Introducing: 2014 - 2015 SRA Executive Board

Board from left to right: Katie Wood, Francis Barriga, Emma Haseman, Sally Luikart, Kelly Loberg, Megan Dwyer, Jessica Johanson, Gabby Garner


Name: Jessica Johanson

Years in SRA: 4 years

Major: Retail Merchandising and Management

Year: Senior

Hometown: St. Michael, MN



Name: Gabby Garner           

Years in SRA: Just finished my second year

Major: Retail Merchandising and Management

            Buying and Product Management and Fashion Marketing

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Hartford, WI


PR/Marketing Manager:

Name: Sally Luikart

Years in SRA: 1 year

Major: Retail Merchandising and Management, concentration: Buying and Product Management

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Lino Lakes, Minnesota


Student Relations:

Name: Kelli Loberg

Years in SRA: 1

Major: Retail Merchandising and Management

Year: Senior

Hometown: Elk River, MN


Events Coordinator:

Name:  Megan Dwyer

Years in SRA:  Next fall will be my fourth year in SRA

Major:  Retail Merchandising and Management

Year:  Next Fall I will be a Senior

Hometown:  New London, MN


Fundraising Coordinator:

Name: Katie Wood

Exec Board Position: Fundraising Coordinator

Years in SRA: Two years

Major: Retail Merchandising and Management

Year: Junior

Hometown: Stillwater, MN


Retail Relations:

Name: Francis Barriga

Years in SRA: 1

Major: Retail Merchandise Management with a concentration in Buying and Product Management

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Lino Lakes, Minnesota


HC: What made you want to run for an Exec Board position with SRA?

Jessica Johanson: I ran for the Exec Board because I have so much passion for retail and that I have a lot of experience I could share with our members. 

Gabby Garner: I have always admired the ladies on the board and how much effort that the put into the organization, I knew that I wanted to be on the board someday to share my passion like they do.  As soon as I found out I could run I did.

Sally Luikart: I have always looked up to the board members on SRA and after being dedicated to the organization for a year I felt that it was my time to step up as a leader in an organization I have such strong passion for.

Kelli Loberg: I would say because of the encouragement from the 2013-2014 Exec Board.  I’m glad they gave me the push I needed to better myself and accomplish my goals.

Megan Dwyer: I decided to run for the SRA Exec Board because it is an organization that has been impactful for me since Freshman Year.  I have grown so much personally and professionally and that is because of SRA. 

Katie Wood: I knew I wanted to be on the Exec Board the day I went to my first SRA meeting. I wanted to be on the board because I wanted to be able to use my leadership skills and get to know everyone in the organization. I also wanted to run for it so I could build up my public speaking skills along with even more leadership experience. And after being a member for almost two years now, I have so many fun ideas that I wanted to share with the organization as an Exec Board member.

Francis Barriga: I decided to run for the Exec Board this year because I really love being involved in SRA and I wanted to take on a leadership role in the organization.

HC: Why did you choose to run for the position you chose?

JJ: I chose this position because I was on the board this past year so I already have experience being a leader for SRA. I think that I would be good for this position because I am friendly and can work well with others. 

GG: I am an organized person and I am in charge of my own finances. So, I thought that Treasurer would be right up my alley.  It’s one of the more behind the scenes positions but it’s still a really important part.

SL: This position was newly added on for the upcoming academic year, I thought it would be fun to bring my own ideas and creative side to the table with this position. This position allows me to get SRA’s name out there, advertise and market all of our events, also teach students what is so great about our organization.

MD: I felt like the previous experiences that I have had would be beneficial for the Event Coordinator Position.  I studied abroad, knowing how to make detailed itineraries.  I am also a very flexible person, so I am willing to handle things no matter how late they come up.

KW: I chose to run for this position because I had a lot of fun ideas for fundraising and wanted to introduce them to SRA. I also have just always been interested in this position because I have participated in fundraisers for the past several years.

FB: I ran for the retail relations position because I wanted to be able to find new retailers to come and talk to our organization. I also thought it would be a great way to network with the companies!

HC: Did you choose SRA because of your major or because of an interest?

JJ: SRA is for Retail Merchandising and Management majors but I have such a strong passion for retail so that is the main reason for choosing SRA. 

GG: I did choose because of my major but it is a great experience to meet people with similar professional goals and achievements. 

SL:  At first I choose SRA for my major because I wanted to get more involved with the retail program at Stout but after being part of this organization it really caught my interest by motivating me as a retail student to pursue my goals and dreams.

KL: A little of both!  Even if I would have majored in Interior Design, I am 99% sure I would have still join SRA!

MD: Both.  I chose to be a Retail major because I loved the industry and it has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl.  Then once I came to Stout, I learned that they had a professional organization for Retail majors, and I was all for it!

