NRF Foundation Honors Raises Nearly $3 Million to Support Careers in Retail

NEW YORK CITY – The eighth annual NRF Foundation Honors took place Sunday night at the New York Marriott Marquis to recognize the outstanding leadership of retail executives, award student scholarships and highlight retail as an industry of opportunity. The event raised nearly $3 million to fund the NRF Foundation’s career development programs and resources.

“In every community across the country, retail provides limitless ways for people of all backgrounds to pursue their passions and achieve success,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Bill Thorne said. “We are honored to celebrate retail’s future leaders and are thankful for the countless supporters who share in our belief that our industry is unmatched in offering opportunities for individuals, families and communities large and small.”  

Presented by American Express and PwC, the 2023 event included more than 700 attendees, and was co-hosted by Bloomingdale’s Chairman and CEO and NRF Foundation Board Chairman Tony Spring and Walmart U.S. President and CEO and NRF Board Chairman John Furner.

Lowe's Chairman and CEO Marvin Ellison received The Visionary award for his stewardship to drive positive change within the retail industry and leadership in transforming Lowe’s into a world-class, omnichannel retailer.  

The evening also recognized The List of People Shaping Retail's Future 2023:

  • The Home Depot Senior Director Workforce Programs Erin Izen
  • Walmart Inc. Executive Vice President Global Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer Suresh Kumar
  • Ministry of Supply Co-Founder and CEO Aman Advani
  • Gap Inc. Head of Customer and Community Belonging Bahja Johnson
  • Steve Madden Founder, Creative and Design Chief Steve Madden

The event also included the announcements of the NRF Foundation’s scholarships. Megan Marr of LIM College was announced as the top recipient in the 2023 NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship presented by SAS. Delaney Hanson, Grace Long, Alison MacCloud and Gustavo Rubio from Florida State University were named the top team in the 2023 NRF Foundation Student Challenge competition presented by Kohl’s.

Additionally, the School District of Philadelphia was honored as the 2023 NRF Foundation RISE Up Partner of the Year presented by Old Navy.

Since 2015, the NRF Foundation Honors has been the NRF Foundation’s signature fundraising event. More information is available at

NRF Foundation Honors event photos are available for download here.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.

About NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation provides the skills and resources needed for a life-changing career. As NRF's nonprofit 501(c)(3), we connect people to an industry that’s a great place to start and a great place to grow. Together, we help people build better lives and stronger communities.