The Board of Directors of the Specialty Food Association has announced Phillip M. Kafarakis will be the new President of the not-for-profit trade Association. Kafarakis brings more than 30 years of food industry experience to the Specialty Food Association, with a background in innovative brand management, membership development, and strategic planning.
Since May 2013, Kafarakis served as Chief Innovation and Member Advancement Officer for the National Restaurant Association, based in Washington, D.C. The National Restaurant Association is the world’s largest foodservice trade association, supporting more than 500,000 restaurant businesses in a USD780bn industry. Prior to that, Kafarakis also held executive leadership positions at Cargill, Jones Dairy Farm, and Kraft. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Northern Arizona University and an MBA from Georgetown University.
“We are very pleased to have Phil join our organization,” said Becky Renfro Borbolla, Chair of the Specialty Food Association’s Board of Directors. “His experience and insight into the industry will provide us with an excellent blend of strength in strategy, member development and engagement, sales and marketing, and innovative partnership development. Each of those qualities will be essential to our Association as we seek to serve our members and the industry in new and compelling ways.”
“The Specialty Food Association is regarded as the food industry’s innovation incubator, while also preserving and promoting traditional processes and tastes,” said Kafarakis. “I look forward to extending the Association’s member value platforms and working with authentic food creators and purveyors at a time when the American consumer’s interest in food has grown to new heights. It’s a great honor to join the Association, and to work with and lead these most passionate and entrepreneurial food companies as we expand our mission,” he added.
Kafarakis will be responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of Specialty Food Association, which serves more than 3,200 innovative, entrepreneurial member companies in the food and beverage industry.
Established in 1952, the Specialty Food Association is a leading source of information about the $120.5 billion specialty food industry, whether for benchmark statistics, product trends or stories about food artisans and entrepreneurs. The Association is known worldwide for its Fancy Food Shows, the sofi™ Awards for outstanding products of the year, strong education programs, and one-to-one business building opportunities. Today, the not-for-profit Association has more than 3,200 members, including manufacturers, distributors, exporters, retailers, brokers, importers and allied professionals in the U.S and abroad.