Monkee’s Named Top 20 Finalist in NRF “This is Retail” Video Contest

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202) 626-8189 or

NRF Announces Top 20 Finalists for “This is Retail” Video Contest
-Contenders for $25,000 Grand Prize Come From 15 States-

Washington, April 2, 2012 – The National Retail Federation announced today the 20 finalists of its “This is Retail” video contest, determined from scoring by prominent retail executives at NRF member companies. Contest finalists range from small business owners to vice presidents at national retail chains, and from wine shops to sporting goods retailers.

Public viewing of and voting for the Top 20 videos begin April 3 at

The top 20 finalists in alphabetical order are as follows:

Name Retail company Location
Jim Adams Baltimore Running Baltimore, Maryland
Tanna Dang Eden in Love Honolulu, Hawaii
Kelly Delaney Cakes for Occasions Danvers, Massachusetts
Carina Donoso Alex and Ani Providence, Rhode Island
Steve Elkins WEBS Yarn Store Northampton, Massachusetts
Jennifer Gunderson My Garden Nursery Mill Creek, Washington
Robert Houston Anna and Eve Oak Brook, Illinois
Susan Kaufman Market Alley Wines Monmouth, Illinois
Harrison Kressler Bookmans Tucson, Arizona
Amy Kule Macy’s New York, New York
Jakki Liberman Zoolikins Scottsdale, Arizona
Jeremy Litchfield Atayne Brunswick, Maine
Shawn Outler Macy’s New York, New York
Mark Plessinger Frame of Mind Columbia, South Carolina
Carla Santiago Brighton Collectibles Los Angeles, California
Deirdre Shaw Monkee’s Wilmington, North Carolina
Ronald Smith The Root Cellar Louisville, Kentucky
Miguel Urias Password Athletics Granada Hills, California
Kim Williams The Polka Dot Express Tallahassee, Florida
Julie Wurr Heart ‘n Home Laurens, Iowa

“The incredible stories we heard from small business owners and employees through this contest serve as a reminder that retail is at the heart of every community,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While each of these finalists has their own story, they collectively demonstrate the opportunities in and power of retail, which supports 42 million U.S. jobs.”

The selection process will continue through April as the top 20 videos go head-to-head in a bracket-style tournament, each week being narrowed down to the top 10, five and finally the top three. Beginning April 3, anyone can cast a vote for their favorite videos through NRF’s Retail Means Jobs website, voting up to 10 times a day per matchup. The videos with the most votes before the end of each six-day period will move on to the next round. The contest’s top three finalists will be announced on May 1, and will be flown to NRF’s Washington Leadership Conference for the announcement of the contest rankings on May 16. The first place winner will receive $25,000 with $15,000 for second place and $10,000 for third place.

Contest finalists were selected by a panel of retail executives from NRF member companies. The judges, who visited NRF’s office in Washington on March 27 to view the top 40 submissions, scored videos based on multiple categories including visual appeal and effectiveness of the use of the key video contest themes.

Judges who took part in the selection process included:

• Bill Brand, Executive Vice President, Programming, Marketing and Business Development, HSN
• Jennifer Lassiter, Vice President, Internal Communication, The Neiman Marcus Group
• Jessica Leseky, Director of Enterprise Sales, Barnes & Noble
• Dave Ratner, Owner, Dave’s Soda and Pet City
• Jamie T. Richardson, Vice President, Government and Shareholder Relations, White Castle
• John Rogers, Vice President/GM, Global e-commerce, Under Armour

NRF’s “This is Retail” video contest is a part of the association’s multi-faceted Retail Means Jobs campaign. The contest, officially announced in January at Retail’s BIG Show, was designed to promote retail as a career and demonstrate the multitude of career choices available within the retail industry.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation.