Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association Appoints Six New Industry Leaders to Its Board of Directors
New Board Members Bring Expertise in Public Relations, Law, Politics, Hospitality and the Arts
Industry Veterans Will Help Guide SLARA’s Growing Restaurant Community; Advance Its Mission to Make Salt Lake City Restaurant Scene More Visible
SALT LAKE CITY – November 14, 2016 – Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association (SLARA) today announced the appointment of six new members to its board of directors: Steve Urquhart, David Parkinson, William “Billy” Stern, Joshua Davidson, Kristian Anderson, and Nicole Willis.. This distinguished group brings decades of diverse experience in politics, public relations, law, art, and hospitality to SLARA’s board and will provide guidance as the Association continues to cultivate and promote Salt Lake City’s vibrant restaurant community.
“Steve, David, Billy, Josh, Kristian and Nicole are all experts in their fields and we’re thrilled to have them join our board of directors,” said Michele T. Corigliano, executive director of SLARA. “With these new additions, we’re adding a unique dimension to an already-strong board and furthering our strategy to include a legislative push to help our members. We look forward to tapping into their collective expertise and continuing to increase the visibility of the thriving restaurant scene here in Salt Lake City.”
The six new board members join SLARA during an exciting period of growth, both in membership and vision. SLARA counts nearly 80 local restaurants as members, with participation continuing to grow. With an increased focus on impacting legislation, SLARA’s additions to the board will help further that goal and complement the existing board, which is made up of prominent Salt Lake restaurateurs including Joel LaSalle, Mikel Trapp, Scott Evans and Tamara Gibo, as well as Nicole Mouskondis, co-CEO of Nicholas & Company, a major food supplier.
Steve Urquhart serves as the global ambassador for the University of Utah. Prior to joining the U, Urquhart held political office as a member of the Utah House of Representatives (2001 to 2008) and later, as a Utah State Senator (2009 to 2016). Urquhart served as Majority Whip and Rules Chair in the House and Senate chair of the Higher Education Sub-appropriations Committee. He is a founder of the Partnering Institute of Africa and also serves as a director for Red Butte Garden and Equality Utah. As an esteemed community leader, Urquhart’s first-rate negotiation skills and profound understanding of legislation will assist SLARA as it works to help restaurant owners through beneficial legislation.
“I’m excited to join SLARA’s board of directors, where I can bring my experience as a legislator and apply it to advise the board and help negotiate a win-win situation for restaurant owners and lawmakers, alike, ” said Urquhart. “Utah is bustling, and the burgeoning restaurant scene is a major reason for that. I am eager to work with SLARA and further its mission to help ensure restaurants in the area continue to flourish and be successful.”
David Parkinson is the co-founder and CEO of Method Communications, Utah’s largest public relations and integrated marketing agency with offices in Salt Lake City and San Francisco. Under Parkinson’s leadership, the agency was recently awarded the prestigious title of The Holmes Report’s 2016 North America Technology Agency of the Year. Prior to launching Method, Parkinson served as the vice president of communications for the billionaire Sorenson family and their 30-plus companies. A prominent fixture in the PR world, Parkinson’s strategic skills and knack for building strong relationships will benefit SLARA as it continues to establish Salt Lake’s vibrant restaurant community.
William “Billy” Stern was, until recently, general counsel at Ancestry.com, where he led all aspects of Ancestry’s legal and regulatory compliance and reporting, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, board relations and communications since 2009. While in the role, Stern was responsible for Ancestry’s initial public offering, secondary public offerings and debt financings. Prior to joining Ancestry, Stern was general counsel at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Stern’s extensive corporate and securities law experience will be valuable to SLARA as it takes a more active role in pushing legislation to assist restaurant members.
Joshua Davidson is an accomplished attorney who currently serves as the Assistant Solicitor General for Civil Appeals with the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Previously, Davidson served as partner at Chicago-based law firm Varga Berger Ledsky Hayes & Casey. A Salt Lake City-native, Davidson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah with a B.A. in French. He received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law and lived in Chicago for 24 years before moving back to Salt Lake City. His impressive experience in consumer financial services and business litigation will be an asset to SLARA as it continues to advance Salt Lake’s dynamic restaurant community.
Kristian Anderson is the executive director of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA), an award-winning aesthetic force and community leader since it was established in 1931. Prior to joining UMOCA, Anderson served as the first full time director of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, a national organization that specializes in education and advocacy for museums, and helps set museum standards. Anderson is passionate about recognizing the many great chefs and restaurants that push the contemporary envelope in the Salt Lake area and play a critical role in the cultural success of the city. His creative and administrative skills will prove valuable as SLARA’s membership and reputation continue to grow.
Nicole Willis is the general manager of Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City’s new American bistro, Bambara. In this role, Willis oversees the daily operations of the critically acclaimed and locally loved eatery. A veteran in the hospitality industry, Willis has spent the last six years working for the Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group at top dining and lodging establishments in Chicago. She brings a unique hospitality viewpoint to SLARA’s board and can aid the Association as it continues to expand its restaurant membership.
For more information on SLARA, visit: http://www.slara.org/
The Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association (SLARA) is committed to cultivating and promoting Salt Lake City’s vibrant restaurant community. SLARA encompasses everything from independent restaurants, local and regional franchises, and community minded larger enterprises. SLARA’s emphasis is grounded in building the reputation and vibrancy of the local restaurant community through education workshops, media coverage, marketing and event initiatives and guidance and information on relevant legislation. To learn more about SLARA, visit: http://www.slara.org/