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Amanda Lai

Consulting Senior Manager

Amanda manages the company’s food retail practice and supports strategic planning, retail concept development, consumer research, and real estate analysis for a wide range of global retail clients. Since joining the team in 2017, Amanda has worked with brands across the Grocery, Restaurant, Apparel, Consumer Electronics, Automotive, and Real Estate sectors. Her recent clients include a mix of national and regional brands, including Emart, Good Food Holdings, The Fresh Market, Urban Plates, and Sonic Automotive.

Amanda has worked globally with clients based in North and Latin America, Europe, and Asia and has also spoken internationally on trends in the retail and grocery industries. She has been featured as a subject matter expert on TD Ameritrade, CBS News, and Chicago’s WGN Radio, and has been quoted in publications including The Chicago Tribune, Crain’s, Progressive Grocer, Drug Store News, and Convenience Store News.

Prior to joining McMillanDoolittle, Amanda previously held project and customer management roles at PepsiCo and Maxx Marketing. At PepsiCo, Amanda managed sales and strategic product mixes for her clients in Illinois and Minnesota. At Maxx Marketing, a subsidiary of WPP, Amanda supported the product development lifecycle of promotional solutions – from initial concepting to sourcing, manufacturing, and shipping – for key clients such as Kellogg’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Amanda holds a B.A. in Marketing, Retail Merchandising, and Global Studies from the University of Minnesota. She is a Board Member of the INROADS Chicago Alumni Chapter, a charity organization that develops and places diverse and talented underrepresented youth in paid corporate internships. In addition, she is a long-time mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters and a member of the Willow Chicago Anti-Human Trafficking Cause Group.