By Tim Ryan

The retail industry is a dynamic, ever-changing landscape that requires resilience, innovation, and a customer-first approach. And when someone embodies all these traits and more, it’s a cause for celebration. That’s why we’re thrilled to share that Pamela Katrancha is the recipient of the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from Retail Alliance.

Pamela Katrancha is not just a retailer; she’s a retail icon in Hampton Roads. Her story is a masterclass in adaptability and resilience. From owning Garden Gazebo to running multiple Hickory Farms kiosks, Pam has shown an unwavering commitment to excellence in retail.

What sets her apart is her unique philosophy of “liking what she does” rather than “doing what she likes.” This perspective has fueled her longevity in the industry and made her a mentor to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Her background in psychology has been a unique asset, enabling her to connect deeply with employees and customers.

Pam’s commitment to community service is awe-inspiring. She has consistently given back to the community, whether it’s her involvement with Retail Alliance, Ghent Business Association or mentoring young girls through ELG (Envision Lead Grow). Her recent participation in a “speed networking” event with inmates aspiring to start their businesses post-release is a powerful example of her belief in meeting people where they are.

Her leadership style, focused on training, leading by example, and fostering a team atmosphere, has clearly paid off. The longevity of her employees speaks volumes about her effective management skills.

In a world disrupted by economic challenges and a global pandemic, Pam has navigated the complexities of running physical stores alongside a thriving e-commerce platform. Her business, Garden Gazebo, even had the honor of being spotlighted on QVC and HSN during the COVID-19 pandemic—an experience she describes as both exhilarating and rewarding.

As she steps into this well-deserved spotlight on October 19 at The Harbor Club, let’s take a moment to celebrate Pamela Katrancha—a true retail icon in Hampton Roads. Congratulations, Pam! 🎉 Your story is an inspiration and a playbook for aspiring entrepreneurs and community leaders.

Please check here for more details on the Retailer of the Year awards.