The eighth annual NRF Foundation Honors gala drew more than 700 attendees and raised nearly $3 million for the foundation’s career development programs and student scholarships.
Among those at Sunday evening’s event, held at New York’s Marriott Marquis in conjunction with NRF’s Big Show convention, were Bloomingdale’s chief executive officer Tony Spring, who is also chairman of the foundation; Walmart U.S. CEO and NRF chairman John Furner, and Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison, who received The Visionary Award.
Additionally, five individuals were honored by being included in NRF’s “2023 List of People Shaping Retail’s Future.” They were: Home Depot senior director of workforce programs Erin Izen; Walmart Inc. executive vice president, global chief technology officer and chief development officer Suresh Kumar; Ministry of Supply cofounder and CEO Aman Advani; Gap Inc. head of customer and community belonging Bahja Johnson, and Steve Madden, founder, creative and design chief of the footwear and apparel brand bearing his name.
The event also honored Megan Marr of LIM College, as the top recipient of the 2023 NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship, and Delaney Hanson, Grace Long, Alison MacCloud and Gustavo Rubio from Florida State University as the top team in the 2023 NRF Foundation Student Challenge competition. The School District of Philadelphia was honored as the 2023 NRF Foundation RISE Up Partner of the Year.
“In every community across the country, retail provides limitless ways for people of all backgrounds to pursue their passions and achieve success,” NRF Foundation executive director Bill Thorne said. “We are honored to celebrate retail’s future leaders and are thankful for the countless supporters who share in our belief that our industry is unmatched in offering opportunities for individuals, families and communities large and small.”