Industry News | June 8, 2009

National Restaurant Association Reorganizes

The National Restaurant Association today announced several new staff members joining the organization. Chris Raymond, David Koenig, and Caitlin Donahue are the latest additions to the public affairs team, assuming key leadership roles for an Association representing the nation’s second largest private sector employer, an industry with more than 13 million jobs, nearly one million restaurant and foodservice locations, and generating annual sales of more than $566 billion.

"We are pleased to announce the additions to our team who each bring with them a breadth of knowledge and experience that will be key to achieving the ambitious goals of the National Restaurant Association," says Beth Johnson, executive vice president of public affairs for the association.

"We welcome these new staff members as we continue the strategic realignment for the association focusing on maximizing all resources and enhancing our strength and leadership. We will continue working toward our goal: to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve."

Chris Raymond has been named vice president, political affairs for the association. In this role, Raymond will develop the Association's political strategy on key initiatives and priorities. Raymond will work closely with Members of Congress and Administration officials, manage grassroots efforts, and oversee the Association's Political Action Committee (PAC) and the Save American Free Enterprise (SAFE) program. Prior to joining the National Restaurant Association, Raymond was Vice President of Government Relations for the National Council for Higher Education Loan Programs. Raymond also held several positions on Capitol Hill, including Chief of Staff/Legislative Director for Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA). Raymond holds a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

David Koenig joins the association as director, tax and profitability where he will develop and implement the association's public affairs strategy on tax and profitability at the state and federal level. This includes issues such as restaurant depreciation, business meal deductibility, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), among others. Prior to joining the National Restaurant Association, Koenig was Tax Policy Director for the American Forest and Paper Association, and held previous positions with Texaco and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Koenig holds a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers College and a J.D. from the George Washington University School of Law.

Caitlin Donahue has been named the director of the association's PAC. In this role, Donahue will handle the day-to-day management of the PAC and set strategy to align and support the Association's strategic plan. Most recently, Donahue was executive director of candidate advocacy for the Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC). Donahue previously worked as manager, political involvement for Procter & Gamble. Donahue holds a B.A. from the College of Holy Cross and is currently pursuing a M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

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