, economic and service-based organizations, and myriad causes have benefitted from the Faith Hope Consolo Foundation. 
Consolo also has shared her insights as a guest instructor at colleges, lecturer for professional organizations and keynote speaker at far-ranging conferences, as well as through her self-authored quarterly compendium on New York City’s real estate industry, The Faith Report, and her popular blog, The Faithful Shopper. Her columns regularly appear in a multitude of publications, and she’s often quoted by, and on-air with, media news front-runners near and far. 
Crain’s New York Business rates Consolo as one of New York's 100 Most Influential Women in Business and she’s been profiled by Real Estate Forum as a Woman of Influence annually since 2008. Like no other, Consolo is the go-to source for industry notables and neophytes. Who needs Faith? We all do. 

Jeff Moore



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Jeff Moore is married 38 years to his wife Dottie, has 3 children and 2 grandchildren. 

He started in the appliance business back in 1977 with Kitchen Aid and Amana. Spent 5 years selling these brands, then went to work for the Zenith Corporation for 13 years from 1982 - 1995. For the last 22 years, Jeff has been affiliated with Sub-Zero/Wolf Corporation. 

Jeff likes to play golf and hike in his spare time. He has a passion for the Civil War and Wall Street.

Jennifer Laddy

Global Corporate Sales Manager


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Jennifer Laddy is the Global Corporate Sales Manager with MarieBelle New York, joining the company in 2017. Concentrating on Corporate and Hospitality sales, she also is involved in marketing, building brand awareness and partnerships.  
Jennifer has covered every aspect of sales from wholesale, retail, hospitality, corporate and management. Her expertise with 25 years in luxury brands, has been key with many companies seeking her talent for her vast understanding of the market. She has a varied history beginning her career with Lladro and then with companies Disney, Tiffany & Co., La Maison du Chocolat and Michael Aram. 
Her love of chocolate and luxury brought her to MarieBelle, a world renowned “Bean to Bar” brand founded by Maribel Lieberman in 2001 and recognized as one of “the fastest growing private companies in America” in 2012 by Inc. Magazine. The chocolate collections are crafted with quality ingredients, ethically sourced, nutritionally sound, considered edible art and presented in uniquely designed presentations. Sourced exclusively from Honduran farms, the cacao beans are dried roasted and pressed at MarieBelle’s main facility (in Brooklyn NY) creating signature ganache, exquisite truffles, bars, or to the simply incomparable Aztec Hot Chocolate (recognized in “Oprah’s Favorite Things”). With retail stores in New York and Japan, MarieBelle is synonymous with everything this is unquestionably decadent. 
Jennifer is excited to become part of the Baruch EOC (Executives on Campus) a mentoring program for students. She is also an active Committee member of ILEA and involved in various charitable organizations. Personally she is very involved in her community, enjoys skiing, biking, traveling and spending time with her husband, 3 children and 2 dogs.

Lori Byrne

Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Aspire Lifestyle

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Lori Byrne is the Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Aspire Lifestyles North America, where she is responsible for leading the Sales, Marketing, Client Services, and Partnership Marketing Teams. 

Lori has a proven track record in the development of innovative strategies and services that benefit customers, merchants, business partners, and clients. She has held multiple leadership roles and led high performing teams responsible for creating growth, improving value and delivering operational efficiencies responsive to market needs.  
Before joining Aspire, Lori served as Group Head, U.S. Markets Product Sales for MasterCard. Prior to joining MasterCard, Lori was the Vice President of Business Development with ProAct Technologies Corporation, where she was in charge of the Strategic Partnerships Group. Previously, she spent 10 years at Citibank where, in her last position, she led the business development efforts that successfully established Citibank as a leader in the GSA SmartPay federal government program
Lori holds a B.S. in Finance from Syracuse University.

