We talk often about change management for our clients, but last Friday, The Parker Avery Group sponsored an event that has the ability to truly change the world: the RetailROI (Retail Orphan Initiative) SuperFriday Virtual Event. Spearheaded by Greg Buzek, Founder and President of IHL Group, the event doubled the organizers’ initial goal, raising over $210,000 in an unbelievably quick timeframe. This money will help fund projects for orphan and vulnerable children in the US and around the world. More so, the event raised awareness about these initiatives in a time when so many of us are seeking ways to find or inspire more optimism in a highly tumultuous world.

RetailROI Kids

In a typical early January, most of the retail world is focused on NRF’s Big Show—navigating travel plans, New York City traffic, winter weather, and the many tangential networking events surrounding retail’s largest industry event. Obviously, this year, the NRF Big Show was quite different— with “Chapter 1” entirely virtual. Despite the fact that many of us are decidedly (and understandably) screen-weary, the RetailROI SuperFriday event was absolutely captivating.

Most notably the keynote speaker, Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC, shared his story of being a kid from the foster system who ended up making it to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Darryl shared his ups and downs over his career and how his “second act” of helping vulnerable children might be more important than his first career. Darryl was so engaging and absolutely just the most honest, unpretentious speaker—I felt like he was right there in the room with me as he shared his incredible, inspiring story. The recording is available here: https://my.demio.com/recording/kQScFVkY. Have some tissues nearby. Trust me on that.

One of the most impactful phrases I noted from Darryl’s conversation was, “Success is one thing, but significance is another.” Successful people and organizations find ways of creating significance in their actions. This significance starts with an overarching goal that is entirely altruistic.

I had heard about the RetailROI initiative, but honestly didn’t know much about the charity until last week. As a family, we have always been charitable; we work with and donate regularly to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA, the Children’s Hospital at VCU in Richmond, VA, and Habitat for Humanity (among others). But because of this year’s RetailROI’s SuperFriday event, I have a much stronger compass—a fervent goal that will drive my own personal efforts through 2021 and beyond.

Growing up as one of four adopted kids in my own family, the SuperFriday event was emotionally close to my heart. I am thrilled that Parker Avery’s leadership team made the decision to be a sponsor. This underscores my belief that I work with some of the most incredible people I will ever have the pleasure to know—beyond their collective deep industry expertise is the true significance of character.

We’ve all been through possibly the most challenging year we will ever experience. But the infants and kids that will be touched by RetailROI initiatives have been through much worse throughout their entire short, sweet lives. Efforts to support these organizations will reach farther and be more significant than anything else I can imagine. We have the ability to drive meaningful, positive change for these kids.

I hope you get a chance to watch Darryl’s story, and I trust it will inspire you as well. To learn more, please visit: https://www.retailroi.org/


Contact Parker Avery
Tricia Gustin, Senior Director of Marketing

Tricia Gustin
Senior Director of Marketing

Published On: January 15, 2021Categories: Big Show, Charity, National Retail Federation, Retail, Tricia Chismer Gustin