The fourth annual NRF Foundation Gala raised more than $2.8 million to support its educational and inspirational initiatives

NEW YORK, 2018-Jan-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — The fourth annual NRF Foundation Gala took place Sunday, January 14, at Pier Sixty in New York City, featuring an uplifting awards program and formal dinner that included both silent and live auctions. The star-studded event raised more than $2.8 million to support the Foundation’s programs, including educational and inspirational initiatives, student scholarships and RISE Up, a powerful, industry-backed credentialing program.

“We are so grateful for the retailers and partners who made 2018 another record-breaking year for the Gala,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “Our work is made possible through generous contributions from companies and individuals who believe in the future of retail and see it as the industry that powers America’s workforce. We look forward to putting these funds to work by continuing to execute programs and initiatives that shape retail’s future.”

The Gala was attended by more than 800 retail CEOs and senior executives, industry insiders, celebrities and students who came together to support the future of retail talent and to celebrate The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future. In addition, four-time NBA champion and ESPN sports analyst Shaquille O’Neal presented NRF’s “The Visionary” award to Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, a recognition for an inspiring leader with a record of spearheading change in the industry.

At the Gala, the NRF Foundation also announced the recipients of its Student Challenge and Next Generation scholarships. Courtney Nash, a senior at the University of Arizona, was the top recipient of the 2018 Next Generation Scholarship. Nash, one of five finalists, was awarded a $25,000 scholarship. In addition, the NRF Foundation named Ashley Cairns, Blake Fortin and Kendall McDermott from Columbia College Chicago as the top team in the Student Challenge competition; each was awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

In addition to members of the National Retail Federation’s Board of Directors and the NRF Foundation’s Board of Directors, other notable guests included Omar Miller from the HBO hit series “Ballers,” super model Niki Taylor, Dorinda Medley and Kristen Taekman from the Bravo hit series “The Real Housewives of New York City,” and E! News celebrity correspondent Alicia Quarles.

The Gala capped off the first day of NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show, welcoming 36,000 retailers and their business partners from around the world at the Javits Center in New York City, January 15-16, 2018.

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

About NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NRF Foundation announces 25 individuals named to The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future

WASHINGTON, 2017-Dec-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — The NRF Foundation today (December 6, 2017) announced the 25 individuals named to The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future. The honorees represent the best and brightest individuals impacting the retail industry and will be celebrated January 14, 2018, at the NRF Foundation Gala during NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show in New York City. Proceeds from the Gala benefit the NRF Foundation, NRF’s nonprofit arm, which is committed to shaping the future of retail talent.

“An industry as dynamic as retail needs leaders with a range of talents from creatives to humanitarians to entrepreneurs,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “Each person on The List embodies these qualities in some way and is helping to steer the retail industry toward a bright future.”

Now in its fourth year, the Gala brings together hundreds of industry executives to honor those named to The List and awards scholarships to talented students working to become the next generation of retail leaders. In addition to celebrating The List at the Gala, NRF will also recognize Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon as “The Visionary,” an award for an inspiring leader with a long record of spearheading change in the industry.

The 2018 Gala is expected to raise more than $2.5 million for NRF Foundation programs – including educational and inspirational initiatives, student scholarships and RISE Up, a powerful, industry-backed credentialing program – and is on track to sell out by the end of 2017.

The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2018:

Disruptors:

Jeff Barnett – CEO, Commerce Cloud, Salesforce
Adam Goldenberg – Co-CEO, TechStyle Fashion Group
Paul Hennessy – CEO, Vroom
Jeff Kearl – CEO, Stance
Chris McCann –President and CEO, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.
Emily Weiss – Founder and CEO, Glossier

Dreamers:

Isabelle and Katherine Adams – Co-CEOs, Paper For Water
Michael Lastoria – Co-Founder, CEO and Creative Director, &pizza
Carley Ochs – Founder, CEO and Designer, Bourbon and Boweties
Kate Ross LeBlanc – CEO and Co-Founder, Saje Natural Wellness

Givers:

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale – Owner and Philanthropist, Gallery Furniture
Brittany Merrill Underwood – Founder and CEO, Akola Project
Karin Norington-Reaves – CEO, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
Buddy Teaster – President and CEO, Soles4Souls
Hamdi Ulukaya – Founder, Chairman and CEO, Chobani

