Retail consultancy RPE announces new executive leadership team

07 January 2019 2 min. read
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Land O’Lakes, Florida–based retail industry consulting firm RPE has refreshed its executive team. The move, effective January 1, will see company founder Cliff Epstein step into an advisory role after serving as president and CEO since 2000, while senior vice president Tom Villa has retired. Rob Henneke is now RPE president and CEO, Mark Stanford is executive vice president, and Jack Walworth steps in as CFO.

Founded in 1999, RPE (Retail Process Engineering) provides strategic, functional, and technical consulting services to the retail industry. The firm delivers offerings ranging from business process improvement to strategic IT planning and implementation, as well as sector specific advisory services like merchandise planning, forecasting, and inventory management. The firm is based in Land O’Lakes, outside of Tampa, Florida.

The leadership shake-up will see Rob Henneke take over as president and CEO of RPE. Henneke, who has been with the consulting firm since 2000, previously served as executive vice president for nine years. In the role, the thirty-year retail industry veteran oversaw the consulting team responsible for bottom line performance improvement – tackling areas from cloud computing to project management and training.

Retail consultancy RPE announces new executive leadership team

Before that, Henneke was vice president of the Business Development practice for 11 years. Before joining RPE, he held corporate merchandising and management roles at Herman’s and JumboSports.

Meanwhile, Mark Stanford has been promoted to executive vice president. Stanford joined RPE in 2008 as a vice president responsible for customer relationship management and project management. The retail industry expert was previously CIO at Hancock Fabrics, where he worked for over seven years. Before that, Stanford was senior programmer/analyst at Bryan Foods.

Finally, Jack Walworth has been promoted to chief financial officer. Among the first hires to join the firm when it was established in 1999, Walworth previously served as RPE’s controller, guiding financial decisions and enforcing company policies and procedures. As CFO, he will continue to evaluate the company’s financial performance in terms of operational goals, budgets, and forecasts.

“This executive team is well positioned to successfully continue to implement our company vision while propelling RPE into the future,” commented Henneke. “Backed by our trusted and highly-skilled consulting, technical, and functional experts, we'll continue to support the needs of our clients by responding quickly and effectively to changing market dynamics.”