Retail Alliance Foundation logo

To develop and coordinate Retail Alliance’s educational and charitable efforts in support of existing and aspiring business owners.


Giving back to the community has always been a major component of our DNA. We believe merchants can and should contribute to the improvement of the community in which they operate. In fact, since 1990, the Retail Alliance has given almost four million dollars to local organizations.

Our charitable giving has included everything from grants and event sponsorship to underwriting economic development efforts and seed money provision for small business growth.

In 2010, the Retail Alliance Board of Directors mandated preservation of these values through the establishment of the Retail Alliance Foundation, created to support the Retail Alliance’s charitable and educational activities.


Certificate in Retail Operations

The Certificate in Retail Operations strives to fill the competency gap in retail operations, equipping participants with the education and skills to overcome the challenges inherent in starting or advancing their careers in the retail industry. This 14-week program is broken up into seven topic areas (2 weeks in length), each representing the 7 Behaviors of Retail Excellence (Startup, Retail Accounting, Marketing and Advertising, Merchandising and Inventory Management, HR Management, LP and Security, and Business Planning). Classes can be taken individually or as a course of study. To contact us for more information click here, or click here to register.

Certificate in Retail Operations

RA Foundation Funders

Thanks to our wonderful partners who make the mission possible! With your support, Retail Alliance Foundation can provide our educational programming to more aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. As a community, please support those who support us!

Support Our Mission

You can help us continue to make a difference for small business owners. Many of our participants are just starting out on their retail journey. They are individuals exiting the military or entrepreneurs with a passion to open their own store who have subject matter expertise on specific products or services but lack an understanding of business and retail operations.

If you would like to join us in our commitment towards helping retail entrepreneurs succeed, please consider a tax-deductible donation to: Retail Alliance Foundation (838 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510).

Even a small donation can make a big difference in our ability to provide this program to more entrepreneurs:

  • $20 = textbooks (per student)
  • $100 = technology costs (per student)
  • $495 = student scholarships (per student): We have payment plans available, but many aspiring retailers will still need help as they get started. We would love to talk with you about providing scholarship money to deserving students
  • $5,000 = course sponsorship (per class): Organizations may sponsor a course for $5,000. Sponsors may have the classroom named for them (eg The ACME Retail Accounting Classroom) as well as having their name/or logo appear on the classroom banner. Sponsorships are good for two years, after which they may be renewed annually for $1,000 up to an additional three years.

The Retail Alliance Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation to the Retail Alliance Foundation is tax-deductible.

RA Foundation Board of Directors


Jack Plomgren
Board Chair
Cartridge Man

Randall Benjamin

Randall Benjamin, CPP PHR

Michael J. Benton

Michael J. Benton
Stark & Legum


Jenny Crittenden
Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust

Robin Gregory
Dollar Bank


Lori Janke
Clothes Mentor/Once Upon A Child


Pamela Katrancha
Garden Gazebo/Hickory Farms
Vice Chairwoman of the Board

Mary Landgrebe
Retail Inventory Solutions


Brock Potter
Potter & Company


Philip M. Scotti
Philip Michael Fashion for Men
Investment Chairman


John Small
Small’s Restaurant & Catering Co.

Rod Watson
Score Hampton Roads

RA Foundation Staff

Raymond J. Mattes, III
Tiffany McGee
Program Director, Retail Alliance Foundation