New Chairwoman Profile: New Era of Leadership

SNAC International’s new chairwoman brings industry experience and vision.

September 10, 2018

by Lily Wachtor

From brand manager to CEO of Wise Foods, Inc., Jolie Weber has been a top snack industry player for 15 years. As SNAC International’s chairwoman, she brings a dynamic background spanning borders and functions, perfectly positioning her to lead an industry and association that’s experiencing rapid transformation.

Ms. Weber joined Wise Foods, Berwick, PA, in 2004 and spent six years in various positions, ascending from marketing manager to vice-president of marketing. After earning her MBA from Emory University, she spent five years as CFO before being named CEO three years ago.

In her role as CFO, she successfully completed the sale of Wise Foods from Pallidum Equity partners to Arca Continental, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world, based in Monterey, Mexico. Subsequently, she orchestrated the merging of Si Señor Snacks, La Miranda, CA, with Wise Foods in 2017. Wise Foods then acquired Deep River Snacks, Deep River, CT, later that year, followed by Carolina Country Snacks, Henderson, NC, in 2018.

Prior to joining Wise Foods, Ms. Weber served as national marketing director and business development manager at Suntory Water Group, Atlanta, and then as core brand manager for Coca-Cola Paraguay.

At SNAXPO18, Dan Sifer, senior vice-president of supply chain and contract manufacturing, Herr Foods, Inc., Nottingham, PA, and former SNAC International chairman, passed the gavel to Ms. Weber to officially begin her one-year term. “It is an honor and a privilege to be standing up here — to be the 2018 chairwoman of SNAC International,” Ms. Weber said at SNAXPO’s Installation of Officers ceremony. “I certainly have some big shoes to fill, but I am humbled by the outpouring of support. I truly look forward to working with and serving all of you.”


WINNING INITIATIVE


In her remarks at SNAXPO18, Ms. Weber encouraged the association keep reinventing itself and stay relevant for its members. “It was 15 years ago that I first got involved in this association. I’ve watched SNAC transform itself in a way that few [associations] have been able to do,” she said, noting that expanding SNAC International’s offerings and positioning the association for growth are some of her top priorities.

To promote diversity in this rapidly evolving industry, SNAC International will inaugurate the Women in Snacks (WinS) network to foster the development of and serve as a resource for promoting female talent. “This is an industry that has predominantly been driven and led by men, but times have changed, and we must embrace diversity and inclusion,” she said.

With women occupying SNAC International’s top two leadership roles — Ms. Weber as chairwoman and Elizabeth Avery, president and CEO — there is no better time for the association to support the empowerment of female professionals coming up the ranks of the snack food industry. “Through the focus and contributions of WinS, we can encourage more women to remain in the industry and help foster their career advancement, all the way up to the boardroom,” Ms. Weber said.

One of SNAC International’s marquee events, the Executive Leadership Forum, to be held Sept. 27-29 in Amelia Island, FL, will serve as the launch site for the WinS network with an invitation-only breakfast featuring discussions with Sarah Alter, CEO, Network of Executive Women, and Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO, PepsiCo. SNAC International plans to host WinS events throughout the year.


POSITIONED FOR SUCCESS


In a time of constantly changing consumer trends and ongoing consolidation, Ms. Weber will lead SNAC International membership with a steadfast focus on rebranding and expansion. “As snacking evolves to encompass new options, we must seek out ways to welcome emerging snack entities that will help us define — and grow — our industry for the future,” Ms. Weber said. “Snacking of the past will not be snacking of the future, and as an organization, we must redefine ourselves to stay relevant for our members.”

SNAXPO provides a venue for veteran and emerging snack suppliers and producers to connect with one another and hear what is trending in the industry. “I want to understand the role that SNAXPO will play in the future of the association and explore all options on how to better serve our constituents through new formats, new content and new ways of engagement,” she said.

Wise Foods’ parent company, Arca Continental, services the US and Mexican snack markets, and with a deep understanding of the Latin American food and beverage market, Ms. Weber will also help develop the SNAXPO19 Latin American Educational Program to enhance value for international attendees. Growing SNAC’s presence internationally will help strengthen the association and position it for continued growth.

Ms. Weber is looking forward to working with the SNAC International team to launch the WinS network, reboot SNAXPO and reenergize the path forward. “It is my honor and privilege to be chairing the organization this year,” she said. “It is my hope to build on the momentum and hard work of past leaders and leave the organization in a stronger position at the end of my term.”

 

 

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