by Terence Baker | January 01, 2005

Judi Barth"Because many of our exhibits feature snacks, we’ve been affected by stricter bioterrorism measures."

Judi Barth is vice president of marketing and member programs for the Alexandria, Va.-based Snack Food Association, founded in 1937 as the Potato Chip Institute and today representing more than 800 food manufacturers worldwide. Barth, who lives in Chevy Chase, Md., has worked for the association for almost 25 years and in her current position since 1994.

What does your job entail? My position, I believe, is the nerve center of the association, a role that brings together our membership, which includes the giants of the industry as well as mom-and-pop concerns. I also arrange meetings for the association’s top and middle management, as well as the annual Pretzel Seminar. I was director of advertising before taking up this post.

What are some major issues for your membership? At our annual convention, called SNAXPO, some recent hot-button topics have included branding, food safety and new technology.

As an international association, what new challenges have you faced? We have seen international attendance drop due to world events. One meeting was held in the States the day after the Madrid train bombing; other events experienced two direct hits from this year’s Florida hurricanes, and in 2003, SNAXPO finished the same day as the Iraq War started. Foreign countries are sending fewer people. Also, because many of our exhibits feature the snacks themselves, we’ve been affected by stricter bioterrorism measures.