Retail CIOs Raise Funds, Ideas To Help 400M At-Risk Children - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
9/22/2009
11:25 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Retail CIOs Raise Funds, Ideas To Help 400M At-Risk Children

While there are lots of conferences featuring CIOs exchanging innovative ideas and strategic insights, a January event featuring 10 top retailer CIOs will be raising money and awareness for 400 million at-risk children around the world as part of a truly strategic ROI effort: the Retail Orphan Initiative.

While there are lots of conferences featuring CIOs exchanging innovative ideas and strategic insights, a January event featuring 10 top retailer CIOs will be raising money and awareness for 400 million at-risk children around the world as part of a truly strategic ROI effort: the Retail Orphan Initiative.Sponsored by several IT companies, the retail-CIO strategy session is part of the overall NRF 2010 conference and will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9 in New York City. Featured speakers include these CIOs from the retail industry:

• Timothy Kasbe - SVP & CIO, Sears Holdings • Delaney Bellinger - CIO, YUM! Brands • Dave Finnegan - CIO, Build a Bear • Vicki Cantrell - COO, Tory Burch • Robert Fort - Former CIO, Virgin Media • Ed Collupy - CIO, The Pantry • Dennis Harris - CIO, Genesco • John Polizzi - CIO, BJ's Wholesale • Herman Nell - SVP & CIO, Petco • Gary King - EVP & CIO, Chico's

The sponsors for the event whose supporting dollars will be plowed into the RetailROI project include several IT companies: Microsoft, Epson, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard, as well as HL Group, Marriott East Side, and C-Core Consulting Group, according to a press release from RetailROI.

Looks like a real win-win event: attendees get to hear the leading retail CIOs listed above as well as top analysts in the field, and the "vulnerable children worldwide" whom RetailROI is aiming to help will eventually benefit from the financial support coming from the sponsors. Here's how NRF 2010 described the CIO-centric portion of the conference:

Retail ROI Super Saturday brings together a "who's who" of retailers, leading technology/financial research analysts, editors and influencers. The event will allow participants to discuss the key trends, holiday results, and innovative strategies that are shaping the retail industry as the New Year begins.

And here's how RetailROI's website describes its charitable work on behalf of children around the world:

The Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) www.retailROI.org is a charitable foundation that was formed for the purposes of helping the orphaned and vulnerable children of the world.

Created under the umbrella of The Giving Back Fund, RetailROI provides grants to charities that provide "feet on the street" efforts in the following areas: • Orphan Care (food, shelter, medical, clothing, education) • Foster Care support organizations • Adoption support organizations • Grants and zero interest loans for adoption • Child Rescue from human trafficking • Life-skills training for orphaned and vulnerable children While initially soliciting donations from retailers, vendors and employees, the goal is to create programs such as "RoundUp for Orphans" at the point-of-sale, where customers can round up their transactions to the nearest dollar to support the fund, or to create custom, multi-retailer gift cards that would have a portion of the sales go to these causes.

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