Influencers:

Matthew Boss – Managing Director, Equity Research, Consumer Discretionary/Retailing, J.P. Morgan
Amanda Curtis and Gemma Sole – Co-Founders, Nineteenth Amendment
Jonathan Sokoloff – Managing Partner, Leonard Green & Partners
Rob Sweeney – Global Head of Consumer and Retail Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs
Barbara Thau – Contributing Retail Writer, Forbes.com

Power Players:

Mary Campbell – Executive Vice President, Commerce Platforms, QVC, Inc.
James ‘JC’ Curleigh – President, Levi’s Brand
Jane Elfers – President and CEO, The Children’s Place, Inc.
Helena Foulkes – Executive Vice President, CVS Health, and President, CVS Pharmacy
Greg Scott – CEO, New York & Company

About The NRF Foundation 
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

Contact:

Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NRF Foundation announces 25 student semi-finalists for its Next Generation Scholarship program

WASHINGTON, 2017-Oct-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — The NRF Foundation today (October 25, 2017) announced 25 students as semi-finalists for its Next Generation Scholarship program, which provides financial support to college students pursuing careers or majors relevant to retail. In a new phase of the competition this year, semi-finalists will be required to complete a written project and interview with an assigned retailer.

“True to its name, this scholarship identifies and rewards the retail industry’s brightest rising stars,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We adjusted the application process this year to attract a wider pool of qualified students, and ended up with a truly talented group from schools across the country. All of our semi-finalists exhibit remarkable leadership skills and will no doubt make their mark on the retail industry.”

In the first phase of the competition, 99 applicants from 42 schools submitted an essay, a personal brand video, two letters of recommendation, a resume and school transcripts. A panel of retail executives judged those materials to select the semi-finalists, and a second panel of retail experts will use the new written projects and interviews to select five finalists. Of the finalists, four will each receive a $10,000 scholarship and one will receive a $25,000 scholarship.

The semi-finalists are:

  • Natalie Alonzo, Pennsylvania State University
  • Shane Baglione, University of Florida
  • Marlowe Camblin, Santa Clara University
  • Jessa Chargois, Cornell University
  • Lea Chen, University of Pennsylvania
  • Rachelle Duperoux, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • Tyshaia Earnest, Kent State University
  • Madeline Harpham, University of Georgia
  • Isabel Jimenez, Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Paige Lindsey, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • Amaya Linsey, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Brian Lucksinger, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Katarina Mejean, University of Delaware
  • Courtney Nash, University of Arizona
  • Ariel Norris, Butler University
  • Carlo Pardo, Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Sadie Lee Pierce, Mississippi State University
  • Brittany Rhoa, Kent State University
  • Kelly Skoglund, University of Georgia
  • Emylee Smith, Ohio University
  • Mollina So, Kent State University
  • Kathryn Steib, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Nick Trifelos, Butler University
  • Reanne Wang, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • Hannah Witteried, Butler University

The top recipient will be announced on stage in front of hundreds of retail CEOs and insiders at the NRF Foundation Gala, January 14, during NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show. In addition to providing scholarships to the top five students, the Foundation pays travel expenses for all semi-finalists to attend the Foundation’s January 12-14 Student Program, held during NRF 2018.

Along with the scholarship semi-finalists and finalists, more than 700 students are expected to attend the Student Program, where they have the chance to meet executives from some of the industry’s most popular brands such as Disney, The Home Depot, Macy’s, West Elm and Nike. Students will hear from retail recruiters offering opportunities for internships, training programs and entry-level career positions, and will learn to leverage their networks to advance their careers through an executive mentoring session.

To learn more about the scholarship, visit NRF.com/NextGeneration

About the NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

University of Phoenix® and NRF continue to support the next generation of retail leaders with Dream BIG Scholarship Program

WASHINGTON, 2017-Feb-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the fifth consecutive year University of Phoenix® and the National Retail Federation are collaborating to offer the Dream BIG Scholarship Program to support the dreams of the next generation of retail leaders. The program will award 20 full-tuition scholarships to retail industry professionals who want to advance their retail careers through higher education.

