Ed Mullins is Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Prairie Farms Dairy. He began his career with Prairie Farms in 1980 and is only the fourth chief executive in the 80-year history of the Illinois based farmer-owned dairy cooperative. Before his appointment to the CEO position in 2006, Mullins served in various key executive management positions within the company.
Mullins sits on several industry-related boards including IDFA, IICA, MilkPEP, Milk Industry Foundation, and Missouri Grocers Association. In July 2018, he was inducted into the Missouri Grocers Association Hall of Fame. In 2014, Mullins received the IDFA Soaring Eagle Award for his extraordinary leadership in the dairy industry.
Mike Wells started working in the family business in 1977 as a route driver while working his way through college and joined the Blue Bunny sales force in 1981 upon graduation with a BS in Business Administration. Early in his management career, Mike held various positions culminating with a series of Sr. management positions which eventually led to his title as COO in 2007. On November 13, 2007, Mike assumed his current position as President and CEO of Wells and today he continues to lead the family’s 100-year-old privately held company.
Mike is a recognized leader having received the Ernst and Young Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year for the central region, the Edward Deming Entrepreneurial and business excellence award, and the International Dairy Foods Associations Soaring Eagle leadership award. Mike serves on the International Dairy Foods Association Executive Council and is Chair of the International Dairy Foods Association ice cream board. He is the past President of the Iowa Dairy Foods Association, past Chair of the International Ice Cream Association, and past Chair of the Iowa Business Council. Mike is also a member of the Retail Owned Food Dealers Association, the Iowa Grocers Association, and the International Association of Ice Cream Distributors and Vendors.
Rich Draper is the CEO and Co-founder of The Ice Cream Club, Inc. headquartered in Boynton Beach, FL. Starting in 1982 with a single ice cream scoop shop, The Ice Cream Club, Inc. has steadily grown to become the leading Regional Manufacturer and Distributor of premium ice cream and related products to food service accounts throughout the Southeastern United States and Caribbean Islands. The Ice Cream Club, Inc. supplies over 650 ice cream shops, high-end restaurants, resorts and retirement communities. Pints of their premium ice cream are available direct to the customer via ecommerce.
Rich serves on the International Dairy Foods Association Executive Council and as Vice Chairman of the International Dairy Foods Association Ice Cream Board. In addition, he is the Interim Chairman of All Star Purchasing. He is past Chairman of the National Ice Cream Retailers Association, Suppliers Division.
Rich and The Ice Cream Club, Inc. support numerous organizations including the March of Dimes, the Literacy Coalition, Alzheimer Association, Diabetes Association, Hospice by the Sea and local police and schools.
Ken Jorgensen is an eleven-year H-E-B Partner and is currently the Director of Dairy Operations within the Manufacturing Division. He has worked in the Dairy industry for 34 years across the United States ranging from Washington to Florida and resides in Texas. The foundation of his experience comes from 11 years as a Plant Engineer. Ken and his team provide many of the staple products for our H-E-B store operations including: milk, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, orange juice, and a number of UHT products.
Ken received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Boise State University. He has held Refrigeration and Boiler Licenses along with completing the first year of the Electricians Apprentice Program in the Pacific Northwest.
Ken is a past President of the Florida Dairy Products Association and is currently a board member serving on IDFA’s International Ice Cream Association, The Texas Dairy Products Institute in addition to serving as a MilkPEP Industry Representative. Ken has coached a wide range of sports: hockey, baseball, and basketball to name a few.
Ken is supported by Becky and kids, Andrew, Jamee, Katelyn, and Kyle. The family enjoys going to the gym, golfing, hunting and traveling to new places.
Shelley Roth is President of Pierre’s Ice Cream Company, an 86-year-old regional ice cream manufacturer and distributor.
Pierre’s products are sold throughout Ohio, several other states, and China. The company also manufactures private label lines for several local and national retail chains as well as distributes many national brands of ice cream.
Since 1932, Pierre’s has remained in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio; with its original, classic recipes as daily reminders of the company's dedication to quality.
Shelley has been active in numerous community organizations, and supports the revitalization of Cleveland’s neighborhoods in many ways. Over the past 25 years, the company invested in new buildings for its production, distribution and headquarters on an 8-acre brownfield site at E. 65th and Euclid Avenue. These investments have sustained the company’s operation as well as demonstrated Pierre’s commitment and leadership in revitalization and redevelopment of a once blighted urban neighborhood.
Shelley is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland. In 1989 and 1990, Shelley served as chairman of the MidTown Corridor. She has served on the board of directors of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation since 1996, and chaired that board from 2004 – 2006. Presently, Shelley serves on the boards of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cuyahoga Community College Foundation and the International Ice Cream Association.
Shelley, and her husband of 36 years, Bruce Schwartz, live in Shaker Heights. She received a B.B.A. degree from the University of Michigan.
