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November 30, 2011

University of Alberta, Alberta School of Business Article

Author | Mike House


A designer for more than 10 years, Troy Dashney has guided retailers through his company, Bold Design - and is now inspiring students as a guest lecturer and founder of the Bold Design Award In Retailing.


Troy Dashney believes in impact. As a designer for more than 10 years and through his company, Bold Design, Dashney has guided retailers to make distinct, unique impressions with customers that will create a memorable shopping experience. Through the use of light, sound, display and atmospheric tools, Troy helps retailers create the brand equity and profitability that leave a lasting impression. Based in Edmonton, Troy has worked with top retailers from Europe and throughout North America.


The same kind of lasting impression also happens when Troy guest lectures at the Alberta School of Business’ Retailing 488 – Retail Consulting course. A perennial favourite with students, Troy recently created a new award to inspire business students’ latent passion for retailing careers after many years of guest lecturing.


“Seeing the enthusiasm and passion both for the strategic side of retailing married with the creative process is extremely rewarding to me” says Troy. “Over the years I have met so many bright students whose interests are kindled by the art of the sales experience. Retailing is more than just marketing; you have to be part lawyer, part real estate agent, part psychologist, part accountant, and part theatre director. When I’m telling my story to students, I feel that they only see the tip of the iceberg, so I created an award that will encourage learning through a longer process.”


The Bold Design Award In Retailing is given to the top group project in the Retailing 488 class that embodies both academic achievement, but also captures the imagination of potential consumers too. Adjudicated by Professor Dr. Paul McElhone and aided by Troy’s retail expertise, top students compete for $1000 by developing retail solutions for their client’s needs. These solutions combine design, retail, marketing research, case studies, and programming questionnaires to ensure they achieve a design solution and marketing strategy that meets their client’s needs and attracts consumers into their client’s stores.


“What is most meaningful to me is that I can see how the students have taken my advice and experience and worked through it as a group to make it relevant beyond a lecture. And I’m constantly amazed at how innovative and creative they are.”


One of last year’s recipients, Julianne Fraser, attributes some of her passion for fashion retailing to her experiences in last year’s class. After graduating with her BCom in June, Julianne was accepted into the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York this fall. “I very much appreciated receiving Troy’s inaugural award and sharing it with my team”, says Fraser. “I’ve always liked retailing, and I felt that there could be a career for me in it, but Troy’s support helped give me the extra confidence to pursue my dreams.”


Troy considers the investment a meaningful one for the long term. "Even though I am not a graduate of the School, I see the value that comes from encouraging business students from the U of A to pursue a career in retail, and being a small part of their success is incredibly rewarding for me.” You might even say that it happened by design.

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