The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) announced the new hire of Andy Polk as its vice president. Polk will oversee FDRA’s communications, marketing and member outreach. He succeeds FDRA’s former Vice President Stephanie Ward who recently accepted a position in Seattle, Washington.
Polk comes to FDRA after having completed his Masters in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). At the LSE, he focused on China’s domestic politics and foreign policy, and received a distinction for his dissertation on how China’s rise is changing the balance of power in the Persian Gulf. Previously, Polk served as U.S. Representative Sue Myrick’s Foreign Policy Advisor from 2008 to 2011, and her Director of Communications and Public Affairs from 2003 to 2008. In addition to his Masters, Polk holds undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Political Science fromGardner-Webb University.
“Andy brings vast communications and legislative experience, energy and a unique global perspective to FDRA. We are thrilled to have him join our team,” said FDRA President Matt Priest. “Andy is extremely talented and has the rare ability to understand and communicate complex government policies that impact our members and the industry at large. This hire represents a more active FDRA in Washington, as Andy’s role as Vice President will include member outreach and support in addition to communications and marketing.”
Prior to Polk’s hire, Stephanie Ward served for almost six years as FDRA’s Vice President. Ward recently accepted an offer to be a graphic designer at an online retailer in Seattle, Washington.
“We are sad to see Stephanie depart as she will be greatly missed,” said Priest. “During her time at FDRA she did a fantastic job of expanding our reach and improving our visibilitythrough our website and creating excellent eye-catching designs for our events and meetings. We wish her the best and know she will succeed in her new position.”
As the largest footwear trade association in the United States, FDRA accounts for approximately 80 percent of all footwear sales, representing the industry’s leading retailers, brands and buying agents. Its services include lobbying and advocacy for industry causes, educational programs and trade publications.