KW: I heard about SRA because of my major, but I have been a member for the past two years because of my interests. You don’t even need to be a Retail major to be in this organization. A lot of majors could benefit from it, especially Business Administration/Management majors. The speakers, meetings, and trips we have are what keep me coming back every semester.

FB: Originally I decided to become a member of SRA because of my major and because I knew it would allow me to network with retailers and other members. After going to a few meetings I started meeting new people and really became interested in the organization.

HC: What is the time commitment for being a part of SRA and being a board member?

JJ: If you are a member in SRA you will attend our weekly meetings which are on Wednesdays and they typically last about one hour. We also have volunteer and fundraising events throughout the year which may not be on a Wednesday. As a board member, SRA takes up a lot of time. Board members need to make sure they are doing their roles. 

GG: There is a lot of time and planning that goes into the events that SRA hosts and I never realized that before.  I’m not personally in charge of any events, being the Treasurer, but I need to make sure that all of our events are in the budget.

SL: Being an active member requires you to attend 7 meetings (which are every Wednesday of the week) 2 volunteer events, 3 fundraising events, and 2 subcommittee points. Regarding being on the board, I have been told that it is like a part time job, lots of time and commitment.

KL: My position is not as tedious as some of the other positions (which can be like a part-time job) but I am planning on supporting the other board members with help whenever needed!

MD: Being in SRA, you can be committed or as uncommitted as you would like.  We meet Wednesday’s at 6:30pm, and meetings go for about an hour.  Then we also have opportunities to fundraise for SRA, to go on trips, or to volunteer.  To be an active member you have to go to seven meetings per semester, participate in three fundraisers, and do a volunteering event twice. 

KW: SRA has meetings once a week, but it is obviously more time consuming being a board member. Before every SRA meeting, the board will have their own meeting where we go over everything that is going on that week or upcoming month. As far as my position goes, it requires a good amount of time. I have to contact each company that we plan to fundraise with, go over order forms, send order forms in, and then distribute orders to each member. However, last year the SRA board started using Subcommittees, which are members of SRA who can help the board members with any tasks. Subcommittees definitely make things a lot easier! Overall there will be a fair amount of time commitment but nothing that is too hard to manage.

FB: For members, we only have to meet once each week for an hour or so, depending on what presentation we are having for that meeting.  In order to be an active member you have to attend 7 meetings, be involved in 3 fundraisers, 2 volunteer activities, and join 1 subcommittee. As for being a board member I’m not exactly sure how much of a time commitment it will be since I’m just starting, but hearing from other current board members I know it will be a lot. I’ve heard it’s like working a part time job and the fall is our busiest time of year.

HC: What are you looking forward to with this new year?

JJ: I am looking forward to working with a new board. I am the only returning board members so I can’t wait to implement the new ideas we have brainstormed to offer to our members. 

GG: Meeting new people interested in Retail and sharing my passion for it as well.

SL: I am looking forward to being a leader in this organization of students that want to further their professional career and being part of a group of students that share the same passion for retail as I do.

KL: Getting to know the rest of the Exec Board members, we all have such a strong passion for SRA and I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish!

MD: I am looking forward to working with the board.  I think all of us will collaborate very well together, and the fresh ideas that everyone has will be very beneficial to the organization.

KW: There are several things I am really looking forward to this year. One is working with the other Exec Board members and getting to know them more. We have such a great group of girls and I can’t wait to collaborate with all of them. I also can’t wait to really get to know all the active members. Lastly, I am looking forward to implementing new fundraising ideas along with using some of the successful ones we have had before.

FB: I’m really looking forward to working alongside with the other board members! I’m also excited about planning what retailers will be coming to our meetings to network with our members.

HC: What are some things that may be difficult.

JJ: Some things that may be difficult for us are to get new retailers to speak to SRA. It can be hard for retailers to come to our meetings because it is in the middle of the week and in the evenings and some have to travel far. 

GG: Making sure that communication is clear, we all have busy schedules.  I’m really not that worried about it we have a wonderful group of ladies on the board!

SL: Guiding members in the right direction for their career path, I am hoping to help the member figure out where exactly they want to intern/work.

KL: Balancing SRA and 18 credits next fall.  Yikes!

MD: Some things that may be difficult is communication and making sure everybody puts enough times toward SRA to make the organization beneficial as possible.

KW: I am also an active member in the National Sorority; Delta Zeta, where I hold two positions. Juggling a sorority and SRA might be a little bit difficult but I am confident I can make it work with good time management skills.

FB: I think it may be hard getting the members active in our professional development series, but I am currently looking for new exciting retailers and boutiques to be a part of the series in order to make it more interesting for our members!

HC: What do you plan to accomplish with SRA in the next school year?

JJ: I plan to accomplish having more active members. We had 20 active members last fall and we would like to keep that number growing each semester! I want our members to be involved in everything we do so they can gain more leadership experience as well. 

