NRF Foundation Campus | New York 2023

NRF Student Program 2023

New York

Check out the videos from our 2023 NRF Foundation Student Program sessions.

Friday Mainstage
Like No Other Store in the World

Tony Spring - Chairman, NRF Foundation Board | Bloomingdale’s Chairman and CEO

Bloomingdale’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tony Spring shared how the iconic brand is celebrating 150 years – what it takes to plan a year-long global celebration – and what the future holds for one of the world’s leading retailers.

The Backbone of Business

Mark Irvin - Best Buy Chief Supply Chain Officer

Mark Irvin has spent most of his 30-year career in supply chain leadership. As Best Buy’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, he oversees the strategy and day-to-day operations of Best Buy’s global supply chain - from order management to distribution centers, from global-compliance to final-mile fulfillment. Irvin shared why knowledge of the supply chain is essential to your retail career.

Bringing Diversity to the Bottom Line
  • Bahja Johnson - Gap, Inc. Head of Customer and Community Belonging & Enablement Color Proud Council Co-Founder
  • Mecca Mitchell - Burlington Stores, Inc. Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
  • Brandi Douglas - National Retail Federation Chief Human Resources Officer

How do retailers create supportive and equitable institutional structures, foster welcoming and inclusive environments, and cultivate a culture that leverages diversity, inclusion, and equity best practices to drive business objectives? Brandi Douglas led a discussion with Bahja Johnson and Mecca Mitchell about what it means to respond to the diverse needs of your workforce, your customers, and the communities you serve.

Accelerate Your Career
The NRF Foundation Young Professionals Panel
  • Robert Davison-Long - Prada Group Donna Department Manager
  • Eugene Choi - PetSmart Sr. Digital Site Merchandiser
  • Courtney Nash - Allbirds Sr. Supply Chain & Merchandise Manager
  • Amaiya Sims - Amaiya’s Atelier Founder & CEO, Shopbop & Nordstrom Assistant Stylist

Our Young Professionals panel– with recent graduates and NRF Foundation scholarship recipients – shared their experiences at retailers like Allbirds, Nordstrom, PetSmart and Prada.

Mission Every One: How Macy’s, Inc Found Its Social Purpose

Bobby Amirshahi - Macy’s, Inc. Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications

Macy’s, Inc. Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Malek Robert (“Bobby”) Amirshahi is an award-winning, 20-plus year veteran of the media and telecommunications industry. Amirshahi shared how corporate social responsibility is more important than ever in today’s retail world – and how your personal passion can help drive change.

Fresh Perspectives on Private Labels
  • Nina Barjesteh - Nordstrom Product Group President
  • Alexis Bennett - Commerce Writer, VOGUE (Moderator)

Transforming private label brands puts the customers first through design, quality and value. Nina Barjesteh led product development for DICK’S Sporting Goods and is now building on the 50-year legacy of Nordstrom’s private label brands. She shared how you can how you can help retailers take full advantage of these growth opportunities – and accelerate your career.

Unlocking the Power of People

Christiane Pendarvis - Savage x Fenty Co-President and Chief Merchandising and Design Officer

Savage X Fenty Co-President & Chief Merchant Christiane Pendarvis excels in helping brands, teams and individuals grow and succeed in the face of rapidly changing industry dynamics, and she shared her passion for increasing diversity and representation in the fashion industry.

Under the Influence
  • Ashley Schpario - Vice President of Marketing, Media, Performance & Engagement, American Eagle
  • Farah Maloof - US Head of Industry, Luxury Retail, TikTok
  • Julie Selig - Head of Advocacy, Influencer Marketing and Social, L'Oréal LUXE

How do brands like American Eagle and L'Oréal LUXE approach marketing to the modern consumer? TikTok's US Head of Industry, Luxury Retail Farah Maloof led a discussion with American Eagle Vice President of Marketing, Media, Performance & Engagement Ashley Schpario and L'Oréal LUXE Head of Advocacy, Influencer Marketing and Social Julie Selig about their personal career journeys in retail and how they use platforms like TikTok to influence customer decisions.

Sustainability is Here to Stay – Or We May Not Be
The NRF Foundation Sustainability Panel
  • Scot Case - National Retail Federation Vice President, CSR & Sustainability
  • Sara Decker - Walmart Senior Director, Federal Government Affairs
  • Parul Rajwanshi - Saks 5th Avenue Senior Manager, Trade Compliance and Sustainability
  • Heather Zanoni - DICK’S Sporting Goods Senior Director, Sustainability & ESG ​

Consumers want it. Employees want to work for companies doing it. Investors are looking for companies making money doing it. Everyone is talking about sustainability but what is it? What are retailers doing about it? And how can you get involved? Retail executives shared how their very different roles support sustainability within their companies and offered the advice they wish they’d heard when they were in your shoes.

