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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. 

NRRDA Board of Directors 2020-2021

Brian M. Chance - President
Stephens Insurance, LLC.                       
111 Center Street, Suite 100
Little Rock, AR 72201

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

Kurt Leisure - President-elect
The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated
26901 Malibu Hills Road
Calabasas Hills, CA 91301

Dena C. Abdallah - Secretary
Marsh USA Inc.
540 W. Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60661

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

Scott Bermack - General Counsel
Weber Gallagher
1500 Broadway, 2401
New York, NY 10036

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

Floyd G. Cottrell
Cottrell Solensky, P.A.
550 Broad St., Suite 1000
Newark, NJ 07102
973-643-1400 x13

Thomas Culotta
Burlington Stores Inc.
1830 Rt 130 North
Burlington, NJ 08016
609-387-7800 x53575

Brad Levien
Mintzer, Sarowitz, Zeris, Ledva & Meyers, LLP
17 West John St., Suite 200
Hicksville, NY 11801

Anandhi S. Rajan
Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers, LLP
1355 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

Miriam A. Rich
Hennessy & Roach, PC
8910 Purdue Rd., Suite 170
Indianapolis, IN 46268
317- 204-4627

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

Douglas J. Stipanovich
Dicks Sporting Goods
345 Court Street
Coraopolis, PA  15108

Mony B.P.  Yin
Perez Morris Hyde LLC
17 Squadron Blvd, Suite 410
New York, NY 10956

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

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

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

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

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

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




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