(Washington, D.C. — December 22, 2008) Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, has been named the 2009 Association Executive of the Year by Association TRENDS magazine. Tipton is the 31st executive to be honored with this title and will be recognized at a special luncheon saluting association excellence on February 24.
"Connie Tipton is a wonderful example for young association professionals aspiring to move up the ladder," said Jill Cornish, publisher of Association TRENDS. "She has worked hard to achieve the reputation as one of the most formidable lobbyists in Washington, highly regarded by her peers. She is the perfect choice for association executive of the year."
After majoring in journalism at Ohio State University, Tipton began her career as a special gifts director for the United Way of Columbus, Ohio, and then as a development officer with the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. She joined IDFA in 1981 and has been a senior executive for nearly 20 years.
Tipton has managed activities in virtually every area of the association, including: legislative and international affairs, economic policy analysis, communications and public relations, marketing programs, education and training, trade shows, and office management; in addition to involvement on strategy, policy and budgeting for the overall management of the organization. She was promoted to vice president in 1989, to senior vice president in 1994 and to senior group vice president in 1999. She was promoted to executive vice president in January 2003 and took over as the association's president and CEO one year later.
During her tenure, Tipton has helped to launch such well-known programs as the annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party, has assisted in passing legislation to create the famous "milk mustache" campaign and other positive measures for the industry, and has helped promote policies that allow greater competition and growth in dairy markets.
Tipton also helped to build the industry's political action committee — Ice Cream, Milk & Cheese PAC — and, in 2002, was selected by two Capitol Hill publications as one of the top trade association lobbyists in Washington.
She serves on numerous committees and boards in Washington, D.C., many related to agriculture policy, with special emphasis on dairy and sugar policies. In addition, Tipton serves on the boards of BIPAC, a business-oriented political action committee; the Bryce Harlow Foundation, a group that provides scholarships and leadership in professional advocacy; and the Capitol Hill Day School.
She and her husband, E. Linwood "Tip" Tipton, who retired as IDFA CEO in 2003, live on Capitol Hill.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 530 companies representing a $100-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI), and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at www.idfa.org