The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today announced that Annette Guarisco will join the association as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs, effective October 1. Guarisco will oversee RILA’s federal and state government affairs, as well as the association’s communications efforts. Overseeing a team of 16, Guarisco will build upon the Association’s past successes to strengthen the retail industry’s position in Washington and further advance the industry’s public policy agenda.
Guarisco brings to RILA 30 years of experience in the development and execution of public policy strategies. She joins the association following more than 11 years as a senior executive at General Motors, most recently serving as Executive Director of Global Public Policy. During her tenure with General Motors, Guarisco ran the carmaker’s Congressional relations efforts and grassroots and political advocacy programs. In addition, she oversaw government relations activities in Canada and Mexico and served as a liaison to the UAW and AFL-CIO. Prior to joining General Motors, Guarisco spent six years at Honeywell International as Corporate Director, Public Policy and Government Affairs.
Earlier in her career, Guarisco served as Counsel to Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole (R-KS) and Trent Lott (R-MS), as counsel at the law firm Dewey Ballantine and as an attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
“Annette brings an impressive knowledge of public policy and deep understanding of the political process to this new role,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “We are pleased to welcome Annette to RILA and I am confident that her leadership and experience will strengthen RILA’s already highly effective team.”
RILA is an outspoken advocate for the most critical issues facing the retail industry. RILA remains at the forefront of a number of battles, including leveling the playing field for all retailers as it relates to the collection of state sales tax. RILA also plays a leading role on issues including comprehensive tax reform, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, privacy, trade and a variety of workforce and finance issues.
“America’s retail companies rely on RILA to champion issues that affect our industry, employees and customers. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome Annette to the team. We’re confident that she will help RILA continue to deliver significant wins for the retail industry,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target Corporation and chairman of the RILA Board of Directors.
Guarisco replaces Katherine Lugar, who left RILA earlier this year to become President and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
Guarisco earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Hofstra University, a law degree from Hofstra University School of Law and a Master of Laws in Taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center. She is admitted to practice law in New York, Washington, DC and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
An official photograph of Ms. Guarisco can be found here.###