LAS VEGAS—"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to see everyone in the industry once again. It means we are back to making deals in person, generating meaningful relationships face-to-face, and doing business like we did before the pandemic hit." Those thoughts are according to Jason Baker, a principal at Houston-based Baker Katz, and attendee at this year's ICSC Here We Go 2021 event here in Las Vegas. caught up with Baker, along with other attendees, to discuss the retail market and what they are looking forward to at this year's live event. 

"These conferences are a great way to get ahead of trends and new retail concepts, particularly before the New Year," he tells "I like to hear what other industry executives have to say about their experience during the pandemic, what changes are being embraced as a result of the challenges we've all experienced the last two years on the retail side, and of course, what retailers are interested in the Houston market."

Josh Poag, president and CEO of Memphis-based Poag Shopping Centers, tells that having ICSC's conference in person "means everything." He says that "Having almost two years off really makes you appreciate the connections, opportunities and insights the in-person shows bring to the table."

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel,, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including and Museums New York magazine.