Ambitious students from 44 NRF University member schools competed to represent the next generation of retail leaders.
Retail executives from 18 companies selected 25 semifinalists who rose to the top after submitting an essay, a personal brand video and two letters of recommendation from their employers and educators. These students completed an exclusive case study created in collaboration with PetSmart and two phone interviews with retail partners for the chance to advance to the final round of competition. The 25 semifinalists also received a $1,000 tuition award for their achievements.
The top recipient for the Next Generation Scholarship will receive a $25,000 scholarship; four finalists will each receive $10,000 scholarships.
Columbia College Chicago
Savannah College of Art and Design
Growing up with an entrepreneurial spirit, Rachel's interest in retail was piqued when she joined her DECA chapter in high school. Rachel has a diverse background in retail at Publix Supermarkets, America’s Mart, and most recently, Kohl’s Corporate. Now a senior at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, Rachel continues to be an asset to the retail industry by leveraging her experience and passion for sustainabilityand transparency within supply chains. After graduation, Rachel will be starting as a Merchandise Analyst Trainee at Kohl’s Corporate and is excited to represent a retailer that uses sustainability as a valuable tool in its strategy.
Santa Clara University
Currently a junior marketing major and Spanish minor at Butler University, Sophia Van Slyke was driven to the retail industry by a sense of curiosity, one which led her to become an active retail advocate on her school’s campus. Through her position as an NRFSA Ambassador, Sophia utilized her resources and passion for retail to found Butler’s first retail club. “Butler is not a retail school, but this is where I see a unique opportunity for growth. I consider myself to be the mode through which students are introduced to the innovation and excitement that is retail.”
Santa Clara University
Meet the Mentors
SAS is proud to be the sponsor of 2021 NRF Foundation Next Generation scholarship and is providing mentorship for this year's five finalists. These individuals will act as personal career mentors for the students, and will host a collaborative webinar focused on professional development and a retail topic of their choice.
Solutions and Analytical Advisor, SAS
Brittany Bullard is a Solutions & Analytical Advisor in the Retail practice at SAS and author of Style & Statistics: The Art of Retail Analytics. Bullard focuses on retailers’ strategic problems and challenges they face in an evolving industry. Her role allows her to apply her knowledge of advanced analytics to solve the most pressing issues and position SAS’s customers for success. Bullard brings to her team a decade of experience in the retail industry, and a fresh millennial perspective on the customer and user experience. Prior to joining SAS, Bullard acted as the Manager of Forecasting, Allocation, and Replenishment at Beall’s Inc.
Senior Manager, Global Retail & CPG, SAS
Antonio Calvo leads Business Development in EMEA to drive the growth of SAS solutions and is a member of the SAS Industry Advisory Board. Antonio has been serving clients for over 20+ years across Europe and beyond, helping organizations establish competitive advantage using advanced software solutions, AI and analytics for supply chains, marketing, and financial management. Antonio holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and a master’s degree from IESE Business School. He is a frequent lecturer at various universities across Spain and has published articles for GS1, IKN and IDC.
Sr. Account Manager, SAS
Louise manages strategic customers for SAS Retail. She collaborates with SAS specialists to leverage advanced analytics, machine learning & AI to optimize supply chain, marketing & improve operational efficiencies while delivering value for her customers. Louise has 35 years in retail, wholesale & technology industry.
Principal Client Advisor for EMEA, SAS
Ed is the Principal Client Advisor for EMEA, within the Retail/CPG Line of Business at SAS. He has over 25 years’ experience in senior commercial roles with Guinness internationally & as Buying Director with Aldi in UK/Ireland. At SAS he facilitates the enablement & delivery of SAS retail solutions throughout the EMEA region.
Retail Customer Advisory, SAS
Donna is a member of the Retail Customer Advisory team at SAS. She innovates with retail organizations to power predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation & optimize business process. Prior to joining SAS, Donna enjoyed 20 years of strategic experiences in the retail industry leading teams in inventory management, fulfillment, merchandise & global supply chain operations. Donna’s passion is transforming disruptive challenges into winning results powered by data & analytics that drive incremental precision & profitability.