Bill Lynch has been appointed the interim president of the Specialty Food Association by the SFA’s Board of Directors. Lynch, who has 20 years of experience with the association, will take over the leadership position as the contract expires for the current president, Phil Kafarakis. Kafarakis will assist Lynch over the coming month to take over leadership duties.

“The Specialty Food Association and its members have held a special place in my heart for the last 20-plus years,” says Lynch. “I am passionate about this organization and its members and am honored for the opportunity to lead this talented staff while working alongside a dedicated Board to help our members build their businesses and prosper. The SFA has a solid foundation from which to grow and a loyal community where we see many opportunities that play to our strengths in delivering more value to our members.”

Lynch joined the SFA in 1999 as operations manager for the Fancy Food Shows. Since then, he held several roles before being named vice president of engagement & experience. He is well recognized in the specialty food and tradeshow industries and currently serves on several boards and committees in New York and San Francisco.

“We have great confidence in Bill’s leadership and expect to benefit from his decades of experience in senior leadership roles across multiple areas of the business including membership, tradeshows and events, customer service and office operations,” says Charlie Apt, SFA board vice chair & chair elect. “We again thank Phil for his numerous contributions to SFA, and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Founded in 1952 in New York City, the Specialty Food Association is the leading advocate for the $158.4 billion specialty food industry. Representing makers, importers, entrepreneurs, retailers, distributors and others in the trade, the SFA aims to champion, nurture and connect its members to deliver traditional and innovative new products to consumers that expand consumption of specialty foods. With more than 4,000 member companies, the association helps its members through providing information, research, educational events and celebrating the industry through its awards programs. The SFA is known for hosting the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows and presents the sofi Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. For more info, visit