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Drake Leaving NARDA

3/25/2008 03:14:00 PM Eastern

Glenview, Ill. — Tom Drake is stepping down as president/CEO of the North American Retail Dealers Association (NARDA).

Drake has led the retail trade association since 2004, having spearheaded such initiatives as outsourcing its operational functions and merging with the United Services Association (USA), which is now NARDA’s service arm.

He is leaving the group for a new position with a start-up organization called L3 that addresses second-half-of-life issues for high-net-worth individuals.

“Tom has done much good for us and we will miss him,” said NARDA board chairman Leon Barbachano of Allen & Peterson Cooking & Appliance Center. Barbachano and the board will assume Drake’s duties until a successor is appointed, and day-to-day operations will continue to be fielded by executive VP Rosemary Jacobshagen. A search for an executive director is already underway, Barbachano said.

NARDA, headquartered here, is a 65-year-old, not-for-profit educational trade association for independent CE, majap and furniture retailers and servicers. Its members account for more than 3,500 storefronts and more than $11 billion in annual sales.