CARROLLTON, Texas – Anita Phillips has been named president and COO of T.G.I. Friday's USA company-owned restaurants. She has been in this role on an interim basis since November 2010 and will report to Nick Shepherd, president and CEO of Carlson Restaurants, parent company of T.G.I. Friday's, and serve on the executive team.

Phillips will be responsible for leading and executing strategy across the 300 company-owned Friday's restaurants throughout the US. She will serve alongside Lee Sanders, president of Friday's USA franchise business, as they strive towards delivering Friday's Ambition 2015 goals of being the guest-preferred restaurant and bar, the employer of choice and the investment opportunity of choice in the industry.

"Anita has an infectious energy that embodies what T.G.I. Friday's represents," Shepherd said. "Her broad business and management experience makes her highly qualified for this position. Anita is a natural leader, which enables her to engage the right people in doing the right things to deliver the right results."

Phillips has worked for Minneapolis-based Carlson for more than 20 years. She has served in various leadership positions including chief financial officer for Carlson Marketing; vice president, finance and strategic sourcing for Carlson; group finance director for Carlson Leisure Group in the United Kingdom; and vice president for Carlson Travel Group. She began her career at Carlson as assistant corporate controller. Phillips is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

Most recently, Phillips was senior vice president and CFO for Carlson Restaurants. She resides in Lewisville, Texas, with her husband, Jim, and daughters, Marie and Nicole.

T.G.I. Friday's operates more than 900 restaurants in more than 60 countries. It is part of Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.

Carlson encompasses more than 1,070 hotels including, Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Park Inn and Park Plaza; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday's restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 150,000 people.