Michigan Retailers announces promotions, hiring

LANSING – Michigan Retailers Association has announced the promotions of three staff members and the addition of one new employee at its downtown Lansing headquarters.

William J. Hallan, of Okemos, was promoted to MRA’s chief operating officer and member of the MRA Board of Directors, following the retirement of Jean Sarasin. He also retains his in-house legal duties as general counsel for the 5,000-member association.

Hallan joined MRA as vice president and general counsel in 2011. His responsibilities were expanded to include oversight of the Association’s legislative advocacy program in February 2012, and then to overall operations in September 2013 as senior vice president operations and general counsel.

Prior to joining Michigan Retailers, he was a litigator in the Dykema Gossett law firm’s Bloomfield Hills office. The son of MRA President and CEO James P. Hallan, he is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Toledo School of Law and a graduate of Denison University.

Patricia Zaskowski, of Okemos, was promoted to director of Underwriting for Retailers Mutual Insurance Company.

Zaskowski joined Michigan Retailers in 2005 to assist with the conversion of Retailers Fund from a group self-insurance program to Retailers Mutual. A graduate of Michigan State University, she has worked in the insurance industry for more than 35 years as an agent, commercial risk manager, underwriter, division manager and in other capacities.

Prior to working for MRA, she was employed by American Physicians Assurance Corporation for 10 years, where her focus was workers’ compensation insurance.

Amy Jolley, of Grand Ledge, was promoted to manager of Human Resources.

Jolley takes on the human resources duties previously held by Sarasin, in addition to her current executive assistant responsibilities. A graduate of Michigan State University, she joined the Association staff in 1998 as executive assistant and was later promoted to executive assistant and events coordinator.

Harmony Clouse, of Perry Township, was hired as administrative assistant in the Sales and Marketing department.

Clouse comes to Michigan Retailers after working as registrar for the Michigan Recreation and Park Association and frequent volunteer at local community events.

She returned to the Lansing area after working as office manager for Tradesmen International, Inc. in Midland and account executive for Charter Media in Saginaw, where she developed a passion for helping small businesses grow and she completed courses on advertising and marketing.

Michigan Retailers Association represents nearly 5,000 members and their more than 15,000 stores and websites in Michigan. Retail is directly responsible for more than 850,000 jobs in Michigan’s economy, and one-fourth of Michigan jobs are supported directly and indirectly by retail sales. Eighteen percent of Michigan’s total economic activity (GDP) comes from retail.