Eric Mittenthal has been named president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC), taking over for Janet Riley who will remain as NHDSC’s official “Queen of Wien.” Mittenthal will lead the NHDSC’s efforts celebrating hot dogs and sausages as the iconic American food and answering common questions related to quality, safety, nutrition and preparation of hot dogs and sausages. He has served as vice president of Public Affairs for the NHDSC since 2012.
“It takes a true hot dog aficionado to be named president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council and Eric has shown he’s up to the task,” said Riley. “With his mastery of hot dog and sausage facts and history, etiquette and his work growing the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s presence in mainstream and social media, the council is in great hands.”
Riley has served as president of the NHDSC since 1994 and during that time, has highlighted hot dogs and sausages on the Martha Stewart Show, Comedy Central’s Daily Show and Colbert Report and in numerous other media outlets. Riley will continue in her role as senior vice president of Public Affairs for the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) which oversees the NHDSC.
Mittenthal also serves as vice president of Public Affairs for NAMI and joined the organizations from the International Food Information Council, where he was director of Media Relations. Previously he worked as a television reporter and producer in several markets around the country, most recently working for WAGA-TV, the Fox affiliate in Atlanta.
“As someone who has always loved hot dogs and sausages, there was never any doubt working for the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council would be a perfect fit,” said Mittenthal. “But getting to know the hot dog and sausage manufacturers, restaurant owners and passionate fans around the country has been an amazing experience, and it is a great honor to represent all of them as president of the council.”
In 2015 alone, the NHDSC has settled the debate over whether a hot dog is a sandwich, unveiled a new hot dog bumper sticker, named baseball’s best hot dog, and continued its tradition of tracking hot dog and sausage consumption at major league ballparks. The council was highlighted on the NBC Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and the CBS Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Bisnow named it the number one association for fun things. Mittenthal also was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Cleveland Indians game.
“Hot dogs and sausages are such fun, all-American foods, there is no shortage of ways to promote and celebrate them,” said Mittenthal. “We’re looking forward to several new initiatives in 2016 to both inform about hot dogs and sausages and help people share their love of them.”