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Obituary: Barbara McConnell, Former NJFC President

Industry veteran Barbara McConnell died Oct. 21 at the age of 81. McConnell served as president of the New Jersey Food Council from 1981 to 1991 as well as serving as executive director of the Food Industry Association of Executives.

“Barbara was a fierce advocate for the food industry and an effective leader for the Food Council,” said Linda Doherty, president of the NJ Food Council and vice president of the NJCCC in local news reports. “On a personal level, Barbara was an inspiration and role model to me. Even as a Southern Belle from Tennessee, she had the fiery spirit of a Jersey Girl.”

McConnell was born in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Oct. 5, 1935. After graduation from Tennessee Technological University, she was one of two female legislative assistants in the House of Representatives before serving as a Huntersdon County Assemblywoman. She also ran in the 1981 Democratic primary for New Jersey governor and served as a commissioner of Commerce and Economic Development in the administration of New Jersey Governor James Florio after serving as NJFC president.

In 1994, she started the McConnell Group, which later merged with the MBI-GluckShaw Public Affairs Group, of which she was a principal.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation, 2100 Wescott Drive, Flemington, N.J. 08822, or SAFE in Hunterdon, 47 East Main St., Flemington, N.J. 08822.

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