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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

Kasey Harris

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Kasey Harris Store Operations Manager, JCPenney

Kasey Harris
Store Operations Manager
JCPenney

Winning hearts and minds by using her ears

As a teenager working in her first retail career, Kasey Harris discovered the most important key to successful interactions with her customers — a sympathetic ear. “If you listen to their requests, empathize with their issues and do not take their complaints as personal attacks against yourself, you can appease even the unhappiest of customers and, many times, win a loyal patron.”

In her current role as a store operations manager for JCPenney at the company’s Texas headquarters, Kasey continues to ensure her customers’ voices always remain heard. After all, they remain at the center of every retail enterprise and without their patronage, she says, “a business just becomes a museum of useless goods sitting on a shelf.”

“Because I have benefited in my own career from great leadership and company-provided training, I would like to give back to the next generation of retail employees after me.”

With her Dream BIG scholarship from the NRF Foundation and University of Phoenix, Kasey hopes to develop additional skills as a manager, trainer and leader. Over the past two decades of her career, she has begun to discern the differences between good leaders and great ones. While good leadership can get the job done, great leadership can get the job done while enhancing employees’ ability to learn from it.

“Because I have benefited in my own career from great leadership and company-provided training,” Kasey says, “I would like to give back to the next generation of retail employees after me.”