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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has presented Food Industry Association Executives (FIAE) president Barbara McConnell with an award for her leadership in promoting the food industry via state associations. McConnell received the award from FMI president and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin at FIAE’s annual convention in Palm Springs, Calif., last week.
Flemington, N.J.-based FIAE represents all state grocery associations in the country, in addition to such national food associations as FMI, the National Grocers Association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the American Beverage Association.
“Barbara has worked tirelessly to make sure the state associations are kept up to date and are well informed about the industry’s most pressing issues,” noted Sarasin. “She is an extremely popular and effective leader on behalf of the food industry.”
McConnell’s experience in serving the public includes two terms in the New Jersey State Assembly, a stint as director of the New Jersey Division of Tax Appeals, and being the first woman to be appointed the Secretary of Commerce and Economic Development for New Jersey. During her time in the assembly, McConnell worked on legislation to protect women again domestic violence and was president of the board of the Hunterdon County Women’s Crisis Services.
Her political savvy and food industry know-how both came into play with her appointment as president and CEO of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) in 1981. There, McConnell and her team won over 100 legislative and regulatory battles in favor of Garden State grocers.
In 1995, McConnell became president of FIAE, in which capacity she has boosted membership, resources, services and credibility of the group.
Previously, she was the first recipient of FMI’s Donald H. McManus Association Executive Award for her extraordinary leadership in public affairs.
In related news, New Jersey Food Council president Linda Doherty was elected FIAE’s vice chair for 2010 at the organization’s annual convention. FIAE’s board of directors made the selection.
In her new role, Doherty will set the agenda for next year’s conference, where she will then be elected chairman of FIAE for 2011 and serve as the group’s spokeswoman.
“Linda Doherty is recognized as one of the outstanding association executives in the country, and the contribution she makes to FIAE by sharing information about NJFC’s policies, programs, and legislative strategies that they have been successful in implementing has positioned Linda as an industry leader greatly admired and respected,” noted McConnell.
FIAE’s primary purpose is the sharing of information and best practices among association executives on professional development, association management, and legislative and regulatory issues facing the food industry.