Despite a last-minute move from an in-person to a virtual event necessitated by the COVID-19 omicron variant, the Retail Orphan Initiative’s annual fundraising event raised more than $285,000 for orphans and at-risk children. This is the 13th year RetailROI has held a January fundraiser, and a donation by First Insight covering administrative expenses means the entire amount raised goes to charitable grants.
“We are so thankful to the sponsors and attendees for hanging in there with all of the last-minute changes,” said Greg Buzek, President of RetailROI in a statement. “Not only did our sponsors continue their full support, but we were also able to expand the reach of the charity to many more people than would have been able to attend live. For this we are tremendously grateful.”
Speakers at the virtual event included The Vitamin Shoppe COO Andrew Laudato speaking about how companies can foster innovation, and retired FBI Cyber Division Special Agent Scott Augenbaum discussing ways to keep companies and families safe from the latest ransomware techniques.
The event also included updates on charitable events, including an overview of the success of the JEDI Program (Jamaican Entrepreneurs Delivering Innovation). The Parker Avery Group worked with RetailROI and the Fergus Simpson Foundation to provide a six-week training course for students and young adults culminating in a Shark Tank-like competition for new business ideas. Parker Avery then decided to seed fund six new businesses in Chapelton, Jamaica, with hopes of jumpstarting economic opportunity and job creation in the region.
Other sponsors included Salesforce, Verizon, Intel, Aptos, Ring Central, C-CORE Consulting Group, Zebra/Reflexis, VMware, HP, Amazon Web Services, UKG, Itasca Retail, EnVista, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, Lucidworks, RSM and IHL Group.
RetailROI’s events have helped more than 252,000 orphaned and vulnerable children in the U.S. and 26 other countries.