WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation today announced that NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis has been named president of the Foundation. She will continue serving as NRF’s senior vice president for research and strategic initiatives.
“Under Ellen’s leadership, the breadth, depth and positive influence of the NRF Foundation has been transformative,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Ellen has translated strategic vision into reality, and she and the Foundation’s extraordinary staff have successfully conducted multiple programs across a myriad of platforms that are recognized as the new industry standard. Their work is unrivaled and greatly valued by all retailers."
"It has taken a true team effort to achieve the successes we have seen, whether it’s raising awareness of the importance of the retail industry to the economy or helping job seekers become trained and find a career in retail. There is still much work to be done, and I’m so excited to work with our leadership to continue to impact retail’s next generation," said Davis.
The Foundation is NRF’s philanthropic arm, and as president, Davis will continue to oversee a team charged with job-readiness training, education, scholarship programs and credentialing.
Davis joined NRF in 2002 as manager of media relations and rose quickly through the organization on the communications team before becoming executive director of the Foundation in 2012. In that role, she restructured the division to better align with NRF’s strategic plan and programs. Among her initiatives, she launched the NRF Foundation Gala, an annual event held during the NRF annual convention in New York that raised $2.8 million this year to support the Foundation’s programs. She also formed the NRF Talent Acquisition Group, a network of more than 60 talent human resources executives from the nation’s most well-known retailers. Last year, she led creation of RISE Up, a nationwide program that works with non-profits to provide job training and credentialing in basic retail skills.
Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Millikin University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.
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.