Beverage Digest | April 29, 2005  

Ex-Homeland Security Official Susan Neely
Takes the Helm at ABA.
Creator of 'Harry and Louise' Ads Plans
Public Awareness Programs for Beverage Industry.

American Beverage Association names Susan Neely as its new president, succeeding Will Ball. Neely was formerly Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ABA chairman and Polar Beverage CEO Ralph Crowley cites her "expertise in health policy and communications." Before her stint at Homeland Security, she served as Special Assistant to President Bush for Homeland Security. 'Harry and Louise.' She also previously worked for Health Insurance Association of America. According to her biography from Leading Authorities speaker bureau, she has "created and managed numerous issues campaigns, including the award winning 'Harry and Louise' TV commercials and campaign" in 1994. Those ads took aim at former President Clinton's proposed overhaul of health insurance system. She also founded a Washington, D.C. advertising and public relations firm.

Plans. Asked about her thoughts/plans/priorities, Neely tell BD: "The beverage industry has earned the respect of the American public, because of its quality products, ethical business practices and support for communities." Adds: "My first priority as president will be to launch public awareness programs that reinforce this well-deserved reputation for doing good."

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