NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders | At Work

NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship finalist Clay Lute stands in front of a retail space

NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders

NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders Summit 2024

Thursday Sept. 12 - Friday Sept. 13, 2024  |  Washington, DC

Build your skills and expand your network. Engage in professional development to evolve your career. And get exclusive insights from retail leaders.

The NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders Summit is an invitation-only two-day summit of networking, learning and skill building for emerging retail leaders who are early careerists (2-5 years post college graduation).

Register Here

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

The NRF Foundation provides the skills and resources people need to build great careers and continues to invest in the future of the retail workforce.

The NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders Summit brings together 100 early retail professionals, retail leaders and subject-matter experts to provide exclusive insights and engaging professional development that will help early careerists become stronger future leaders.

The event seeks to provide early professionals with support, access, and opportunities to further themselves as leaders, and to support the retailer community with investing in early talent that will contribute to a stronger, more diverse workforce.

Benefits for Early Careerists

  • Build knowledge of the wider world of retail, hearing directly from NRF experts and retail leaders from various companies on what they need to know about the industry.
  • Cultivate an industry-wide network of mid-to-senior level peers who are eager to invest in the next generation of leaders.
  • Develop effective workforce navigation skills and techniques to be engaged, authentic and successful team members.

Eligibility

Criteria to attend the Emerging Leaders Summit include:

  • Full-time employment at a retail company
  • Entry-level up to manager roles in any function within the organization
  • A demonstrated potential and desire to grow in a career
  • A commitment to the advancement of people of color to help cultivate a dynamic retail industry where everyone belongs

Attendees of the 2023 NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders Summit had an average of 3.9 years of work experience and represented 15 different functions within their organizations including merchandising, marketing, communications, supply chain, store management, finance and more. An attendee group with cross-functional backgrounds maximizes learning and networking across the broad spectrum of retail roles.

Attendees can represent either corporate, stores, or warehouse functions. They should be ambitious early retail careerists with strong leadership potential and a clear interest in development opportunities to advance their careers and networks. Attendees should come ready to engage, learn, ask questions, and take learnings back to implement and share with their teams.

Schedule

THURSDAY SEPT. 12, 2024

9:30am

Networking

Attendee Arrivals & Welcome

 

10:00am

Keynote

Intro to Retail Landscape & Art of Storytelling/Branding

Mecca Mitchell

Mecca Mitchell

 

Burlington Stores, Inc.
Senior Vice President & Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Learn more about Mecca Mitchell

10:45am

Networking

Meet Your Peers

11:00am

Session

NRF Curated Content: Industry & Consumer Insights

Katherine Cullen

Katherine Cullen

 

National Retail Federation
Vice President, Industry and Consumer Insights

Learn more about Mecca Mitchell

11:45am

Break

Lunch

12:45pm

Panel

Leading with Purpose: Cultivating Culture as a New Manager

Managing relationships, transitioning from individual contributor to manager of people, empathy and EQ to lead, and building culture for your team.

1:45pm

Panel

Tech Trends in Retail: Navigating the AI Frontier

2:45pm

Break

Break

3:15pm

Session

NRF Curated Content: Activating the Power of NRF Membership

 

3:30pm

Session

NRF Curated Content: Retail Storytelling through Policy

 

5:00pm

Networking

Reception at the Moxy DC Lucha Rosa Rooftop

Learn More

Map: 1011 K St NW 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20001

FRIDAY SEPT. 13, 2024

8:00am

Break

Breakfast

9:00am

Professional Development

Professional Development

Halleemah Nash

Halleemah Nash

Rosecrans Ventures
Founder & Lead Coach

Session Description

Learn more about Halleemah Nash

11:30am

Break

Lunch

12:30pm

Keynote

Inside the World of Sustainability

Nira Johri

Nira Johri

KFC
Chief Sustainability Officer

The future of sustainability in retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods spaces.

Learn more about Nira Johri

1:30pm

Panel

Unique Experiences of Diverse-owned Brands

Discussing the intersection of retail and AI, the probable use cases, and the direction for the future.

