FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2015
McAllister to retire December 31 after a successful tenure re-establishing the organization as the voice of retailing in Georgia; Executive VP Randy Miller named new President/CEO while same talented and influential support staff remain to support member needs
ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, announces that President/CEO Rick McAllister, who reestablished and strengthened the organization, is retiring at the end of the year, concluding three years as GRA’s leader. Veteran GRA Executive Vice President Randy Miller was announced as the new President/CEO, and will start in his new position beginning January 1. The day-to-day management of GRA’s local initiatives will continue to be handled by the same staff, including Melissa Joiner Ramba as Legislative Director and Jon Stolp as VP of Membership.
“It has been an incredible opportunity to lead the Georgia Retail Association and to see the significant progress we’ve made in revitalizing the organization and building it back up to be the influential voice of retailing that it’s been for more than 50 years,” said McAllister. “Georgia is full of such a great and diverse group of retailers, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to help ensure the retail industry grows and remains an important economic driver for the state.”
Randy Miller has been serving as Executive Vice President of GRA, and is a former Executive Director of the Florida Department of Revenue and served as an association executive and a government consultant for various law firms prior to joining GRA. Ramba has been with GRA since 2013 and coordinates the organization’s legislative and regulatory affairs with Georgia lawmakers and agencies. Since 2011, Stolp has managed the organization’s membership recruitment and retention as well as coordination of its member benefits and services.
“I’m honored to serve as the new President/CEO, and to follow the legacy set by one of the greatest leaders and advocates the retail industry has seen in Rick,” said Miller. “The respect and influence that GRA currently has not just in Georgia but nationwide, positions us for continued growth and success as we continue our goal of supporting our members and strengthening the entire retail industry.”
During his tenure, McAllister saw an opportunity to help a struggling GRA by creating a partnership with the Florida Retail Federation and its experienced and knowledgeable staff to support the operations of the organization. This partnership reestablished GRA as the influential voice of retailing in Georgia while also providing cost-savings services for its members. GRA now stands as strong advocate for the industry and is recognized nationally as a powerful voice for Georgia’s retailers.
“Rick has been instrumental in the growth and influence of GRA, and guided the organization through challenging times and economic conditions. Rick was a true visionary in the retail industry. The board of directors is grateful for all of his contributions and accomplishments, and for his distinguished tenure as President/CEO,” said GRA Board Chairman Casey Cesnovar of Walgreens. “Our members should feel confident that the same talented and influential support staff remains available to help them with any legislative, membership or cost-saving services they may need. GRA remains in a great position to move Georgia and our members into a brighter future.”
Under McAllister’s leadership in Florida, GRA increased its membership totals and cemented its reputation as an influential and effective association in the legislative arena. Also during his tenure, for the first time in the organization’s history, GRA launched a private health care exchange which will allow their members to provide key health benefits to their workforce.
A native of Louisiana, McAllister has over 40 years of retail, manufacturing, consulting, and association experience. His background includes retail chain store ownership, chief operating officer of a publicly traded retail company, a decade of retail consulting, and presidency of two statewide trade organizations.
ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCIATION
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product.