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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 open Board of Directors seats are closed. Click here for the slate of candidates. Voting will take place at the member meeting on March 7, during the Annual Conference in West Palm Beach. Winners will be announced on March 8.

NRRDA Board of Directors 2018-2019

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 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

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 

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

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

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

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

Zach T. Mayer
750 N. Saint Paul Street • Suite 700
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

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

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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