2:30pm

Panel

Unified Retail: Integrating Stores, Corporate and Warehouse for Maximum Impact

Supporters

Platinum

Logo for Amazon

Gold

Logo for Burlington
Logo for Crate and Barrel
Logo for Dick's Sporting Goods
Logo for Kohl's
Logo for Kroger

Support and Attend

Join the NRF Foundation in our work towards a more diverse retail workforce at all levels by investing in retail's emerging leaders.

Platinum - $25,000


  • 5 retail attendee registrations
  • On stage speaking opportunity for a company executive (exact placement to be determined by NRF Foundation)
  • Opportunity for 2 company executives to attend the event's networking happy hour
  • Opportunity to provide donated product or branded swag to attendees
  • Digital spotlight to feature your brand’s DEI work, success stories, or spotlight attendees on screen during program breaks
  • Premier placement of company logo on event signage and website
  • Premier placement of company logo on select digital communications (i.e. emails and program)
  • Visibility on NRF and NRF Foundation social channels - Instagram Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - when promoting the Emerging Leaders Summit
  • Inclusion in select press releases, recap blog post and recap video as Platinum Sponsor (if applicable)
  • Invitation for two company executives to attend NRF’s Congressional Black Caucus Rooftop Reception on Wednesday, September 11, 2024
  • Access to event photos

Gold - $10,000


  • 5 retail attendee registrations
  • Premier placement of company logo on event signage and website
  • Premier placement of company logo on select digital communications (i.e. emails and program)
  • Visibility on NRF and NRF Foundation social channels - Instagram Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - when promoting the Emerging Leaders Summit
  • Inclusion in select press releases, recap blog post and recap video as a Gold Sponsor (if applicable)
  • Digital spotlight to feature your brand’s DEI work, success stories, or spotlight attendees on screen during program breaks
  • Invitation for one company executive to attend NRF’s Congressional Black Caucus Rooftop Reception on Wednesday, September 11, 2024
  • Access to event photos

Bronze - $5,000


  • 3 retail attendee registrations
  • Company logo on event signage and website
  • Company logo on select digital communications (i.e. emails and program)
  • Visibility on NRF Foundation social channels - Instagram Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - when promoting the Emerging Leaders Summit
  • Access to event photos

Hotel Information

Exterior of the Eaton DC hotel

The Emerging Leaders Summit will take place at the Eaton DC hotel in Washington, D.C.

A room block for attendees with discounted rates are available for the dates of Wednesday, Sept. 11 – Friday, Sept. 13.

Reservations for our room block closes August 20, 2024.

Learn more about Eaton DC

Reserve Now

Experience the NRF Foundation 2023

Emerging Leaders Summit

All of the Emerging Leaders Summit attendees pose for a group photo.
Session leader actively listens to a question from an Emerging Leaders Summit attendee.
Emerging Leaders Summit attendees listen to a speakers wisdom.
Emerging Leaders Summit attendees pose during an evening happy hour.
Emerging Leaders Summit attendees listen just before giving a summit speaker applause.
Sheneque Alexander, Robert Davison-Long, and Melanie Muñoz pose in front of a television displaying their session's title card.
Attendees of the NRF Emerging Leaders Summit take a break on the rooftop cafe during sunset.

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Hear What Attendees Are Saying

"The NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders Summit gave me a fresh perspective to more confidently move forward in my personal and professional life. It was such a privilege to have been given the opportunity to learn exclusive insights from industry leaders and network with other diverse talent. Participating in the summit was an experience that I will not soon forget!"

Taylor Ivey Crawford

Victoria’s Secret Assistant Merchant

 

"The NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders Summit provided space for me to step away from the day-to-day work and think about the role I play in my company’s goals, as well as how I'm achieving my own personal goals."

Caitlyn Castro

Athleta Merchant

"The atmosphere that was created by the NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders Summit allowed for open, honest, and engaging conversation that helped me think differently about the leader I am and what I bring to my organization."

Caila Hendrickson

Kohl’s Human Resources Generalist

 

"The NRF Foundation Emerging Leaders Summit was a great environment to foster diversity in all regards; diversity of thought, diversity of experience, diversity of job title, and diversity of identity."

Jordan Crawford

Amazon Vendor Manager