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September 6, 2018

Retail Association of Maine CEO Curtis Picard receives national award

Photo / Amber Waterman
Photo / Amber Waterman
Curtis Picard, president and CEO of the Retail Association of Maine, received a national award Wednesday from the National Retail Federation for his leadership in advocating for the retail industry.

About NRF

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation's largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation's economy.

The National Retail Federation presented the J. Thomas Weyant Award to Retail Association of Maine President and CEO Curtis Picard, as retailers from across the country gathered for NRF's Retail Advocates Summit in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

"Curtis is the type of person you want advocating for your association — he's never afraid to step up to the plate," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "We are pleased to recognize his efforts as a champion for the retail community in Maine, where he's helped foster a pro-business environment for retailers and communicated the benefits of the retail industry to all levels of government."

The award, named for a former president of the Pennsylvania Retailers Association, was created by NRF in 1995 to honor individuals who have devoted their careers to leading state retail associations and advocating for the retail industry.

"To be recognized for something that I love to do each day is an incredible feeling," Picard said. "After years of representing hard-working retailers, I'm humbled to receive this award and look forward to continuing this work."

Picard has been an active voice for retailers in the state, leading their advocacy efforts to lower credit and debit card swipe fees, supporting the online collection of sales tax and establishing a partnership with the NRF Foundation's RISE Up training and credentialing program to help state residents find careers in retail.

Prior to joining the association in 2007, Picard was vice president of business development and international trade for the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. He also managed the Vermont Aerospace and Aviation Association, an affiliate of the Vermont Chamber.

Picard graduated from the University of Vermont in 1991 and earned a certificate in sports and event management from New York University in 1993. He graduated from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Organization Management in 2008 and earned his "certified association executive" designation from the American Society of Association Executives in 2012.

The Retail Advocates Summit, which continues today, brings retailers of all sizes — ranging from independent local sellers to national brands — to Washington to meet with members of Congress and address a wide range of issues facing the industry.

Retailers who advocate on behalf of the industry are recognized as "America's Retail Champions" and lawmakers who have supported retail are honored as "Heroes of Main Street with top honors going to a House and Senate "Legislator of the Year."

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