Personnel changes at the NRF
The National Retail Federation performed an internal shuffle, first by hiring Paul Martino as VP and senior policy counsel and second by promoting Beth Provenzano to VP for Federal Government Relations.
“The National Retail Federation looks for world-class talent within our ranks and beyond,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Beth and Paul have been valuable members of our team for a number of years whose in-depth knowledge of the retail industry and relationships on and off Capitol Hill will go a long way in advancing the retail industry’s public policy priorities.”
Provenzano has been a major player in the NRF’s efforts to reform patent litigation and swipe fees since 2011. Before her time with the organization, she was deputy chief of staff for the Office of the Secretary of the State, staffing Senators John Rockefeller and Bob Graham.
Martino last worked for the Washington office of national law firm Alston & Bird LLP as a partner and co-chair of its Privacy and Data Security practice. He was also a consultant to the NRF since 2008. Prior to that, he served as majority counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee and principal advisor on privacy and e-commerce to Senator John McCain.
Together, Martino and Provenzano will double down on public policy initiatives in the realm of data security, payments, mobile and e-commerce, privacy and patent reform.
Danver names marketing director
Wallingford, Connecticut-based Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens turned to an 18-year veteran of the home products industry to lead its marketing efforts.
The company announced the appointment of Philip D. Zaleon as its new marketing director. In his new role, Zaleon will orchestrate the company’s multichannel marketing initiatives.
In addition to industry advocacy, Zaleon has written extensively for a variety of trade publications, providing "insight on industry trends and marketing techniques," the company said.
Prior to joining Danver, Zaleon founded and served as president of Z promotion & design, a Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based integrated marketing, advertising and creative agency catering specifically to the home products industry. He is also an international award-winning designer and producer who spent more than 12 years in the television industry, including stints with CNN, as a graphic designer, a producer, director, animator and marketing director at top 30 television local market affiliates.
“I recruited Phil for the marketing director position because of his vast experience in the home products industry –a critical component we felt was needed in addition to world-class knowledge of modern marketing execution,” said Mitch Slater, president of Danver. “He brings incomparable knowledge and industry insights we can quickly leverage with minimal lag time.”
At ports, uncertainty mixes with high volume
Uncertainty at the West Coast ports has caused a rush of activity, according to a monthly tracking service.
Import volume at major U.S. container ports is expected to total 1.5 million containers this month, says the Global Port Tracker from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. That’s the highest monthly volume in at least five years and follows a trend of unusually high import levels that began this spring as labor strife pushed retailers to import merchandise ahead of any potential problems.
With West Coast longshoremen still negotiating a new contract, retailers are bringing holiday merchandise into the country at record levels to protect against potential supply chain disruptions.
“We’re still hoping to get through this without any significant disruptions, but retailers aren’t taking any chances,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF VP supply chain and customs policy. “Retailers have been bringing merchandise in early for months now and will do what it takes to make sure shelves are stocked for their customers regardless of what happens during the negotiations.”
On Monday, about 120 California truck drivers went on strike at three major transportation companies: Green Fleet, TTSI and Pacific 9 Transportation.
The contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union expired on July 1. Dock workers remain on the job as both sides continue to negotiate a new agreement, and NRF has urged both labor and management to avoid any disruptions that could affect the flow of back-to-school or holiday merchandise.
Retailers have a number of contingency plans in place, and Global Port Tracker numbers show that some importers have begun shifting cargo to East Coast ports: West Coast ports handled 59% of U.S. retail container cargo in May, down from 62% in January.