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NARDA Names New President/CEO

Lombard, Ill. – Thomas Drake has been named president/CEO of the North American Retail Dealers Association (NARDA) replacing Elly Valas, who will be leaving the organization right after CES.

Drake, a Certified Association Executive (CAE) with a wide variety of marketing, communications and sales experience in business and government areas, will be responsible for implementing NARDA’s strategic plan and vision, marketing NARDA membership to the industry and representing the interests of retailers within and outside the industry.

In his previous position as senior VP, consumer brands at Edelman, one of the world’s largest public relations agencies, Drake provided senior level counsel in marketing communications strategy and programming to a wide range of clients including major retail companies and not-for-profit organizations.

Drake also spent 11 years at the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), an international retail trade association, where he was sales and marketing VP and oversaw events, programs and services designed to assist retailers in managing their businesses.

Drake also was heavily involved in industry issues, helping retailers and manufacturers work together to find common ground. Among those areas were channel of distribution issues, including manufacturer-operated retail stores and selling over the Internet.

He will be representing NARDA this week at CES along with outgoing president/CEO Elly Valas.