Barbara Belmont Receives National Honor
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (November 30, 2002) – Barbara S. Belmont, CAE, Executive Director of the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA) and Child Nutrition Foundation, has been named the Association Trends 2002 Association Executive of the Year.
Belmont, is the 24th executive and only the 3rd woman to receive the honor, which recognizes excellence and leadership among executives in the national association community. She was honored at the annual Association Trends Awards Program, at the Capital Hilton in Washington.
“I couldn’t be more pleased that Barbara is this year’s executive of the year,” Trends publisher Jill M. Cornish, said. “She encompasses everything excellent about the association profession, and she’s come this far while successfully facing the challenge of single motherhood. What an incredible woman!”
Belmont has headed the ASFSA since 1993. The association, with over 55,000 members, was founded in 1946. “Serving an association with a mission that you feel is important is one of the most satisfying aspects of being an association executive. The American School Food Service Association is there to see that all children have access to healthy meals and that no child goes hungry.” Belmont said.
Belmont began her association career with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), starting as an associate editor in publications. She was then promoted to promotion coordinator for all the special interest councils. This was followed by being selected as the Executive Director for the Executive Officers Council consisting of more than 600 state and local home builder assn execs. While at NAHB, Belmont served as a staff VP of marketing, association services, membership and special industry councils. She also was senior marketing VP for Smart House, an NAHB for-profit subsidiary. Before entering the profession of association management, she was a history and civics teacher in St. Louis.
“I found that staying the course paid off,” she said. “I worked for NAHB from 1978 for over 14 years and there were days of anger, frustration, stress and fairness issues, but I had a wonderful mentor who made me believe that people do recognize good work and eventually the right things happen.”
She built her career while raising her two children under the strains of single parenthood. Today daughter Erin Ranee McCahill works for BBC Television in London, and daughter Jennifer Lauren Soloway is a financial analyst for Comark in Chicago. She also is completing her MBA. “It is possible to build a successful association career while being a single parent. I didn’t say easy, but possible. My daughters were 8 and 7 when I went to work for the National Association of Home Builders,” Belmont said.
In her spare time, Belmont serves as secretary-treasurer of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and is a director on the Friends of the World Food Programme executive board. She has chaired and served on numerous committees for both ASAE and the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives (GWSAE). Belmont was a recipient of the GWSAE Award of Excellence in Education, the ASAE Innovative Programs education award and 2 ASAE Gold Circle Awards.
She earned a BA in Social Science and an MA in American History from the University of Colorado. She has been a certified association executive since 1986.
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