Friday, 18 November 2016 14:55

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2016
CONTACT: James Miller, Communications Director | (321)229-9266 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ruel Joyner of 24e.Deisgn in Savannah, Linda Lombardi or Phillips Furniture and Susan Costa of Hillsdale Furniture were selected as 2016 GRA Retailers of the Year

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, is proud to recognize three Georgia business leaders for their contributions to the state’s retail industry and their communities. Ruel Joyner of 24e Furnishings in Savannah, Linda Lombardi of Phillips Furniture in Warner Robbins, and Susan Costa of Hillsdale Furniture were all selected for different Retailer of the Year awards. Lombardi and Costa were selected on behalf of the Georgia home Furnishings Association (GhFA), which is a division of GRA.

“As the voice of retailing in Georgia, we’re proud to recognize three industry leaders who have made a difference and serve as examples for what retailers do for this state,” said GRA President/CEO Randy Miller. “These winners are representative of the talented, passionate and hard working professionals that make retailing such a great industry to be a part of.”

This is the second year in a row that GRA has presented Retailer of the Year Awards, which recognize outstanding retailers who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and service to their employees, customers and communities. This year’s winners were nominated by their peers and were carefully chosen by a selection committee based upon their outstanding commitment to not only their work and their industry also to their association.

Ruel Joyner | 24e. Design Furnishings – 2016 GRA RETAILER OF THE YEAR
Ruel Joyner is the owner and operator of 24e.Design furnishings located in the Historic District in Savannah. The offerings in 24e range from well-known brands to local artistry, and the store is a haven for the repurposed enthusiast. Ruel is a local community advocate who spends a great deal of his time and energy giving back, through his involvement with many downtown associations and small business groups, as well as supporting and donating to local charity events. Ruel Joyner is everything that a retailer should be: committed to his business, his customers and his community.

Linda Lombardi | Phillips Furniture – 2016 GHFA RETAILER OF THE YEAR
For over three decades, Phillips Furniture has furnished homes and businesses from all over Middle Georgia and currently has three stores in the Warner Robins region. The original store opened in 1983, and Linda has expertly utilized social media to drive traffic and interest to her store in recent years. Linda was also recognized for her commitment to customer service and her desire to personally handle every service issue.

Susan Costa | Hillsdale Furniture – 2016 GHFA REP OF THE YEAR
Susan is a very diligent and customer service oriented representative at Hillsdale Furniture for over 16 years. Her knowledge of the industry and professional interactions with retailers and sales associates are well known throughout the industry.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
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. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

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Friday, 30 September 2016 19:49

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 7, 2016

CONTACT: James Miller, Communications Director
(321)229-9266, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Georgia’s premier retailing and home furniture advocacy organizations seek nominations, with winners being recognized during ceremony at GRA Fall Meeting in October

ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Retail Association (GRA), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, and the Georgia home Furnishings Association, the state’s leading home furnishings retail association, are now accepting nominations for the prestigious Georgia Retailer of the Year and Georgia Home Furnishings Rep of the Year awards, which recognize outstanding retailers for sound business practices, and a commitment to their employees, customers and communities. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, September 23. Winners will be announced during GRA’s 2016 Fall Meeting taking place October 11 at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation. Nominations should be sent to GRA State Director Jake Glos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or faxed to (850) 561-6625.

“Georgia has more than 120,000 retailers who are all making significant contributions to the industry and their communities, and we want consumers’ help in identifying two retailers who epitomize the great work these businesses are doing,” said GRA President/CEO Randy Miller. “I encourage shoppers to nominate their favorite retailer and shine the spotlight on how they’re making a positive impact on their community and their customers.”

This is the second time that GRA has presented Retailer of the Year Awards, which recognize outstanding retailers who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and service to their employees, customers and communities. Last year’s winners were nominated by their peers and were carefully chosen by a selection committee based upon their outstanding commitment to not only their work and their industry also to their association. The 2015 winners were:

Representative Jason Shaw | Georgia Olive Farms
Steve Mathews | Mathews Furniture
Bill Harrison | Bernhardt Furniture

ABOUT THE GEORGIA RETAIL ASSOCATION
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. The Georgia Retail Association is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

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Thursday, 18 February 2016 15:20

GhFA is pleased to announce the expansion of the popular OrdinanceWatch™ local government monitoring service into the state of Georgia beginning today. This expansion into the state’s major population centers provides Georgia businesses with the advance email notification system that Florida businesses have been utilizing since 2003. 

OrdinanceWatch™ users are able to customize their preferences by picking from 20 issue areas and more than 50 Georgia cities and counties for which they are interested. OrdinanceWatch™ is the only advance warning service of its kind and is extremely valuable to businesses interested in knowing what local regulations and initiatives may be impacting them, but don’t have the resources to keep track of them all. When OrdinanceWatch™ identifies issues that match a user’s preferences, they receive an email with a link back to a full issue record, which includes a running history and available agendas and background documents.

Individual OrdinanceWatch™ subscriptions are not included in GRA memberships and will cost $750 annually.

To get your own FREE 30-day personalized OrdinanceWatch™ trial subscription, visit ordinancewatch.com.

Issues we monitor in Georgia

Monday, 08 February 2016 20:43

Position Description: Georgia Retail Association Membership Director
Reports To: Vice President, Membership
Position Home Base: Atlanta, Georgia Metro Area

This position is responsible for growing Georgia Retail Association (GRA) memberships (which includes Georgia Home Furnishing Association), products and services to members and prospective non-member businesses by communicating the benefits of GRA as well as retaining current membership. This position reports directly to the Vice President of Membership.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Contact, acquire and recruit new members
  • Schedule appointments and personal visits with prospects
  • Achieve budgeted revenue goals
  • Actively seek new businesses and follow up appropriately
  • Maintain knowledge of goals, objectives and services provided by association
  • Keep members informed of membership benefits, events, etc.
  • Cross sell products and services to existing members
  • Actively support and participate in association events and programs
  • Retain existing members, products and services
  • Encourage participation and retention in the association
  • Plan and coordinate quarterly membership meetings and attend staff meetings as needed
  • Other duties as assigned by the Vice President of Membership

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Must have previous sales experience
  • Strong organization, time management and multi-tasking skills
  • Self-starter with a professional appearance
  • Willingness to travel entire State of Georgia to meet current and prospective members
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office programs including Outlook, Excel and Word
  • Must have/maintain a dependable vehicle with proof of license and insurance
  • Ability to prospect/cold-call new businesses and to upgrade and sell major accounts
  • Strong verbal and written communications skills
  • Ability to think outside the box to offer new ideas, concepts, solutions, etc.
  • Capable of maintaining sensitive/confidential information
  • Must be a team player that works well in an adapting environment
  • Ability to work from home
  • Exceptional people skills with an outgoing personality

This full time position offers a competitive salary commensurate to experience plus bonus potential. In addition, paid medical and dental will be offered in addition to participation in company’s 401(k) plan.

Please direct all inquiries to Jon Stolp, Vice President of Membership at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 888.357.3824.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 14:28

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2015
CONTACT: James Miller, Communications Director | (321)229-9266 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.

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