WASHINGTON — Kathy Kinter Phelps, a 20-year veteran of the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers’ Association and the American Bakers Association, is leaving her post at the A.B.A. to focus on a family matter that the organization said “requires her full time and attention.”

Following the merger of the A.B.A. and the B.&C.M.A. earlier this year, Ms. Phelps was named assistant director of education and membership service at the A.B.A. She earlier was manager of membership and education at the B.&C.M.A.

“Kathy has been such an important factor in the success of B.&C.M.A. for many years,” said Bill Quigg, president of Richmond Baking. “Her kind spirit, joyful attitude and genuine care for the members of our group of cookie and cracker bakers will always be appreciated, along with the fond memories of her friendship.”

Todd Wallin, president of Ellison Bakery, called Ms. Phelps a “wonderful advocate for B.&C.M.A., its mission and members for 20 years.”

“She has always been a positive, encouraging supporter for all segments of the organization,” Mr. Wallin said. “Her quiet leadership, dedication, insight and love of the membership has made it a joy to be involved with this organization. We will certainly miss her as she moves on to another phase in her life.”

A mainstay of the B.&C.M.A.’s cookie and cracker education for many years, Ms. Phelps developed the Correspondence Course, lending her knowledge and personal touch to build the programs into the industry standard, said Dave Van Laar, senior adviser to the president and chief executive officer, B.&C.M.A. Transition & Development.

“Passion, dedication and fun all describe Kathy,” said Robb MacKie, president and c.e.o. of the A.B.A. “Kathy’s departure leaves a big void for the members and professional team who consider her family; however I applaud her dedication to her own family. Family always comes first and Kathy is right to focus her attention where it is needed most.”

Ms. Phelps will continue her work for the A.B.A. on a part-time basis over the next several weeks.