From a new release by the Florida Retail Federation (

The Florida Retail Federation has named Norman Love, owner of Norman Love Confections, Fort Myers; Laurie Olshefski, owner of Shimmering Seas Jewelry & Gifts, Panama City Beach; and Jesse White, owner of Sarasota Architectural Salvage as the 2011 recipients of the prestigious Retailer of the Year Award for Leadership (ROYAL). They will be honored and receive their awards at a luncheon held in conjunction with the University of Florida’s nationally acclaimed Retail Smarter symposium Thursday, June 23, at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Fla.

“We were extremely impressed by an outstanding group of nominees representing all types of retailers from throughout the state, which made the task of selecting just a few retailers for special recognition particularly challenging,” said Rick McAllister, FRF’s president and CEO. “Our 2011 ROYAL recipients reflect just a few of Florida’s many fine retailers whose economic impact and goodwill efforts directly benefit the citizens and communities in which they live and do business. We look forward to sharing their contributions and accomplishments.”

The ROYAL award, in its 13th year, recognizes retailers who have successfully blended astute business skills with commitment to their customers, communities, employees and the state’s retail industry. A selection committee comprising retail business operators, educators and others chose the recipients from a pool of retailer nominees from across the state

The Florida Retail Federation is a statewide trade association that represents Florida’s most important industry – retailing – and has served as “The Voice of Florida Retailing” since its inception in 1937. Florida retailers employ nearly 20 percent of the state’s workforce and collect and remit approximately $22 billion in sales and retail-related taxes for Florida’s government each year

Founded in 2001 by Norman and Mary Love, Norman Love Confections creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates. The Fort Myers corporate headquarters encompasses both production and retail operations. The Chocolate Salon is a stylish retail shop with an intimate ambience in which customers may purchase chocolates or linger over house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies. Chocolate Salons are located in Fort Myers at 11380 Lindbergh Boulevard, east of I-75, off Daniels Parkway, and in Naples at 3747 Tamiami Trail North at Park Shore Centre. For more information, visit

Additional information about each recipient will be released in the near future. For details about the ROYAL award, visit FRF’s website at and click Awards.