Our History

Tap into a history that is more than 100 years strong.

InUnison’s roots go back to 1906, when nine locally owned businesses in downtown Richmond, Virginia, founded the Retail Merchants Association. Leveraging their collective power, the group’s first effort was to get the city to sprinkle the streets with water. This would help stop dust from getting into their stores, improving the customer experience. That was just the first of more than a century-worth of actions taken on behalf of our region’s small businesses.

Today, more than 115 years since our inception, the challenges facing local businesses are greater than ever. We’re competing in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive marketplace, and we know we must continue to come together in unison to succeed. With that in mind, in 2021, we have restructured under the name of InUnison, to reflect the critical importance of collective support. And we stand united as one voice for a prosperous future, for the businesses that are the backbone of our community.

Shared Values

Unity: We are committed to uplifting each other and the community we serve.

Courage: We know we are stronger together and we capitalize on our collective power to build on our strengths.

Inclusivity: We celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of local businesses and the people who serve them.

Candor: We are open, honest, and direct in our communications.

Advancement: We understand the need to continuously adapt our methods in order to respond to the needs of our community and evolve our businesses.

Creativity: We salute the imagination and originality inherent in each individual business and person. 

Frequently Asked Questions

InUnison is an organization dedicated to the success of locally owned, independent businesses in the Richmond region. With roots in the area’s Retail Merchants Association, our organization brings businesses together to learn, collaborate, be heard and advance as a whole.

Our organization has roots that are more than 100 years strong – but our name didn’t reflect the full scope of the businesses we support. While retailers are an important part of our community and a crucial local economic driver, so too are service industries and other locally owned businesses. Now, we are all InUnison!

InUnison is a reimagination of our entire organization and its benefits. In 2019, the RMA knew change was necessary. We began evaluating our purpose, conducting research, and building a stronger foundation to support our local business community. As a result, we’ve become even more accessible, both in cost and in access to benefits. And our benefits align with what our business community wants – because they’re based on what you’ve told us.

We have a new name, a new model, and a new mission – but we’ll always be driven by our commitment to our local, independent business community.

Meet our staff.

Nancy Thomas

President and CEO

Diana McMahon

Vice President

Nicole Kuzara

Member Relations Advisor

Kathy Robbins

Accounting Manager

Megan Way

Digital Strategies Manager

Katie Whittington

Member Relations Coordinator

Our Board Members

Meet the community leaders who help guide our organization and work to support our local business owners.