WASHINGTON, D.C. — Susan K. Neely, president and chief executive officer of the American Beverage Association (ABA), today announced the appointment of Karen Bailey-Chapman as senior vice president for political affairs for the organization.

“We are pleased to welcome Karen to the American Beverage Association senior management team,” Neely said. “She is a seasoned public affairs professional with extensive experience in local, state and federal affairs, having successfully led numerous advocacy campaigns in the grassroots, political and legislative realms. Karen’s knowledge, skills and leadership are a valuable addition as we advocate on behalf of the America’s leading beverage companies in a constantly evolving and increasingly challenging political environment.”

As senior vice president for political affairs, Bailey-Chapman will shape advocacy strategies for the beverage industry and represent the interests of ABA members before lawmakers and regulatory bodies nationwide. The non-alcoholic beverage industry employs 240,000 people with a direct economic impact of more than $169 billion.

Prior to joining ABA, Bailey-Chapman was the founder and president of KB Advocacy, LLC, a boutique public affairs consulting firm, where she developed and implemented local, state and federal legislative and regulatory advocacy and corporate communications programs.

Before opening her own firm, Bailey-Chapman held a number of public affairs and advocacy leadership positions including vice president of public affairs for Penn National Gaming, the country’s second largest gaming company, where she oversaw a multi-state government affairs team and managed several local and statewide referenda campaign efforts. Bailey-Chapman previously served as vice president for strategic alliances at the DCI Group and began her career in advocacy working for the Center for Individual Freedom, Americans for Tax Reform and the Institute for Justice.

“I am thrilled to begin advocating on behalf of one of America’s great industries with deep roots in all 50 states and cities and towns across our nation,” said Bailey-Chapman. “America’s beverage companies have a compelling leadership story to tell, from addressing challenging issues facing society to working to build stronger communities, and I look forward to telling this story to lawmakers and others across the country.”

Bailey-Chapman received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Mary Baldwin College and is a graduate of the first class of the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership. She holds a master’s degree in community and economic development from Pennsylvania State University. 

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