“The multifaceted retail industry offers various opportunities for career growth and upward mobility,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean for University of Phoenix School of Business. “In fact, 44 percent of retail workers today are employed in positions other than sales. An ever-changing technology and consumer landscape makes innovation a top priority for retail leaders, and education is crucial to enhance career outcomes in the industry.”

The Dream BIG Scholarship Program is open to applicants who reside in the U.S., work full or part time for a retail or restaurant company and meet additional eligibility criteria. Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2017. Retail executives from some of the industry’s most well-known companies will serve as members of the executive selection committee.

“During the past five years, the NRF Foundation has seen the Dream BIG scholarship change the lives of more than 70 worthy individuals, with recipients’ passion for retail and commitment to hard work culminating in the perfect formula for success in the retail industry,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We are proud to partner with University of Phoenix once again to recognize 20 more retail professionals for the Dream BIG Scholarship Program and we look forward to reading about the dreams and stories of those looking to advance their retail career through higher education.”

The Dream BIG Scholarship program is made possible through a collaboration between National Retail Federation, the NRF Foundation, and University of Phoenix.

“Receiving the Dream BIG scholarship offered a significant opportunity to support my career goals and helped to make achieving a master’s degree possible,” said Leigh Deal, Custom Closets Designer, The Container Store. “The ability to attend class remotely, work in a collaborative virtual setting and sharpen my writing skills for the digital space not only aided my own professional growth, but helped me to effectively impact employees within our organization by assisting them in making better decisions and establishing more positive customer relationships.”

To learn more about the program, including scholarship terms and conditions and how to apply, visit nrf.com/dreambig.

About National Retail Federation
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

About NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc., University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NRF Foundation Gala raised $2 million to support student scholarships and educational experiences in retail

Washington, 2017-Jan-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — The third annual NRF Foundation Gala took place Sunday, January 15, at Pier Sixty in New York City, featuring an exhilarating dinner and awards program that included both silent and live auctions. The event raised $2 million to support the NRF Foundation’s student scholarships and educational experiences for students, professors and people in retail.

“The Gala surpassed any of our expectations, which is a testament to the support and commitment of the individuals who make up this dynamic industry,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We are extremely thankful for the contributions of our supporters and guests, including the esteemed members of our host and executive committees and board members. We look forward to bringing these leaders together in 2018 to once again celebrate the imagination, inspiration and innovation in the retail industry.”

The sold-out Gala was attended by nearly 780 retail CEOs and senior executives, industry insiders, celebrities, students and scholarship recipients who came together to support the Next Generation of retail talent and to celebrate The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future. In addition, five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant presented NRF’s “The Visionary” award to Nike Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker, a new honor for an inspiring leader with a long record of spearheading change in the industry.

At the Gala, the NRF Foundation also announced the recipients of its Student Challenge and Next Generation scholarships. Kaley Suero, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, is the top recipient of the 2017 Next Generation Scholarship. Suero, one of five finalists, was awarded a $25,000 scholarship. Runner-up Makaela Hill, a junior at Indiana University, was awarded a $15,000 scholarship. In addition, the NRF Foundation named Jeffrey Licciardello, William Campbell, Alexis Montano and Kelsey Wertz from Georgia Southern University as the top team in the Student Challenge competition, sponsored by KPMG LLP; each was awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

In addition to members of the National Retail Federation’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors and the NRF Foundation’s Board of Directors, other notable guests included Daymond John, co-star on “Shark Tank,” Miss America 2017 Savvy Fields and Wé McDonald, finalist on “The Voice,” as well as host committee members Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth, Michael Clinton, president, marketing and publishing director of Hearst Magazines, and Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media and executive producer of DOT.

The Gala capped off the first day of Retail’s BIG Show, welcoming almost 35,000 retailers and their business partners from around the world at the Javits Center to New York City, January 15-17, 2017.

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

About NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

The NRF Foundation announces 25 individuals named to The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future

Washington, 2017-Jan-05 — /EPR Retail News/ — The NRF Foundation today (January 4, 2017) announced the 25 individuals named to The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future. The honorees represent the best and brightest individuals impacting the retail industry and will be recognized on January 15 at the NRF Foundation Gala during Retail’s BIG Show in New York City.

