Snacking Industry Assocation SNAC International to Have New CEO on April 1

Christine Cochran, who has led the Grain Foods Foundation for the past 9 years, will take over leadership of SNAC in the spring.

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ARLINGTON, VA — Concluding a five-month competitive search, SNAC International’s Board of Directors on Oct. 15 unanimously approved the appointment of Christine Cochran as SNAC’s next President & CEO. Cochran will replace Elizabeth Avery who previously shared her plans with the Board to retire following the conclusion of SNX, the association’s new education and collaboration forum, March 27-29, 2022.

“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.”

Cochran has served as Executive Director of the Grain Foods Foundation for the past 9 years. Previously, she was President of the Commodity Markets Council, having been promoted to that position in 2010, after leading the organization’s government affairs program. She holds a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri.

“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 & 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.”

To ensure a seamless transition, Cochran will join SNAC on February 1, 2022 and will officially take the reigns as President & CEO on April 1, at the conclusion of SNX.

The Board thanks the Search Committee for its service to the industry. In addition to Mike Harper, the Search Committee was comprised of Fritz Kohmann, Chief Financial Officer, Shearer’s Foods; Leanne Oliver, General Counsel, PepsiCo Foods N.A.; Greg Pearson, Chief Executive Officer, Pretzels, Inc.; David Read, Sr Vice President, Sales, Printpack; Rob Sarlls, President and CEO, Wyandot Snacks; Dan Sifer, Sr Vice President, Supply Chain, Herr Foods; and Lisa Stern, Sr Vice President, Sales and Marketing, LifeSpice.