CAL STATE L.A. HONORS
Los Angeles, CA - November 16, 1999 - More than 1,000 business, education, community and government representatives attended an awards luncheon last week to honor Floyd Hall, chairman, president and CEO of Kmart Corporation as the 1999 Retailer of the Year.
Organized by the Institute of Retail Management of the School of Business and Economics at California State University, Los Angeles, the gala affair is considered one of the retail industry's most significant annual events. Proceeds from the luncheon support the educational activities of the Institute and provide student scholarships.
Special guests who joined in recognizing Floyd Hall at this event included Kathy Ireland, lifestyle designer, and Jaclyn Smith, actress and designer, whose signature collections are exclusively carried by Kmart; Cindy Williams, actress and producer; Willie Davis, former professional football player and member, Kmart Board of Directors; Councilman Mike Hernandez (Los Angeles); Councilman Nick Pacheco (Los Angeles); Carol Jackson, vice president for external affairs, Macy's West; Chip Lightfoot, tax partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers and chairman, advisory council, Institute of Retail Management; John Shields, chairman and CEO, Trader Joe's Co.; Wilfred Stroud, founder and retired CEO, Strouds; and Lawrence Kozoll, LAUSD coordinator for the Institute's College Incentive Program.
During the luncheon, 14 retailing scholarships of $800 each were awarded to Cal State L.A. students Azizi Ambakisye (Alhambra), Rainiah G. Brown (Los Angeles), Leakhana Chhur (Los Angeles), Ling Fung (Temple City), Carlos Galvan (Los Angeles), Maria T. Huerta (Los Angeles), Cam H. Huynh (Los Angeles), Lee Ko (Rosemead), Maida Lopez (Los Angeles), Augustine May (Pasadena), Bruce Mendizabal (Los Angles), Maria T. Moreno (Los Angeles), Natalie Paden (Chino Hills), and Denh Vuong (Los Angeles). An additional 61 scholarships were awarded to students who are part of the College Incentive Program from Dorsey, Belmont, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Y.O.U. Alternative, Kulick, and Fremont High Schools, as well as from other institutions of higher learning.
Addressing the high school and University students, Hall emphasized some important considerations for success in retailing careers. He encouraged the students to find a job that they liked, with an employer they respected: "choose a boss as carefully as you choose your company," he told the students. Hall pointed out that mentoring for new employees was an important ingredient in their success, and that having faith in themselves was essential. Lastly, Hall encouraged the students to make sure to "give back-reach out to the communities in which you live." At the conclusion of the afternoon's program, Hall presented a check from Kmart for $25,000 to support the work of the Institute.
Hall joined Kmart in 1995 to create and implement a turnaround strategy for the giant retailer. Since taking the helm, Hall has improved the financial health of the company by restructuring the entire balance sheet, reducing debt and paring away $5 billion in non-core assets. In addition, a new store prototype combined with a host of merchandise initiatives such as the introduction of Martha Stewart Everyday home fashions, Sesame Street children's apparel, Route 66 and more have returned the company to profitability. After years of rapidly declining profits, the giant retailer has posted 13 consecutive quarters of impressive earnings growth.
Under Hall's leadership, Kmart has dramatically stepped up its community outreach contributing about $20 million annually in funds and in-kind support to help children and families through programs like the Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs, March of Dimes, Give Kids The World, The For All Kids Foundation and other partnerships.
Hall's leadership in preventing drug abuse has been honored by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University as well as the Archdiocese of New York. His commitment to helping others also has earned him a Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Award, a Lewis Hine Award and special recognition from the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The March of Dimes and Give Kids The World have recognized his leadership as Kmart has set new records in support of their efforts to help babies and children.
He is chairman of Floyd Hall Enterprises, which owns and operates sports facilities; Alva Reproductions and Glassmasters, both manufacturing companies; and Lynx Technologies. Hall also serves on the boards of Kenwood Productions, Jundt Growth Fund, The Brooklyn Museum and Detroit Renaissance.
With a 40-year retail career, Hall first became a chief executive officer when he was 36 years old when he was named to head B. Dalton Booksellers. Since then, he has held top posts as chairman and CEO of Target Stores, Grand Union, The Museum Company and now, Kmart Corporation.
Founded in 1980 by Cal State L.A. Marketing Professor Bernard Codner, the Institute of Retail Management launched the West Coast's first retailing major for business students and initiated a retailing certificate program. In 1991, the Institute created the College Incentive Program (CIP), designed to motivate Los Angeles inner-city high school students to finish high school, enroll in college and prepare for business and professional careers. Initially limited to Fremont High School, the CIP has been expanded to include six others. The program, funded by the federal government, is administered jointly by the Institute, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Private Industry Council of Los Angeles and the Community Development Department, City of Los Angeles. It also receives strong support from the retail industry. The CIP is recognized as one of the nation's finest programs for inner-city youth.
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Cal State L.A. is the University's largest academic school, with nearly 4,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. The SBE offers three baccalaureates and five master's degree programs and has been accredited by the prestigious American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for more than 30 years. Twelve bureaus, centers and institutes, administered by the School-including the Institute of Retail Management-provide vital services to local and national businesses by matching the expertise of talented faculty and students with diverse community needs. The School of Business and Economics at Cal State L.A. is recognized as one of only two schools in the Los Angeles region to be ranked among the 100 best undergraduate business schools in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. It is among only six schools in the State of California and one of only two California State University campuses to be so recognized.
For more information, call the Cal State L.A. Institute of Retail Management at (323) 343-2970.
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