Recently, SNAC International's Board of Directors approved the appointment of food industry veteran Elizabeth Avery as President of the association. Avery will begin as President on January 16, 2017 and will assume the role of CEO on July 1, 2017 from outgoing-CEO Tom Dempsey after the six-month transition period.
"I'm excited to announce Elizabeth as SNAC International's new President. Her credibility in the food industry will ensure the association continues to be an effective advocate in Washington, D.C. She also brings a passion for serving the membership. She will work hard to ensure the association is an indispensable resource to every member company," current SNAC International CEO Tom Dempsey said.
Dempsey was named CEO in 2013 after a career working in the snack industry, most recently as president of UTZ Quality Foods. He announced his intent to retire from the association last year. Since that time, SNAC International's Executive Committee has worked to identify his successor. Avery was approved at the fall Board of Directors meeting held in conjunction with the association's annual Executive Leadership Forum.
"We realized early on that Elizabeth is the right person to lead SNAC International into the future.  She is uniquely suited to navigate the growing number of legislative and regulatory challenges that our industry faces," SNAC International Chairman Mark Winkelman of Better Made Snack Foods said. "She shares Tom's focus on engaging and serving the membership and will build on our current success in each of the association's three pillars of advocacy, networking, and education."
Avery brings 30 years of strategic government affairs experience and a strong track record of success in leading teams working on critical issues to the food industry at the state, federal, and international level. She brings extensive real-world knowledge of the challenges that impact food companies the most, from taxation to food safety and nutrition labeling.
Since 2004, Avery has served in several roles at PepsiCo, most recently as Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy and Government Affairs, where she led a team of 60 executives in 25 countries and advised the company's Board of Directors, CEO, and President's Executive Council on policy threats. Avery has also advocated on behalf of several food companies and trade associations in Washington, D.C. She served as Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for the Snack Food Association from 1999 to 2001 and has a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the snack industry.
"I am honored to have been chosen to lead SNAC International, an organization that I have respected and admired as a member company executive, senior staff professional and association colleague for 20 years. This is a particularly exciting time to be taking the helm, as evidenced by the association's new name.  The wide diversity of the snack category, both nutritious and delicious, is the fastest growing in the food industry," incoming SNAC International President Elizabeth Avery said.
Earlier this year the association unveiled a new identity as SNAC International to reflect how consumers and the industry have evolved since the association was founded in 1937.  Snacking is an increasingly important part of day-to-day life and food manufacturers are offering new choices for consumers looking for quick, diverse options that fit their busy lifestyles.