NRF Foundation Honors raises a record $4 million to support future retail leaders

NEW YORK, January 13, 2020 – The sixth annual NRF Foundation Honors took place Sunday at the New York Marriott Marquis to recognize the exceptional leadership of retail executives and to support the next generation of industry talent. The event raised more than $4 million to fund the Foundation’s programs, including educational initiatives, student scholarships and RISE Up, a powerful, industry-backed credentialing program.

"We all believe that retail is a great place to start and a great place to grow."

NRF Foundation President Ellen Davis

“We all believe that retail is a great place to start and a great place to grow,” NRF Foundation President Ellen Davis said. “And we all believe that everyone deserves the chance at a great career, no matter what family you were born in and no matter where you call home.” 

More than 850 retail executives, including board members from the National Retail Federation and the NRF Foundation, and students came together to celebrate The List of People Shaping Retail's Future. CNBC retail reporter Courtney Reagan served as emcee and American fashion designer Vera Wang presented NRF’s The Visionary” award to Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass. This award is given to an inspiring retail leader with a history of spearheading change in the industry. The event was co-hosted by Macy’s Inc. Chairman and CEO and NRF Foundation Board Chair Jeff Gennette and BJ’s Wholesale Club Chairman and CEO and National Retail Federation past Chairman Chris Baldwin. Event title sponsors are American Express and PwC.

At the Honors, the NRF Foundation also announced the recipients of its Student Challenge and Next Generation scholarships. LeAnn Percivill, a senior at Texas A&M University, was the top recipient of the 2020 Next Generation Scholarship. Percivill, one of five finalists, was awarded a $25,000 scholarship. In addition, the NRF Foundation named Cayley Creekmore, Shannon Foote, Anna Tiller and Woodley White from Georgia Southern University as the top team in the Student Challenge competition; each was awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

Proceeds from the Honors will support the NRF Foundation’s initiatives including educational programs, student scholarships and RISE Up. Since 2015, the event has raised $15 million to support the Foundation’s efforts.

The Honors concluded the first day of NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show, welcoming nearly 40,000 retailers and their business partners from around the world at the Javits Center in New York City, January 12-14, 2020.


About NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation builds the bridge between a growing industry with hundreds of thousands of open positions and job seekers around the country. Through education, training, scholarships and experiences for job seekers of all ages and backgrounds, we help more people take their first steps toward promising careers. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. 

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