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Former Sherwin-Williams exec elected ICSC chair

LAS VEGAS — The International Council of Shopping Centers has elected David J. LaRue, president and CEO of Forest City Enterprises, to serve as the association’s chairman for the 2013–2014 term. LaRue assumed his role as chairman at RECon, ICSC’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. 

LaRue is the association’s 54th chairman, succeeding Brad Hutensky, president and principal of Hutensky Capital Partners.

He succeeded Charles A. Ratner as head of Forest City in June 2011. A publicly traded company, Forest City touts the diversity of its real estate, which encompasses 46 retail properties, 47 office properties and 122 residential communities in key markets around the United States.

“Being named chairman of ICSC is a significant honor and I will strive to build on the work of prior chairmen to advance the organization’s mission and service to members,” said LaRue to the ICSC board of trustees.

LaRue has been an active ICSC member for nearly 20 years and a trustee since 2008, playing a key role in the organization’s governance and many of its activities. He has been an advocate of ICSC’s Global Public Policy efforts in Washington, contributing to the ICSC PAC and has spoken at ICSC events.

“David heads a company that owns property across multiple categories in its core markets, and therefore his experience meshes with that of just about every one of ICSC’s members in one way or another,” said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC’s president and CEO. “Forest City is also a leader in sustainable and innovative development, all of which makes David’s nomination an exciting one as we, as an industry, embrace the future.”

One of ICSC’s continuing priorities for the coming year will be to push for federal legislation requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes in those states in which brick-and-mortar retailers are required to. “Traditional physical stores cannot continue to be discriminated against by this tax policy,” said LaRue. “Reform in this area would also benefit cash-strapped state and local public coffers.” 

LaRue, who holds a bachelor’s in business and accounting from Wittenberg University, began his career as an internal auditor and financial analyst at the Sherwin-Williams Co. He joined Forest City in 1986 as a financial analyst, rising to EVP and COO in March 2010.

LaRue is active in his community as a member of various professional, charitable and artistic organizations, including the Cleveland School of the Arts. He helped found the Basketball Challenge Cup, a series of charity games held every spring in Rocky River, the Cleveland suburb where he and his wife, Cindy, have raised their four children. The event raises money to fight drug and alcohol abuse among young people. 

Founded in 1957, ICSC has more than 60,000 members in more than 90 countries. Members include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. As a global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. 

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