The Man Behind the Brand
  • Steve Madden - Steve Madden Creative and Design Chief
  • Donny Deutsch - Television Host & former Chairman of Deutsch Inc. (Moderator)

Iconic shoe designer, Steve Madden, started with an $1100 investment in 1990 and built one of the most successful brands globally. He share how he disrupted an industry – before disrupting was even a thing – and why authenticity, individuality and grit are the keys to success.

Saturday Mainstage
Retail Gets Real - Live
  • Bill Thorne - National Retail Federation SVP Communications NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast host
  • Katherine Cullen - National Retail Federation Sr. Director, Industry and Consumer Insights

It is the National Retail Federation podcast you know and love – and it’s LIVE on stage in New York City.

Unbiased Decision Making
Freshman And Sophomores Only

Matt Meuleners - Inclusive leaders make better decisions, with fewer unintended impacts. This session will explore the unconscious biases all leaders bring to the decision-making table. By uncovering these biases and blind spots in our own thinking, we are able to make more objective, informed, and inclusive decisions for our teams and selves. Participants will leverage mental frameworks for self-reflection and thought experiments for auditing our leadership and career decisions.

Future of Retail, Powered by Technology
Panel Discussion

National Retail Federation Sr. Director of Data Policy Cass Wright led a panel discussion with Carter's Chief Information Officer Ben Pivar and PetSmart Sr. Director of Applications Operation & Strategy Robert Reeves about the future of retail, powered by technology.

Macy’s, Inc. Digital Platform Modernization

Macy's, Inc. Technology Sr. Director of Digital Engineering Miguel Burnett provides a peek into how Macy's Technology executed on a platform modernization for its digital business.

The Kohl’s Way

Kohl's Product Leader Mark Michalski discusses "The Kohl's Way": how the company is evolving to a customer-centric, product-focused and data-driven culture.

Target Circle

Target Sr. Engineering Manager Mo Tahirou highlighted the different services under Target's Circle with an emphasis on the technology behind the community giving program.

The Modernization of DICK’S Sporting Goods Store Technology

DICK'S Sporting Goods Sr. Product Manager - In-Store Checkout Kelli Chimenti, Product Designer II - Store Browse and Select Cristina Dunning and Sr. Product Designer - Fulfillment Technology Alex Stroud discussed the modernization of DICK'S Sporting Goods, showcasing how they've modernized and innovated with the stores to create experiences tailored to their business and take control of their future. They highlight what their teams are building and how technology is changing the game in their stores to help them win big.

Innovation in Technology

The Home Depot Senior Director of Product Management Emily Clay discussed innovation in technology and how product management is incorporated in retail cross functionality.

Walmart Global Tech

Walmart Vice President of Emerging Technology Pradhan Pattanayak shared how Walmart Global Tech is using discovery/advertising + search and personalization and discussed how Walmart is implementing and executing AR/VR.

Supply Chain Solutions for Retail & Beyond

Best Buy Chief Supply Chain Officer Mark Irvin introduces the Supply Chain Solutions for Retail and Beyond breakout sessions at the 2023 NRF Foundation Student Program.

Building Your Career in Supply Chain

National Retail Federation Vice President of Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jon Gold moderates a panel and building your career in supply chain with The Home Depot Director of One Supply Chain Analytics Melody Abitz, Target Director of Supply Chain Operations Brittney Krajny, Best Buy Sr. Director of Distribution Operations Kevin Reiser, and Storebound Vice President of Operations Jordan Wasserman.

Sustainability and Reverse Supply Chain

Best Buy VP End to End Strategy Becca Meinz speaks to students about sustainability and reverse supply chain at the Supply Chain Solutions for Retail and Beyond breakout sessions at the 2023 NRF Foundation Student Program

Digital Transformation of the Supply Chain

SAS Director of Global Consumer Goods & Retail Andrew Folkes moderated a panel discussion with Ralph Lauren SVP of Product & Manufacturing Jason Berns, Project 44 Chief Industry Officer Bart A. De Muynck and Amazon Senior Continuous Improvement Manager Nduta-Rosemary Mwaura about the digital transformation of the retail supply chain.

Be a Speaker Next Year!

Want to be on stage at NRF Foundation New York: Student Program 2024? Share your company’s expertise with our students by applying to speak at our event.

Apply to Speak