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NCCR's new director looks forward

Rob Green, the newly appointed executive director of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, told Nation’s Restaurant News that he will be meeting with the trade association’s board to hammer out a plan for achieving its long-term strategic goals.

“We want to create a pretty thorough inventory about where our members want the organization to go,” Green said.

Among the Washington, D.C.-based group’s objectives, he said, is to establish “a renewed focus on advocacy. The industry’s economic footprint is significant … and we need to be able to articulate [legislative and regulatory] positions to lawmakers in a considered way.”

Green, who most recently served as vice president of government affairs for the National Retail Federation, parent to the NCCR, listed health care, tax policy, menu labeling, and credit and debit card swipe fees as being among key issues confronting the industry.

“We want to make sure we can advocate effectively,” he said. “Restaurant chains have an impact on every local community. Chains may be national in scope, but they’re also local. We can leverage that on Capitol Hill.”

He praised lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives, who earlier had voted to repeal the 1099 reporting requirements in the health care law. “It’s a positive development,” he said. “It was an aspect of the health care law that was onerous for the restaurant industry. It shows that lawmakers are serious about revisiting certain aspects of the health care law.”

Green succeeds industry veteran Jack Whipple who retired earlier this year from the NCCR, which represents about 30 major U.S. foodservice brands. Whipple, who held the top post at the NCCR for the past five years, previously had spent 25 years with McDonald’s Corp. in key public policy positions, including vice president of government relations.

“Jack did a tremendous job on the membership side,” Green said. “We’ll be building on Jack’s excellent work, focusing on other aspects like advocacy, representation and communications.

During Green’s time with the NRF, he focused on several key legislative issues in Washington, including the defeat of the Employee Free Choice Act — also know as card check — and support for debit card “swipe fee” reform.

“With legislative and regulatory activity tied so closely to our economic recovery, chain restaurants need to be engaged as never before with industry stakeholders,” said Pat Sheehy, NCCR chairman and director of government relations for Cracker Barrel Old Store, Inc. “Rob Green’s respected background and strong relationships with leaders in the restaurant industry and the federal government will serve NCCR well as we work together to implement our strategic objectives.”

Prior to joining the NRF, Green served as vice president of federal relations at the National Restaurant Association, where he helped advance the foodservice industry legislative and regulatory interests in Washington.

Previously, he was workforce policy coordinator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he served as the committee’s chief labor policy strategist. He also was chief of staff to Rep. Bill Goodling, R-Penn., on Capitol Hill.

Matthew Shay, who joined the NRF last April as president and chief executive of the NRF, said the appointment of Green will aid the organization in creating “an advocacy position proposition that is consistent with the industry’s important economic contributions.”

Green said he anticipates aligning the NCCR with the NRF on key issues facing restaurateurs and retailers. “There are some areas that offer enhanced opportunities to advocate on behalf of the industry,” he said.

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected].

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