Leading through COVID-19: Our story Beyond the Headlines

Leading through COVID-19 Webinar
Thursday, July 9, 2020 2:00 p.m.-3:00 .p.m. Central Time
Online Webinar (Phone or Computer)



Steve Woodward

CEO and President @Kirkland’s

Steve “Woody” Woodward was appointed Kirkland’s Chief Executive officer in October 2018, and added the title of President in January 2020. Since joining the company, he has led the strategic growth of operations and the development of the specialty brand’s omni-channel presentation of home décor and furnishings through its stores and direct-to-consumer channels.

Before joining Kirkland’s, Steve was the President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Crate and Barrel. As head merchant, he utilized his brand building experience and merchandising skills to bring relevant quality home products to customers in focused assortments. Prior to Crate and Barrel, his career experience in the retail arena includes key executive roles as Senior Vice President of Fossil Inc., where he led the company’s portfolio of licensed brands, including the rollout of Michael Kors watches and jewelry on a global scale, and Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager for the Bombay Company. He also served as CEO and was on the board of directors for Illuminations, a national privately owned boutique retailer of candles and home accessories.

Steve has a passion for home design and architecture and has completed over 20 custom designed homes. He also has a passion for people and served as a member of the Merchandising Board of Governors of the University of North Texas College. Steve resides in Nashville with his wife Terri.

Dr. Xi Leung

Assistant Professor @UNT - Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Dr. Xi Y. Leung is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management at the University of North Texas. Dr. Leung has worked in a tourism consulng company for six years and in an airline company for three years. Her primary teaching responsibilies at UNT include Informaon Technology in Hospitality & Tourism and Smart Desnaon.

Dr. Leung’s research interests include informaon technology, social media, hospitality management, desnaon markeng, and hospitality educaon. Her work emphasizes applying new technology as tools for hotel/restaurant/desnaon markeng and management. She has published 31 arcles in various peer-review journals, including top-er hospitality and tourism journals. She has also led/parcipated in nine funded grants and presented her research at 17 domesc and internaonal conferences. As a demonstraon of research excellence, Dr. Leung has been honored with “Arcle of the Year Award,” “Conference Best Paper Award,” “Highly Commended Paper Award,” and “Most-Accessed Dissertaons & Theses Award” from academic journals and conferences. Currently, Dr. Leung is working on a grant named "Recovery and Development of World Tourism in the Wake of COVID-19" sponsored by the World Tourism Cies Federaon (WTCF).

Dr. Jana Hawley

Dean & Professor @UNT - College of Merchandising,Hospitality and Tourism

Jana Hawley, Ph.D. is the Dean of the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism. Her prior appointments include Director of the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at University of Arizona, Department Chair of Textiles and Apparel Management at University of Missouri, and Department Head at Kansas State University for Apparel Textiles and Interior Design. She has also been faculty of merchandising at Indiana University, University of North Texas, and University of Missouri.

Hawley is a Fulbright Scholar to India, a HERS Fellow, ITAA Fellow, SEC Administrators Leadership Fellow, a Kemper Fellow for Excellence in Teaching, and a Global Scholar to Thailand, Turkey, and India. She has led Culture and Industry tours of retailing and merchandising faculty to Guatemala and Uzbekistan. She is trained in the Art of Participatory Leadership and the Art of Hosting. She is past-president of the International Textile and Apparel Association, has published or presented more than 100 scholarly works, and serves on the Editorial Board for Fashion, Style and Popular Culture. She earned her PhD from University of Missouri and is most noted for her leadership and scholarship in the areas of international craft development, textile recycling, and fashion industry sustainability. For nine years, Dr. Hawley has volunteered as an artist assistant at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This work has inspired her scholarship and drives her volunteerism and global causes.



Jiyoung Kim

Associate Professor
Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing