IFMA Board Awards CEO Position to Industry Leader Phil Kafarakis

CHICAGO — The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) announced today the appointment of Phil Kafarakis as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Beginning November 1, 2021, he will be responsible for overseeing IFMA’s day-to-day operations and will direct the activities of the association in support of policies, goals and objectives established by its Board of Directors.

Kafarakis, a highly accomplished senior executive with broad experience leading major food industry companies and associations, joins IFMA with a proven track record of bottom-line results. Beginning his career in the industry on the manufacturing side of the business, Kafarakis successfully led and managed businesses at Kraft, Jones Dairy Farm, Cargill, and McCormick & Co., where he also served on IFMA’s Board of Directors. Most recently, he served as President of the Specialty Food Association (SFA), representing more than 4,000 small and emerging food entrepreneurs in the $160 Billion U.S. Specialty Food Industry. Prior to his SFA appointment, Kafarakis served as the Chief Innovation and Member Advancement Officer at the National Restaurant Association.

“I am honored and thrilled to have been selected to lead IFMA into the future, continuing to build on the outstanding work that has made IFMA the most respected authority in the foodservice industry,” said Kafarakis.

“The IFMA Board couldn’t be more pleased with the search committee’s choice,” said Hugh Roth, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer and Business Development Officer at PepsiCo Foodservice and the 2021 IFMA Board Chair. “We are confident that Phil will bring the leadership, energy and enthusiasm to continue to provide member value and move IFMA forward.”

Kafarakis will take over for Larry Oberkfell, IFMA’s current President and CEO, who earlier this year announced his return to the industry after a successful, transformative 12-year career at the helm of IFMA. Oberkfell led the growth of IFMA through multiple recessions and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic, consistently growing revenue and value for its membership.

About International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) is an established trade association serving foodservice manufacturers for over 65 years to improve industry practices and relationships while equipping every foodservice manufacturer with the tools to navigate their future with confidence. By providing insights, developing best practices and fostering connectivity through events, we enlighten members and motivate change that leads to betterment for the individual member organization and the industry at large. For more information, visit