The National Retail Federation has announced changes to its organizational structure to achieve new priorities outlined in a strategic plan recently approved by its board of directors. As a part of the restructuring, Carleen Kohut, who has served as NRF senior vice president and chief financial officer for the past ten years, has been promoted to chief operating officer. Additionally, Susan Newman, vice president, conferences, has been promoted to senior vice president, conferences and Mike Gatti, formerly senior vice president, communications, has been named senior vice president, member relations.

“As NRF sharpens its primary focus to advocacy, communications and education, it’s essential to invest in talented executives who will maximize our effectiveness in enacting this aggressive agenda,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “As we continue to build our executive staff, we will make additional investments in outside talent to complement the current team and add to the capabilities and strengths of NRF’s staff.”

NRF recently announced the addition of David French as senior vice president of government affairs and created several new executive-level positions in its senior team. Searches are currently underway for a senior vice president of communications and public affairs, who will be responsible for leading strategic communications and research initiatives, and a senior vice president of communities and networks, who will be responsible for leading efforts to engage NRF’s diverse constituencies and support the new strategic plan.

“Our goal is to build on NRF’s fundamental strengths including  our broad and diverse membership, public policy expertise and powerful grass roots network to create an association that is worthy of the retail industry’s powerful economic contributions,” said Shay. “This requires investing in new resources that will enable NRF to bring greater value to our members and allow us to have an even greater impact on the outcome of key policy issues that affect our industry.”  

As the world's largest retail trade association, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion.