Tita Freeman to exit NRF for Business Roundtable

WASHINGTON: Tita Freeman is vacating her lead communications role at the National Retail Federation after less than a year to return to the Business Roundtable.

WASHINGTON: Tita Freeman is vacating her lead communications role at the National Retail Federation (NRF) after less than a year to return to the Business Roundtable. She will join the Business Roundtable March 2 as SVP of communications and public affairs.

The top communications spot at the Business Roundtable was left open when Johanna Schneider left the business advocacy organization in January after nearly two decades to join the Washington office of Burson-Marsteller. Additionally, Business Roundtable communications director Kirk Monroe will join Prism Public Affairs as EVP on March 1.

Freeman previously worked at the Business Roundtable as a communications director for a five-year stint that ended in 2007. She told PRWeek she is "excited" to return. A staff of four employees will report to her.

Freeman was named SVP of communications and public affairs for the NRF in May last year. She was hired as part of NRF's aggressive plan to expand the government relations and communications departments at the association.

NRF CEO Matt Shay said in an email to staff that Freeman's “leadership was instrumental to the launch of our ‘Retail Means Jobs' campaign, which I believe is the most important campaign in NRF's history.” To replace Freeman, NRF will work with a search firm to find a new SVP.

Freeman said it was a difficult decision to leave NRF but added that the organization is “on the right path.”

“We're growing membership, and ramping up advocacy,” she said. “We have truly raised the game as an organization. We're beginning to be heard around town and on Capitol Hill.”

Freeman was VP of communications and strategy at US Chamber of Commerce prior to joining NRF. Before joining the organization in early 2008, Freeman was a consultant for Google's Washington office where she implemented the company's first strategic outreach plan for engaging with Washington trade associations and interest groups.

Freeman was PRWeek's October 2011 Newsmaker. In 2009, she was included on PRWeek's "40 Under 40" list.

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