WASHINGTON, D.C. — Susan K. Neely, president and chief executive officer of the American Beverage Association (ABA), today was named Chair of the ASAE Board of Directors during its annual meeting in Nashville.  Neely will begin her one-year term on September 1.

“As ASAE’s Chair of the Board, I will work to build on the already strong foundations of this organization,” Neely said.  “The challenge is to continue making associations a recognized and appreciated component of our communities and nation.  ASAE is entering its golden age, poised for significant growth in members and cutting edge technology-based services.”

John H. Graham, ASAE President and CEO, said “Susan is a remarkable leader and her commitment to advocate on a number of different issues has made a difference for the association community. She has provided great insight on how to raise awareness about the ASAE Foundation and ASAE, and I know that it will continue and look forward to a remarkable year.”

ASAE represents more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations.  Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world.

Neely has served as ABA president and CEO since 2005.  During her tenure, she has worked with ABA membership to further industry’s longstanding commitment to being part of the solution to childhood obesity.  Notably, the industry has voluntarily reduced calories from its beverages sold in schools by 90 percent through its national School Beverage Guidelines, developed with former President Bill Clinton and his Alliance for a Healthier Generation.  In support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, the industry announced its Clear on Calories initiatives, voluntarily placing clear calorie labels on the front of every bottle, can and pack they produce.  Most recently, industry announced its Calories Count™ Vending Program, which provides calorie information on vending machines, encourages lower-calorie beverage choices and reminds consumers that “calories count” in all the choices they make.

Neely also had a leading role in ABA joining First Lady Michelle Obama, the Partnership for a Healthier America and more than a dozen public and private sector partners to support Drink Up!, which is designed to encourage Americans to stay hydrated by drinking more water.  The non-alcoholic beverage industry employs more than 233,000 people with a direct economic impact of more than $141 billion.

Neely’s professional background encompasses government service in both the executive and legislative branches of federal government, as well as state government, and significant health care policy and advocacy experience.  A native of Iowa, Neely holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and French civilization from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University.  She has been elected the first woman president of both the 102-year-old Washington Rotary Club and the 110-year-old University Club of Washington, D.C.  She currently serves as chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100 and president of the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America.  Neely also serves as a director on the boards of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Recently, she was recognized as the TRENDS 2014 Association Executive of the Year and also received the 2011 Global Citizen of the Year Award from the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University.  Neely is the mother of two children, Eve (age 17) and Ben (age 14).

# # #

The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.  For more information on ABA, please visit the association’s Web site at www.ameribev.org or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.