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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

Delia Kurland

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Delia Kurland East Coast Regional Operations Manager, Crate and Barrel

Delia Kurland
East Coast Regional Operations Manager
Crate and Barrel

Delving into the psychology of what makes managers tick

In her position as Regional Operations Manager for Crate and Barrel’s East Coast stores, Delia Kurland mentors store management teams at numerous locations. In each conversation, she admits that she tries to get into the associate’s head. “I’m interested in what drives them, what inspires them, what aspect of the job has the most meaning for them,” she says. Most important, she wants to know the answer to a simple question: What makes them feel proud and happy at the end of a workday?

Over the course of her 24-year retail career, Delia has formulated a variety of theories and processes based on how people answer that question and many others. So she was both surprised and excited to learn that a field of study exists that is devoted to this very subject — industrial-organizational psychology — and it was one that she could study at University of Phoenix thanks to her Dream BIG scholarship. “The idea of studying the very things I think about at work all the time, and using that knowledge to do more for the people and company I work with, is very exciting to me.”

“I love teaching people things that make them feel smart and powerful.”

Armed with a master’s in psychology, Delia hopes to continue improving the dynamic between her managers and their work environments, helping them become empowered and invigorated every day they come to work. “I love teaching people things that make them feel smart and powerful.”