HOLLYWOOD, FL – A.R.E. (Association for Retail Environments) has appointed Todd Dittman executive director, succeeding Klein Merriman, who will retire in August. In this role, Dittman, a marketing and finance executive with more than 20 years of experience, will lead A.R.E. and manage PAVE, the industry educational foundation, and the Retail Design Institute, working with each organization’s volunteer officers and boards of directors. The appointment is effective August 1, 2013.
Said Alan Harvill, president of A.R.E.'s board of directors and president and CEO of EMI Industries LLC, “Todd’s leadership experience will serve our association well through this transition and into the next growth years for both A.R.E. and the retail environments industry. He will build on the foundation laid by our executive director of 18 years, Klein Merriman."
Dittman (photo left) says, "I am very excited to join A.R.E. My personal business philosophy is that you assure success by surrounding yourself with the best people. A.R.E. is built around this philosophy and exists to extend the benefits of a strong network to its members. Klein has done a terrific job surrounding himself with a talented team. I will continue our mission to advance the industry and success of our member companies with our members and dedicated staff."
"We went through an extensive search and selection process with a strong and diverse set of applicants," explained Bob Rosean, vice president of A.R.E.’s board of directors, and CEO of TJ Hale Co. The search committee was lead by Rosean and consisted of the following A.R.E. leaders: Alan Harvill, EMI Industries; Dean Rubin, Rose Displays Ltd.; Bob Riley, DSA/Phototech; Robert Frackelton, Reeve Store Equipment Co.; Richard Ernest, Crown Metal Manufacturing Co.; and Klein Merriman, A.R.E.
Dittman’s experience with industry-leading companies and not-for-profits most recently includes working for Dairy Management Inc. (Dairy Products Promotion) as vice president of marketing and analysis. Dittman played a key role in the organization’s transformation from generic advertising (GOT MILK) to product development through industry partnerships.
Prior to this position, Dittman served as director of field marketing for Arby’s Restaurant Group, in charge of marketing planning and implementation for over 400 company and franchise units in 19 markets. While at Arby’s, he sat on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and was elected president and vice president of the Erie, Pa., and Pittsburgh Arby’s cooperatives respectively.
Prior to Arby’s, Dittman was manager of the analysis department, and later field marketing manager, for Wendy’s International. Working closely with corporate and field partners, he successfully grew Wendy’s market share and effectively raised money for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Dittman’s early career included positions with companies including Prudential, Borden, Wise Foods, and American National Can.
Dittman holds a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University, Chicago, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati. He and his wife, Wendy, and their three daughters, Maddy, Anna, and Thalia, will be relocating to Florida in the coming months.
About A.R.E.: The Association for Retail Environments (A.R.E.) is an international non-profit trade association advancing the retail environments industry. Members are leaders in the international retail environments industry, including store fixture suppliers, retail design firms, suppliers of visual merchandising products, suppliers of materials and equipment for the industry, and service providers. More about A.R.E.
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