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Articles in Category: MnRA News

Branch Recognized As Vendor Partner of the Year

Minnesota's Retail Champions 2019

Branch Recognized As Vendor Partner of the Year

After reviewing dozens of applications from across the state, the Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Branch with its Vendor Partner of the Year award in the 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“Branch has embraced Minnesota since its move in 2016 and has made a name for itself in a big way,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “As a partner to retailers, Branch is helping the industry and its employees adapt to the ever-changing way we work and serve communities. Through its innovative mobile platform, Branch is dedicated to the financial wellness of hourly employees as well as helping retailers  retain their workforce .  We congratulate Branch as the Vendor Partner of the Year.”

“At Branch, we partner with retail employers and their employees to help overcome obstacles hourly workers face,” says Atif Siddiqi, CEO and founder of Branch. “We are constantly analyzing trends and talking to retail employees about what they need and want so we can work collaboratively with our retail partners to open up opportunities in the  employee-employer relationship.”

Atif Siddiqi will accept the award in person and discuss what retail employees want today during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at the Brookview in Golden Valley beginning at 2:00 p.m. The event features seven 20-minute practical, game-changing, cutting edge retail innovations strategies and ideas, including local favorite and award-winning news anchor-reporter Robyne Robinson with fiveXfive Public Art.

Branch is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Vendor Partner of the Year award. Seven other organizations will be recognized in other categories such as Best Place To Work, Outstanding Achievement, Retail Employee of the Year, Social Responsibility, Retail Innovation, Customer Experience, and Retailer of the Year.

Retail Rally event information can be found at

Emily McGann Selected As Minnesota Retailers Association 2019 Board Chair

Emily McGann Selected As Minnesota Retailers Association 2019 Board Chair

Emily McGann has been elected chair of the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA). In late January the Board of Directors met and selected McGann to lead the organization representing 1,200 retail stores. The volunteer leadership role is for one year and encompasses leading a group of 25 Board members from all around Minnesota and a staff focused on growing Minnesota’s retail economy and jobs.

McGann is a regional director of state government affairs for CVS Health, where she works with elected officials in Minnesota, as well as Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. CVS Health is a health innovation company working to help people on their path to better health. Its CVS Pharmacy retail division has more than 9,800 locations, including more than 130 retail pharmacies in Minnesota.

McGann is excited about her leadership role, saying “Minnesota has such a vibrant, diverse retail community. I look forward to this opportunity and am ready to ensure that the retail voice will be well represented and heard across the state as we discuss issues important to employees and the retail business model."

McGann succeeds small business owner Lonnie McQuirter. “We are excited for Emily’s leadership as retailers in Minnesota continue to innovate and, in some cases, reinvent themselves. Emily’s knowledge and passion for both retail and government relations will allow her to contribute greatly in her role as chair as we continue to tell the important story of retail,” said MnRA staff president Bruce Nustad. “And we thank Lonnie for his dedication and commitment of time and energy to the industry this past year.”

Meet Savannah Sepic, MnRA's New Government Relations Manager

MnRA welcomes Savannah Sepic

Meet Savannah Sepic, MnRA's New Government Relations Manager

The Minnesota Retailers Association is excited to welcome our new government relations manager, Savannah Sepic.

Savannah was born in Rochester, Minnesota but has spent much of her life in Madison, Wisconsin. This past May, Savannah graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a double major in political science and advertising.

Savannah recently moved to St. Paul and is already enjoying exploring Minnesota and all it has to offer, including our vibrant retail community.

Savannah served as a legislative intern at the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce where she organized Chippewa Valley Rally, a grassroots member activity similar to MnRA's annual Retail Day at the Capitol. In addition, Savannah researched chamber policies and helped members engage with elected officials.

Following graduation and through the 2018 election, Savannah ran a field office for a political party in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Politics and membership organizations are second nature to Savannah as she grew up accompanying her father--a veteran of the chamber of commerce and association industry--to board meetings.

"I am excited to learn the ins and outs of the association, along with diving into the issues important to our members," said Savannah. "I look forward to meeting everyone and the start of the 2019 legislative session."

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