Retailers bulk up government affairs department

The National Retail Federation announced several personnel changes on Tuesday aimed at bulking up its government affairs department.

The group has hired Paul Martino as vice president and senior policy counsel and has promoted Beth Provenzano to vice president for federal government relations.

Martino and Provenzano will work with the NRF government relations department and will focus on emerging policy priorities, including data security, payments, mobile and e-commerce, privacy and patent reform.

“Beth and Paul have been valuable members of our team for a number of years whose in-depth knowledge of the retail industry and relationships on and off Capitol Hill will go a long way in advancing the retail industry’s public policy priorities,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement.

Martino joins NRF from the Washington office of Alston & Bird where he was a partner and co-chairman of the firm’s privacy and data security practice.

He has been a consultant to NRF on a number of retail industry issues since 2008.

Provenzano started with NRF in 2011 and has led the group's efforts on patent litigation reform and swipe fees. Before joining NRF, she worked on Capitol Hill in various roles including for Sens. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Bob Graham (D-Fla.).

“As public policy and regulation advance in the technology and privacy realm, NRF is primed and ready for the challenge,” Shay said.