ARLINGTON, Va.  — ACCA announced that its board of directors has affirmed Barton (Bart) James as president and CEO.

James was named interim president and CEO in September and served in that capacity until the ACCA Annual Conference and Expo, where Steve Schmidt, immediate past chairman for ACCA, made the announcement.

“As ACCA underwent a leadership transition, the board was looking for an individual with a clear vision and plan to ensure ACCA remains the industry’s thought leader for years to come,” Schmidt said. “Throughout his time with ACCA, Bart has proven he is a strategic thinker who will execute important goals set by ACCA’s volunteer leaders. The ACCA Executive Committee was proud to recommend Bart to the board of directors, and we welcome his leadership as our new executive.”

At the closing ceremony, Eric Knaak, ACCA’s 2019 chairman of the board, welcomed James’ leadership and his commitment to robust membership programs and industry collaboration.

“ACCA welcomes Bart as our new president and CEO,” Knaak said. “He has proven to be a thoughtful and detail-oriented leader who has set the stage for ACCA’s brightest years, with a strong focus on member engagement and industry collaboration. The board’s laser-focused objective is to unite our industry partners to ensure the industry is not duplicating resources, and we’re certain that Bart’s ability to foster strong relationships will help our association achieve that goal.”

Prior to joining ACCA in 2016 as senior vice president of government relations, James served as the executive director of the National Mitigation Banking Association, director of advocacy for the Land Trust Alliance, and director of public policy for Ducks Unlimited. During this time, he designed and implemented strategic plans; built political advocacy campaigns; and directed lobbying activities to establish, maintain, and improve relationships with key policy makers.

James has also worked as a staffer with former Congressman Jay Dickey, R-Ark.; a political operative; and he served as a political appointee in the Bush administration at the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

James grew up and received his education in southern Arkansas. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Danielle, and their twin boys, Palmer and Preston.

For more information, please contact ACCA’s director of industry and external relations, Todd Washam, at

Publication date: 3/13/2019

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