President & CEO

R. Scott Shalley

As President & CEO, Scott works to advocate, promote and safeguard the retail industry before the Georgia General Assembly and regulatory agencies. Scott maintains responsibility for all areas of operations. Scott joined Georgia Retailers in 2017 and has over 30 years of experience in lobbying , association management and private sector business management. Prior to joining GR he served as Executive Director of the Florida Association of Counties. Throughout his career, Shalley has worked extensively with lawmakers and government agencies throughout Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C. Scott previously served as Vice President/Director of Business Management for an internationally recognized bridge engineering firm. His responsibilities included contract negotiation and business development throughout the United States as well as in South America and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Shalley is a lifelong Florida resident, and a graduate of Florida State University.

VP of Government Affairs

Ben Cowart

Ben Cowart serves as Vice President of Government Affairs at Georgia Retailers. He joined Georgia Retailers in January 2023 from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), where he has served as Senior External Affairs Manager since 2015. Cowart works alongside local, state, and federal officials to address key issues in the retail industry, leads the development and implementation of the association’s strategic initiatives, and manages the organization’s political action committee.

Cowart has gained a wealth of experience in government relations and grassroots advocacy, a host of strong relationships, and expertise in external communications and crafting political strategy throughout his career. He is an active member of the Georgia Chamber Government Affairs Council, Council of State Retail Associations, the Georgia Professional Lobbyist Association, and a graduate of the Zell Miller Leadership Institute and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute.

Born and raised in Valdosta, Ga., Cowart is an alumnus of the University of Georgia, where he received two degrees, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and a Master of Business Administration in Innovation/Entrepreneurship.

He and his wife, Charlotte, reside in Decatur, GA.

Ben Cowart