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   ABA Enhances Team To Deliver Strategic Plan Goals Of Promoting & Growing The Industry
by American Bakers Association
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 4:28PM EST

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Bakers Association (ABA) recently optimized and aligned its professional staff to deliver on key initiatives of its new strategic plan. Guided by the overarching goals of promoting and growing the baking industry, ABA clarified roles of the current team to capitalize on their areas of expertise and recruited several new members with impressive backgrounds in communications, marketing and operations.

“We have ambitious goals for ABA on behalf of the baking industry,” said ABA Chair Erin Sharp, Group Vice President, Manufacturing, The Kroger Co. “The Executive Committee and Board of Directors have enthusiastically supported the direction of ABA as spelled out in the new strategic plan. In order to achieve these aggressive objectives, we need a high-performing, talented and professional team.”

“We are blessed to have an incredibly dedicated staff strongly supported by the ABA members,” said ABA President & CEO Robb MacKie. “This is a challenging time for the industry, however with this team in place and with the active engagement of our members, we will drive results for the industry.”

Enhanced Advocacy 

ABA promoted Kelly Knowles to Vice President of Political and State Affairs. Knowles, working closely with ABA’s Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Public Affairs, Lee Sanders, and the accomplished government relations team, will expand ABA’s federal advocacy strength into key states. She will collaborate with ABA members to identify crucial states and prioritize issues to protect the industry from government overreach. She also plans to coordinate state advocacy operations with ABA’s food and business partners. 

Enhanced Engagement 

To drive increased ABA member engagement and collaboration with industry and supply chain partners, ABA focused Kelly Kotche’s role to Director of Membership Engagement and promoted Christina Donnelly to Director of Industry Relations and Strategic Initiatives. Kotche and ABA’s Director of Meetings and Education Samantha Moore will be supported by new Membership Engagement Coordinator Zach Decker. 

“The success of ABA is predicated on our members and partners sharing their expertise, guidance and passion with our staff,” said MacKie. “I am confident that the highly focused team will significantly boost member involvement. ABA represents almost 800,000 skilled employees, and we look forward to interfacing with more of them.”

Enhanced Communications 

ABA will strengthen and refine its communications and marketing across the entire enterprise from policy advocacy and member engagement to education and events, as well as industry-wide promotion. Led by the new Director of Communications and Marketing Katie Juhl, ABA’s foundation of strong communications will be elevated in order to deliver on several key strategic initiatives to promote and grow the industry. Juhl, an accomplished and innovative communications specialist, together with ABA’s Marketing and Communications Manager Amy-Gabrielle Bartolac, will provide the expertise and bandwidth to propel ABA’s current efforts. Juhl brings nearly two decades of private sector, non-profit and broadcast journalism experience to ABA. 

Enhanced Operations 

ABA also is pleased to bring in a seasoned association executive to optimize ABA’s finance and operations team. Jennifer Colfelt will lead the operations team as Vice President of Finance and Operations. She will coordinate with ABA’s Director of Finance Teresa Grant and newly-promoted Office Manager Lauren Alam. Colfelt joins ABA from the National Asphalt Paving Association and replaces Chuck Wellard who departed ABA this summer.

“Whether it’s Capitol Hill, state government or the marketplace, the baking industry environment has never been more complex. We need an industry organization that is dynamic and adept to meet our needs today and in the future,” said Chair Sharp. “I am extremely excited and energized by the enhancements to our ABA team and look forward to working with them to drive industry results.” 


About the American Bakers Association:

The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.-based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has represented the interests of bakers before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and international regulatory authorities. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, cookies, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas and many other wholesome, nutritious, baked products for America’s families. The baking industry generates more than $153 billion in economic activity annually and employs more than 799,500 highly skilled people. Follow ABA with #AmericanBakers

Source:  American Bakers Association

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