“Retail is driven by millions of talented and passionate individuals who are constantly changing the industry, and The List 2017 captures the very best of people making an impact,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “Each in their own way, this year’s honorees are shaping retail’s future and emulate the very best of what retail represents.”

Now in its third year, the Gala brings together hundreds of industry executives to honor those named to The List and award scholarships to talented students working hard to become the next generation of retail leaders. In addition to celebrating The List at the Gala, NRF will also recognize Nike Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker as “The Visionary,” a new honor for an inspiring leader with a long record of spearheading change in the industry.

The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2017 include:

Disruptors:
Brad Bogolea – Co-Founder and CEO, Simbe Robotics
Anthony Bruce – Co-Founder and CEO, Applied Predictive Technologies
Christine Hunsicker – Founder and CEO, Gwynnie Bee
Dominik Richter – Founder & CEO, HelloFresh Global
Tristan Walker – Founder and CEO, Walker and Company Brands

Dreamers:
Stefanie Botelho – Founder and CEO, Fitzroy Toys
Chieh Huang – Co-Founder and CEO, Boxed Wholesale
Michelle Lam – Co-Founder and CEO, True&Co.
Kavita Shukla – Inventor and Founder, FreshPaper
Mikaila Ulmer – Founder and CEO, Me & the Bees Lemonade

Givers:
James Brett – President, West Elm
Emily Avedikian – Founder and Director, Keeps Boutique at The Gatehouse
Roslyn S. Jaffe – Co-Founder, Secretary & Director Emeritus, Ascena Retail Group
Drew Ann Long – Inventor, Caroline’s Cart
Monika Wiela – CEO and Founder, Give Back Box®

Influencers:
Lisa Clyde – Global Head of Consumer & Retail Investment Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Jason Goldberg – SVP, Content & Commerce, SapientRazorfish
David Lawenda – Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions – US, Facebook
Wendy Liebmann – Founder, CEO and Chief Shopper, WSL Strategic Retail
Phil Wahba – Senior Writer, Fortune

Power Players:
Scott Dahnke – Global Co-CEO, L Catterton
Kevin Hofmann – President, Online and Chief Marketing Officer, The Home Depot
Steven Lowy – Co-CEO, Westfield Corporation
Toni M. Miller – Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Administration Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Boscov’s Department Store, LLC
Marisa Thalberg – Chief Marketing Officer, Taco Bell Corp.

About The NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

Contact:

Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NRF Foundation announces top five finalists for its Next Generation Scholarship program

WASHINGTON, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation Foundation today (December 15, 2016) announced this year’s top five finalists for its Next Generation Scholarship program, which provides financial support to college students pursuing careers or majors relevant to retail. The finalists will travel to New York City, where they will interview with a panel of retail executives who will award four $10,000 scholarships and one $25,000 scholarship.

The top recipient will be announced on stage in front of hundreds of retail CEOs and insiders at the NRF Foundation Gala on January 15 during Retail’s BIG Show.

“Each year we are impressed by the caliber of students that apply for this scholarship and their level of creativity and passion towards retail,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “Through their essays, this year’s finalists demonstrated excitement, innovation, leadership, and passion that is very crucial in shaping the future of the retail industry.”

The finalists are:

  • Jill Davis, University of Georgia
  • Makaela Hill, Indiana University
  • Margaret Kwon, The New School – Parsons School of Design
  • Danielle Mennella, LIM College
  • Kaley Suero, University of Pennsylvania

In addition to the top finalist awards, the NRF Foundation provides all 20 semi-finalists with travel scholarships to attend the NRF Student Program at Retail’s BIG Show and the NRF Foundation Gala.

The semi-finalists are:

  • Elizabeth Dumont, Auburn University
  • Savannah Kleiner, Butler University
  • Victoria Shibly, Columbia College Chicago
  • Hannah Patrick, Drexel University
  • Matthew Talbot, East Carolina University
  • Sarah Botscheller, Kent State University
  • Megan Miller, Lasell College
  • Gabrielle Martinez, Mississippi State University
  • Ariana Frankel, Santa Clara University
  • Crystal Paris, Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta
  • Alyssa McKinzie, Texas A&M University
  • Traum-Anh Nguyen, Texas State University-San Marcos
  • Christian Sopoco, Texas Woman’s University
  • Laura Martinez, University of Alabama
  • Brenna McKeown, University of Florida
  • Samantha Pineda, University of Georgia
  • Brenna Schlauderaff, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Lisa Liu, University of Pennsylvania
  • Leah Jenkins, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Rita Roloff, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Over 500 students are expected to attend the January 13-15 Student Program, which exposes students to executives from some of the industry’s most popular brands such as Disney, The Home Depot, Macy’s, West Elm and Nike. Students will hear from retail recruiters offering opportunities for internships, training programs and entry-level career positions and will learn to leverage their networks to advance their careers through an executive mentor session.

