WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Beverage Association (ABA) today announced the election of Thomas L. Bené, president, Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages, as Chair of its Board of Directors, as well as other officers to the Board. New members also were appointed.

Mr. Bené, who previously served as Vice Chair, succeeds Larry D. Young, president and chief executive officer, Dr Pepper Snapple Group. During its board meeting in Orlando, Fla., other officers elected were: Vice Chair Claude B. Nielsen, chairman and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United, Inc., and Treasurer Ralph D. Crowley Jr., president and chief executive officer of Polar Beverages.

"Our industry is a strong one with roots in communities across the country," Mr. Bené said. "As board chair, I look forward to working alongside our industry's great leaders to ensure that we do what is best not only for our businesses, but also for our consumers, our environment and our industry as a whole."

"I have been proud to serve our industry as chair of the ABA Board during what have been challenging times," Mr. Young said. "Our industry has pulled together like never before and I know that, with Tom's unique insight and expertise, we will continue to confront challenges head-on and further industry's strong history of leadership on important social issues."

"We look forward to Tom's leadership as ABA board chair, along with the expertise and experience of our newly elected officers and appointed board members, and we also thank Larry for his commitment to ABA and the broader beverage industry over the past two years," Susan K. Neely, ABA president and CEO, said. "The ABA Board of Directors provides critical guidance and decision making for our industry and by working together, we have achieved significant milestones that will have meaningful and lasting impact for our consumers - and we will continue to forge down that path."

Stefan Kozak, chief executive officer, Red Bull North America, Inc., was recently appointed to succeed Selim Chidiac. In addition, effective immediately is the appointment of two new members to the Board of Directors: Jim Johnston, president, Beverage Concentrates, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, who will succeed Larry Young, and Steve Cahillane, executive vice president and president, North America Business Unit, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., who will succeed John Brock.

Members of ABA's board of directors serve a four-year term and participate in semi-annual meetings that help shape association programs, policies and initiatives. Officers serve a two-year term. With the appointment of these three new members, there are now 29 members on ABA's board.


The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States. For more information on ABA, please visit the association's Web site at www.ameribev.org or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.