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Beverage group taps fighter for hotel industry as next CEO

Lugar, now CEO of the $33 million-revenue American Hotel & Lodging Association, will move to ABA later this year


Sept. 14, 2018
By William Ehart

With incoming CEO Katherine Lugar, the $125 million-revenue American Beverage Association is getting an aggressive advocate with a track record lobbying for several industries at all levels of government.

She succeeds Susan Neely, who stepped down as CEO of ABA after 13 years to become CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers. Neely started at the $43-million revenue ACLI on Sept. 4.

Neely and ABA board Chair Jeff Honickman hailed Lugar’s effectiveness as an advocate in the statement announcing her hire.

“Katherine is a powerhouse in Washington, and she understands how to communicate and execute public policy strategies on behalf of high-profile brands,” Neely said.

Lugar’s track record in her five years at AHLA is not dissimilar to Neely’s at ABA.