To learn more about the scholarship, visit NRF.com/NextGeneration.

About the NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

Contact:

Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

The NRF Foundation announces semi-finalists for the 2017 Student Challenge

WASHINGTON, 2016-Nov-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — The NRF Foundation today (November 16, 2016) announced 10 teams as semi-finalists for the 2017 Student Challenge, a business case competition for NRF Student Association members to demonstrate their creativity and business acumen to retail executives, sponsored by KPMG. The finalists will attend the NRF Foundation GALA in New York City, where the top team will be announced January 15.

“This competition showcases some of the most brilliant and talented students in the country, all of whom are passionate about the retail industry,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We are impressed by the caliber of teams who have entered this year and can’t wait to see the great contributions these students will make to our industry.”

NRF has joined with STORY – a retailer that takes the point of view of a magazine, changes its selection like a gallery and sells things like a store – as its retail partner and case study for the fourth year of the competition.

Each team, composed of two to four students, was required to develop a 20-page pitch presentation, a mock website and a 90-second pitch video to convince STORY CEO and founder Rachel Shechtman to bring their story to life through one of these themes: Travel, Made in America or Sensory. Each proposal was created to provide an experience for the customer through selected merchandise, marketing approach, social media campaigns and curated events.

Executives from over 20 retail companies will participate in two rounds of judging. Judges will have access to a team’s pitch presentation, website and video and will score them against the determined criteria. In Round two, judges will take part in a teleconference with teams and ask questions about the pitch presentation. In the final round, teams will present live to a panel of retail executives in New York City.

The top three teams will receive $5,000 for each participating student. The second-place team will receive $2,500 for each student, while the third-place team will receive $1,500 for each student.

The following teams have been named semi-finalists. To learn more, click here.

Columbia College Chicago
Chicago

Blake Fortin

Sammantha Hoefs

Andrea Knight

Victoria Shilby

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

Los Angeles

Alexandra Bejan

Sung Cho

Dmitri Walker

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Los Angeles

Jillian Colin

Amanda Tobias

Chloe White

Kathryn Wysocki

Florida State University
Tallahassee, Fla.

Katya Anleu

Leah Crooks

Mitchell Gaylord

Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, Ga.

Jeffrey Licciardello

Keller Campbell

Alexis Montano

Kelsey Wertz

Indiana University
Bloomington, Ind.

Jessica Huang

Maggie Mendola

Riley O’Bryan

Sanjana Palepu

University of Georgia
Athens, Ga.

Madison Lindley

Keilea Orr

Taylor Timmons

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia

Jake Fischer

Anissa Lee

Holly Li

David Pang

University of North Texas
Denton, Texas

Sarah Muller

Hailey Turner

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, Wis.

Breanna Blazei

Krystal Jacobs

Brian Lucksinger

Kendra Trost

About the NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

The NRF Foundation announces Jessica Landzberg as the top recipient of its 2016 Ray Greenly Scholarship

WASHINGTON, 2016-Sep-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The NRF Foundation announced today (September 27, 2016) that Jessica Landzberg, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis is the top recipient of its 2016 Ray Greenly Scholarship. Landzberg, the top finalist of five, was awarded the $25,000 scholarship at Shop.org’s Retail’s Digital Summit in Dallas. Landzberg will receive her bachelor’s in Finance, Accounting and Marketing this May 2017.

