U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), a Capitol Hill leader on issues of cybersecurity and consumer protection, was the only elected official included in a list of 25 leaders highlighted by the National Retail Federation for national leadership on issues of concern to the country’s leading retail organization.
The NRF and NRF Foundation named Sen. Warner as one of the “best and brightest individuals impacting the retail industry today,” and acknowledged his work in Congress to protect consumers from the growing number of data breaches exposing the personal and financial information of millions of Americans.
Sen. Warner has been a leader in calling for better consumer protections from data theft. In the aftermath of the Target breach that exposed the debit and credit card information of 40 million customers, Sen. Warner chaired the first congressional hearing in February 2014 on protecting consumer data from the threat posed by hackers targeting retailers’ online systems. Following the massive security breaches at Target and other retailers, Sen. Warner partnered with NRF to establish an information sharing platform that allows the industry to better protect consumer financial information from data breaches. Sen. Warner currently is preparing legislation that would create a comprehensive, nationwide and uniform data breach standard requiring timely consumer notification for breaches of financial data and other sensitive information.
“Retail supports one in four jobs nationwide, including more than one million jobs in Virginia,” said Sen. Warner. “Retailers have been strong partners in my efforts to protect consumers’ personal information and respond to the growing threat posed by data breaches. They spur innovation, encourage economic development and strengthen our communities. I’m thrilled and proud to receive this recognition from our nation’s retailers.”
“While most of his colleagues look at policy issues through the lens of a politician, Sen. Warner sees things differently. His background in business and technology gives him a ‘think outside the box’ approach that often sets him apart in Washington,” said NRF Senior Vice President and Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis.“While the Senate worked its way through complex debate over cybersecurity, Sen. Warner broke the mold by fashioning an approach to data security that treats all industry sectors the same. He is a leader on issues surrounding the rise of the ‘on-demand’ economy, pondering what the modern social contract should look like in a way that continues to promote innovation and to preserve the flexibility of the ‘gig’ economy.”
“The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future represents the most innovative and impressive group of professionals impacting the retail industry today,” added Davis. “We are thrilled to celebrate ‘The List’ and hold them up as shining examples of the talent, passion and creativity that drive the retail industry forward.”
Sen. Warner will join the other honorees on the List of “People Shaping Retail’s Future” – which also includes designer and businesswoman Tory Burch, Restoration Hardware chairman and CEO Gary Friedman, analyst Walter Loeb, and Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon, among others – to be publicly recognized at the NRF Foundation Gala on January 17, 2016 in New York City. The foundation, a nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation, raises funds for scholarships and fosters career growth for people in the retail industry. NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP.
Previously, Sen. Warner was named a “Hero of Main Street” in 2015 and the “Legislator of the Year” in 2014 by the NRF for his support of important priorities such as international trade, patent reform, health care, tax reform and labor policies that work for employees and employers alike.
The full list of 25 “People Shaping Retail’s Future 2016” can be found here.