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NRRDA's Mission

NRRDA’s mission is to advance and protect the interests of the retail and restaurant industry. By providing members with information, strategies and tools, NRRDA works to reduce claims and better manage risk; mount effective defense strategies against claims and litigation; and foster and encourage a cooperative relationship among the members of the Association. Membership in the National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association is open to anyone engaged in the defense of the retail and restaurant industries, employed by a restaurant or retail establishment, insurance company, third party administrator, claims adjusting company, structural settlement company or anyone else with an interest in the retail and restaurant industries. To review NRRDA's Bylaws, click here.

NRRDA’s Origins
The brainchild of seven founding members—Robert Kopka, Ian Matthes, Jeff Vernis, Brian Cafritz, Michael Amaro, Joe Hassinger, and Jacqueline Canter—NRRDA began with a series of conference calls discussing the need for an industry-centered organization focused on the defense of retail and restaurant businesses.  The founding members soon formed an advisory board and invited their clients to join, including JC Penney, U.S. Foods, Home Depot, and Ruby Tuesday.  Their goal was to assemble a group of attorneys, claims professionals, and industry representatives into an organization in which the industry clients themselves are primary.  With that goal in mind, the founding members wrote into the By Laws certain restrictions on the number of attorneys who can join.  Today, the percentages of membership are roughly 50% industry representatives, 40% attorneys, and 10% vendors.  NRRDA’s first national conference was in Dallas, Texas, and it has grown in attendance each year.  NRRDA remains committed to providing an open, inclusive forum for the advancement and legal protection of the retail and restaurant industries. To review NRRDA's bylaws, click here.

Nominations for the 2018 Board of Directors is now open through January 19, 2018. There are two open Industry seats and one open Attorney seat. Click here for the nominations form.

NRRDA Board of Directors 2016-2017

Robert J. Kopka, Esq.- President 
Kopka, Pinkus, Dolin PC                        
100 Lexington Dr, Suite 100
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

Brian M. Chance - President-elect
ECBM Insurance Brokers & Consultants
300 Conshohocken State Road, Suite 405
West Conshohocken, PA 19428
610-664-8299 x. 1325

Renée D. Ramirez - Immediate Past President
Claims Analyst
Risk Management
American Airlines Group
4333 Amon Carter Blvd
Mail Drop 5558 HDQ1
Ft Worth, TX 76155

Dena Abdallah - Secretary
US Foods
9399 W. Higgins Road
Rosemont, IL 60018

John Kemppainen - Treasurer
Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion
500 North Broadway, Suite 1550
St. Louis, MO 63102

Scott Bermack - General Counsel
Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley PC
750 Third Avenue, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Michael L. Amaro, Esq.
Amaro Baldwin LLP 
180 East Ocean Blvd. Suite 850 
Long Beach, CA 90802 

Madeline S. Baio, Esq. 
Goldberg Segalla
1700 Market Street, Suite 1418
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3907 

Tracy Hurst

Joe Hassinger, Jr.
Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith
701 Poydras St., 40th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70139

Zach T. Mayer
Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC
1601 Elm Street, Suite 3700
Dallas, TX 75201

Britt Roarx, CP-FS
Texas Roadhouse
6040 Dutchmans Lane
Louisville, KY 40205

Caryn Siebert, JD
Gallagher Bassett Services
1057 S. Creekview Lane
Anaheim Hills, CA 92808

G. Jeffrey Vernis
Vernis & Bowling of Palm Beach, P.A.
884 U.S. Highway One
N. Palm Beach, FL 33408

Brian A. Cafritz - Past President
Kalbaugh, Pfund & Messersmith, PC                      
901 Moorefield Park Drive, Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23236

Ian Neil Matthes, Esq. - Past President and Founder-Emeritus
Vernis & Bowling of Atlanta, LLC                                
30 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30341

Jacqueline H. Canter, Esq. – Founder-Emeritus
Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin
2000 Market St., Suite 2300
Philadelphia, PA 19103



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