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What is ARA?

Our History

ARA HistoryFor over 50 years ARA has been protecting the business interests of retailers throughout Arizona.

Retailers representing all categories and sizes recognized the value of combining their resources and ideas, and formed ARA to achieve goals that no single business could accomplish individually. This guiding principle has remained central to ARA’s philosophy of serving retailers through collaboration and partnership.

Whether your business measures its success by the thousands or millions of dollars ARA is there for you.

“Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve condition within his sphere.” Theodore Roosevelt

Our Purpose

...providing the united voice of retailing in Arizona.

  • Advocacy

    ARA passionately advocates legislation and regulation that creates favorable outcomes for its membership. This is accomplished through outreach strategies, connecting retailers with lawmakers, regulators, trade associations, traditional and social media.

    By ARA’s constant and vigilant eye on legislative and regulatory activity, member companies are able to focus on other pressing business issues, with confidence that their interests are being protected by ARA. Furthermore, high profile and sensitive issues can arise that may inhibit a business from engaging in the process, but ARA provides that united voice which acts as a shield for its members and as a first line of defense.
  • Communication

    Board MeetingInformation is the key product in the business of government relations and sharing that information is essential, therefore our communications are timely, comprehensive and tailored to your needs.

    ARA also provides communication on issues impacting the retail industry to lawmakers, regulators and to the community, through a variety of means including direct contact, media interaction and public speaking at civic organizations.
  • Committees

    Under the umbrella of the Arizona Retailers Association, committees are created to address the needs of specific industry segments. Each Committee provides a forum for information sharing that has proven to result in better legislative proposals, regulatory reforms and business practices
  • National Organizations

    ARA is a member of the Council of State Retail Associations. Within this organization, ARA shares best practices with like associations across the nation to identify new opportunities, address issues and proactively implement programs that serve the interests of its membership.

    ARA has strong relationships with national retail organizations operating at the federal level. ARA interacts with these organizations on a regular basis to achieve the goals of its membeship.

Our Accomplishments

ARA is the united voice of retail and through effective relationship management and collaboration with other industry partners, ARA has enhanced the business climate for Arizona retailers.

ARA’s accomplishments include outcomes which have resulted in millions of dollars of direct benefit to member companies, far exceeding the annual investment each company has committed.

ARA Staff

  • Michelle Allen Ahlmer
    Executive Director
  • Janet Underwood
    Executive Assistant
    Director of Pharmacy Affairs

ARA Officers

  • Nikki Daly
    President
  • Linda Valletta
    Vice President
  • Rachel Lee
    Treasurer

Board of Directors

  • Rusty Palm
    Ace Hardware
  • Steve Godber
    Almond Brothers
  • Daniel Gonzalez
    Best Buy
  • Rachel Lee
    CVS Health
  • Nikki Daly
    Flair Salons
  • Anne McGoldrick
    Grossman Company Properties
  • Clay Brown
    Home Depot
  • Arnold Grothues
    JCPenney Company
  • Frank Julian
    Macy’s
  • Reuben Minkus
    Minkus Advertising Specialties
  • Maureen Kats
    PetSmart
  • Nancy Keane
    Safeway
  • Kimberly Lahn
    Salt River Project
  • Linda Valetta
    Sears
  • Kay Woods
    Target
  • Mike Smith
    Walgreens
  • Philip Serghini
    Walmart
  • Macerich
  • Jim Willinger
    Wide World of Maps

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