National Retail Federation Names Thorne to Senior Post

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The National Retail Federation announced last month that Bill Thorne has been named the association’s senior vice president of communications and public affairs.

Thorne, currently senior director, community affairs at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., will join the NRF on June 1. He will oversee the organization’s industry and public affairs communications strategy, including its Retail Means Jobs campaign.

The campaign is a multimillion-dollar initiative to demonstrate the power of retail to America’s economy and the career opportunities within the industry.

“Throughout his long career, Bill has proven himself to be an accomplished strategist with an incredible track record of creating and building successful campaigns,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release. “As NRF continues to invest in talent and resources to promote the retail industry both in Washington and around the world, bringing in an executive at the intersection of retail and government will help us tell the industry’s story in an even more compelling way.”

During his time at Wal-Mart, Thorne oversaw the creation and execution of campaigns for urban market entry, and also served as senior director of advocacy outreach, where he created and successfully launched the retailer’s corporate, public and political advocacy network.

Earlier in his career, Thorne worked in various political capacities at the state and national levels, including several years with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and more than five years with U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas.