To support its efforts to strengthen communications outreach, the National Restaurant Association announced that James Balda was promoted to chief marketing and communications officer. He will be responsible for brand stewardship, enhancing the restaurant industry’s public image, and growing and improving membership outreach.

Balda was previously senior vice president of membership for the Association.

“We are confident that James will do an outstanding job in his new role, and that it will benefit the Association, our more than 400,000 member restaurant locations, and the industry at large,” says Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO. “He will lead a collaborative effort across the Association and its Educational Foundation to identify and develop the necessary communications requirements to support the goals and initiatives of the total enterprise.”

Balda joined the National Restaurant Association in 2008 with the task of growing membership recruitment, retention, and service, and to improve membership value propositions to create loyalty among the organization’s diverse and involved membership base.

Before joining the Association, Balda served as senior vice president of membership and professional development at America’s Health Insurance Plans. In this position, he was responsible for the association’s member services, professional training, customer service, and online publishing programs. Before that, he held positions at the Health Insurance Association of America and the Newspaper Association of America.