The Retail Council of New York State said that Niskayuna resident Ted Potrikus will replace James R. Sherin as president and chief executive officer on Sept. 1.
The council works to “promote, foster, aid, advance and protect the interests” of New York state retailers, according to its mission statement. It does that mainly by lobbying the state Legislature and providing a suite of services for businesses ranging from small independent retailers to massive chains like Macy’s.
Its board of directors voted in April for Potrikus to succeed Sherin, who will retire after 30 years with the organization. Since then, the two have worked closely to prepare for the transition.
“He hired me in 1989,” Potrikus said of his predecessor. “He’s given me something to aspire to, some good goals and benchmarks that I’ll work to continue to hit on behalf of our members.”
Potrikus, who serves as the council’s executive vice president and director of government affairs, said he is confident the change will be smooth.
“I’ve been working closely with our members for the whole 25 years that I’ve been there,” Potrikus said.
He will continue some of the duties associated with his current role, including working as head lobbyist and dealing with the media. A current employee of eight years will take over Potrikus’ role in day-to-day lobbying and government relationships.
In addition to those responsibilities, Potrikus will deal with the organization’s portfolio of member services, such as workers compensation and bank card processing.
“There’s a whole side to the association that I’ll be overseeing now and that’s the business side,” he said. “We’ve got quite a wide palette of work.”
Potrikus said while he’s excited about the new opportunity, when it comes to making changes, he’ll start small.
“There’s a lot of work that’s ahead of us,” he said. “You don’t want to change everything.”
In addition to reaching out to members for input and guidance, Potrikus said he’s excited to clear off his desk after a slightly chaotic couple of months. Then, he’ll get back to the work that’s business as usual at the Retail Council: planning for the next state legislative session.
“I’ll get up in the morning and go back into the office and look forward to another day,” he said.