Retail has a great story to tell in Minnesota!

Patricia Chinander, Owner of Love From USA Group, Recognized with Retail Mentor of the Year Award

2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

Patricia Chinander Retail Mentor Of The YearSt. Paul (October 2, 2023) – The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Patricia Chinander, owner of Love From USA Group which includes Love From Minnesota and I Love Minnesota, with its Retail Mentor of the Year award as part of the 2023-2024 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

"Pat's legacy as a mentor and a business leader is an inspiration to us all,” Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association, remarked. “Her commitment over the last 45 years to helping others succeed has not only benefited her employees but has also enriched our industry as a whole. We are pleased to recognize Pat for her outstanding contributions to the retail industry and her dedication to mentoring.”

"Mentoring is part of my heart," said Chinander, emphasizing the profound significance of mentorship in her life. “The empathy and direction that people need can be as small as just talking to them every day. Everybody needs something at some point in their life," Pat reflects, highlighting her belief in the power of open communication and mentorship.

Chinander's journey from a small family-run kiosk to the helm of a thriving national business with over 19 brick-and-mortar locations across the country is a testament to her dedication, vision, and passion for retail. Beyond her remarkable business success, her legacy is marked by an unwavering commitment to mentoring and nurturing the talents of countless individuals throughout her career.

Chinander is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Retail Mentor of the Year award. Eleven other organizations and individuals will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Entrepreneur of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Advocate of the Year, Advocate Partner of the Year, Advocacy Leadership, Community Partner of the Year, Retail Collaboration, Customer Experience, Vendor Partner of the Year, Social Responsibility, and Retail Community of the Year.

Chinander will accept the award during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Bloomington. The event features practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations, strategies and ideas. Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Click here to see all the 2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champions award winners.

About the Minnesota Retailers Association: The Minnesota Retailers Association promotes, preserves, and enhances the retail industry in Minnesota by taking a leadership position in development of public policy and regulatory measures that impact members. MnRA also works to enhance the public image of the retail industry by providing information, services and support that adds value to its members. www.mnretail.org.

Contact: Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (651) 227-6631

Walter Dillon Recognized with Advocate of the Year Award

2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

Walter Dillion Advocate Of The YearSt. Paul (October 2,2023) – The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Walter Dillon, former owner of KKG Kicks, with its Advocate of the Year award as part of the 2023-2024 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

"Walter Dillon's courage and advocacy efforts have had a profound impact on our state's retail community,” president of the Minnesota Retailers Association Bruce Nustad applauded, “He turned a personal tragedy into a catalyst for positive change. His work will leave a lasting impact on communities, businesses, and future entrepreneurs."

Walter Dillon, the former owner of KKG Kicks, a collectible sneaker store in Little Canada, found himself facing a daunting challenge when his store became a victim of multiple burglaries, including one that occurred during the birth of his son. Faced with these insurmountable circumstances, he made the difficult decision to close his store that was once his dream.

However, Mr. Dillon's resilience and determination shone through as he transformed his adversity into advocacy. He played a pivotal role as a powerful voice speaking out against organized retail theft, sharing his personal experience and insights with the Minnesota legislature. His testimony was instrumental in the passage of the Organized Retail Crime definition Bill in 2023.

Reflecting on his advocacy, Walter Dillon expressed, "It's a dream come true to know that I made a difference in ending Organized Retail Theft. My work is for the next entrepreneur, the next young kid that's going to save a dollar and try to make a difference in their community."

Walter Dillon is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Advocate of the Year award. Eleven other organizations and individuals will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Entrepreneur of the Year, Retail Mentor of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Advocate Partner of the Year, Advocacy Leadership, Community Partner of the Year, Retail Collaboration, Customer Experience, Vendor Partner of the Year, Social Responsibility, and Retail Community of the Year.

Dillon will accept the award during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Bloomington. The event features practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations, strategies, and ideas. Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Click here to see all the 2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champions award winners.

About the Minnesota Retailers Association: The Minnesota Retailers Association promotes, preserves, and enhances the retail industry in Minnesota by taking a leadership position in development of public policy and regulatory measures that impact members. MnRA also works to enhance the public image of the retail industry by providing information, services and support that adds value to its members. www.mnretail.org.

Contact: Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (651) 227-6631

Minnesota Organized Retail Crime Association Recognized with Advocate Partner of the Year Award

2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

MNORCA Advocate Partner Of The YearSt. Paul (October 2, 2023) – The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize the Minnesota Organized Retail Crime Association (MNORCA) with its Advocate Partner of the Year award as part of the 2023-2024 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association, commended MNORCA for its outstanding work. "MNORCA's dedication to bringing all of the stakeholders to the table in the effort to combat Organized Retail Crime has been invaluable. Their commitment to creating a safe retail environment has been crucial to our efforts to support and protect retailers, workers, and customers across the state."

Cody Johnson, president of MNORCA, emphasized the organization's commitment to making a real impact in the battle against Organized Retail Crime. "MNORCA is making a difference in bringing the private and public sectors together in our battle against Organized Retail Crime," stated Johnson, highlighting the importance of collaboration in combating this growing threat to retailers.

MNORCA has played a pivotal role in uniting various stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, retailers, financial investigators, prosecutors, and legislators, to address the complex issue of ORC effectively. Their partnership was instrumental in the successful passage of the Organized Retail Crime definition bill during the 2023 legislative session.

MNORCA is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Advocate Partner of the Year award. Eleven other organizations and individuals will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Entrepreneur of the Year, Retail Mentor of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Advocate of the Year, Advocacy Leadership, Community Partner of the Year, Retail Collaboration, Vendor Partner of the Year, Customer Experience, Social Responsibility, and Retail Community of the Year.

Johnson will accept the award during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Bloomington. The event features practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations, strategies, and ideas. Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Click here to see all the 2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champions award winners.

About the Minnesota Retailers Association: The Minnesota Retailers Association promotes, preserves, and enhances the retail industry in Minnesota by taking a leadership position in development of public policy and regulatory measures that impact members. MnRA also works to enhance the public image of the retail industry by providing information, services and support that adds value to its members. www.mnretail.org.

Contact: Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (651) 227-6631

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