About The LRA

The Three "P" strategy for success

The LRA Team

The LRA Board of Directors

About The LRA

The Louisiana Retailers Association was chartered in 1946 and is the non-profit trade organization for the retail industry across the state of Louisiana.

It's 2,000 plus members across the state, the Association represent over 4,000 storefronts. Our industry provides over 330,000 jobs to Louisiana's citizens. Since 1946, the Louisiana Retailers Association has taken an active role in providing member businesses with beneficial resources.

A full time staff is on duty to keep members apprised of industry trends and developments, while ensuring that businesspeople, like you, have a collective voice in the regulatory and legislative arenas.

The Louisiana Food Industry Council was formed when the LRA merged with the Louisiana Grocers Association to promote and support the growth and success of the food industry in the state of Louisiana.

Marketing Education-Retail Alliance (MERA) created in 2000, focuses on educating future leaders of our industry with hands on knowledge from area retailers. Since established, MERA has touched thousands of high school students in Louisiana. MERA is solely funded through a grant dedicated by our Legislature to enhance Marketing Education.

The Louisiana Retailers Education Foundation generates tax-deductible contributions and fundraising dollars to award college scholarships. The Foundation awards thousands of dollars each year to deserving students. As in many industries such as ours education is a major part of strengthening our future successes.

The Louisiana Retailers Political Action Committee (REPAC) established to contribute to our state Legislators who continue making every effort possible to protect our industries' interests.

The Three "P" Strategy For Success

The LRA uses the three "P" strategy for success: Pressure, Power, Participation

Pressure at the State Capitol to improve the business climate.

Buying Power to provide bottom-line savings through member services and products.

Participation so collectively you can accomplish what cannot be done alone.

It works! Louisiana Retailers members across Baton Rouge, Shreveport and New Orleans have joined forces to tackle local issues of mutual concern, exchange information, solve common problems and discuss ideas.

While other organizations represent the interests of the larger business community, the Louisiana Retailers Association focuses on the concerns of the retail community. And that's an important difference. Our legislative program targets your needs and is widely recognized as one of the strongest in the state. As your watchdog, the Louisiana Retailers Association has helped to effect many significant changes, including the following:
  • Passage of Slip and Fall legislation assuring merchants are held liable for negligence only - the standard used throughout the rest of country.

  • Removal of the 18% interest cap charged on retail store revolving charge accounts.

  • Reimbursement of cash register reprogramming costs due to sales tax changes.

  • Defeat of a proposed 1% meat, poultry and seafood excise tax.

  • Passage of the inventory tax credit.

  • Increased NSF check fees from $15 to $25

The LRA Team
Dawn Johnson
Executive Director, Louisiana Retailers Association,
Administrative Director, MERA

Dawn joined the LRA Team in 1995. Since then she has moved up from Executive Assistant to Executive Director. Dawn was appointed to the Executive Director Position in 2003. She is the first female to hold the position of Executive Director.

Dawn oversees all administrative functions, accounting duties, government relations, public relations, and all other aspects of the LRA's operations.

Prior to joining the LRA Team Dawn was co-owner of a local restaurant and has a very strong management and accounting background.

Fred Burkett
LRA Government Relations Consultant

As the Associations' Lobbyist since 1988, Fred's legislative expertise and relations are irreplaceable in his field. Fred has served as an Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture under Commissioner Odom and owned and operated many businesses and Associations.

Representing many interests at the Capitol, lobbying comes second nature to Fred due to the long relationships he has developed in Louisiana government over the years.

Fred's not "camera shy". He's just very busy. We hope to have a picture of Fred here soon.

Jessica Elliott
Director of Government Affairs, MERA Legal Assistant

Jessica has been employed with the LRA since 1997. Jessica worked with the LRA throughout her undergraduate career at LSU where she earned her Political Science degree in 2000.

Jessica graduated from LSU's Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 2004 where she earned her Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Civil Law degrees.

Jessica is responsible for providing information and research on legislative issues to facilitate the lobbying effort. Jessica monitors and researches legislation and related issues, prepares summaries and analyzes pending bills. Jessica also serves as legal counsel to the LRA. Jessica is a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Brandi Armand
Member Services Manager

Brandi Armand joined the LRA in 2007. Brandi is responsible for a variety of tasks, including planning meetings and events, making travel arrangements.

Brandi also is responsible for coordinating fundraising and sponsorships, maintaining smooth and efficient office operations, and corresponding with members.

Brandi comes to the LRA after 4 ½ years at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She is a graduate of Louisiana Technical College.

The LRA Board of Directors

LRA Board of Directors


Chairman of the Board
Ricky Landry, Zuppardo's Supermarket. Metairie, LA

Vice- Chairman
Cal Simpson, Blue Bell Creameries. Baton Rouge, LA

Neal Rome, Progressive Brokerage. Metairie, LA
Bud Dunaway, Baton Rouge Coca-Cola. Baton Rouge, LA

Brian Bernard, Associated Grocers. Baton Rouge, LA

Immediate Past Chairman
David McLemore, McLemore Enterprises. Winnsboro, LA


Jay Breaux, Breaux Mart. Metairie, LA
David Caplan/ Brent Caplan, Caplan's Inc. Alexandria, LA
Jason Cooper, Brookshire Grocery Company. Tyler, TX
Bob Durand, Associated Wholesale Grocers. Pearl River, LA
Buddy Gossom. Sunshine, LA
Arnold Grothues, J.C. Penney. Plano, TX
Chad Guidry, Brookshire Brothers. Sulphur, LA
Angela Hoover, Walgreen Co. Deerfield, IL
Gary Huddleston, The Kroger Co. Irving, TX
Brian Hudson, The Home Depot. Atlanta, GA
Paul Imbrone, Macy's Inc. Miami, FL
Andrew Lawrence, Smokers Paradise Plus. Winnsboro, LA
Marcy LeBlanc, LeBlanc's Food Stores. Gonzales, LA
Ali Malik/ Alfonso N. Cornish II, Target. Mandeville, LA/ Minneapolis, MN
Roger Mayes/ Mitch Mayes, Louisiana Nursery. Baton Rouge, LA
Tom Olinde, Olinde’s Furniture. Baton Rouge, LA
James Rogers, McCormick & Company, Inc. Gretna, LA
Patrick Stephens, Best Buy. Baton Rouge, LA
Patrick Theriot, Sears Holdings, Inc. Baton Rouge, LA
Kel Villarrubia, The Coca Cola Company. Harahan, LA
Tice White, Wal-Mart Stores. Ridgeland, MS
Brian Wright, Winn Dixie. Jacksonville, FL