Arthur Rubinfeld | Founder

Board director. Author. Executive. Adviser.

Former Chief Creative Officer and President, Global Innovation and Operational Lead of Starbucks Reserve Roasteries for Starbucks Coffee and Founder of AIRVISION, Arthur is known for leading-edge, visionary work in integrated brand positioning, marketing, and design in retail. He is the author of Built for Growth: Expanding Your Business Around the Corner or Across the Globe, which has been printed in six languages.

In 1992, Arthur joined Starbucks Coffee Company serving as the Executive Vice President responsible for the planning and execution of Starbucks retail brand design, positioning, real estate, and store growth strategies. His oversight in building Starbucks Coffee into one of the world’s most recognizable brands and spearheading Starbucks expansion globally helped establish Starbucks as the “Gold Standard” of retail branding, concept growth, and quality customer service.

During his first ten years with Starbucks, Arthur built a successful, multi-faceted store development and design organization with the talent, in-house processes, and systems necessary to execute rapid expansion. Under Arthur’s leadership Starbucks grew from 100 stores to over 3,800 stores worldwide. Today, Starbucks store development capabilities are revered - the standard by which the industry measures brand presentation, real estate site selection, store design, construction management, and asset management. 

Arthur participated in creating the Starbucks approach to ensuring the highest quality service levels for customers and was closely involved with the company’s strategic planning. In addition, with responsibility for overall strategic development, Arthur identified acquisition candidates and strategic partnerships to extend the brand and fuel further growth. Such ventures include the well-known joint venture with Earvin “Magic” Johnson, through Johnson Development Inc., to open stores in underserved communities. Co-tenancy/co-branded concepts were also developed with Wells Fargo Bank, Sony, Warner Bros., Mirage Resorts, Crate & Barrel, and Barnes and Noble Bookstores.

Upon the request of Howard Schultz, Arthur returned to Starbucks in 2008 as President, Global Development. He supported the transformation of Starbucks Coffee by creating LEED-certified design concepts that reinvigorated the Starbucks' customer experience by reflecting the character of each store’s surrounding neighborhood and helping reduce environmental impacts. Under his leadership, the Global Development team became intently focused on incorporating green building and energy conservation initiatives into store designs to help Starbucks reach its global environmental goal of building all new company-operated stores to meet LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards and enhance the “Starbucks Experience.”

After earning his Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Colorado, Arthur practiced architecture in New York and California. During this period, Arthur was responsible for the construction of The Palace Hotel. This 55-story hotel tower on Madison Avenue is recognized for its incorporation of Villard Houses (on the National Historic Register), which were redesigned to be part of the hotel’s grand entry, restaurants, and meeting room complex. 

Arthur is well known for his leading-edge, visionary work in the areas of retail design and architecture, and is the author of Built for Growth: Expanding Your Business Around the Corner or Across the Globe.

Board Directorships

  • Claire’s, Chicago, Illinois – Director and Compensation Committee
  • Essential Baking Company, Seattle, Washington – Director
  • Shopko Optical, Green Bay, Wisconsin – Director
  • Dreamscape VR, Los Angeles, CA – Advisory Board

Board Positions

  • United Capital – Newport Beach, CA. Fintech. Director – sold to Goldman Sachs
  • Value Village / Savers – Bellevue, WA. Retail. Director – recap Freeman Spogli
  • Aeropostale – New York, NY. Retail. Director / Compensation Committee – sold to Sycamore Partners

Interviews and videos

Notable Mentions

Executive Advisory and Mentoring

Arthur works with leaders of startups, publicly traded growth companies, and global turnaround opportunities in confidential, one-on-one meetings tailored to the executive’s goals. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the kind of challenges and opportunities that leaders face. So, instead of offering mentoring packages, Arthur works with each leader to determine the most effective way to achieve his or her desired results.

Arthur brings his unique insights and experience to help you solve the problems your business faces. He can:

  • Help you navigate the pitfalls
  • Identify areas of strategy that need improvement
  • Provide an experienced perspective on areas that are new to you
  • Allow you a confidential place to talk through sensitive business topics
  • Help focus your vision for the best possible chance of success

Mentoring relationships can be short-term, focused discussions to resolve a particular problem or make a specific decision or longer term, ongoing consulting to improve strategic thinking, address leadership challenges, and achieve desired results.

Contact us to discuss your specific goals and how Arthur can help you achieve them.

Speaking Engagements

Do you have an audience who could benefit from Arthur’s unique insights? Send an email or use the Contact form to let us know.

Arthur shares from his experience leading innovative growth and initiatives at Starbucks and consulting for some of the top consumer companies. He’s well-traveled so his information about global demographics comes from personal experience in addition to research. And his creative insight will help illuminate branding, merchandising, and more.

Find out why Arthur says “Retail is detail.”

All talks include insights into demography, what’s in the consumer’s mind, and trends. Beyond those core areas, Arthur will tailor the focus depending on the goals of your audience. Topics can include:

  • Brand trends
  • Global demographic trends
  • Innovation
  • Creativity (when to use it and when not to)
  • Developing a brand platform
  • Hot-spot target market mapping
  • Multiple retail channel development
  • Merchandising strategies
  • In-store graphics and merchandising design
  • Operating plans
  • Developing retail store business and economic model
  • Store expansion planning
  • Real estate expansion strategies

Speeches and lectures

Arthur’s speeches include:

  • Barron's Independent Summit 2019 – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Schwab IMPACT 2018 Conference – Washington, DC
  • Showstoppers Conference 2018 – Las Vegas, NV
  • Insights Marketing Association CEO Summit 2017 – Miami, FL
  • Rutberg and CO Wireless Influencers Conference 2016 – Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
  • Green Build International Conference and Expo – Phoenix, AZ
  • Milken Institute Global Conference - Los Angeles, CA
  • Cisco – Global Customer Advisory Board – Newport Beach, CA
  • Cricket Wireless – Las Vegas, NV
  • Remnin University of China – Beijing, China

Arthur has lectured at:

  • Urban Land Institute - San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA
  • The Stafford Foundation - Washington, D.C.
  • International Council of Shopping Centers Forums - multiple U.S. locations
  • Retail 2002 and Retail 2004 Conferences – Seattle, WA
  • University of Washington – Seattle, WA

Built for Growth: Expanding Your Business Around the Corner or Across the Globe

Need to get your business on the right track? Looking for an expert to show you the way? In addition to providing business advisory services through AIRVISION, directly mentoring CEOs, and speaking to diverse audiences, Arthur also shared his unique approach to retail growth strategies in Built for Growth: Expanding Your Business Around the Corner or Across the Globe.