National Restaurant Association president and CEO Dawn Sweeney announced that Dan Solomon joined the organization as chief of staff; Marvin Irvy, a Fortune 500 senior manager with extensive experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries, became chief financial officer; and Beth Solomon was named senior vice president of strategic communications.
“In a year of increased engagement, services, and success for the restaurant industry, I am delighted to announce additions to our staff that will continue to solidify our leadership team,” Sweeney says.
Dan Solomon will work closely with Sweeney on strategy and execution of enterprise-wide initiatives. Solomon is a leading expert in the marketing and media industry and an accomplished entrepreneur. As CEO of Virilion, he leads the firm's growth, which placed it on the INC. 5000 for three consecutive years. Prior to joining Virilion, Solomon was publisher of nationaljournal.com, the National Journal Group’s “members only” Web site, and was general manager of National Journal’s Daily Briefings Group, which included the Hotline, Greenwire, and Technology Daily.
Solomon has had the distinction of working in all three branches of the federal government: he clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, worked in the U.S. Senate as a senior staffer, and held a political appointment with the U.S. Department of Commerce. He practiced law with the firm of Hale and Dorr and is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota Law School. Solomon is also author of Media Rules! Mastering Today’s Technology to Connect with and Keep Your Audience (Wiley 2008) and serves on several advisory boards.
Irby was named CFO of the association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. In this role, he will develop strategy for and manage all of the organization's financial operations. Irby was most recently CFO of Shawmut Design and Construction, an $800 million national construction management firm. Previously, he was vice president of finance and global support for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. At Disney, Irby was responsible for overseeing financial functions for human resources, information technology, and labor strategy and analysis. Prior to his tenure there, he held senior finance positions at Pepsico, Kraft General Foods, and Proctor & Gamble. Earlier in his career, he was senior director of finance for the Southeast Division of Pizza Hut.
Irby served on the board of directors for the Orlando Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants and has acted as an executive board member and treasurer for Heart of Florida United Way. He currently serves on the board of the Big Sister Association of Boston. A native of Chicago, Irby received his B.A. from Northwestern University and his M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Beth Solomon was named senior vice president of strategic communications. In this position, Solomon will plan and direct all communications and outreach for the association’s president and CEO, boards, and senior leadership across the enterprise.
Solomon comes to the association from CTPartners, the global executive search firm. Prior to that, she was director of communications of the National Association of Manufacturers. She also worked in the entertainment industry at Endeavor, the Hollywood talent agency. Starting her career as a radio journalist in the Voice of America’s East Africa bureau, she then worked for ABC News in Berlin, covering the fall of the Berlin Wall. From there, she joined the staff of U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn as a speechwriter. She co-founded Planet Vox, a media production company, and has a B.A. in History from Yale.
“Dan, Marvin, and Beth will further strengthen our leadership team as we continue to increase the effectiveness and expand the advocacy efforts of the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation on behalf of our industry,” Sweeney says.