FEMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award is a recognition opportunity created by the Board of Governors to spotlight individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to FEMA and the flavor industry over an extensive career. The award is intended to celebrate professionals who firmly commit to FEMA’s mission stewardship and are highly regarded as role models and mentors to industry colleagues.


2024 Honoree


Howard Smith Jr.

Howard Smith Jr.

Virginia Dare

Howard Smith, Jr. has served as Virginia Dare’s president since 2000. He is the fourth generation of his family to be president of the company and FEMA. Howard started in the industry almost 40 years ago and has played an active role in FEMA since his career began. He is a past President of FEMA, having served on the Board of Governors from 2002 to 2014 and as the President from 2008 to 2009, coinciding with FEMA’s 100th anniversary. Howard currently serves as the FEMA representative to the IOFI Board and was president of IOFI from 2016 to 2018. His son, Christopher, is the fifth generation to be involved in Virginia Dare, where he serves as Executive Vice President. For the past four decades, Howard has devoted an immense amount of time to advancing the flavor industry through his service and leadership at Virginia Dare, FEMA, and IOFI and as a strong supporter of industry volunteerism.

Howard will be honored at the Annual Leadership Conference (ALC) on April 30 in Isle of Palms, Charleston, SC.


Past Award Winners

  • 2023: James Heinz, Bell Flavors & Fragrances