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The National Retail Federation has selected the 20 finalists of its “This is Retail” video contest, determined from scoring by prominent retail executives at NRF member companies. Contest finalists range from small business owners to VPs at national retail chains, and from wine shops to sporting goods retailers.
“The incredible stories we heard from small business owners and employees through this contest serve as a reminder that retail is at the heart of every community,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While each of these finalists has their own story, they collectively demonstrate the opportunities in and power of retail, which supports 42 million U.S. jobs.”
Public viewing of and voting for the Top 20 videos begin April 3.
The top 20 finalists in alphabetical order are as follows:
- Jim Adams, Baltimore Running, Baltimore, Md.
- Tanna Dang, Eden in Love, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Kelly Delaney, Cakes for Occasions, Danvers, Mass.
- Carina Donoso, Alex and Ani, Providence, R.I.
- Steve Elkins, WEBS Yarn Store, Northampton, Mass.
- Jennifer Gunderson, My Garden Nursery, Mill Creek, Wash.
- Robert Houston, Anna and Eve, Oak Brook, Ill.
- Susan Kaufman, Market Alley Wines, Monmouth, Ill.
- Harrison Kressler, Bookmans, Tucson, Ariz.
- Amy Kule, Macy’s, New York, N.Y.
- Jakki Liberman, Zoolikins, Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Jeremy Litchfield, Atayne, Brunswick, Me.
- Shawn Outler, Macy’s, New York, N.Y.
- Mark Plessinger, Frame of Mind, Columbia, S.C.
- Carla Santiago, Brighton Collectibles, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Deirdre Shaw, Monkee’s, Wilmington, N.C.
- Ronald Smith, The Root Cellar, Louisville, Ky.
- Miguel Urias, Password Athletics, Granada Hills, Calif.
- Kim Williams, The Polka Dot Express, Tallahassee, Fla.
- Julie Wurr, Heart ‘n Home, Laurens, Iowa
The selection process will continue through April as the top 20 videos go head-to-head in a bracket-style tournament, each week being narrowed down to the top 10, five and finally the top three. Beginning April 3, anyone can cast a vote for their favorite videos through NRF’s Retail Means Jobs website, voting up to 10 times a day per matchup. The videos with the most votes before the end of each six-day period will move on to the next round. The contest’s top three finalists will be announced on May 1, and will be flown to NRF’s Washington Leadership Conference for the announcement of the contest rankings on May 16. The first place winner will receive $25,000 with $15,000 for second place and $10,000 for third place.
Contest finalists were selected by a panel of retail executives from NRF member companies. The judges, who visited NRF’s office in Washington on March 27 to view the top 40 submissions, scored videos based on multiple categories including visual appeal and effectiveness of the use of the key video contest themes.
Judges who took part in the selection process included:
- Bill Brand, EVP, programming, marketing and business development, HSN
- Jennifer Lassiter, VP, internal communication, The Neiman Marcus Group
- Jessica Leseky, director of enterprise sales, Barnes & Noble
- Dave Ratner, owner, Dave’s Soda and Pet City
- Jamie T. Richardson, VP, government and shareholder relations, White Castle
- John Rogers, VP/GM, global e-commerce, Under Armour
NRF’s “This is Retail” video contest is a part of the association’s multi-faceted Retail Means Jobs campaign. The contest, officially announced in January at Retail’s BIG Show, was designed to promote retail as a career and demonstrate the multitude of career choices available within the retail industry.
NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation.