WASHINGTON, July 28, 2022 – The National Retail Federation today presented the J. Thomas Weyant Award to North Carolina Retail Merchants Association President and General Counsel Andy Ellen, as retailers from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., for NRF’s Retail Advocates Summit.
"Andy Ellen and his team work tirelessly to foster a pro-business environment for retailers by effectively communicating to all levels of government the positive impact of the industry in communities large and small."NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay
“Andy Ellen sets a high bar for retail association leadership, and we are proud to recognize him as a champion for the retail industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Andy and his team work tirelessly to foster a pro-business environment for retailers by effectively communicating to all levels of government the positive impact of the industry in communities large and small across North Carolina.”
The award, named for a former president of the Pennsylvania Retailers Association, was created by NRF in 1995 to honor individuals who devote their careers to leading state retail associations and advocating for the retail industry.
“I am honored to receive this award and consider it a privilege to represent the members of the association and their employees each and every day, not only in Raleigh, but in every community across North Carolina,” Ellen said. “We’re here to listen, to help and to make certain the voice of every retailer is heard.”
Ellen continues to be a steadfast voice for retailers, leading efforts in North Carolina to help the industry recover from the effects of the pandemic. He leveled the playing field for retailers on the collection of sales tax and successfully pushed for a new law to address organized retail crime and to curb the resale of stolen merchandise online. Ellen also spearheaded a partnership with the NRF Foundation’s RISE Up credentialing program that will help state residents find careers in retail through skills training at local community colleges.
Ellen began his career at the North Carolina Farm Bureau and joined the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association as general counsel in 1998. He was named president in 2012 in addition to serving as general counsel. In his role, Ellen leads all legislative, advocacy and political efforts on behalf of the retail industry in North Carolina. NCRMA was first organized in 1902, and now has more than 2,500 members representing 25,000 store locations. The association promotes a positive legislative and regulatory environment for the retail industry and enhances its members’ opportunities for success. In North Carolina, retailers provide more than 1 million jobs and generate more than $105 billion in economic activity for the state’s economy.
NRF’s Retail Advocates Summit brings together retailers of all sizes – ranging from independent local sellers to national brands – to meet with members of Congress and discuss a wide range of issues impacting the industry. This year’s event features The Retail Experience, an interactive exhibit to showcase the depth and breadth of the retail industry, including four technology companies leading innovation in automation: Afresh, PopCom, Shelf Engine and Spacee.
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. nrf.com