IFEC announced the election of officers and new members of the board of directors for 2021. Nicole Duncan, Editor, FSR, was elected to serve as president; Avery Lewis, VP, Linda Roth Associates was elected as Vice President; Megan McKenna, Sr. Director of Marketing & Foodservice, National Watermelon Promotion Board will serve as Secretary; and Liz Anderson Slobodian, Director of Public Relations, Firehouse Subs was tapped again for the treasurer post.
President Nicole Duncan is the editor of FSR, a monthly publication covering the full-service side of the restaurant industry. She has worked as a journalist for a dozen years and has spent more than half that time covering foodservice. Since joining IFEC in 2015, Nicole has co-chaired a number of committees including New Members, Chef Showcase, and Scholarship, and has served as vice president. In 2019, she was named TerrIFECer. Since the pandemic began, Nicole has worked remotely from her new townhouse in Durham, North Carolina, where she also enjoys reading all the books, going for socially distant runs, and ordering lots of takeout.
Vice President Avery Lewis has contributed to the growth and successes of LRA PR since 2013 as a credible source to media, trusted confidant for clients, and mentor to her team. In early 2019, she became the company’s vice president, overseeing employee engagement and talent development for the firm and its diverse roster of clients. At LRA, Avery has consistently managed successful public relations and marketing campaigns for accounts including Hilton Hotels & Resorts throughout the northeast region, solar-powered brewery Atlas Brew Works, and the region’s industry advocacy group, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, as well as its annual RAMMY Awards Gala and biannual Metropolitan Restaurant Week. Avery has been an IFEC member since 2016, having served on the Marketing Committee and chaired the DC Networker since 2017, and serving as secretary on the Executive Committee in 2020. Most recently, Avery was named to the 2019 ‘Young and the Guest List,’ a guide to Washington’s most influential 40-and-under leaders. In her free time, Avery can be found cheering on the Nationals and Capitals, while sipping on sour beers.
Secretary Megan McKenna is the Senior Director of Marketing & Foodservice for the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Megan has been with the Watermelon Board since December 2014 when the watermelon industry added a primary focus of increasing demand of watermelon in foodservice. Previous to the NWPB, Megan was with the National Mango Board. Megan has been a dedicated member of IFEC since 2008, having served on multiple committees including New Member Orientation, Professional Development, Scholarship Awards, and Meet the Press. She has previously served on the Board and was president in 2012. Before falling in love with the produce and foodservice industries, Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and worked for the Historical Society of Central Florida. A born and raised Floridian, Megan lives in Winter Park, FL, with her husband, daughter, son, and pup who push her personal love to cook to the limits and inspire her daily yoga practice.
With her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and more than a decade of award-winning public relations and corporate communications experience, Treasurer Liz Slobodian, APR, is the Director of Public Relations at Firehouse Subs, where she leads public relations and crisis efforts for one of the No. 1 fast-casual restaurant franchise companies across the map. Liz is very active with the Florida Public Relations Association where she has served in multiple leadership roles. Additionally, Liz is a professional mentor to student programs at Florida universities, volunteers for charities across Northeast Florida, mentors upcoming public relations professionals, and is a freelance public relations consultant.
New members of the IFEC board of directors are Doug Peckenpaugh, Group Editorial Director of BNP Media; who was re-elected after finishing a full term; Mary Petersen, President, Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) and Executive Editor, The Gold Medal Classroom; Taylor Devries, Public Relations Senior Account Executive, EvansHardy+Young; and Jason Stemm, Vice President, Padilla. They join directors Jamie Bowen, Marketing Manager, Idaho Potato Commission; Bob Garrison, Editor-in-Chief, Prepared Foods; Mike Kostyo, Managing Editor, Datassential Research and Amelia Levin, President, Food Media Consulting, Inc. and editor-in-chief, National Culinary Review along with Board Advisor Mary Humann, The Humann Factor, in making up IFEC’s governing body.
The elections took place through electronic vote this past November, and board positions were voted on during the virtual Fall Board Meeting, held November 11, 2020. Next year’s conference, set for Annapolis, MD October 25th – 27th 2021 will feature local chefs, restaurateurs, growers and producers conducting demonstrations, workshops and tours for attendees.
Founded in 1956, IFEC is a 200-member professional association that brings foodservice B2B editors, public relations and marketing communications professionals together to exchange ideas and resources and explore regional trends. Editor members write for foodservice B2B publications, while PR/marketing members represent foodservice suppliers, restaurants, non-commercial operations, trade groups and more. Through education and networking activities, tuition assistance for members’ continuing education and scholarships for students preparing for foodservice communications careers, the association strives to encourage high professional and aesthetic standards among those working in and with the foodservice media and the entry of high-caliber individuals into the field.