Exec E-News: Give us some background about yourself and your family?
Bev: I was born and raised in Bel Air, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. Grew up an Orioles fan, the middle girl of two sisters. Mom was a school teacher and dad a mathematician with the government. Graduated from college in Baltimore and promptly moved to Washington, DC, where I met my husband of now 32 years, Patrick. We have two children - Will is 29, married to Kari with two beautiful granddaughters - Riley and Emmy. They live in Morgantown, WV. Daughter Katie, 27, is married to Billy Gross, and live in Frederick, MD. Katie gave us a handsome grandson, Brayden, in May. We raised our family in Bucks County, PA, although Patrick and I both spent most of our careers in New Jersey (just a few miles across the Delaware River). Six years ago, we purchased a home on Sandpiper Bay Golf Club in Sunset Beach, NC, and began planning our "retirement" there. On December 31, my husband retires as principal of his old high school-Bordentown Regional HS - where he has taught, coached, and served as administrator for the past 29 years! After we moved from Washington, I worked with the NJ Food Council, the NJ Department of Commerce and Economic Development, a contract lobbying firm Martin-Bontempo, and then established my own lobbying/AMC firm, B. Lynch Associates. Three years ago, I merged with another lobbyist and formed the Advocacy & Management Group (AMG), which manages 14 state-based associations and lobbies for the associations and other clients. AMG is located directly across the street from the Trenton, NJ Statehouse. We are avid sports fans (Orioles, Eagles, WVU Football) and play lots of golf and pickleball.
Exec E-News: What is one little know fact about yourself?
Bev: I have had two holes in one.....both 100% luck!
Exec E-News: Tell us about where you have lived and the location you just moved into and why the move?
Bev: I have lived throughout the Northeast Corridor - Bel Air, MD, Baltimore, MD, Rockville, MD, Arlington, VA, Bordentown, NJ, and finally Bucks County (Yardley), PA over the past 50+ years. Our new home is in Sunset Beach, NC, just five miles north of the South Carolina border, between Myrtle Beach, SC and Wilmington, NC. We spent many trips south looking for the perfect retirement community to settle - we wanted to be near the beach, able to play golf year round, in a single family home that fits our style of living. We have certainly found that in Sandpiper Bay - it seems as though the entire community is from VA, DC, PA, NY, and NJ. We have visited Sunset Beach for vacations annually, and just moved there hopefully permanently last month.
Exec E-News: How did you get into the association business?
Bev: When I graduated from college and moved to Washington, DC, I interviewed with the Cooperative Food Distributors of America (CFDA), which later became the National Grocers Association. At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about association management....did not even know what a trade association or lobbyist was. CFDA was an outstanding "first job" in that I was able to try out lots of different positions, but stayed within the same company. Tom Zaucha was a great mentor and allowed me to grow over my six years at NGA.
Exec E-News: What do you like best about being an association executive?
Bev: I have always loved the diversity of association management - in any given hour, you may work on your annual meeting, board policy, lobbying, take a call from a member asking something you never heard about, and then start drafting the newsletter. I love the diversity of the work, and the diversity of the members. I can honestly say I have never, after 30+ years in the business, ever been bored.
Exec E-News: What do you like least about being an association executive?
Bev: Most of the groups I have had the privilege of managing insist on evening meetings. I believe the hardest part of my AMC career was the plethora of evenings out - board meetings that go from 6-10 pm, legislative fundraisers, and numerous other evenings out. I laugh when people think that because you're out late one evening, you can sleep in the next. NOT!
Exec E-News: What attracted you to apply for the President's position at FIAE?.
Bev: I have always enjoyed my association management career, but was at the "winding down" phase at the Advocacy and Management Group (the AMC/lobbying firm I built over the past 12 years). The FIAE position was the perfect combination of part time management, with the ability to headquarter in North Carolina, working with a familiar group of food industry executives tackling issues on which I had experience. Over the past few years, I have been the executive director of the NJ Food Processors Association, and also lobby for the NJ Food Council, so I am well aware of the "hot" issues du jour. I am extremely excited to serve as the president of FIAE in my new, tranquil surroundings....with a nice mix of travel to some great cities around the country, working closely with a professional board and membership. The warm welcome I received at the FIAE convention was fantastic.
Exec E-News: What is your favorite movie?
Bev: Chariots of Fire...although if I'm flipping through channels, I will always stop on Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Exec E-News: Who is one person you really look up to and why?
Bev: I consider both Barbara McConnell and Tom Zaucha to be important career mentors to me. Both taught me the importance of the executive director serving as the face, especially with legislative/regulatory issues, of the Association.
Exec E-News: What is your favorite food or beverage?
Bev: Definitely hard shelled crabs, steamed with tons of Old Bay seasoning. If I'm having crabs, I need cold beer to go along side. Favorite beverage on a regular day is probably ice tea.
Exec E-News: What was the last really good book that you read?
Bev: The One and Only by Emily Giffin was a great read about college football (another passion of mine). Love anything by Anna Quindlen.
Exec E-News: What is one of the first priorities you have as you take over the management of FIAE?
Bev: I have lots of ideas on new initiatives and programs, but first need to hear from the members - what are we doing that we no longer need to do? What aren't we doing that we should focus on? What should FIAE provide to make your job easier, and your members happy? I strongly believe we need to pause and assess the organization before tackling new projects. To that end, I invite anyone to email me ( firstname.lastname@example.org) with your comments, questions, ideas and recommendations.
Bev's contact information is: Beverly Lynch, President, Food Industry Association Executives, 664 Sandpiper Bay Dr., SW, Sunset Beach, NC 28468. Phone number is (215) 499-6284. Email is: email@example.com.