Alabama Retail Association Chairman George Wilder, owner/president of The Locker Room in Montgomery and Auburn, and member Terry Shea, co-owner and vice president of Wrapsody in Hoover and Auburn, were recognized at the National Retail Federation’s Retail Advocates Summit this week for their engagement in grassroots and advocacy efforts on local, state and federal issues affecting the retail industry. (See more)
Wilder was among five finalists for the America’s Retail Champion Award, which a Massachusetts chocolatier won. “It is easy to ignore what is going on (in Washington, D.C.) and to think it doesn’t pertain to you, but it does pertain to you,” Wilder said in a video presented when the finalists were announced Tuesday, July 28, at a dinner at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
The Locker Room, which Wilder founded in 1977, employs 14. The two stores sell fine men’s clothing and accessories. Wilder’s son, Davis, runs the Auburn store. Father and son have traveled to D.C. in previous trips to make the voice of retail heard in the halls of Congress. George Wilder was the 2009 Silver Alabama Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million category. The Locker Room has been an Alabama Retail Association member since 1993.
The America’s Retail Champions program, now in its second year, honors retailers who make their mark on public policy debates. More than 100 retailers from across the nation from online sellers to mid-size and small retail store owners were nominated by state retail associations, small business retailers and their peers based on their engagement in public policy discussions on issues ranging from online sales tax to data security.
Shea was among 50 invited to attend this week’s Summit. She and fellow co-owner Sarah Brown founded Wrapsody, in 2004. The two gift stores employ 43. The co-owners were the 2011 Silver Alabama Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales $1 Million to $5 Million category. Wrapsody has been an Alabama Retail Association member since 2005.
Two other members of the Alabama Retail Association executive committee traveled with Wilder and Shea to Washington: Vice Chairman Ricky Bromberg, president of Bromberg & Co., two jewelry and luxury gift stores that employ 38, and Executive Committee Designee Jacob Shevin, owner/president of Standard Furniture Co., a 14-store chain in Alabama and Tennessee that employs 99. The Alabama Retail Association’s members met with members of the Alabama congressional delegations over two days.
The Alabama Retail Association group during one of its office visits on Capitol Hill. From left Bromberg, Alabama Retail President Rick Brown, Wilder, U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, Shevin, Alabama Retail Vice President Alison Hosp and Shea.
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Our 4,000 independent merchant and national company members sell food, clothing, furniture and other general merchandise at more than 6,000 locations throughout Alabama. Since 1943, it has been the goal of the Alabama Retail Association to serve its members and promote what is best for the retailing industry in the state of Alabama.
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