Management Moves: Searby, Phillips, Manning, Tippet, Crawford, Baker, Hilton


Dan Searby, Elliot Associates

Elliot Associates, the nationally recognized leader in executive search and strategic consulting for the hospitality, foodservice, manufacturing and retail industries, has named Dan Searby, senior vice president to conduct corporate executive searches for all segments including retail and consumer. 

Searby, 50, who will work out of Elliot Associates’ Tarrytown, N.Y. headquarters, has spent his entire career in the foodservice industry.

Most recently, he built and led the restaurant and foodservice search practice at Herbert Mines Associates where he also led searches for retail and consumer companies. Previously, he was the senior vice president of marketing for Restaurant Associates-Patina Group and spent 15 years in sales and marketing leadership roles for The Coca-Cola Company including leading the New York market for foodservice and the northeast area’s national accounts team.

“Dan has a unique mix of retail and consumer search know-how and hands-on experience from both the operator and manufacturer sides of foodservice,” says Alice Elliot, founder and chief executive officer of The Elliot Group, LLC.

“His broad-based retail and consumer experience will expand our ability to meet the needs of our clients and will support and enhance our hospitality practice.”

“I am excited to be joining Alice and her team,” says Searby. “This is an opportunity to blend my search and operating experience with an organization that is unmatched in its expertise and commitment to the hospitality and foodservice industries. In addition, I believe my background will contribute to the impressive work Elliot Associates is doing in the broader consumer and retail space.”

Searby earned his master of business administration from Harvard University and bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He resides in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. with his wife and two daughters.

Brice Phillips, Donald Manning, Caroline Tippet, Phillips Foods

Phillips Foods has announced a management team restructuring in its sales and marketing departments. This restructuring is part of the company’s strategic growth initiative to expand into new market segments and seek new competitive advantages.
“To reach our strategic growth goals, we have restructured our sales and marketing teams to reposition our focus on market expansion and market development initiatives,” states Steve Phillips, president and CEO of Phillips Foods.

He adds: “Our new sales and marketing team structure provides stronger customer service to our growing segments, a solid foundation to achieve our organizational goals, and the opportunity to develop new strategies for further growth.”
Brice Phillips has been selected as vice president of retail and club sales. He will lead initiatives for growth in Phillips retail and club store channels of business, seeking marketing expansion and market penetration opportunities for the Phillips Seafood Brand.

Donald Manning has been promoted to northeast regional manager. He will be responsible for leading growth strategies within the northeast region, managing broker and distributor networks.

Caroline Tippett has been selected as vice president of marketing and strategic development. Tippett will lead strategic analysis and development of multiple business channels, while integrating marketing campaigns to reach channel growth goals.

Jack Crawford, The National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association has selected Jack Crawford, president and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative, LLC (IOC), to serve as its Convention Chair for the NRA Show 2012.

In this capacity, Crawford will advise the association as it steers the restaurant and foodservice industry’s largest and most comprehensive event to new heights. The 2012 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will be held May 5 to 8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

“We are continually reinventing the NRA Show to meet the needs of our evolving industry,” says David Gilbert, COO of the National Restaurant Association.

“Jack Crawford’s unique perspective and insights from the operator community will guide the show experience toward products, services and programming that address and solve the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry’s toughest challenges.”

The Ground Round IOC cooperative represents a group of independent owners, who purchased the Ground Round Franchise Rights and Trademarks in 2004. Since the brand acquisition, the group is now debt free, has five new units under development, and presents a unique franchise model whereby franchisees can own their own restaurant and have an ownership/membership stake in the overall future and growth of the brand. The IOC operates more than 24 restaurants in 12 U.S. states, with system-wide sales of $40 million. Crawford was elected by the group to serve as president and CEO due to his vast background and experience of more than 25 years with the Ground Round system and brand.

Crawford held various positions in the Ground Round system, including director of franchising and as a brand franchisee serving as president and CEO of Maine Course Hospitality Group, which owned and operated multiple restaurants and hotels in the Northeast. 

Crawford has been a member of the board of directors of the National Restaurant Association since 2003.

Rick Baker, Pointsmith

Pointsmith, a leading at-store point-of-purchase management company located in Katy, Texas, has hired Rick Baker to lead the company’s business development efforts throughout the central states region.

In his new role, Baker will be responsible for cultivating new relationships, sharing best business practices and growing market share within the national retail, quick-serve restaurant and convenience/fuel stores markets.

“We are delighted to have Rick on our business development team,” says Spencer Jackson, Pointsmith’s director of sales. “His extensive sales and consulting expertise will be a tremendous asset and support to us both internally, and to our growing customer relationships in this region.”

As an outside sales and business development professional in the printing and graphic arts industry for more than 25 years, Baker has a successful track record in bringing innovative program solutions to his clients and employers, which have included point-of-purchase signage, visual communications, print management and corporate stationery programs, as well as e-commerce and web-2-print solutions.

Baker previously served in the U.S. Navy for nine years as a LI1Lithographer, where he worked with the Pacific Stars & Stripes newspaper team in Tokyo, Japan.

He attended the University of Maryland, Texas Tech and Sinclair College, where he studied business and marketing. He also earned a “Distinguished Graduate” certification from the U.S. Navy Lithography School.

In his spare time, Baker enjoys exploring the secluded back roads of the Midwest on his Honda Goldwing motorcycle, studying American history, and learning new technologies and social media trends in business practices. Baker lives with his wife in Lebanon, Ohio.

Steven Hilton, The National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association has added Steven Hilton, vice president of government relations for McDonald’s Corporation, to its board of directors.

Hilton was inducted at the association’s fall 2011 board meeting in Washington, D.C., last month and will serve through Dec. 31, 2013, when he is eligible to renew his commitment.

The National Restaurant Association’s board of directors consists of industry leaders who serve on a voluntary basis to guide the association toward its vision of leading America’s restaurants into a new era of prosperity, prominence and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all it serves.

In his role at McDonald’s, Hilton leads the corporate government relations team, which manages McDonald’s state, federal and international government activities. He is responsible for building and protecting the brand through shaping public policy.

Prior to joining McDonald’s in 2009, Hilton was a successful lobbyist and attorney representing clients like the National Football League, American Legion and Bombardier Aerospace.

He has also worked closely with senior government leadership including holding a position on President Obama’s transition team in 2008 and serving as deputy assistant to the President/chief of staff under President Clinton. He also served as a senior legislative assistant and later judiciary committee chief counsel for Senator Arlen Specter.

Hilton is a proud 25-year veteran, having achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. President Clinton also appointed Hilton as a commissioner of the American Battle Monument Commission, which was responsible for the construction of the World War II, and the Korean War Memorials on the National Mall.

He is a graduate of Princeton University as well as the Army’s Command & General Staff College and he received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law School.


News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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