Matthew Shay became President and CEO of the National Retail Federation in May 2010. As top executive of the world’s largest retail trade association, he serves as the chief advocate for an industry with more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that create jobs for more than 42 million workers and generate $2.5 trillion in annual sales. Beyond U.S. borders, Shay represents NRF global membership that includes retailers and industry partners in more than 45 nations.
Shay is credited with leading NRF to new levels of effectiveness on policy issues, increasing awareness of the industry’s economic contributions and emphasizing political activity. Under his leadership, the NRF adopted a new strategic plan that identifies advocacy, communication and education as key priorities. This initiative provides significant new financial and human resources to government relations and advocacy, a new approach to communications and public affairs, and increased focus on delivering value to members of NRF. Under his leadership, NRF held the most successful Annual Convention in its 100-year history while scoring a number of legislative victories on behalf of the retail industry.
Shay previously served as President and CEO of the International Franchise Association, which represents more than 1,200 franchise companies in retail and other industries around the world. During his time as CEO, the IFA adopted an aggressive public policy agenda. Among other things, this led to a series of initiatives to restore the flow of credit to cash strapped retail and other franchise businesses during the national recession.
Shay has been recognized by CEO Update as one of the top 50 nonprofit chief executives in Washington. He serves on a number of boards and committees, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100 representing the nation’s leading trade and industry groups.
Shay is a graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and The Ohio State University College of Law, and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.