RILA names former GM exec as public affairs VP
Arlington, Va. –The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has named Annette Guarisco as executive VP for public affairs, effective Oct. 1. Guarisco will oversee RILA’s federal and state government affairs, as well as the association’s communications efforts.
Guarisco joins RILA following more than 11 years as a senior executive at General Motors, most recently serving as executive director of global public policy.
Guarisco replaces Katherine Lugar, who left RILA earlier this year to become president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
Interbrand Design Forum names managing director
Dayton, Ohio — Retail design and brand strategy firm Interbrand Design Forum, the retail division of Interbrand, said it has hired Dirk Defenbaugh as managing director.
Defenbaugh, previously VP, client service for WD Partners, will oversee day-to-day operations for the Interbrand Design Forum office, charged with attracting and retaining talent, delivering innovative brand solutions, developing and executing a growth strategy, leading business development, managing and growing client relationships and furthering the company’s position as a market leader. He will also serve on the Interbrand North America Executive Committee.
Newk’s Eatery names director of development; 12 restaurants on tap
Jackson, Miss. — Fresh casual restaurant brand Newk’s Eatery announced the hire of two new support center team members who will assist in the national expansion of the brand.
After nine years in business, Newk’s Eatery has entered a renewed growth mode, with 12 new restaurant locations planned to open before year end 2013. Newk’s currently operates and franchises 59 units in 11 states.
Gary Brem, a 34-year food service construction veteran, has been named director of development, and Klara Smith, a 15-year legal industry professional, has been chosen as the company’s general counsel.
Brem will be handling concept-to-completion development of Newk’s expanding locations, including evaluating and recommending real estate sites for franchisee’s and company restaurants. Smith will support operational growth and development of new stores in the Newk’s system.