Mary Theresa Sciandra

Founder and CEO

Regal Threads LLC

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Mary Theresa Sciandra, a magician of sorts is the CEO/Founder of her private label, "Regal Threads" ~ a Manhattan-  based gentlemen's luxuriant bespoke couturier service, providing private concierge- level wardrobe services to high performing men, weddings, events and more since '2000.
Long considered a "Hidden Gem of Style in New York City.
Mary Theresa is a unique lady in the male dominated industry of men's bespoke clothing. She contributes much style and grace and exudes savviness with talent. She is quite professionally skilled and very knowledgeable in her clothier profession.
Mary Theresa has been featured and endorsed by numerous loyal clients, businesses and on various occasional events. NASDAQ, Channel 13, The Philharmonic, Susan G. Komen, St. Jude's Hospital, The American Heart and Blind Associations are among the many.
She has quite the love for the "Artistry of her Craft" and a genuine passion for style, color and design with an affinity to create one- of- a- kind, bespoke clothing for clients upon their unique Life- Style and personal physique.
As for her, it is "All" about the Client and his Style!
Mary Theresa, personally invites you to Experience the Essence of Regal Threads ~ Life- Styling through her keen eyes to Magically create exclusively for you and spoil you with the most Luxurious Gents Bespoke Clothing, featuring concierge setting services, second to none.
Regal Threads boast Styling Confidently … Dressing Beyond the Suit. Your professional, business casual and social attire showing up will never be compromised.
Look Good ~ Feel More Confident ~ Exude Confidence ~ Style Handsomely and Dress Comfortable with her intentions for you to receive many compliments!
With much pleasure, Mary Theresa and Regal Threads look forward to the occasion of meeting. Let's talk! Let's meet and create "Wardrobe Magic"!!

TEMPERATURE TAKING: The Year So Far, The Year to Come

about the brands

While it’s true that nobody knows your business the way you and your management team do, there are times when seeking outside counsel for legal problems is appropriate. Some legal issues are intricate and involve legal ramifications or hurdles that you may not be familiar with. Some businesses keep a full-time lawyer on staff but not every company needs one. Even companies that do have an attorney on staff may find outside legal counsel a necessity. The lawyer that works with a particular business for a long time becomes intimately familiar with the law as it relates to that particular business but will still need assistance from an attorney more familiar with other aspects of the law from time to time. Legal knowledge of this diversity can only be gained by a law firm dedicated to different practice areas.

BEST COUNSEL WHEN COSTS MATTER – Expertise Across Many Different Areas of Law

Founded by Elaine D. Papas, The Law Office of Elaine D. Papas specializes in matters of Business Formation, Compliance/Due Diligence, International Law, Business Negotiations, Intellectual Property Protection, Corporate Legal Audits, Employment Law and much more. In the course of business, legal issues can come up that cross over between several legal areas. Our attorneys are capable of handling even the most intricate legal issues for our corporate clients.

A new solution law firm with traditional values

Just as every segment in today's business environment, companies (those with and without in-house legal departments), are looking for ways to cut costs and increase efficiency. While traditional law firms have dominated the outsourced legal market in the past, growing competition is expanding the offerings from which companies/general counsel can choose.

As the legal industry continues to shift and evolve, more emphasis will continue to be placed on efficiency and value delivered. And as more models and pricing methods arise, and companies that embrace innovative will survive.

Our Services

  • Corporate Creation & Compliance
  • Legal Audits (Preventive Medicine and “Health Check-up”)
  • Intellectual Property (U.S. and Global)
    - Trademark
    - Copyright
    - Domain Names
    - Patents
  • Business Transactions
    - Contracts
    - Negotiations
    - Employment Issues
    - Project Review for Legal Compliance
  • Escrow Accounts
  • Legal Counsel & Business Advisement
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Leases (Commercial & Residential)
  • Money & Finance
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Project Management

Established in December of 2000, Gruppo Italia has realized its vision for creating a consortium of factories providing the highest level of production, craftmanship and service for customized projects within the luxury hospitality & residential arenas.

The Gruppo Approach (trademark) to projects begins & remains within a purely bespoke production & private label point of view. The factories within the Gruppo Italia Consortium provide private label production for both projects and collections for internationally recognized companies.

Our dedicated staff of architects, production engineers, production designers, project managers, CAD operators, logistics experts, field & administrative personnel both in the United States and Italy are involved when needed on every large scale project. With American & Italian staff & offices, we provide comprehensive services from the onset of design development - providing extensive value engineering, coordinating with our factory production engineers & materials experts - continuing through comprehensive quality controls during sampling, production, assembly, packing, delivery and installation.

We maintain a US Customs Bond and through our strategic alliance with our customs & freight broker, our ocean & air bound freight is entered & cleared before arrivals stateside. Working together from the on-set of design development, or upon our engagement if secured later in the development process - we become an integral part of the entire team building the project.

