US – The American Beverage Association, a government lobbying group that represents the non-alcoholic beverage industry in the US, has announced the departure of President and CEO Katherine Lugar at the end of March to the hotel industry as Executive Vice President (EVP), Global Corporate Affairs at Hilton.

In the coming days, the ABA Board of Directors will announce an interim structure as it undertakes the process to appoint its next President and CEO.

The tenure of Lugar in one of the largest trade associations started in 2019, achieving several accomplishments.

“Among her numerous accomplishments, Lugar oversaw the development of the industry’s first joint sustainability leadership effort, Every Bottle Back, and its front-footed advocacy for modern collection systems, including rallying support for Colorado’s extended producer legislation passed in 2022,” said the ABA.

 “Lugar also successfully led the effort to secure federal infrastructure funding to modernize and improve recycling systems across the country. With Lugar at the Association’s helm, the industry oversaw transformative innovation that has resulted in nearly 60 percent of beverages sold today containing zero sugar.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ABA added that the association successfully advocated for industry frontline workers to be considered essential workers, which is part of Lugar’s success.

Before joining ABA, Lugar served as President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). She has also served as the EVP of public affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

At her new office position, Lugar will report to Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton, and serve as a member of the executive committee.

Hilton’s corporate affairs department includes communications, government affairs, and Environmental, Social, and Governance functions globally for the company.

James A. Locke III to retire from Constellation Brands’ Board of Directors

At the same time, James A. Locke III (Jim) will retire from Constellation Brand’s Board of Directors at the end of his current term after 50 years of direct support of the company and its management team.

Consequently, he will not stand for re-election as a Board Director at Constellation’s upcoming Annual Shareholders Meeting in July 2023.

In addition, he will also complete and retire from his current roles as Lead Independent Director of the Board and chair of the Corporate Governance and Responsibility Committee.

Locke joined the company’s Board in 1983 and for 40 years, dedicated service as a Constellation Brands Board Director. He provided independent counsel when Constellation first became a public company in 1973.

Locke played an influential role as a member of the Board in several transformational moments in the company’s history, including the company’s diversification across the beer, wine, and spirits categories.

He also influenced the acquisition of Robert Mondavi Winery, which established Constellation as a leader in Napa Valley fine wine; and the acquisition of the company’s imported beer brands in the U.S., including Modelo, Corona, Pacifico, and Victoria.

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