The Board of Directors of the Specialty Food Association announced that it has named Phillip M. Kafarakis as 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 $780 billion industry. Prior to that, Kafarakis spent ten years with McCormick & Company in Hunt Valley, Md., a $4 billion public food company. Kafarakis has 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 to 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 Special Food Association is regarded as the food industry's innovation incubator, while also preserving and promoting traditional processes and tastes," said Mr. 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.