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Former IMRA leader Verdisco passes

Arlington, VA — Bob Verdisco, who headed the International Mass Retail Association from 1990 until his retirement last December, passed away April 30 due to complications from cancer.

Verdisco assumed the helm of the IMRA at a time when the association was declining in membership, reputation and relevance, the association said, and he turned it around into a leading organization for the retail industry.

"Though Bob was widely recognized for his ability to bridge the gap between retailers and suppliers, and for his knack for working tirelessly behind the scenes while allowing others to have the limelight," a statement from the IMRA said, "he was perhaps the most respected for his depth of character, for his loyalty to those who worked for and with him over the years, for his compassion, and for his deep and unwavering dedication to his family and friends."

This January, IMRA honored him by establishing the Robert J. Verdisco Retail Scholarship, which will annually award $5,000 to a student who is pursuing a career in retail, as well as who has demonstrated leadership in community service.

His survivors include his wife Pat, and his children Elizabeth and Matthew.

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