The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) CEO Search Committee today selected Leslie G. Sarasin as its president and c.e.o. She will be presented to the FMI board during its October meeting in Boston, and will start at the trade association early November.
"I speak for the entire board when I say that we are very eager to welcome Leslie aboard," said Steven C. Smith, board chair, FMI, and president and c.e.o. of K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. "She is well connected with our industry and brings a wealth of experience to her new post, as well as a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement. I am confident that under her leadership, we will be able to move the association forward at a critical time for our industry."
"The search committee had the opportunity to consider such well-qualified candidates from across the United States," added Ronald D. Pearson, chairman emeritus, Hy-Vee, Inc. and chair, FMI CEO Search Committee.
Sarasin has been president and c.e.o. of the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) since 1999. She also serves as president of the National Yogurt Association, an association that AFFI manages, and has oversight responsibility for the National Frozen Pizza Institute, Frozen Potato Products Institute, International Frozen Food Association, Texas Mexico Frozen Food Council, and Food Processing Environmental Conference. She joined AFFI in 1989.
Previously, she worked as director, government relations, and legal counsel with the National Food Brokers Association and as legal counsel and assistant to the president at Crest International Corp. Early in her career, she worked for Salomon Brothers Investment Bankers and for Senator Wendell H. Ford.
Sarasin holds a JD from the University of San Diego and a BA in economics from Smith College. She is a member of the American Bar Association and is admitted to practice law in California and Washington, D.C. She serves on the board of directors of the Texas Mexico Frozen Food Council and as chairman of the Food Industry Environmental Council. She also serves on the boards of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, the Partnership for Food Safety Education, and the National Chamber Foundation. She is a board member and past treasurer of the U.S. Former Members of Congress Auxiliary. Sarasin also is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Committee of 100.
Prior to this, Sarasin served on the board of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). In 1998, she was awarded ASAE's Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation and was recertified in 2002 and 2005.
Sarasin resides in McLean, Va., with her husband, Former Member of Congress Ronald A. Sarasin, and their son, Douglas.