The NRF Foundation’s 2016 Ray Greenly’s recipients are:

  • Jessica Landzberg, Finance, Accounting and Marketing, Washington University in St. Louis ($25,000)
  • Ce’Erica Roland Ferguson, Fashion Marketing and Management, Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta ($10,000)
  • Ada Lio, Master of Business Administration, University of Pennsylvania ($10,000)
  • Giannina Ong, English and Classics, Santa Clara University ($10,000)
  • Kaley Suero, Economics, University of Pennsylvania ($10,000)

“The NRF Foundation created this scholarship to showcase the importance of the digital retail field,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We are impressed by the caliber of our finalists this year. They truly stood out as talented, driven and passionate students who are going to do amazing things for the digital retail industry.”

Each applicant was required to go through two phases of the application process.  Phase one required each student to submit an innovation essay, along with a two-minute personal brand video and their transcripts.

For phase two, the NRF Foundation developed case studies with HSN, Nordstrom and REI. Executives from these companies hosted information sessions with the students assigned to their company’s in order to answer questions and provide additional information related to the case study. Applicants were not required to be in a retail program or major to apply, but were encouraged to explain how their major relates to digital retail.

More than 75 retail executives were involved in selecting the semi-finalists based on the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated in their applications. A panel of retail executive judges convened at Retail’s Digital Summit to interview the semi-finalists and determine who would receive the four $10,000 scholarships and the top $25,000 scholarship.

The scholarship was established to honor former Shop.org Vice President Ray Greenly, who died of cancer in 2005. The program provides financial aid to students studying in fields such as engineering, computer science, marketing, business, e-commerce and economics.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

The NRF Foundation to award 25 outstanding students for its Next Generation Scholarship program on January 17, 2016

WASHINGTON, 2015-12-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The NRF Foundation will award $125,000 in scholarships to 25 outstanding students as a part of its Next Generation Scholarship program. Today, the NRF Foundation has named the top five finalists, who will interview with a panel of executive judges to determine the four $10,000 scholarship recipients and the top $25,000 recipient of the Next Generation Scholarship.

The top recipient will be revealed on stage in front of hundreds of retail CEOs and retail insiders at the NRF Foundation Gala in New York City on Sunday, January 17, 2016.

The five finalists for the 2016 NRF Next Generation Scholarship are:

  • Ashley Biscan, magazine journalism, University of Georgia
  • Grace Dusek, marketing, Texas A&M University
  • Emma Jumper, corporate finance, Mississippi State University
  • Macaira O’Connell, apparel merchandising, Indiana University
  • Rachel Weinstein, retailing and consumer sciences, The University of Arizona

“The hard work and passion that we see from students each and every day is a clear indicator that these motivated young leaders are already well on their way to shaping retail’s future,” NRF Senior Vice President and NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “All of the applicants for the Next Generation Scholarship exhibit the enthusiasm and eagerness we look for when awarding our scholarships, so there’s no question the decision to narrow it down to just five was extremely difficult.

“We are positive the retail industry will benefit greatly from the energy and inspiration that all of the scholarship recipients offer, and we look forward to seeing great things from them in the years to come,” continued Davis.

In addition to the five finalists, the NRF Foundation awards all 20 students named as semi-finalists with travel scholarships to attend the NRF Student Program at Retail’s BIG Show and the NRF Foundation’s Gala.

The 20 semi-finalists are:

  • Chanelle Bertelsen, Savannah College of Art and Design – Savannah
  • Caroline Calle, University of Pennsylvania
  • Megan Dawson-Elli, University of Delaware
  • Betty Dominguez, University of Houston
  • Megan Donovan, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Eleonora Halon, LIM College
  • Megan Hornberger, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • Zainah Irizarry, Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Lindsay Kline, Indiana University
  • Ashley Lamb, Florida State University
  • Makala Mulder, Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta
  • Delaney Murphy, University of North Texas
  • Camille Nzengung, University of Georgia
  • Jessica Papier, University of North Carolina – Greensboro
  • Amanda Phillips, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • Cherokee Polk, Texas Woman’s University
  • Veronica Ribeiro, Santa Clara University
  • Cody Risinger, Kent State University
  • Amanda Tobias, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • Tess Williamson, Texas A&M University

Hundreds of students are expected to attend Retail’s BIG Show Student Program on January 15 – 16, 2016, which puts students in a room with executives behind the retail industry’s most popular brands such as Nike, Blue Mercury, Williams-Sonoma Inc. and HSNi. Students will learn to leverage their networks to advance their careers and hear from retail recruiters offering opportunities for internships, training programs and entry-level career positions.

