ARLINGTON, VA. — Christine Cochran has been named president and chief executive officer of SNAC International. Ms. Cochran will join SNAC on Feb. 1, 2022, and officially take over as president and CEO on April 1, 2022, at the conclusion of SNX, the association’s new education and collaboration forum.
As president and CEO, Ms. Cochran will succeed Elizabeth Avery, who is retiring after five years at the organization’s helm.
Ms. Cochran is coming to SNAC International from the Grain Foods Foundation, which she has headed as executive director since its establishment in 2012. Before that she was president of the Commodity Markets Council.
“Christine Cochran is a dynamic leader of membership organizations with a deep knowledge of nutrition and a proven track record in government advocacy, coalition-building and strategic planning,” said Mike Harper, chief financial officer of Rudolph Foods and chairman of the SNAC CEO search committee. “We believe Christine is the right leader to build on the momentum established by Elizabeth’s highly successful tenure.”
GFF efforts to communicate the benefits of grain-based foods result in several billion media impressions per year, publications in many peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentations at dozens of scientific conferences. Ms. Cochran also has led an effort to develop a checkoff program for the flour-based foods industry.
A 1998 graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a degree in agricultural economics, Ms. Cochran holds a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.
Formerly the Snack Food Association, an organization established in 1937, SNAC International’s activities focus on education, advocacy and networking. The group represents more than 400 companies globally, including suppliers, marketers and manufacturers.
During Ms. Avery’s tenure, SNAC International tripled its investment in education and professional development and developed a new convention concept. SNX, an education and collaboration forum, will be held March 27-29 in Phoenix. Ms. Avery will retire following the conclusion of SNX.
“Elizabeth has led SNAC International with a relentless focus on member value for five years as CEO,” said Rob Sarlls, chairman of the SNAC board of directors and president and CEO of Wyandot Snacks. “Under her leadership, SNAC has grown in every dimension and has never been in a stronger position. Her innovation and growth agenda led to a tripling of investment in education and professional development; increased effectiveness and recognition for advocacy leadership; greater inclusivity across the industry for participation by new companies and diverse leaders; and a bold restructuring of the industry’s convention that meets the need for new opportunities for snack industry collaboration. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, membership is at a record high, and the organization is on extremely solid financial footing.”
The Grain Foods Foundation has not yet announced plans for identifying and hiring Ms. Cochran’s successor.