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Top CEOs in Associations 2011

Matt Shay came to the National Retail Federation in May 2010 with a mandate to improve operations and boost the association's presence on Capitol Hill.

The former head of government relations for the International Franchise Association became its top executive in 2005 and offered NRF the right combination of management skill and political acumen.

MattWhen Shay joined the retailers, a huge coalition of retail associations, including NRF, had just won a major legislative victory as the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul called for sharp limits on debit-card swipe fees, which are paid by retailers to financial institutions.

But as Shay began looking forward and winning his board's approval for his new strategic plan, the banks and credit unions were preparing a massive swipe-fee counter-attack on Capitol Hill that took the retail coalition by surprise with the sheer scope of its grassroots effort.