Running toward success: The power of mentorship

By Shaquayla Mims

Evan Chisholm received the NRF Foundation’s Ray Greenly Scholarship in 2014. With the help of the scholarship, he completed his associate degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and began working as an assistant buyer at men’s subscription box retailer Bombfell. But his true passions included sports, hip-hop and streetwear – and that’s where the NRF Foundation would be there to support him, once again.

Evan Chisholm recieving the Ray Greenly scholarship in 2014

Before he landed at Bombfell, Evan had previously pursued a position at legendary retailer Nike but was passed over for the role. A few years later, another opportunity with the sports titan presented itself, and this time, Evan was ready to “just do it”.

Thanks to the scholarship, Evan had an amazing network and support system within the retail industry rooting for him. He reached out to Nike’s Kevin Pohlschneider, with whom he had previously interviewed, as well as Nike executive Kevin Ertell, who had judged the Ray Greenly Scholarship in 2014 – and announced Evan as the “winner”.

Within a few months, Evan applied for the job with Nike sportswear, welcomed his first child with his wife, received a job offer, and moved his family from New York to Portland to begin his dream job last April.

Evan credits his career success to the NRF Foundation, “The NRF Foundation really opened my eyes up to merchandising as an actual career path. They offered resources and support and helped me figure out myself as a person — they taught me networking and gave me confidence.”