ARLINGTON, VA — November 17, 2009 — Food Marketing Institute (FMI) recognized Barbara McConnell, president of the Food Industry Association Executives (FIAE) with an award of excellence for her leadership in promoting the food industry through the strength of state associations. FMI president and chief executive officer Leslie G. Sarasin presented the award to McConnell at FIAE’s annual convention last week.

     “Barbara has worked tirelessly to make sure the state associations are kept up-to-date and are well-informed about the industry’s most pressing issues,” said Sarasin. “She is an extremely popular and effective leader on behalf of the food industry.”

     McConnell has spent her lifetime helping others both in the private sector and through public service. She served two terms in the New Jersey State Assembly. She was the director of the New Jersey Division of Tax Appeals and was the first woman appointed to serve as the Secretary of Commerce and Economic Development for New Jersey.

     She also has a long-standing commitment to helping women. During her time in the Assembly, McConnell worked on legislation to protect women again domestic violence and served as president of the board of the Hunterdon County Women’s Crisis Services.

She combined her political skill and knowledge of the food industry in 1981 when she was named president and CEO of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC). McConnell and her staff were successful in winning more than 100 legislative and regulatory battles important to New Jersey grocers.
McConnell was named president of FIAE in 1995 and is credited with growing its membership, resources, services and credibility.

Her leadership on behalf of the industry has not gone unnoticed. She was the first recipient of FMI’s Donald H. McManus Association Executive Award for her extraordinary leadership in public affairs.

“Barbara knows that our customers are the reason for everything we do,” said Sarasin. “She stands up for consumers and our industry and is well deserving of this award.”

Photo available upon request.