ARLINGTON, Va. — Food Marketing Institute here this week presented its Donald H. McManus Association Executive Award to Fran Preston (left), president of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association, for her leadership in public affairs.
Preston "builds broad-based coalitions to fight for our most important causes," said Leslie G. Sarasin (right), FMI president and chief executive officer, in presenting the award. "And she adeptly leads multiple associations to leverage their combined strength."
FMI specifically cited Preston's efforts to fight the Employee Free Choice Act and to battle organized retail theft. In the case of the former, she assembled a 64-member coalition called North Carolinians to Preserve Employee Choice to oppose the union-friendly bill, and in the case of retail theft, she has supported local laws to stiffen penalties and is exploring a new program, called Prevent Organized Retail Theft, in which merchants would work with law enforcement to help capture ring members.
The McManus award, named after a former director of the Rocky Mountain Food Dealers Association executive director, recognizes one association executive each year for extraordinary leadership in public affairs, industry relations and community relations.
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