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National Retail Federation’s Fifth Annual NRF Foundation Gala

NRF Foundation GalaThe National Retail Federation or just NRF for those in the retail business might not be a household name but through the NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships.

Aside from fostering career growth among people who work in retail, the NRF Foundation also awards more than $500,000 in scholarships each year for college students to enhance their education and apply real-world experiences to what they’ve learned in the classroom.

On January 13, 2019, during its Fifth Annual Gala held at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, the NRF welcomed more than 1,000 students to its Student Program – made possible in part by support of the NRF Foundation.

The NRF Foundation Gala also played host to an array of CEOs, C-Suite retail executives, celebrities and other retail influencers. The honorees included a wide range of dynamic people impacting the industry. Proceeds from the Gala benefit the NRF Foundation, NRF’s nonprofit arm, which is committed to demonstrating retail as an industry of opportunity and creating programs that help people become trained and find jobs in retail. This year, the gala raised more than $3.2 million dollars.

Leaders recognized on The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future are:

The Disruptors
Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Allbirds
Diane Dietz, President and CEO, Rodan + Fields
Shea Jensen, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Nordstrom
Susan Tynan, Founder and CEO, Framebridge
Heidi Zak, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, ThirdLove

The Dreamers
Jessica Alba, Founder, The Honest Company
Charlotte Gould, CEO, Stitches by Charlotte
Amanda E. Johnson and KJ Miller, Co-Founders, Mented Cosmetics
Steph Korey, Co-Founder and CEO, and Jen Rubio, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer, Away
Ajay Kori, Co-Founder, UrbanStems
Jo Malone, Founder and Creative Director, Jo Loves

The Givers
Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse, Co-Founders, R.Riveter
Mike Brady, President and CEO, Greyston
Jim Haslam II, Founder and Philanthropist, Pilot Corporation
David Heath and Randy Goldberg, Co-Founders, Bombas
Tina Sharkey, Co-Founder and CEO, Brandless

The Influencers
Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO, TaskRabbit
Oliver Chen, Managing Director, Retail and Luxury Head, Cowen
Jason Del Rey, Senior Editor, Commerce, Recode
Kirsten Green, Founder and Managing Partner, Forerunner Ventures

The Power Players
Steve Barbarick, President and COO, Tractor Supply Company
Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Warby Parker
Diane Ellis, President, Chico’s
J. Michael Evans, Director and President, Alibaba Group
Carolyn Tastad, Group President, North America and Executive Sponsor, Gender Equality, Procter & Gamble

The fifth annual Gala brought together hundreds of leaders in the retail field to celebrate those named to “The List” and award scholarships to students aspiring to become the next generation of retail leaders. Along with celebrating The List, NRF recognized Levi Strauss & Co. President and CEO Chip Bergh as “The Visionary,” an award given to an inspiring leader with a history of spearheading change in the retail industry.

Attendees from the retail sector included: Matthew Shay, President and CEO, NRF, Ellen Davis, President, NRF Foundation, Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co., Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Warby Parker, Steph Korey, Co-Founder and CEO, Away, Jen Rubio, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer, Away, Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO, TaskRabbit, Tina Sharkey, Co-Founder and CEO, Brandless , Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Allbirds.

Celebrity Attendees: Snoop Dogg, Kenan Thompson, Matthew Morrison and Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Philanthropist

Photos by Jared Siskin/PatrickMcMullan.com, courtesy of NRF Foundation