To learn more about the Next Generation Scholarship, visit NRF.com/NextGeneration.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. nrf.com

Treacy Reynolds
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Mark Mathews appointed VP research development and industry analysis National Retail Federation

Mathews to Lead Newly-Announced Retail Research and Analysis Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. 2015-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today announced the hiring of Mark Mathews as vice president of research development and industry analysis. Mathews will develop, evaluate and direct research initiatives for NRF’s Retail Research and Analysis Center which was announced in April. Mathews brings more than two decades of research strategy and management experience to his new post.

“In today’s fast-paced, technology-based economy, retail is moving at lightning speed and the industry needs real-time, forward-thinking research to address challenges and identify opportunities,” said Ellen Davis, senior vice president of research and strategic initiatives at the National Retail Federation and the executive director of the NRF Foundation. “Mark’s tenure leading research efforts on some of the world’s biggest issues makes him the perfect person to lead and expand NRF’s work in this space.”

Most recently, Mathews led the Market Intelligence Group (MIG) at the World Gold Council as a member of the organization’s leadership team, where he established the Council as the standard bearer for research and analysis in the gold industry. Prior to joining the Council, Mathews ran the research team at Palamon Capital Partners, a London-based private equity firm that manages $1.4 billion in equity capital. Earlier in his career Mathews worked at the NASDAQ Stock Market where he was managing director, research and head of strategic planning for NASDAQ’s international operations.

“NRF has long been the go-to for retail industry and consumer research,” Davis said. “Mark’s work will expand our portfolio — specifically in the areas of the economy and legislative and regulatory policy — and elevate our research to new levels.”

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. nrf.com

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Treacy Reynolds
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Walmart Foundation grants $800,000 to the NRF Foundation for analysis of the retail industry’s learning and development needs

WASHINGTON, 2015-6-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — As a part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s $100 million commitment to industry workforce development, an $800,000 grant has been awarded to the NRF Foundation. Through this grant the NRF Foundation will work with employers to determine the competencies needed in the industry and the potential for a new industry-validated credentialing program to help store and distribution center employees advance their careers.

The capacity-building grant will enable the NRF Foundation to hire a new staff member who will undertake an analysis of the retail industry’s learning and development needs; fund three research projects; and create a community of leaders in retail learning and development from NRF member companies to provide input and insight on addressing industry workforce trends in the long term.

The NRF Foundation will bring together retailers from across the industry – including grocery stores, drugstores, specialty retailers, department stores and big-box retailers – to identify core competencies crucial to the success of front-line associates and determine how the industry can move forward to continue to develop its workforce. This work will also include the development of forward-thinking training programs to address how the industry and its workforce needs are changing and evaluate effective ways of training employees at scale.

“We are committed to building a program that will advance the careers of millions of current and potential retail workers,” said NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis. “Bringing the entire industry together for this important work will enable us to create a continuous pipeline of talent for retail’s future workforce, and we are grateful to the Walmart Foundation for funding the initial exploration of how businesses can come together to support the millions of people who work in retail.”

The NRF Foundation will use a portion of the grant to conduct extensive research in three key areas — industry challenges in the recruiting, development and retention of successful store and distribution teams; current hiring and training practices; and the anticipated skills needed for the retail workforce in stores and distribution centers in 2025.

“The NRF Foundation already has a deep understanding of the challenges facing today’s retail workforce. The Walmart Foundation’s grant will help identify new challenges facing hiring managers and the skills retail workers will need in the next 20 years,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of corporate affairs. “Through our work together we’ll be able to develop flexible training modules and clear job pathways that will ultimately increase the economic mobility of the retail workforce as a whole.”

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

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Treacy Reynolds
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

National Retail Federation creates multimillion-dollar department within its organization focused on industry research

WASHINGTON, 2015-4-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today the National Retail Federation announced a multimillion-dollar investment to form a new department within the organization focusing on industry research. The Retail Research and Analysis Center will bring together all existing research within NRF and expand upon the wide range of issue areas and trends already studied. The Center will focus on four main areas: the economy, legislative and regulatory policy, the retail industry and consumers.

