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From the International President

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Retail in America

Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz, RDI

Beautiful weather is on the way and Institute Chapters are looking forward to hosting more in-person events and getting back together again! We look forward to seeing all as we finally find our way to a more normal way of life.


I’m also excited to share more details on my upcoming discussion with Ron Thurston as part of his Retail in America Tour.


If you’re not familiar with Ron, let me fill you in.


In January, Ron left corporate retail (his career includes time with Apple, Bonobos, Saint Laurent, Intermix, Tory Burch, and West Elm) to find the untold retail success stories and the incredible people behind them. This month, Ron leaves his home in New York City in an Airstream trailer to travel the United States as his 20-city tour begins.


He’s turning this quest to find the stories into a RETAIL IN AMERICA podcast, a YouTube channel, and a way he can use his research to produce playlists and content to live stream on multiple platforms.


Back in October 2020, Ron wrote RETAIL PRIDE: The Guide to Celebrating Your Accidental Career, which became an Amazon No. 1 bestseller. Says Ron, "I have both the experience to write about the state of the retail industry and a story to tell. A good story. A story that people will want to talk about. Perhaps it has something in common with your story. Millions of people work in retail. The majority of us work in stores, and our stories need to be told."


Would you like to have your story told? Get ready because Ron is making a virtual stop at the Institute Friday, April 8 at Noon Eastern to talk with our fellow members and friends. I’m preparing my questions now and you can feel free to send yours to me if you like. We will be opening the discussion for participants to join us live on screen to ask questions and get in on the commentary.


I hope you’ll plan to join us – no charge for members – so you can catch our conversation.


Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz, RDI

International President

Retail Design Institute

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