RISE Up Origin Stories

At the beginning of the year, we helped the NRF Foundation launch a brand new training and credentialing program called RISE Up. Through a series of retail success stories, the video campaign was able to talk about the importance of recruiting new professionals without actually highlighting RISE Up graduates… until now.

Casting a New Class

The first class of RISE Up professionals are emerging across the country, completing the Retail Industry Fundamentals course and entering or reentering the workforce with a leg up. Our team went to Baltimore to capture the stories of a small group of “learners” going through and completing the RISE Up curriculum. Dylan and Sarah identified and got to know a few of these faces, like Asia Thomas, a mother of seven looking to begin a new career to support her family. Or David Townes, a former heroin addict looking for a new opportunity and professional redemption.

LAI Video NRF Foundation RISE Up Stories
LAI Video NRF Foundation RISE Up Stories

A New Beginning (and a Happy Ending)

Although our time with these individuals was short, Rob crafted an empowering arc that saw our characters complete the Retail Industry Fundamentals, attend a hiring fair and get interviews or even job offers. The unique color grading alters Jun and De’von’s b-roll footage with the same treatment applied to RISE Up’s other marketing materials. The empowering edit ends with title cards that reveal the participants whereabouts — something that you would find at the end of an uplifting biopic, suggesting that RISE Up allows for that comeback story so many crave. This was part of a series of videos that debuted at the massive annual convention NRF 2018, launching a new iniative to help reframe retail. 

Meet the Nerds

Dylan Lynch

Dylan knows a thing or two about being a client at LAI Video, because he once was one!

Rob Kramer

Rob Kramer is an Editor/Animator/Producer/Videographer. Wow that's a mouthful.

Sarah Wides

Sarah is as passionate about her love of television and video as she is about her love of sandwiches, which is to say – quite passionate.

Jun Young Yang

Jun has been traveling everywhere (including a place called Anguilla) to document special events and create unique images for clients.

De'Von Wellesley

De'von has a diverse background; from filming in night clubs to fashion models and music videos.

Tori Furphy

A mother of two and a work mother of a dozen - Tori operationalizes a perfectly rewarding client experience.

James Loizou

Perhaps best epitomized by his signature red sneakers and tie, James Loizou enjoys walking a fine line between creating and business-ing.

James Favata

James specializes in exploring new avenues, and who knows, together you may even end up off the map.

Helena Lehman

Helena is Senior Vice President of Client Services. She also speaks five languages- about four more than the rest of us.