The List of People Shaping Retail's Future

The list of people shaping retails future hero image with text

To date, we have recognized over 100 extraordinary individuals who are shaping the retail industry’s future.

Every year, the NRF Foundation recognizes 25 individuals on The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future: the true originals, determined idealists, inspirational change-makers, champions of retail and fearless leaders whose imagination, inspiration and innovation make a true impact on the industry. The List is not only a celebration of dynamic individuals shaping the industry, it is also a way for us to demonstrate the breadth of career opportunities that exist within retail, and provide a powerful platform for individuals and brands.

The five categories

A headshot of Emily Weiss, the founder and CEO of Glossier
The Disruptors

True originals who rock the boat with ideas so crazy, they just might work. These are the people who make you rethink what you thought you knew about retail, opening you up to new possibilities for your customers, your business and your world.

Pictured: Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO, Glossier 

The Dreamers

Determined idealists whose passion, energy and heart inspire everyone around them. They’ve taken their big dreams and sky-high goals and turned them into retail reality. They're making serious waves with their fresh ideas and don’t show any signs of slowing down.

Pictured: Isabelle and Katherine Adams, Co-CEOs, Paper For Water

A photo of Isabelle and Katherine Adams, the co-Founders of Paper For Water
A headshot of Hamdi Ulukaya, the founer, chairman, an CEO of Chobani LLC
The Givers

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.

Pictured: Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Chobani LLC

The Influencers

Champions of retail, bridging the gap between the industry and the rest of the world. Whether theyre journalists, activists, innovators or business leaders, these nominees dont work in retail — but theyre helping it evolve. Theyre passionate, persistent and intelligent, and their work is paving the way for innovative retailers everywhere.

Pictured: Jonathan Sokoloff, Managing Partner, Leonard Green & Partners

A headshot of Jonathan Sokoloff, the managing partner at Leonard Green & Partners
A headshot of James Curleigh, the president of Levi's Brand
The Power Players

Fearless leaders who never shy away from what others may see as insurmountable challenges. These top retail executives have more than just elite status — they have vision, passion and heart. Their forward-looking decisions have a ripple effect across the industry.

Pictured: James JC Curleigh, President, Levi's Brand


How to nominate someone for The List

Nominations for The List 2019 are currently closed. Please check back in April 2019 for nomination submission instructions for The List 2020. Questions? Contact Diana Stallworth at