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    Retail IT Execs Launch Children's Charity

    Called RetailROI, the group sprang from work that Paul Singer of Supervalu has devoted to orphans.

    Red Fork Soups

    Retail executives, analysts, and technology vendors teamed up to form a new charity organization called RetailROI (the Retail Orphan Initiative), aimed at raising awareness of adoption issues and providing lasting solutions for vulnerable children worldwide.
     
    Created under the umbrella of The Giving Back Fund, RetailROI is a charitable foundation established to help the 400 million orphaned and vulnerable children around the world, said organizers. It evolved from the work that Paul Singer, s.v.p. and c.i.o. of Supervalu, has done in support of orphans.

    RetailROI will provide grants to charities that provide hands-on efforts in the following areas:
    * Orphan care (food, shelter, medical, clothing, education)
    * Foster care support organizations
    * Adoption support organizations
    * Grants and zero-interest loans for adoption
    * Child rescue from human trafficking
    * Life skills training for orphaned and vulnerable children

    RetailROI will initially solicit donations from retailers and vendors, and their employees. However, its long-term goal is to create programs such as "RoundUp for Orphans" at the point of sale, in which customers can round up their transactions to the nearest dollar to support the fund, or custom multi-retailer gift cards that would dedicate a portion of the sales to RetailROI.

    The group's board of donor trustees consists of: Paul Singer, s.v.p. and c.i.o. of Supervalu; Marc Millstein, founder and president of Retail Connections; and Greg Buzek, founder and president of IHL Group.

    On the board of advisors are Cathy Hotka, president and c.e.o. of Cathy Hotka and Associates; Timothy Kasbe, c.i.o. of Reliance Retail Ltd., India; Jeff Roster, research v.p. for Retail Industry Market Strategies at Gartner; and Jeff Ketner, president of KetnerBarnes. 

    RetailROI will meet for the first time on Jan. 11, at the National Retail Federation Show in New York. For more information, visit www.retailROI.org.

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