Former honoree James Cabirac hopes the next class of the North American Retail Hardware Association’s (NRHA) Young Retailer of the Year program is ready to hit the ground running.
Cabirac, owner of Kief Hardware in Cut Off, Louisiana, is the only independent home improvement retailer to be recognized as a Young Retailer of the Year twice, winning first in 2001 and again in 2007.
Now in its 22nd year, NRHA’s Young Retailer of the Year program identifies and promotes the next generation of retailers and recognizes individual achievement in the industry by retailers 35 years old or younger. Selected from different retail categories, honorees are chosen based on criteria including career accomplishments, community involvement, ongoing industry education and extracurricular activities.
The deadline to nominate an outstanding young retailer for this year’s program is Feb. 28. Further nomination information is available on NRHA’s website.
To learn more about the program’s benefits, Cabirac shares how it has helped him and what it offers aspiring retailers.
Hardware Retailing (HR): Can you take us back to the nights you were honored as a Young Retailer of the Year?
James Cabirac (JC): When I was first selected in 2001, I was so honored to be chosen. I was so young that I don’t think I quite grasped how awesome the experience was. The second time, I knew what an honor it was to be selected, so I appreciated the experience and the celebration that much more.
HR: How does this program benefit someone who prefers to stay out of the spotlight?
JC: You gain so much from being part of a class of honorees, and it benefits everyone involved. I don’t like to draw attention to myself, but at the Young Retailer of the Year event, the industry is listening. Plus, there’s great potential for networking and building relationships through the program.
HR: How did this honor influence your career?
JC: Honorees immediately create a network with other retailers who are honored the same year. You’ll always have something in common, even if your stores are completely different sizes or in different geographic locations. Also, being named a Young Retailer of the Year gave me some clout in the industry, and with the honor under my belt, I felt more confident.
HR: What advice do you have for the upcoming 2018 Young Retailer of the Year honorees?
JC: Keep on keeping on! It’s an honor, but don’t let it be the pinnacle of your career. Continue innovating for your business. This is just the beginning for those who will be honored this year. I’m looking forward to hearing their stories.