Established in 1911, Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the largest brokerage in the New York Metropolitan area and the fourth largest residential real estate company nationwide. With more than 7,000 agents, the company operates approximately 110 offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, Long Island, the Hamptons & North Fork, Westchester, Greenwich, South Florida, Colorado and California. Moreover, Douglas Elliman has a strategic global alliance with London-based Knight Frank Residential for business in the worldwide luxury markets spanning 60 countries and six continents. The company also controls a portfolio of real estate services including Douglas Elliman Development Marketing; Manhattan’s largest residential property manager, Douglas Elliman Property Management with over 250 buildings; and DE Commercial. For more information on Douglas Elliman as well as expert commentary on emerging trends in the real estate industry.

At Douglas Elliman, we are passionate about delivering exceptional consumer experiences. By offering a complete suite of real estate services, we ensure that we meet our consumers' every need. From sales and rentals, to mortgage, new developments and title insurance, we have experts in every field to guide you skillfully from beginning to the end of your real estate journey.

Douglas Elliman's outstanding track record, unique brand promise, and exceptional agent support system attract top talent, ensuring that our team of experts represents the very best in the industry. At Douglas Elliman, we believe that access to the best and most timely information can dramatically shape our decisions. Today's consumer needs a trusted resource that can separate signal from noise and help them navigate the complex process that real estate has become. With our extensive knowledge in every aspect of the field, and fueled by consumer research and insights, we are the go-to source for information and education.

Our critically acclaimed website,, serves as a singular destination where consumers can search properties throughout the entire New York, South Florida, California, Connecticut, Colorado and New Jersey markets, and access the most current market information as well as comprehensive building and neighborhood guides, among a host of interactive content. As committed to growth and innovation as we are to our consumers, we have launched, our groundbreaking new web feature that facilitates open communication with consumers, allowing them to tap into the wealth of knowledge from real estate to mortgage financing, to specific neighborhoods, legal, and more.

When Westye Bakke began experimenting with refrigeration in the 1930s, it was in part to find a better way to store the insulin his young son Bud needed for his juvenile diabetes. Existing freezers didn’t do a reliable job of preserving food, medicine and other necessities. 

Westye set out to find a better way. In 1943, he built his first freestanding freezer out of scrap metal in his basement, bending the coils bare-handed. And in 1945, launched Sub-Zero Freezer Company, introducing the first system for preserving food at ultra-low temperatures - literally sub-zero. The company would quickly establish a reputation for quality and innovation.


Most homeowners might be satisfied getting several years of service out of an appliance. Inspired by Westye’s desire to build the best, Sub-Zero has always set its sights higher. Our products are built in our own American facilities, where we can control every step of the manufacturing process. The materials are premium grade, the technologies state of the art, and the craftsmanship of the highest caliber.

Products are subjected to lab testing under extreme environmental conditions. Every component of every product is tested before assembly, then each finished product is tested for reliability before shipping.

Over the years, the legendary reliability of Sub-Zero appliances has given our customers the confidence to invest not merely in a kitchen that meets their needs, but one that fulfills their highest aspirations in both function and design, and brings them a lifetime of satisfaction.


Ever since Westye’s earliest pioneering efforts, we’ve never stopped searching for ways to keep your food (and even wine) as fresh and delicious as it can be. We pioneered the dual refrigeration system, which relies on two separate, self-contained cooling systems to keep fresh food fresher and preserve frozen food longer. We also developed an air filtration system inspired by NASA technology that scrubs the air of ethylene gas, which hastens food spoilage, and also reduces odors by removing bacteria, mold and viruses.

The very doors on a Sub-Zero refrigerator are special, with seals so secure that even after power outages of multiple days, owners report no thawing of their frozen foods.

Inspired by Sub-Zero, many families are eating fresher foods – shopping the farmer’s market rather than the supermarket – because they know the food will last far longer, with less waste.


At Sub-Zero, the function has always come first. But in the case of dual refrigeration, that function led to a form that became one of the most imitated home product designs ever: the classic Sub-Zero look with its bold, louvered grille over the dual compressors.

Through the years Sub-Zero has expanded its design leadership with integrated refrigeration that blends in seamlessly with the décor. No longer does any kitchen have to suffer the dubious aesthetic of a freestanding refrigerator – considered “the elephant in the room” of kitchen design. Your kitchen can have the same inviting custom look as the rest of your home. It can be literally anything you want it to be, with the countless choices of Sub-Zero.

Our design approach impressed even legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who commissioned Sub-Zero equipment for the visionary homes he designed.


In the year 2000, Sub-Zero formed Wolf Appliance to create the ultimate cooking appliances for passionate home cooks. Sub-Zero’s launch of the new Wolf product lines was the most ambitious ever in the cooking industry, with more than 50 items at once.

