NRF Foundation Honors celebrates scholarship recipients and retail leaders

The NRF Foundation Honors on April 13 in NYC awarded undergraduate scholarships and recognized retail professionals
By Lottie Watts

The 2022 NRF Foundation Honors, presented by American Express and PwC, was held April 13 in New York City and featured the announcements of the NRF Foundation’s scholarship recipients, celebration of a community partner and recognition of retail leaders making a difference.

Surprise celebrity guest Earvin “Magic” Johnson presented Target Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell with The Visionary award, which honors an individual who has served the retail industry with distinction throughout their career.

In addition to celebrating The Visionary, the evening recognized The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future:

The List was presented onstage by PwC Vice Chair of Consumer Markets Barbra Bukovac and American Express President of U.S. Merchant Services Colleen Taylor.

The evening celebrated a community partner making an impact with the NRF Foundation’s retail skills training program with its RISE Up Partner of the Year. The award was presented by former Old Navy CEO Nancy Green to Phoenix Union High School District. Instructor John-Martin Rigsby accepted the award onstage and was surprised with $10,000 from the NRF Foundation to take back to his students at Trevor G. Browne High School.

Watch highlights of the 2022 NRF Foundation Honors in the video below: 

The NRF Foundation also presented thousands of dollars in scholarships to undergraduate students, who worked for months on their projects. The 2022 NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship included a case study for Meijer, while the team business competition tasked students with creating a private label brand for Kohl’s that embodies a more inclusive and equitable community.

Richard Widdowson, vice president of global retail and consumer goods solutions at SAS and member of the NRF Foundation Board of Directors, announced Robert Davison Long of Columbia College Chicago as the top recipient in the 2022 NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship. The junior fashion studies major received $25,000 and four other finalists received $10,000 each.

Kohl’s Inc. CEO and The Visionary 2020 Michelle Gass announced Tooba Athar, Haley Shannon and K-Lynn Ward from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising as the top team in the 2022 NRF Foundation Student Challenge competition. Each was awarded a $5,000 scholarship in the business competition.

The NRF Foundation Honors is the NRF Foundation’s biggest stage for telling the story of how retail builds extraordinary careers and largest fundraiser. The event – co-hosted by Macy’s, Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette and former Qurate Retail, Inc. President and CEO Mike George – drew more than 600 attendees to the Marriott Marquis Times Square and raised $3.22 million for the NRF Foundation’s programs and resources.

“Thanks to our generous supporters, the NRF Foundation is well-positioned to continue our important work, and to help even more people do better for themselves, their families and their communities,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Bill Thorne says. “There are so many inspiring stories that I am humbled to share on behalf of the people who have built extraordinary careers with our programs and resources. I am beyond grateful to our supporters for believing in this industry and in the NRF Foundation.”

Learn more about programs and resources from the NRF Foundation – including its industry-recognized RISE Up training and credentials – that help people of all backgrounds build life-changing careers. Plus, undergraduates can submit applications now for the 2023 NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship (deadline: May 2) or create a team for the 2023 NRF Foundation Student Challenge.

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