WRA BUSINESS PLAN, OUTLOOK
The Washington Retail Association advocates for the retail industry to the public, to all levels of government, and provides members programs of value.
BENEFIT OUR MEMBERS
Operate the business with the guidance of a professional board of directors that manages legal and financial risks of member services, supports development of sponsorships, and promotes the value of membership.
Continually grow as a trusted industry information resource while forging media opportunities to enhance the industry’s public image.
Provide effective political representation by shaping government policies to benefit the retail industry.
Strengthen operational capabilities by strategic planning, technological improvements and leadership training.
SAVE MEMBERS MONEY
Offer cost-saving services to WRA members.
KEY LEGISLATIVE GOALS
- Defeated numerous burdensome tax increase proposals.
- Advocated for approval of tough penalties for organized retail crime.
- Defeated proposals to unionize independent truck drivers and contractors who serve retailers.
- Defeated several attempts to add costly and unnecessary environmental regulations.
- Helped to pass reforms to reduce workers’ compensation costs for employers.
- Passed unemployment insurance reforms saving retailers millions.
- Enacted nationally-recognized streamlined sales tax legislation.
- Defeated numerous attempts to repeals or alter the non-resident sales tax exemption.
- Stopped union efforts to impose a “gag” rule on employers communicating with employees or unionization efforts.
WRA LOBBYING TEAM
Mark Johnson has headed WRA’s Government Affairs strategies since January of 2005. he oversees WRA’s lobbying work including the association’s Small Business Committee, Political Action Committee and Government Affairs Committee. Prior to joining WRA he was assistant director to the National Federation of Independent Business’ Washington State chapter.
Tammie Hetrick joined WRA in 1999 and is responsible for overseeing WRA’s Retail Services division. Vice President of Retail Services, Tammie manages premium refunds to Retrospective Rating members, oversees management of refund appeals, determines Retro investments, establishes Retro contract policies, and oversees the safety training/education and marketing divisions. Tammie brings her expertise in industrial insurance laws to her legislative testimony and lobbying.
KEY ASSOCIATION INITIATIVES
- Taxes and fees – Protect and preserve tax incentives that encourage economic development and retail sales while working to curb new taxes or fees that threaten the livelihoods of WRA members.
- Workers’ compensation – Advocate for legislation to permit faster and more efficient processing of workplace injury claims to better manage overhead costs for members.
- Wages and labor laws – Advocate creative solutions for relaxing Washington State’s highest-in-the-nation minimum wage, which stunts economic growth and opportunity. Discourage expensive sick leave requirements that are vulnerable to employee abuse and frivolous lawsuits that can sap employee productivity.
- Health care – Continue to advocate for market solutions to better manage costs as opposed to expensive, inefficient government-sponsored coverage that limits freedom of choice with taxes and fines.
- Product stewardship – Advocate for recycling models that hold manufacturers – not retailers – responsible for the costs of discarding obsolete products.
- Be the voice of the retail industry during legislative sessions and hearings.
- Participate in issues-related workshops and seminars to keep abreast of legislative and business trends.
- Reach out to local, state and federal elected officials to outline WRA’s stance on issues.
- Assemble an annual report of legislative voting records exclusively for WRA members.
Workers’ Compensation Claims Management
- Operate an efficient and responsive Retrospective Rating workers’ compensation claims management subsidiary.
- Provide regular safety training through webinars, monthly reports, and WRA weekly electronic communications.
- Attend safety and claims-related conferences to keep abreast of developing workers’ compensation issues and solutions.
- Earn insurance premium refunds for members through diligent management of claims and safety records.
- Provide assistance to members with financial reimbursement of wages through the Stay-at-Work program.
- Enhance WRA’s influence by marketing services to attract a growing membership base.
Image and Messaging
- Maintain productive relationships with traditional media editors and bloggers to assist in amplifying WRA’s messaging.
- Maintain a flow of print and online WRA opinion pieces to augment the legislative lobbying programs.
- Employ social media presence to grow the audience of elected officials, business and media representatives who consume WRA’s messaging.
- Produce a weekly online newsletter to keep members, the media, Legislature and the business community at large abreast of legislative developments and voting records of importance to the retail industry.