Vernon Powell Shoe Company, a locally owned, fourth-generation business, announced recently hat it has chosen Emily Gutierrez and Keyla Hernandez-Martinez as its 2023 Robbie Martini Scholarship recipients.

“Emily and Keyla are valued employees who embrace the concept that having fun while working is infectious and results in the best possible experience for our customers,” said company President Joe Wright. “They are valued employees as well as excellent students and we are happy to be able to recognize both of them.”

The Robbie Martini Scholarship was created by Vernon Powell Shoes to honor their beloved Clarks Shoe Company sales representative of over 30 years. He often visited the Vernon Powell store to mentor their newest and often youngest staff members. His enthusiasm for the shoe business and excellent customer service was infectious. These younger employees, many of them college students, walked away with a new perspective on selling shoes. Martini’s lessons were not simply about the retail shoe business; they were life lessons that had a positive impact on Vernon Powell’s youngest employees.

“In selecting employees to receive this scholarship, we look for those who approach their jobs with enthusiasm while also excelling in the classroom,” said Wright. “Emily and Keyla fit those parameters exactly.”

As the Robbie Martini Scholarship recipient, each will receive a $1200 award to be used toward their tuition. Gutierrez is a student at Salisbury University majoring in Spanish and Hernandez-Martinez is a student at Delaware Tech with a Human Services major.

“We are proud of both of our recipients and their ability to balance work and academics so successfully. We wish them the best of luck in the coming year,” said Wright.

Vernon Powell Shoe Company has been a fixture on the Delmarva Peninsula for nearly 87 years. Established in Salisbury, MD by the late Vernon H. Powell, the company is still family owned and operated with locations in Salisbury, and Rehoboth Beach,

The stores carry a wide selection of men’s and women’s brand name dress, casual, comfort, and athletic footwear, in addition to a large accessories department. Vernon Powell also features an extensive selection of kids’ shoes, apparel, and accessories in their VP KIDS department. Additional departments cater to the professional workforce, featuring the shore’s largest selection in industrial workwear, as well as a certified pedorthic department offering complimentary assessments for customers experiencing foot, knee, or back pain.