“NRF is at the forefront of research and analysis that impact our industry, the consumers it serves and the economy in which it operates,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “By significantly investing in the future expansion and scope of NRF research, our members will have additional tools and insight as they operate in a very dynamic marketplace. And, our advocates will have the facts they need to advance retail’s policy agenda.”

Shay announced that Ellen Davis will now serve as NRF’s senior vice president of research and strategic initiatives. Davis will also continue to function as executive director of the NRF Foundation.

“It is extremely exciting to be a part of building upon one of the core services we provide to our members, the media, analysts and decision makers,” Davis said. “Studies, surveys, white papers and critical analysis by industry leaders help us frame policy debates, identify trends, and change perceptions about retail’s evolution. As the nation’s largest private-sector employer and an industry that contributes $2.6 trillion dollars annually to the U.S. GDP, the retail industry impacts all sectors of our economy and is uniquely positioned to provide business insights and analysis to shape key debates in Washington.”

NRF has started an extensive search for a vice president of research development and industry analysis, reporting to Davis. Current staff and consultant resources are being utilized and additional dedicated staffing is anticipated.

“NRF is an acknowledged leader in advocacy, research, education and analysis. The formation and funding of the Retail Research and Analysis Center will allow us to take this important function to the next level, with the resources necessary to deliver real results for our members and the industry,” continued Shay.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com

Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

 

The NRF Foundation announceS the individuals who have been named to The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future

WASHINGTON, 2015-1-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — The NRF Foundation, the non-profit arm of the National Retail Federation, is pleased to announce the individuals who have been named to The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future. The 25 individuals selected, ranging from a United States Senator to a teenage fashion designer, represent power players, disruptors, givers, influencers and dreamers in the retail industry. Honorees will be recognized during the NRF Foundation’s Inaugural Gala on January 11, 2015 at Pier Sixty in New York City. The Gala will bring together industry leaders and executives, students, and The List honorees to celebrate the imagination, inspiration and innovation at work in the retail industry today.

“The List is about recognizing the power players, disruptors, givers, influencers and dreamers who are changing the face of retail – many doing so behind the scenes,” said NRF Senior Vice President and Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis. “Unlike in any other industry, people interact with retail every single day, and these 25 individuals are making today’s innovative, customer-centric and unique shopping experiences possible, collectively making up one of the most impressive groups of professionals in retail.

“We are thrilled to be able to welcome The List honorees at our Gala to celebrate the incredible contributions they have made to our industry,” continued Davis.

After a thorough selection process, 25 individuals were selected in the following categories:

Disruptors: True originals who rock the boat with ideas so crazy, they just might work. These are the people who make you rethink what you thought you knew about retail, opening you up to new possibilities for your customers, your business and your world.

Dreamers: Rising stars who might be light on experience, but their heart, energy, and passion inspire everyone around them. They’re already making waves in their store, company or hometown with their fresh ideas, big dreams and sky-high goals—and lucky for us, they’re just getting warmed up.

Givers: Inspirational change-makers and big-hearted optimists who make retail shine as a force for good. They see a need and use their skills and resources to fill it to the brim, bringing joy and new opportunities to their companies, communities and the whole wide world.

  • Greg Buzek, co-founder and donor trustee, Retail Orphan Initiative (also, president IHL Goup)
  • Michael Levy, founder and president, Pet Food Express
  • Lynn Marmer, group vice president, corporate affairs, The Kroger Co.
  • Johnny Morris, founder and ceo, Bass Pro Shops
  • Shawn R. Outler, group vice president, leased businesses, vendor collaboration & multicultural business development, Macy’s, Inc.
  • BG Gary M. Profit, U.S. Army (Retired), senior director, military programs, Wal-mart Stores Inc.

Influencers:  Champions of retail bridge the gap between the industry and the rest of the world. Whether they are a journalist, an activist, an innovator or a business leader, these nominees don’t work in retail—but they’re helping it evolve. They’re passionate, persistent and intelligent, and their work is paving the way for innovative retailers everywhere.

Power Players: Fearless leaders never shy away from what others may see as insurmountable challenges. These top retail executives have more than just elite status—they have vision, passion and heart. Their forward-looking decisions have a ripple effect across the industry, but they’re not afraid to take risks or push boundaries. They guide, inspire, and, most importantly, challenge us to move beyond the status quo.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

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