The National Restaurant Association is announcing a new key member of its executive leadership team, Phil Kafarakis. Joining the Association as its new chief innovation and member advancement officer, Kafarakis has a proven record of leading business model transformation and global expansion for several major companies in the foodservice arena. In this new role at the NRA, he will report directly to CEO Dawn Sweeney and will lead the evolution of the Association’s membership and marketing strategies. Kafarakis’ role will focus on the expansion of partner products to improve member profitability, including the advancement of new insurance and workforce products. Kafarakis steps into the position effective May 14.

Kafarakis’ most recent experience was as vice president of food service for McCormick & Co., where he was responsible for the launch of the “McCormick for Chefs” marketing platform. His background also includes senior roles with Cargill Incorporated, Aqua-Novus Corporation, Jones Dairy Farm, and Kraft Foods Inc.

Phil is widely known and respected throughout the world of foodservice and business for his innovative thought leadership and ability to grow businesses,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the NRA. “We welcome him into this critical role at the National Restaurant Association and look forward to his work to help continue to broaden the Association’s strength and influence.”

"I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to advance and contribute to the transformational work that the National Restaurant Association already has underway,” Kafarakis says. “This is an outstanding leadership opportunity to make an impact and do work that really matters. It is a great privilege to continue to serve the industry that has given me so much."

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