American Beverage (AB), Washington, D.C., announced that Kevin W. Keane, a longtime member of the beverage industry’s leadership team, has been named its new president and chief executive officer. Keane will provide day-to-day leadership and management of the industry trade group to advance its strategic priorities, working in close partnership with AB’s full team and the AB Board leadership.
“It is an honor to lead the trade association for iconic American companies deeply dedicated to the people and communities they serve across the country and globe,” Keane said in a statement. “I am equally proud to lead a dynamic and talented AB team that continually sets a high bar addressing public affairs issues in a collaborative and substantive manner for our members.
“Having worked in the beverage industry for nearly 20 years, I know how hard our companies strive to be a unifying force in helping address public policy issues that people care about in ways that matter to them,” he continued. “Their unwavering commitment to better way solutions to tough challenges delivers meaningful results that lift communities and bring people together. We look forward to helping build an even stronger future.”
Keane has served as president and CEO on an interim basis since his predecessor, Katherine Lugar, departed in March for Hilton as executive vice president of corporate affairs.
“Kevin has an exceptional depth of knowledge and experience to bring to bear in this role, and we are fortunate to have his leadership and insights to guide the association,” said Matthew Dent, Chair of the AB Board of Directors and president and CEO of Buffalo Rock Co., a longtime Pepsi bottling operation based in Birmingham, Ala.
“Throughout his time at American Beverage we have made great strides in areas Americans care about including improving our environmental sustainability practices, promoting balanced lifestyles and advancing our broader leadership efforts,” Dent continued. “We look forward to Kevin’s continued leadership as our new president and CEO of American Beverage.”
Keane has served on the leadership team of American Beverage since 2005 and has overseen a wide range of industry initiatives while managing a team in Washington, D.C., and in states across the country. Prior to his appointment as president and CEO, Keane served as executive vice president of the Government and Public Affairs Department for the association.
Before joining American Beverage, Keane served as the assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. President George W. Bush appointed him to the position. Keane was Thompson’s deputy chief of staff and communications director when he was governor of Wisconsin. Keane is a proud Midwesterner, born in Chicago, graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and spending much of his life growing up and working in Wisconsin. He and his wife Chris have three adult children.
The non-alcohol beverage industry employs more than 270,000 people with a direct economic impact of nearly $245 billion. Members include The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo, Keurig Dr Pepper and the bottling companies within their systems as well as Red Bull, Polar Beverages, Niagara, Refresco, Danone and many other local beverage companies. The industry manufactures a variety of beverage choices in a wide range of calories and package sizes, including bottled water, 100% juice, juice drinks, sports drinks, soft drinks, ready-to-drink teas and energy drinks.