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CERV Board Member, Sean Brownlee in Nation's Capital

National Retail Federation's American's Retail Champions 2022


Volunteering is at the heart of what the Community Emergency Volunteers of the Monterey Peninsula is all about and one of our board members, Sean Brownlee has showcased that on the national level. In addition to his service with CERV, he also advocates on behalf of retailers nationwide. His service was recognized last week in our nation's Capitol as he met with dozens of leaders and policy makers with the National Retail Federation.


From department stores to brick-and-mortar, the National Retail Federation has a long history of convening retailers and giving them a voice for over a century. The annual Retail Advocates Summit, the industry’s premiere advocacy event, returned to Washington, D.C., July 27-28. Through NRF, retailers were given the opportunity to communicate with lawmakers to share stories and celebrate contributions companies make to their communities nationwide.

CERV Board Member, Sean Brownlee, in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The event recognizes those in the retail industry that go beyond the call of duty to advocate all year. This year, 5 out of 34 small businesses were named as finalists in The America’s Retail Champions program. On July 28, one small retailer was named the 2022 America’s Retail Champion. Congratulations to Margaret Barrows, owner of It's Nola Snacks. 

2022 America's Retail Champion Margaret Barrows, owner of It's Nola Snacks, with VP of Supply Chain and Customs Policy at NRF, John Gold

2022 America's Retail Champion Margaret Barrows, owner of It's Nola Snacks, with VP of Supply Chain and Customs Policy at NRF, John Gold


Ravenox CEO and CERV CMO, Sean Brownlee, was named as a 2022 honoree and participated in the Retail Advocates Summit, one of the retail industry's leading advocacy events. At this program, the NRF offers retailers the opportunity to connect directly with policymakers as well as tell their stories and acknowledge achievements in advocacy.


National Retail Federation America's Retail Champion Award Sean Brownlee Ravenox 2018


The 2022 Retail Advocates Summit featured The Retail Experiencewhich gave retailers the opportunity to show Capitol Hill who we are as an industry. The includes an interactive, educational showcase designed to take policymakers through a journey of the retail industry at six immersive exhibits that demonstrate retail’s role in driving the economy, providing jobs and impacting lives and communities across the country.


  • Opportunities for retailers to directly connect with leading lawmakers and their staff to share retail’s story

  • Demonstrations of retail’s tech transformation with retail technology innovators

  • Immersive exhibition of retail’s impact and contributions to workforce development and job creation

  • Displays from Main Street retailers and NRF industry partners

  • NRF 2023: Retail’s Big Show preview

  • Remarks from members of Congress and presentations of Hero of Main Street and Champion of Main Street awards to lawmakers who support retail

Ravenox CEO Sean Brownlee presents Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash) with the Hero of Main Street Award

Sean Brownlee presents Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash) with the Hero of Main Street Award


A special congratulations to the other four finalists for the 2022 Retail Champion Award. They were:

  • Jessica Bettencourt - Klem's - Spencer, MA

  • Bobby Djavaheri - Yedi Houseware - Los Angeles, CA

  • April McClung - Emily's Heirloom Pound Cakes - Homewood, AL

  • Danny Reynolds - Stephenson's of Elkhart, Inc. - Elkhart, IN


You are the best advocate for your business and your employees. No one knows better than you what’s needed to improve the business climate for retailing or how proposed legislation will affect your business and community. Legislators take your concerns as a constituent and local employer very seriously.

Grassroots political action is vital to retail’s success in the legislative arena. Your personal involvement helps bring progress on issues affecting retailers and other businesses.


Ravenox CEO Sean Brownlee and Senator Ted Budd in office

Sean Brownlee, presents Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC-13) with the Hero of Main Street Award


  • Learn who your legislators are and their views on retail issues.

  • Stay informed by reading updates on legislative and regulatory activity.

  • Keep informed of the challenges you’re facing and what’s happening in your community. 

  • Invite legislators to tour your business and to attend community meetings and events.

  • Call or write to lawmakers when important issues arise.

  • Consider testifying before legislative committees on issues that affect your business.

  • Share your views on retail issues with the media and on social media channels by tagging and interacting with elected officials.

  • Provide your employees and colleagues with information on key issues, new laws, and regulations.

  • Support pro-retail candidates


Ravenox CEO, Sean Brownlee at the NRF's Retail Advocates Summit

Ravenox CEO, Sean Brownlee, at the Retail Experience Showcase with Ravenox products

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