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At the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Retail Advocates Summit and congressional fly-in, held in Washington, D.C., July 29-30, the trade organization hosted an event paying tribute to outstanding small-business retail owners and community leaders for their grass-roots advocacy and engagement on the federal, state and local levels. During the event, NRF named Art Potash, owner of Potash Markets in Chicago, America’s Retail Champion of the Year for his exceptional advocacy and leadership on the retail industry’s behalf.
"Art exemplifies what it means to be an active and effective grass-roots advocate, and has demonstrated time and time again an unabashed willingness to step up, raise his voice and lead in the sincere hope of making a difference," noted Matthew Shay, president and CEO of Washington-based NRF, which introduced the "America's Retail Champions" program this year to honor retailers who influence public policy and decisions.
Forty-four retailers ranging from midsize store owners to online sellers were nominated for the honor; Potash was chosen from among five finalists, of which he was the only grocer.
"While Art is focused day-to-day on his family grocery stores, he is passionate about the broader retail industry," said Rob Karr, president and CEO of the Chicago-based Illinois Retail Merchants Association. "As generously as Art gives of his time and resources to those in need, he does the same for his fellow retailers. It doesn't matter if the issue is in the city of Chicago or Springfield, Illinois or Washington, D.C.; Art is a passionate advocate on any issue confronting retail."
To recognize Potash and other Illinois retailers, NRF will add the state as a stop on its "Retail Across America" road trip, which is part of the association's "This is Retail" industry perception campaign. NRF will join forces with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association in early October to create content designed to drive awareness of the retail industry’s positive effect on careers, communities and innovation. Among the other states in the series are North Carolina, South Dakota, Washington State, Ohio and California.