About

Montana Retail Association, MRA, Montana Restaurant Association, MTRA, Montana Tire Dealers Association, MTDA, Montana Equipment Dealers Association, MEDAThe Montana Retail Association (MRA) is the umbrella organization of four independent professional trade groups. Not only do we serve as your representative in the Montana Legislature, we also offer member benefits and cost-effective services through third party endorsed companies.

Our membership is comprised of businesses of all sizes and types, from locally owned to large national chains.  Our members are represented across these four associations:

Each association has its own Board of Directors and each board meets twice each year.  The MRA Board of Directors is comprised of 2-3 representatives from each of the other three associations plus 5-6 from the retail membership, for a total of eleven directors.  This board meets at least twice a year to discuss strategic legislative directions, new member benefit proposals and to set the policies and the budget for the coming year.

Historically, participation in our member benefit programs has shown that businesses can save significant sums of money.  Please visit our Member Benefits page for information on the many endorsed provider services that we offer.

Each group has their own dedicated area within this website.  You can visit those pages by clicking on the group name above or by choosing from the drop-down menu under the ‘Associations’ button in the navigation bar at the top.


Staff

Brad Griffin, CAE
MRA President

Montana Retail Association, MRA, Montana Restaurant Association, MTRA, Montana Tire Dealers Association, MTDA, Montana Equipment Dealers Association, MEDABrad began his career leading the Montana Retail Association and it’s affiliates in 1993. The Montana Restaurant Association came under his management in 1997. He grew up in Billings and graduated from Billings West High in 1979. In 1983 he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the University of Montana. After graduating from the U. of M., he lived in Southern California for 9 years working for a real estate development firm before moving back to Montana. Brad was a field representative for the National Federation of Independent Business for three years before the association management opportunity arose. He earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2004.  In 2006 his peers elected him to be president of the Council of State Retail Association Executives, a national group of state retail association executives.  In 2012, he was elected by his peers to be president of the North American Equipment Association Executives, a national group of state equipment association executives.  He and his wife, Lisa, reside in Billings, and have three sons. Besides spending time with his family, he enjoys skiing, reading, lobbying, politics, and traveling.


Julie Hilliard
Office Manager

Montana Retail Association, MRA, Montana Restaurant Association, MTRA, Montana Tire Dealers Association, MTDA, Montana Equipment Dealers Association, MEDAJulie joined the Montana Retail Association staff in October 1995. She has over 30 years of office experience from insurance to non-profit. Her duties include managing the office, assisting the sales people at trade shows and helping organize the conventions for the Montana Equipment Dealers Association. Julie has a good ear for voices and easily remembers faces and names of the members. Julie and her husband Bob have seven grown children between them and 18 grandchildren. Ten of the grandchildren live in the Billings area so they can enjoy and spoil them. Julie and Bob are very involved in the State and National Elks Organization. They enjoy dancing and getting together with their friends and family on a regular basis. Julie also enjoys reading, golf, quilting and gardening.


Linda Thompson
Bookkeeper / Data Management

Montana Retail Association, MRA, Montana Restaurant Association, MTRA, Montana Tire Dealers Association, MTDA, Montana Equipment Dealers Association, MEDALinda joined the MRA staff in September 1995 as bookkeeper and has over 30 years of varied office experience. Her association office duties involve accounting and payroll administration, newsletter production, as well as maintaining both the member database and the website content. Originally from Roundup, MT, Linda moved to Billings in 1985 and has two adult sons and two grandchildren. She enjoys flower gardening, photography, reading, traveling and nurturing her cats. Linda and her husband, Bob, support the Billings Mustangs, participate in square dancing, work out at the gym, and are actively involved in serving their church.


 

Updated December 2016