Wolf cooking equipment is highly specialized, putting precise control in the hands of consumers via easy-to-use technology. Refined through more than eight decades in commercial kitchens, Wolf products are the ideal kitchen companions to Sub-Zero, created in the same spirit of quality and innovation. And now there is Wolf Gourmet to complete the countertop too.


What would Westye Bakke think, if he browsed through the stunning kitchens in our Kitchen Gallery? They reflect the continuing innovation of the company he started, as well as the unlimited imagination of the designers, architects, builders and homeowners we’re privileged to work with.

Like any company, we’re gratified with the success we’ve had, and the genuine pleasure we’ve brought to so many Sub-Zero and Wolf owners as they enjoy life in their new kitchens. But we know Westye would never forgive us if we rested on our laurels. Besides, we can hardly wait to see what the next generation of Sub-Zero and Wolf kitchens is going to look like.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that we always have to have innovation in our blood,” says Jim Bakke. “We always need to keep our products moving forward, ahead of the competition. Whether it’s with design, whether it’s with technology, with performance, reliability, customer service – you’ve always got to keep innovating and moving forward. That’s what makes our future so bright.”

Our fascination with chocolate is accentuated by a profound obsession with its provenance and preparation. All our chocolate products are handmade form the highest quality single origin cocao resulting in rich complex flavors not commonly found in chocolate.

We choose only the finest selection of Criollo cacao beans from all over the world. What the fine Arabica bean is to coffee, the even finer and rarer Criollo bean is to chocolate. Criollo cacao makes up less than 10% of worldwide chocolate production, and as such is highly sought after by connoisseurs. Chocolate made from Criollo beans has a distinctly reddish colour, and an equally distinctive complex taste which can include flavours of caramel, nuts, vanilla and tobacco.

Only the finest, seasonal and natural ingredients are selected to make our chocolates. We source local ingredients such as fresh berries and fruits, and travel the world to find the best exotic ingredients each culture has to offer. This includes European butter, English lavender, Tahitian vanilla, Florida lemons, Japanese matcha tea and Puerto Rican rum. These ingredients are slowly infused into our chocolates as their freshness is essential to the complexity of their flavor.

Our chocolates are all hand made by passionate chocolate artisans. Their startling creativity and gift for harmonizing flavors has been the source of continuous innovation in our chocolate making process and techniques.

The chocolate and natural ingredients are combined into ganache and tempered to remove air and ensure maximum freshness. The ganache is then settled overnight before being cut into bite-sized pieces. Each ganache is then coated in pure dark chocolate before each piece receives its signature cocoa-based design.

Our designs are all paintings created by artisanal, culinary artists. Each design tells its own story.

Welcome to Aspire Lifestyles - the highly-anticipated next generation of strategically integrated concierge, personal assistance and customer relationship engagement services. We’re the only company in the industry that measures our own success by the satisfaction of your brand’s members.

Drawing upon the collective strength of our 25-year heritage and forward-thinking ethos, Aspire Lifestyles delivers richly customised concierge and customer relationship engagement services supported by unmatched technology. Our platform’s service delivery process is specifically calibrated to increase customers’ interaction with your brand through bespoke benefits and concierge programmes. Driving highly successful performance via quantifiable metrics is our core focus and value commitment to you.

The world’s most prestigious brands retain our white-label services to gain the ultimate competitive advantage by delivering memorable brand experiences. Leveraging our unmatched combination of global reach with deep local expertise strengthens your connection to your most valued customers in the most meaningful ways.

Our global team of over 1,000 concierges awaits you. It’s time to transcend from the ordinary to the extraordinary with Aspire Lifestyles.

A "Magician" of sorts, Mary Theresa, CEO/Founder of Regal Threads has created a men's private label, custom clothing company - featuring personalized wardrobe concierge services - exclusively by appointment in home or office.
Regal Thread's mission is to change the way men view their wardrobes, while also showing them that staying handsomely up-to-date can be an effortless process by journeying ... "Beyond the Suit”.
Upon growing up in the clothing trade, studying fashion and design, along with business and being involved in womenswear for twenty years, Mary Theresa always knew menswear was one of her callings. She has a genuine passion for style, color and design with an affinity to create one of a kind, customized luxurious clothing for clients and their preferred lifestyle.
Regal Thread clients are accomplished, successful men from many walks of life, who appreciate luxury and the exclusive concierge services to simplify their busy lives. 
Using her innate creative talents, with years of expertise and a keen eye for detail, Mary Theresa has achieved an established reputation in client services.
As she says, "It's all about the Client!"