American Beverage Association appoints new CEO

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

ABA represents Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr. Pepper. Pic: ©GettyImages/celsopupo
ABA represents Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr. Pepper. Pic: ©GettyImages/celsopupo

Related tags American beverage association Ceo Leadership

The American Beverage Association (ABA) has appointed Katherine Lugar as CEO and president, effective later this year. She will replace Susan K. Neely, who served in the role for 13 years.

Lugar is the current president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Lugar has also previously served as the Retail Industry Leaders Association's (RILA) executive VP of public affairs, led government relations for Travelers Insurance, served as VP of legislative and political affairs at the National Retail Federation (NRF) and worked on Capitol Hill.

ABA Katherine Lugar

The ABA represents companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the US. High-profile members include Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr. Pepper. 

Neely was recently named president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) in May 2018 and will continue in the role after leaving ABA.

"Katherine is a powerhouse in Washington, and she understands how to communicate and execute public policy strategies on behalf of high-profile brands.

"Her experience leading federal, state and local advocacy campaigns, coupled with her deep understanding of complex industries, makes her uniquely positioned to lead ABA forward,”​ Neely said.

Lugar plans to use her public policy and advocacy experience on behalf of ABA and its member companies to build on Neely’s leadership format and “strengthen ​[its] communities and support families nationwide.”

"I'm honored to join ABA and advocate on behalf of its members, including iconic brands like The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo," ​she said.

"As a mother, I know how important it is for consumers to have choices as they balance their families' nutrition and activity. … I look forward to leading the ABA team as we continue to be an important part of the solution when it comes to consumer choice and public health."

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