Elizabeth Avery, SNAC International
Elizabeth Avery will begin as president of SNAC Intenational on Jan. 16 and will assume the role of c.e.o. on July 1.

ARLINGTON, VA. — The board of directors of SNAC International, formerly the Snack Food Association, has elected Elizabeth Avery as president of the association. Ms. Avery will begin as president on Jan. 16, 2017, and will assume the role of chief executive officer on July 1, 2017, from outgoing-c.e.o. Tom Dempsey after the six-month transition period.

“I’m excited to announce Elizabeth as SNAC International’s new president,” Mr. Dempsey said. “Her credibility in the food industry will ensure the association continues to be an effective advocate in Washington, D.C. She also brings a passion for serving the membership. She will work hard to ensure the association is an indispensable resource to every member company.”

Ms. Avery has more than 30 years of government affairs experience and has led teams working on issues critical to the food industry at the state, federal, and international level. She most recently was senior vice-president of global public policy and government affairs at PepsiCo, Inc.

She also has advocated on behalf of several food companies and trade associations in Washington. She was senior vice-president of government and public affairs for the S.F.A. from 1999 to 2001.

She received a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa.

“I am honored to have been chosen to lead SNAC International, an organization that I have respected and admired as a member company executive, senior staff professional and association colleague for 20 years,” Ms. Avery said. “This is a particularly exciting time to be taking the helm, as evidenced by the association’s new name. The wide diversity of the snack category, both nutritious and delicious, is the fastest growing in the food industry.”

Mr. Dempsey has been c.e.o. of SNAC since 2013, having joined the association after a career working in the snack industry, most recently as president of Utz Quality Foods. He announced his intent to retire from the association last year. Since that time, SNAC International’s Executive Committee has worked to identify his successor. Ms. Avery was approved at the fall board of directors meeting held in conjunction with the association’s annual Executive Leadership Forum.

Earlier this year the association unveiled a new identity as SNAC International to reflect how consumers and the industry have evolved since the association was founded in 1937. SNAC International represents more than 400 snack manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. The association’s mission is to create resources that fuel and reinforce value for its members by offering services and relationship building forums for members in support of industry growth and dynamic relevance. SNAC International said it accomplishes its mission through the three pillars of government relations, education and networking access.