The list of people shaping retail’s future 2019 – NRF

The laureates list includes a broad range of dynamic people who impact retail

The list of people shaping retail’s future 2019 – NRF. Source:

The NRF Foundation has recently announced the 25 individuals named to The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future. The laureates list includes a broad range of dynamic people who impact retail. The award ceremony will be held in New York City on January 13, 2019, as part of the NRF Foundation Gala during NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show.

The Gala is expected to raise no less than $3M for NRF Foundation initiatives – including educational and inspirational programs, student scholarships and RISE Up, an industry-backed training and credentialing program.

NRF Foundation President Ellen Davis says that the retail industry nowadays is a leading one, and the nominees of The List 2019 are the leaders in the industry, the most creative, enthusiastic, and energetic retail experts. According to the opinion of the foundation president, these people are at the forefront of innovation in retail. Therefore, they are people, who create new businesses, optimize already existing concepts, attract investment, and inspire other professionals and consumers all over the world.

So, let’s take a look at 2019 honorees in the different categories.

The Disruptors

This nomination is about people with original ideas, who had the nerve to show the world their crazy concepts, which eventually became so successful, that they turned the industry upside down.

Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Allbirds

Allbirds is a startup aimed at designing environmentally friendly footwear. Allbirds’ first shoe was the Wool Runner, which is made from New Zealand superfine merino wool. The company claims to keep the brand as eco-friendly as possible and is a certified B Corporation. In October 2018, the company raised a $50M Series C, bringing its total valuation to $1.4B.

Diane Dietz, President and CEO, Rodan + Fields

Diane Dietz is the CEO and President of Rodan + Fields. This company is the leading skincare brand in North America. While Dietz has been in charge, the company has achieved unrivaled success, exceeding $1.5B in sales. She is a real professional with more than 25 years of experience in executive positions with an original approach and is known for out-of-the-box solutions.

Shea Jensen, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Nordstrom

Shea Jensen is an expert with a strong record in managerial positions. She brings an incomparable and holistic view of how to serve the Nordstrom customer on their terms.

Susan Tynan, Founder and CEO, Framebridge

This executive is well-known for her bright and revolutionary ideas. Since 2014, Tynan has grown Framebridge from the ground up. Susan also has experience in customer technology startup development, like LivingSocial, Taxi Magic, and Revolution Health.

Heidi Zak and David Spector, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, ThirdLove

ThirdLove is an American company producing and selling bras, underwear, loungewear, and nightwear. It was the first bra and underwear brand to offer trademarked half cup sizing and a mobile app allowing women to measure themselves at home. They are also known for their Fit Finder (machine learning) technology to select the best bra size.

The Dreamers

This category brings together idealists, who haven’t given up their dreams, which have become a retail reality.

Jessica Alba, Founder, The Honest Company

Jessica proved to be not only as a talented actress but also as a successful businesswoman. She founded The Honest Company,  an American consumer goods firm that emphasizes household products to supply the marketplace for ethical consumerism.

Charlotte Gould, CEO, Stitches by Charlotte

Charlotte will soon turn 11 years old and recently introduced the first-ever, kid designed and created doll line specifically branded for children undergoing surgeries and medical procedures. Each hand-sewn doll comes with personalized options and with a blunt needle, thread, and instructions to add stitches in the likeness of the child’s situation.

Amanda E. Johnson and KJ Miller, Co-Founders, Mented Cosmetics

Consumers and beauty enthusiasts themselves, KJ and Amanda were often disappointed with the limited beauty options and shades for darker skin tones, so they developed their own premium cosmetics. Some experts call solutions of this company a real beauty revolution.

Steph Korey, Co-Founder and CEO, and Jen Rubio, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer, Away

This global lifestyle brand designs thoughtful objects to make traveling more seamless. Jen is a branding, creative, and social media expert, while Steph expertly leads a team handling product development, manufacturing, and fulfillment.

Ajay Kori, Co-Founder, UrbanStems

This man had some bad experience sending flowers to his girlfriend. “The poor customer service and unreliable delivery”, is how he described that flower delivery service. Therefore, he revolutionized the flower delivery business and made sending flowers a happy, seamless experience.

Jo Malone, Founder and Creative Director, Jo Loves

This woman has created some of the world’s most-loved fragrances.

The Givers

This category is for big-hearted optimists, who use their skills to make retail, as well as the world, a better place.

Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse, Co-Founders, R.Riveter

Cameron is an optimist with a passion for creative design and problem solving while Lisa is a “roll up the sleeves” mentality fan.

Mike Brady, President and CEO, Greyston

Mike works for a pioneering social enterprise that uses its Open Hiring™ model to welcome people into the workforce with zero judgment and by asking no questions. Besides, the bakery also still makes tasty brownies.

Jim Haslam II, Founder and Philanthropist, Pilot Corporation

James A. Haslam II is the founder and chairman of the board of Pilot Corporation, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.

David Heath and Randy Goldberg, Co-Founders, Bombas

This brand is known for rigorous product testing and refinement, to create the best performing and most supportive sock available. Founders also decided to use the One Pair Purchased = One Pair Donated pattern, which has led to more than 10M pairs of socks donated across the US to date.

Tina Sharkey, Co-Founder and CEO, Brandless

Tina is an experienced professional, who has built a successful brand. Brandless is an American e-commerce company that manufactures and sells food, beauty and personal care products, and household supplies under its own Brandless label.

The Influencers

The nominees who do not work in retail, but somehow help to evolve it.

Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO, TaskRabbit

She currently holds the position of CEO of TaskRabbit, the leading marketplace, connecting skilled taskers with clients to handle everyday services in the home.

Oliver Chen, Managing Director, Retail and Luxury Head, Cowen

Oliver Chen is a managing director and senior equity research analyst covering retail and luxury goods.

Jason Del Rey, Senior Editor, Commerce, Recode

Jason Del Rey is a senior editor at Recode, the technology news site, where he covers the e-commerce and payments industries as well as how technology is transforming bricks-and-mortar stores.

Kirsten Green, Founder and Managing Partner, Forerunner Ventures

Kirsten Green used a unique and unconventional blend of professional history and acquired investment experience to launch San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures in 2010, where she currently serves as Founder and Managing Director. As a founder, Kirsten has lead efforts to raise over $250M from leading investors and has invested in more than 40 early-stage companies.

The Power Players


These honorees are strong leaders, who never turn their backs on insurmountable challenges, and overcome these obstacles with passion, heart, and soul.

Steve Barbarick, President and COO, Tractor Supply Company

President and Chief Operating Officer of Tractor Supply Company. The company has an extensive 80-year history, but it experienced an unprecedented growth only when this executive headed it.

Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Warby Parker

These two men have founded a firm, that was named the most innovative company in the world in 2015.

Diane Ellis, President, Chico’s

Diane is the Chico’s brand president. During her three-year tenure, she developed an innovative strategy, driving the company’s growth and business transformation.

J. Michael Evans, Director and President, Alibaba Group

Michael is responsible for leading and executing Alibaba Group’s international strategy for globalizing the company and expanding its businesses outside of China.

Carolyn Tastad, Group President, North America and Executive Sponsor, Gender Equality, Procter & Gamble

Carolyn is responsible for P&G’s business in North America, the company’s largest and most profitable region, which includes the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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