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Management Team

The Council is led by an experienced team of professionals, each with a unique area of expertise. Together, they share a common mission – to inform, guide and advocate for the retailers of New York.

Ted Potrikus | Robert Leonard | Melissa O'Connor

Ted Potrikus – President and Chief Executive Officer

Ted Potrikus manages the daily operation of the Council, including its government relations, member services programs, and business affairs. He joined the Retail Council in 1989 as director of public affairs and was promoted to vice president in 1996. He was promoted in 2000 to senior vice president and director of government relations and again in 2003 to executive vice president and director of government relations. In 2008, the Council elected Mr. Potrikus to its Board of Directors and as vice chairman of the council. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of Retail Council Services Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Council.

Mr. Potrikus served as chief writer and legislative analyst for the New York State Senate Education Committee from 1986 – 1989 and worked as an editor for Wolfe Publications, a suburban newspaper chain in Rochester, N.Y., from 1985 – 1986.

Mr. Potrikus is an avid music fan and collector, as well as an active supporter of and participant in the arts community of the Capital District, serving as past president of the Board of Directors of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall ( and as past president of Albany Pro Musica ( He also is a volunteer in the education program at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Schenectady, N.Y., where he and his family are members.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in communication/journalism from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., and is a native of Cooperstown, N.Y. He and his wife, Angela, and their daughters reside in Niskayuna, N.Y.

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Robert Leonard – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Robert Leonard supervises all aspects of the Council's finances and program operations, most notably the various membership insurance products and the merchant services/credit card processing program. Mr. Leonard is licensed by the New York State Department of Insurance in Property & Casualty and Life, Accident and Health.

Mr. Leonard joined the Council in 2001 as director of sales and marketing with more than a decade of sales, retail and insurance experience. He supervised member recruitment and other marketing activities that feature the Retail Council’s money-saving programs. Mr. Leonard was promoted to vice president in November 2008.

Prior to joining the Council, Mr. Leonard worked in claim services for Allstate Insurance Company and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. In addition to his responsibilities for the Council, Mr. Leonard is vice president of RCSC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Retail Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Clarkson University.

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Melissa O’Connor – Senior Vice President and Director of Government Relations

Melissa O'ConnorMelissa O'Connor manages the Council's government relations program. In this role, she serves as the voice for the retail industry by taking members' concerns and ideas directly to New York State's Governor, Attorney General, Legislature and regulatory agencies.

Ms. O'Connor joined the Retail Council as government relations associate in 2005, and was promoted to assistant director of government relations in 2010. Prior to joining the Council, she was an intern with the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities where she researched current laws and proposed legislation, as well as various grants and fundraising opportunities.

Ms. O'Connor holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and a master’s in business administration from the College of St. Rose. She resides in Latham, N.Y. with her husband and son.