Kennedy, 61, is credited with remaking the trade association, previously known as the International Mass Retail Association.
“The retail industry’s experienced several cycles of profound change in the 17 years Sandy’s led this organization,” said Target Corp. chief executive officer and RILA board chairman Brian Cornell. “And through it all, she’s been a strong advocate for the kind of public policy that ensures a level playing field for our member companies and helps us better serve the millions of American families who shop our stores. On behalf of our members, we thank Sandy for her many contributions to the retail industry and wish her all the best in her retirement.”
RILA chief operating officer Brian Dodge will succeed Kennedy as president, effective January 1. Dodge is currently responsible for guiding the development and execution of the association’s public affairs strategy, working closely with Kennedy to identify industry challenges and opportunities while building consensus among member companies on strategic initiatives. Prior to joining RILA in 2007, Dodge held policy roles inside and outside of government, including serving as a staff member for Rep. Jack Quinn (R., N.Y.) and Massachusetts Governors Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift.
“Brian will hit the ground running as RILA’s next president,” said Ulta Beauty CEO and RILA vice chair Mary Dillon. “His background in public policy and industry knowledge make him the right choice to lead this important organization. Sandy has accomplished so much as president of RILA, and I look forward to working with Brian and the team to build on her success.”
Kennedy said she is confident RILA will continue to be an organization dedicated to the top public policy priorities and operational challenges of leading retailers.