National Restaurant Association Announces New Marketing and Communications Leadership


In its ongoing efforts to promote the invaluable role of America’s one million restaurants, the National Restaurant Association today announced two new executive leaders in their marketing and communications departments. Deb Billow joins the Association as executive vice president of marketing and member engagement and Steve Danon joins the Association as senior vice president of communications.

In their new roles, Billow and Danon will help integrate new technology and analytics, and create a story telling culture into the Association’s communications and marketing efforts.

“We are thrilled to add two senior leaders to our stellar list of talent here at the Association,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “Deb and Steve are seasoned professionals, each of whom brings the strategic vision necessary to help move the Association and Foundation forward as we continue to be the voice of America’s restaurants. As we look to expand our marketing and communications efforts across the industry and offer our members innovative tools and resources, we are excited to welcome them aboard.” 

In her new role, Billow will oversee the strategy and execution of the Association’s key marketing, membership events and industry sponsorship initiatives. Most recently as president of GKIC, Billow established herself as an exceptional leader with a proven track record of achieving results and leading high-performing teams.

Previously, Billow served as chief customer officer with the American Marketing Association, engaging and growing member connectivity, resulting in increased profitability by providing targeted services, products, and benefits for their 30,000 members. Billow began her marketing career in Fortune 500 firms, including Kraft Heinz, Kellogg and ConAgra Foods, followed by a successful transition to the small business community with leadership roles in privately owned, non-profit and private equity owned businesses. 

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Billow earned her BA in Economics from the University of Rochester and her MBA from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business. 

Danon joins the Association as senior vice president of communications. In his new role, Danon will oversee the Association’s media and digital communications efforts. Over his two-decade career, Danon was partner and managing director of the Hudson Park Group, an international public affairs firm specializing in government and media relations, digital communications, coalition development and issue-based campaigns and vice president of strategic communications at DDC, an international public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C. He was chief of staff to Congressman Brian Bilbray (CA-50) and was vice president of Porter Novelli International and chief of staff to a San Diego County Supervisor and campaign manager for a Mayor of the seventh largest city in the United States. 

Danon earned his BA in political science with a minor in communications from San Diego State University. 

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than one million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14.4 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry’s largest trade show (NRA Show May 20-23 2017, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique careerbuilding high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids’ menu options.