The National Restaurant Association's Pizzeria Industry Council, which had its first meeting earlier this year, was officially announced today.

James Balda, senior vice president of Innovation and Business Development for the NRA, said members in the pizza community will be able to take advantage of the association's resources.

The goal of the Pizzeria Industry Council is to convene senior executives from the pizza operator segment of the restaurant industry to discuss common concerns and advise the NRA on how the overall industry's priority issues would impact their restaurants.

As one of the first events involving the group, members of the Pizzeria Industry Council joined NRA staff at a White House meeting last week to discuss the need for flexibility to be considered in upcoming menu labeling regulations.

The group will also serve as a networking and educational venue, and provide input on research and NRA member benefit program development.

The council's founding members include: Marla Topliff, Rosati's Pizza; James Greco, Sbarro; Richard Wolf, Papa Gino's Pizzeria; Pete LaChapelle, International Pizza Expo and Pizza Today; Adam Goldberg, Fresh Brothers Pizza; Anthony Rosati, Rosati's Pizza; Don Vlcek, Marco's Pizza; Eric Greenwald, Grimaldi's Pizzeria; Ivan Matsunaga, Connie's Pizza; Janelle Reents, Monical's Pizza Restaurant; Scott Anthony, Fox's Pizza Den; Shane Womack, Boston's The Gourmet Pizza; Trey Hester, Rocky Rococo Pizza and Pasta; Geoff Goodman, CiCi's Pizza; Sam Facchini, Metro Pizza; Michele DiMeo, Squisito Pizza and Pasta; and advisor Louis Basile, Wildflower Bread Company.

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