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Susan K. Neely, CAE, CEO of the American Beverage Association, Washington, is the TRENDS 2014 Association Executive of the Year.
“Susan is greatly respected by her peers and colleagues, and rightly so. Her work and leadership over the years at ABA and, just as significantly, in the association community is impressive. She's truly deserving of this honor,” TRENDS Publisher Joel Poznansky said. Pictured, Neely, as she learned of the honor, is surrounded by ABA staff members, from left, Jim McGreevy, government affairs SVP; Tracey Halliday, communications VP; Barbara Hiden, federal affairs VP; Kevin Keane, policy and public affairs SVP; and CFO Mark Hammond.
Neely’s association experience started in 1994 when she was public affairs SVP at Health Insurance Association of America. She went on to become SVP at Association of American Medical Colleges, before becoming a special assistant to President George W. Bush in 2001. She was public affairs assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before joining ABA as CEO in 2005. She also is president of the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America.
Among ABA’s recent accomplishments under Neely are the association’s Clear on Calories initiative in support of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, and the industry’s Calories Count Vending Program, which provides calorie information on vending machines.
Neely is chairman of the U.S. Chamber’s Association Committee of 100 and chairman-elect of ASAE as well as chairman of the ASAE Foundation, among other volunteer leadership positions.
She earned a B.A. in broadcast journalism and French civilization at the University of Iowa, and a master’s in public administration at Drake University.
Neely will be honored at the TRENDS 2014 Salute to Association Excellence, Feb. 20 at the Capital Hilton in Washington. Details: www.AssociationTRENDS.com/salute.