Dec 20, 2016
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Mark Parker of Nike to be named Visionary at the 2017 NRF Foundation Gala

Dec 20, 2016

The National Retail Federation on Monday announced that it will name Nike Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker “The Visionary” at the 2017 NRF Foundation Gala on January 15, 2017.

Mark Parker - Nike


Parker, who was named Chairman of Nike in July following Phil Knight’s retirement, was considered for the new Visionary award for being “an inspiring leader with a long record of spearheading change in the industry” according to the NRF’s statement. The Visionary award is a consolidation of the Gold Medal, Innovator of the Year and International Retailer of the Year awards.

“There aren’t many trailblazers like Mark Parker in the retail industry or the entire business world,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Here’s a guy who took his love for running and footwear design and turned it into a successful career with one of the most iconic brands of our time. He is a leader, an innovator and a designer, and he epitomizes everything The Visionary stands for.”

Mark Parker joined Nike as a footwear designer in 1979 before serving as VP of Consumer Product Marketing, VP of Global Footwear and Co-President of Nike. Parker is also responsible for the growth of Nike’s global business portfolio, which includes Converse and Hurley, and partnerships with the NFL, MLB, U.S. Olympic Committee and the NBA, which Nike will be the official apparel provider for beginning in 2017.

With Parker at the helm, Nike developed new technologies including the Nike Air, Nike Lunarlon, Nike Flyknit and Dri-FIT, and the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, the first-ever self-lacing shoe, and the company more than doubled its revenue.

The National Retail Federation Foundation Gala is an annual event where retail leaders unite to celebrate the industry, support the next generation of talent and recognize the achievements of the people shaping retail today and who invest in tomorrow by giving back. The second annual NRF Foundation Gala in 2016 raised $1.65 million for scholarships, programs and initiatives.

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