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The National Restaurant Association has named Phil Kafarakis as its new chief innovation and member advancement officer. 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.

His most recent experience was as vice president, 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," Sweeney said. "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."

VP of Health & Insurance Services also added

Additionally, as part of the NRA's ongoing efforts to help the restaurant and foodservice industry address health care challenges, including the 2010 health care law, Randy Spicer has been named as vice president of Health and Insurance Services. In this newly created role, he will lead the association's Health Program and alliance with UnitedHealthcare, developing health care and health care reform related solutions for the restaurant industry while working with members and state restaurant association partners.

In senior leadership positions, Spicer has created regional health plans, started managed dental, workers' comp and Part D programs and designed Medicare Secondary Payer recovery programs. Most recently he served as UnitedHealthcare's vice president of National Alliances responsible for improving health plan results. Spicer also has served as president and CEO for CIGNA's North Texas and Oklahoma region and president/CEO for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield's FPL and Joint Venture Operations.

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