The American Beverage Association (ABA), Washington, D.C., announced the election of Rodger L. Collins, president of packaged beverages for Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group, as chair of its board of directors.

Collins, who previously served as vice chair, succeeds Claude B. Nielsen, chairman and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United Inc., Birmingham, Ala. The board also elected Jeffrey Honickman, chief executive officer for Pepsi-Cola & National Brand Beverages Ltd., Pennsauken, N.J., as vice chair.

“Our industry, at its core, is about innovation — both in our products and through our joint efforts in developing and delivering successful policies, programs and initiatives,” Collins said in a statement. “As board chair, I look forward to continuing to work with our industry’s leaders as we build upon that innovation and confront head-on whatever challenges lie ahead.”

Nielsen also released a statement: “I have been proud to serve as chair of the ABA board as we’ve worked to advance meaningful solutions to societal challenges, and I look forward to the leadership Rodger will bring to our great industry. It is clear that ABA fills a very critical role in bringing our industry together and, in doing so, strengthening our commitment to our consumers, customers and communities.”

Susan K. Neely, ABA president and chief executive officer also shared her thoughts on the association’s new leadership. “We look forward to Rodger’s leadership as ABA board chair, along with the knowledge and experience that Jeff brings to the executive committee of the board,” she said. “We also thank Claude for his leadership and commitment to ABA and our industry during his service as board chair. With the strong support and guidance of the ABA board of directors, our industry is able to present a unified voice on critical issues and achieve significant and meaningful results when working together.”

ABA also welcomes the following recently elected or re-elected members of the ABA board of directors: Steve Ford, chief executive officer of LinPepCo Partnership; Jerry Fowden, chief executive officer of Cott Corp.; Seth Goldman, president and TeaEO of Honest Tea; Andrew Moore, co-president of Bigfoot Beverages; and Anthony Varni, president and chief executive officer of Varni Brothers Corp.

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 are elected annually. There are 29 members on ABA’s board.