Karen H. Brown, senior VP of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and corporate secretary to the FMI Board of Directors, announced her retirement effective Jan. 1.
“Karen committed the span of her career to supporting the success of food retailers and wholesalers. Most important, she graciously served the FMI Board of Directors to help them achieve their goals,” said Tim Hammonds, president and CEO, FMI. “Her innovative contributions fostered an understanding and appreciation of the role and value of the industry with the media, government, nonprofit organizations and NGOs.”
Brown oversees FMI’s internal and external communications and marketing functions, issues advocacy, information services, food-safety programs and member services. She coordinates the activities of FMI Board task forces and committees. Brown has managed the industry’s policy initiatives in animal welfare, genetically modified foods, HIV/AIDS, diversity and community relations. She has provided extensive crisis communications and issues-management counsel to FMI members.
Before her appointment as senior VP, Brown was VP, communications (1981 to 1994), and VP, consumer affairs (1978 to 1981), responsible for creating FMI’s consumer affairs program. Prior to the 1977 merger of the National Association of Food Chains and the Super Market Institute that formed FMI, Brown was a member of the public affairs staff of the National Association of Food Chains.
Brown has participated on numerous government and industry advisory groups, including USDA’s National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Business Response to AIDS. She served on the boards of Second Harvest and the National AIDS Fund.
“I feel very fortunate to have been able to work in this great industry for all of my adult life,” Brown said. “I have been presented with outstanding opportunities for personal and professional growth, and I have come to know people of great integrity who have generously shared their knowledge and their friendship. I can honestly say there has never been one dull moment.”