IRMA President and CEO
Rob joined the IRMA staff in 1994, coordinating IRMA’s government relations efforts. In that capacity, he also served as the legislative coordinator for the Illinois Food Retailers Association and the Midwest Hardware Association. Additionally, he had the responsibility for IRMA’s membership development efforts.
In 2012, Rob was named Executive Vice President and assumed the position of President & CEO on January 1, 2014.
As President & CEO, Karr serves as the main point of communication between the board of directors and corporate operations. He manages the overall operations of the organization including overseeing the Association’s Administration, Legal, Government Relations, Communications, Member Services (including Energy Services) and Membership divisions.
Rob currently serves on the Employment Security Advisory Board to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Illinois Attorney General’s Franchise Advisory Board, the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Food Safety Advisory Committee and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Low-Income Energy Assistance Program Policy Advisory Council. In 2009, Rob was appointed by then-Governor Pat Quinn to serve on the temporary Pension Systems Modernization Task Force.
Prior to joining IRMA, Rob was Associate Director of Government Affairs for the Illinois Manufacturers Association and a campaign aide in statewide and congressional races. He is a graduate of Illinois State University.
IRMA Vice President and General Counsel
Tanya Triche Dawood joined the IRMA staff in 2008 and is based in IRMA’s downtown Chicago office. She directs the activities of the Chicago Retail Merchants Association where she advocates on behalf of the retail industry in Chicago’s City Hall and in front of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Tanya has been asked to serve on various government-related committees and task forces. She also leads retail advocacy efforts alongside IRMA’s President & CEO in the Illinois State Capitol. In addition, she manages IRMA’s involvement in legal matters on behalf of its membership.
Prior to joining IRMA, Tanya worked as a staff attorney and legislative assistant for the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Finance, analyzing issues of revenue and public policy and working with community leaders and corporations to draft resolutions and municipal ordinances. Tanya is an Executive Committee Member of the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women and a Board Member of the Chicago Women in Government Relations. She earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Michigan and is admitted to practice in Illinois and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Manager, Government Affairs
Alec Laird joined IRMA in 2014 as Manager Government Affairs out of IRMA’s Springfield office.
Most recently, he served as Senior Legal Counsel to the Illinois House Republican Leader where he researched and prepared legal memoranda, drafted, analyzed and tracked pending legislation, and counseled Representatives on House rules and procedures.
A native of Puryear, TN, Laird earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee and a law degree from the University of Memphis.
In 2011 he spent four months in the Illinois Legislative Studies Internship Program before taking a position as Staff Attorney for the Illinois House of Representatives in 2012.