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Gaga Over the Givers

Gaga Over the Givers

The NRF Foundation announced the 25 individuals named to The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2016. The List honorees represent the best and brightest individuals impacting the retail industry today and will be recognized and celebrated at the NRF Foundation Gala on January 17, 2016 in New York City.

The 25 honorees are divided into five categories: Disruptors, Dreamers, Givers, Influencers and Power Players. While all the categories are truly noteworthy, we’re especially gaga over the Givers—they truly embody some of the most important things we stand for.

The Givers are defined as Inspirational change-makers and big-hearted optimists who make retail shine as a force for good. They see a need and use their skills and resources to fill it to the brim, bringing joy and new opportunities to their companies, communities and the whole wide world. This year, the Givers are:

Tory Burch
Chairman & Co-CEO, Tory Burch LLC
Founder, Tory Burch Foundation

In partnership with other companies, like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, The Tory Burch Foundation helps provide affordable loans, access to business and management education, and mentoring activities to women entrepreneurs.

Erin Harper
Senior Program Manager, Local Producer Loan Program, Whole Foods Market, Inc.

Whole Foods Market takes the idea of filling the other guy’s basket to heart with its Local Producer Loan Program (LPLP). Overseen by Erin Harper since 2012, the LPLP has distributed nearly $20 million in loans to help small producers, farmers and artisans expand. The low-interest loans have created groundbreaking growing methods, new product categories and supply chain improvements. Erin also spearheaded a robust mentoring and education program for recipients, offering them access to Whole Foods Market’s regional and global experts to help grow their businesses.

Bea Perez
VP & Chief Sustainability Officer, The Coca-Cola Company

Given our commitment to protecting the environment, we LOVE that Coca-Cola made Bea their first ever Chief Sustainability Officer in 2011. With a background in brand management and product marketing, Bea has lead the charge in Coca-Cola’s commitment to sustainability and giving back to the markets they serve. She spearheaded such initiatives as plantbottle, the first ever sustainable PET plastic packaging that is 30% plant based and 100% recyclable. Because of Coca-Cola’s reach and size, efforts in water stewardship, sustainable packaging, energy efficiency and climate protection have the power to make an impact across the globe.

Kindley Walsh Lawlor
Vice President, Global Sustainability, Gap, Inc.

As Vice President of Global Sustainability at Gap, Inc., Kindley helps ensure the fair and respectful treatment of more than 1 million workers across the globe. Under Kindley’s guidance, Gap is also expanding its Personal Advancement, Career Enhancement program that serves female factory workers and provides over 30,000 women with work and life skills.

Doug Rauch
Founder & President, Daily Table

It is one of the great incongruities: Tons of quality, usable food is discarded each day—roughly 20 pounds per person per month, per the United Nations—yet one in seven Americans is food insecure. Doug Rauch stands firmly in the gap with Daily Table. His not-for-profit retail store, which opened in Dorchester, Mass., in mid-2015, enables growers, supermarkets, manufacturers and other suppliers to put excess healthy food into the hands of those who need it most. Talk about committed to serving the community!

Laysha Ward
Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Target

Laysha Ward oversees all of Target’s domestic and international grant making, sponsorships and cause marketing programs. She also leads Target’s extensive volunteer efforts. In 2015, with Laysha at the helm, Target hit $1 billion given to education, and team members logged 1.17 million hours of community volunteering. Community partnerships are a BIG part of what we do, and we love to see retailers who feel the same way. Target’s corporate responsibility strategy also expanded to include a focus on wellness; for not only their customers but also their team members and the communities they serve. Through collaboration with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Target became the exclusive seller of the UNICEF Kid Power Band—a wearable that gives kids the power to give back.