The Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) and its Board of Directors announced today that President & CEO John Kirk will leave his post January 5, 2022, after a highly successful four years. Jim Roddy, currently Vice President of Marketing for the RSPA, has been named the association’s new President & CEO, also effective January 5. Kirk will facilitate the CEO transition until he departs the organization.
During his tenure, Kirk led the RSPA to unprecedented heights, building it into North America’s largest community of VARs (value-added resellers), software developers, vendors, and distributors in the retail, restaurant, grocery, and cannabis verticals. The association added new services, grew membership in both traditional markets and new markets, and exceeded financial targets over the past four years. Kirk also built a strong staff that is positioned to continue carrying forth the RSPA’s mission and Kirk’s legacy of accomplishments with integrity. As the RSPA enters Q3 of its fiscal calendar, the association has an over 100% member-renewal count and strong double-digit membership growth.
“We have been reminded during the pandemic that this association and community will never let the conditions beat us,” Kirk said. “We understand that circumstances do not change who we are. Who we are enables us to confront the circumstances and find a way to serve one another and retailers on the front lines. The RSPA community is and always will be one-of-a-kind. I am excited for Jim, our team, and our community. The best is ahead!”
One of the RSPA’s key accomplishments this year was RetailNOW 2021, the retail IT channel’s #1 trade show, education conference, and networking event, held in person July 25-27 in Nashville, TN. The event generated 38% more VAR registrations than the prior RetailNOW and attracted 230+ ISV (independent software vendor) attendees. Sponsorship was strong as well with RetailNOW 2021 attracting 35 first-time exhibitors. For RetailNOW 2022, July 24-26 at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, over 100 booths have already been sold.
Another recent RSPA innovation is RSPA Academy EXCELerate, the next generation of education for the retail IT channel. This online system offers continuous learning, training, and development opportunities anytime, anywhere, from any device. By leveraging online content, the RSPA will continue delivering the valuable educational programs and resources that members have come to expect.
Additionally, registrations and sponsorships for RSPA Inspire 2022, the retail IT channel’s premiere leadership conference, are tracking at or ahead of pace compared with prior years. The past two Inspire events – 2019 in Sanibel, FL and 2020 in Nassau, Bahamas – attracted the most VAR leaders in RSPA winter conference history. Inspire 2022 will be held Jan. 23-26 at the Wyndham Grand in Clearwater Beach, FL.
Roddy has been a long-time contributor to the RSPA community, serving in a variety of roles since 2007. In addition to performing his duties as VP of Marketing since 2019, Roddy shares industry insights on the popular RSPA Blog and is host of the award-winning RSPA Trusted Advisor podcast. He has also been a past RSPA committee volunteer, board member, executive committee member, and Chairman of the Board.
“The RSPA community is very special to me – I’m honored and humbled to be named CEO and to follow in John’s footsteps,” Roddy said. “I’m eager to keep the association’s momentum going forward working side-by-side with the RSPA community and RSPA team. I’m grateful for this opportunity and for John’s leadership.”
Roddy has been active in the retail IT channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President/General Manager of Jameson Publishing and Business Solutions Magazine. After he joined Vantiv/Worldpay in 2016, Roddy launched and led a business advisory program that served VARs and ISVs. He has been recognized as one of the world’s Top 100 Retail Influencers by RETHINK Retail and a Leading CannaTech Influencer by 420MSP. Roddy is the author of two business books: Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer and The Walk-On Method To Career & Business Success.
About RSPA (Retail Solutions Providers Association)
The RSPA is North America’s largest community of VARs, software developers, vendors, and distributors in the retail, restaurant, grocery, and cannabis verticals. The mission of the RSPA is to accelerate the success of its members in the point-of-sale ecosystem by providing knowledge and connections. The organization offers education, certification, hotlines for legal, security, sales, and business advice, industry advocacy, and discounts on other services to assist members with becoming and remaining successful. RSPA is most well-known for its signature events, RetailNOW® and Inspire® which provide face-to-face learning and networking opportunities. Learn more by visiting www.GoRSPA.org.