GG: Getting new people involved and interested! I think we should branch out from just the Retail Majors, you learn a lot of professional skills from SRA too.

SL: I want to show members all the aspects of retail, let them see different retailers they never had even thought of, and better prepare them for their future. I also want all members to feel welcomed at each meeting and I want to get to know every individual that is part of our organization. 

KL: We found out just yesterday that SRA was awarded Organization of the Year at UW-Stout, I want to accomplish that next year as well.

MD: This next school year I plan on doing more social events right away in the school year to get members excited about SRA, and so the board can get to know them personally.

KW: I hope to get every member to the active fundraising status. I also want to fundraise a record-breaking number throughout the year, so we can get more money for our organization. And as mentioned before, I want to introduce a couple new fundraisers to SRA and see how members like them.

FB: I really want to help grow SRA by building strong relationships with retailers so they will want to help fund our organization. My goal is to also be able to get a lot of members to complete the Professional Development Series.

HC: Do you have any new ideas to bring to the table? If so, can you tell us what you might have in store?

JJ: I want to create feedback forms that our members will fill out. I want to know what they want from SRA so they will keep coming to our meetings. 

GG: We have a lot planned for next year and, all of the new board is beyond excited to get started. I don’t want to spoil anything so that’s all I’ll say! J

SL: I am hoping to introduce SRA to more social media sites like Instagram and Twitter. I also really want to focus on advertising and promoting SRA throughout campus and really work on recruiting students to our organization. I am also hoping to get another win for Organization of the Year on campus!

KL: The Exec Board, as a whole, has a ton of great ideas that we are striving to implement next year.  For my specific position, I want to recognize one outstanding SRA member each month!  They will receive a gift from SRA and also be highlighted on our Facebook page!

MD: This year with SRA I plan to accomplish doing more weekend trips, such as visiting corporate offices and boutiques in the Twin Cities area and Milwaukee area.  I continue planning on going on the Chicago trip, as well as visiting corporate offices.  I also plan on doing more networking events such as professional dinners.

KW: Yes, I do! I am looking into a 5K run for the fall. I think it would be a really fun fundraiser and it’s something that we haven’t done before. I would also like to collaborate more with other organizations. I am also planning on giving incentives/prizes away to the top seller for each fundraiser as motivation to participate more!

FB: One of my ideas for next year is to have a boutique host a trunk show at one of our meetings! I think this would be a good way for us to fundraise while also getting to learn how the boutique owner started their own business.

HC: What’s your favorite part about being in SRA?

JJ: My favorite thing about SRA is that we get to network with members and retail professionals. I have made the best of friends through SRA and I can't wait to meet the new members and continue great relationships!

GG: My favorite part is being with girls who share the same passions and ambitions as me.  It’s cool to talk about where we want to go with our careers and how we plan on going about doing it. 

SL: My favorite part about SRA is how much this organization truly teaches you about the field. It helps better prepare you for what to expect for interviews, resumes, and the work force. It forces you to step out of your comfort zone and get involved and that’s what I find so great about this organization. It makes you appreciate your major and this organization will truly benefit your future.

KL: Hanging out with members who have the same interests and goals!

MD: My favorite part about being in SRA is all of the networking opportunities we have to offer, and to be able to develop your professional skills.  SRA is also where I met my closest friends in college, and actually I met four of my roommates freshman year in SRA!

KW: My favorite part about being in SRA is all of the opportunities it offers. It's a great place to come and meet new people who share the same interests as you, and is also a great place to come network. There is so much to gain with all the retail speakers, trips, meetings, and more. The opportunities are endless.

FB: My favorite part about being in SRA is that I get to meet people that share the same passion as I do! I also love all the opportunities that the organization brings its members.

HC: Is there anything you want Her Campus readers to know that we may not have touched on?

JJ: SRA is not just only for Retail Merchandising and Management majors! We welcome Business and Apparel majors who are interested in working for retail companies. We also want to welcome more guys to join!! 

GG: The board this year was awesome, and they will make it hard to follow in their shoes.  I’m confident that this board of determined women will make the 2014-2015 school year one of the best for SRA.

SL: This organization is driven with so much passion and teamwork. I have never seen a group of harder working students that all share the same passion for what they want to pursue for the rest of their lives.

KL: You don’t have to be a retail or apparel major to join SRA!  All majors are welcome! 

MD: To be in SRA you do not have to be a retail major, we welcome majors of all kinds.  In the past we have had Business and Design majors as well!  This is a place where you can grow professionally and practice your professional skills in a safe environment.

KW: SRA is a great organization and definitely changed my college life! Without it, I wouldn’t be as confident with my future career as I am today. It offers so many opportunities to its members. And like I said before, it is not only for Retail majors. Almost any major could benefit from the speakers and events we have. Come check us out next year!