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The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

Dream BIG Scholarship

Cara Leone

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Cara Leone Assistant Manager, L.L.Bean Outlet Store

Cara Leone
Assistant Manager
L.L.Bean Outlet Store

Throwing out crazy ideas (that just might work)

At her L.L.Bean Outlet store, Cara Leone is known as the woman with the creative ideas. Whether it’s a concept for a new display, a suggestion for improving the point of sale system or a marketing promotion, Cara likes to dream big every day she’s in the store. “Sometimes they don’t work out,” she admits, “but there is no way to gather feedback without first offering the idea!”

Cara’s adventuresome spirit serves her well at a company that itself is dedicated to adventure. During her five-year tenure at the storied outdoor equipment and clothing retailer, she has pushed herself to cross-train in virtually every area within the store, from sales and visual merchandising to shipping, returns and merchandise preparation. She finds this “bigger picture” view of how the store functions is tremendously helpful as she problem-solves across departments. “This puzzle piece approach will help me as I move up and take more responsibility for hiring, scheduling and payroll management,” she says.

Cara’s adventuresome spirit serves her well at a company that itself is dedicated to adventure.

Cara believes her planned bachelor’s degree in business from University of Phoenix will ensure she’s prepared for her future and ready with even more unique ideas. “I get such positive feedback from my managers that it has inspired me to keep dreaming big,” she says. “When the next opportunity comes up, I will be ready.”