US – American Beverage Association (ABA), a trade association representing America’s non-alcoholic beverage industry, has immediately named Kevin Keane as interim president and CEO.

Keane will succeed Katherine Lugar, who recently announced her return to the hotel industry as Hilton’s executive vice president of global corporate affairs.

“Kevin has an exceptional depth of knowledge and experience to bring to bear in this role, and we are fortunate to have his leadership and insights to guide the association,” said Matthew Dent, Chair of the ABA Board of Directors.

“Throughout his time at ABA, we have made great strides in areas Americans care about, including improving our environmental sustainability practices, promoting balanced lifestyles, and advancing our broader leadership efforts. We look forward to Kevin’s continued partnership as interim CEO of ABA.”

According to his LinkedIn account, Keane was Senior Vice President, Policy and Public Affairs at ABA between December 2005 and December 2006 before being appointed Executive Vice President, Government, and Public Affairs at American Beverage Association in January 2017 and has held that position up to now.

In the role, he leads the government and public affairs efforts for the non-alcoholic beverage industry trade association, whose more than 200 active members include The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Keurig Dr. Pepper, and many independent bottlers.

Drinks Ireland welcomes a new chairperson

Drinks Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the Irish drinks sector, has announced the election of Pat Rigney as its chairperson for the next two years.

Rigney is the founder and managing director of ‘The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney’: best known for Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin which it distills in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim. Before founding the distillery in 2014, Pat had 25 years of experience in the industry.

There are around 40 Irish whiskey distilleries and over 34 Irish gin producers on the island of Ireland. There are eight facilities in Ireland producing Irish Cream and nine Poitín producers. As well as this, there are 100 brewing companies and about a dozen cider producers in the Republic of Ireland.

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