Heather has served as Director of The Ice Cream Club®, headquartered in Boynton Beach, Florida since 2008. Prior to joining The Ice Cream Club® she spent 20 years in the banking industry. She worked her way up the ranks to serving as the South Florida President of Mercantile Bank (now part of TD Bank). Since joining the dairy industry she has become actively involved in International Dairy Foods Association, All Star Dairy Association and National Ice Cream Retailers Association.
Starting in 1982 with a single ice cream scoop shop, The Ice Cream Club, Inc. has steadily grown to become the leading Regional Manufacturer and Distributor of premium ice cream and related products to food service accounts throughout the Southeastern United States and Caribbean Islands. The Ice Cream Club, Inc. supplies over 650 ice cream shops, high-end restaurants, resorts and retirement communities. Pints of their premium ice cream are available direct to the customer via ecommerce.
Heather serves on the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) Political Action Committee (PAC) having served as the 2016 Chair. She is a member of the International Ice Cream Association (IICA) Listeria Food Safety Task Force and serves on the Artisan Ice Cream Food Safety Advisory Team. In addition, she was appointed by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and the American Cheese Society to serve on the Artisan Cheese Dairy Foods Safety Advisory Committee.
Heather and The Ice Cream Club, Inc. support numerous organizations including the March of Dimes, the Literacy Coalition, Alzheimer Association, Diabetes Association, Hospice by the Sea and local police and schools.
Ricky Dickson currently serves as CEO and president of Blue Bell Creameries, and as such, he’s in charge of the overall management and strategic direction of the organization.
Ricky graduated from Baylor University with a BBA in Marketing and Journalism.
He began his career with Blue Bell on January 1, 1981, as a territory manager in Dallas, Texas. In 1982, he moved to Fort Worth to become sales manager and, in 1984 was promoted to branch manager in San Antonio. He transferred to Oklahoma City and Tulsa when each of those branches opened. In 1992, Ricky was named assistant Dallas/Fort Worth division manager. He transferred to Kansas City as branch manager in 1993 and returned to Tulsa later that year. In 1994, he was named Midwest division manager. Four years later, he became general manager of the Broken Arrow plant yet remained involved in sales, particularly with the Wal-Mart account. He was named general sales manager in 2003. In 2010, he was appointed to vice president of sales and marketing, as well as to serve as a director on the Blue Bell Board of Directors. In 2017, he was promoted to president, and in 2019, he was elected CEO and president of the Company.
Ricky has always been involved in community organizations and continues to do so. While living in Oklahoma, he served two terms on the board of directors of the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce. He has been a Rotary member since 1990, was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 2009, and is past president of the Rotary Club of Washington County. Ricky is president of Faith Mission, a local ecumenical Christian based non-profit organization created to assist the homeless and working poor in the community, and has been involved with the organization since 2006. Ricky is a member of the Dairy Products Institute of Texas Board as well as the International Dairy Food Association Ice Cream Board.
He was ordained as a Deacon at the First Baptist Church in San Antonio in 1987 and now serves as a Deacon at Central Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas.
Ricky and his lovely wife Anita have five children and seven grandchildren.
Cary Grover currently serves as General Manager for Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company, LLC, a privately-held, rapidly growing ice cream manufacturer with distribution in 12 states.
Prior to joining Hudsonville in 2012, Cary served as Vice President of Manufacturing at Schwan’s Company, where he was responsible for the ice cream, beverage and plastics plant manufacturing operations in Marshall, Minnesota. Prior roles at Schwan’s Company also included Senior Director of Purchasing, Senior Director of Development, Director of Project Execution, and Director of Environmental, Health and Safety.
Cary earned a B.S. degree in Biology from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, as well as a M.S. degree in Resource Policy and Planning from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Cary and his wife Christine reside in Holland, Michigan. They have three children, Josh (Centreville, VA), Julie (Minneapolis, MN) and Jesse (Kalamazoo, MI).
Robert Bohn is a 25-year veteran of Tetra Pak’s Ice Cream Processing sales team, serving the U.S. market. During his career, Bohn has participated in the sales, engineering and management of ice cream, aseptic and food packaging projects at plants around the world, both as a solution supplier and food products producer. His role at Tetra Pak coincided with the launch of Tetra Pak’s Pleasant Prairie, WI ice cream packaging production facility in 1995, was account responsible for the inaugural sale of their novel nested half gallon “Scround” Regal™ package in 1996 and ice cream equipment sales thereafter.
Prior to assuming his role at Tetra Pak, Bohn served as Sales Manager of the International Division of APV Crepaco. This followed a position as Corporate Engineer at Beatrice Foods Chicago headquarters and Project Engineer at the Cherry Burrell Corporation in Cedar Rapids, IA, serving both roles in their international departments. During his tenure at Beatrice Foods he worked closely with Canadian Provincial authorities to re-write and adopt new Pasteurized Milk production standards along the lines of the U.S. P.M.O., implementing the changes across Beatrice’s 14-plant network. His early career experiences included microbiology work with the U.S.D.A. Dairy Grading Labs, plant QA technician and plant production foreman.
Bohn is a Professional Member of the Institute of Food Technologists, patent holder, earned a degree in Food Science from the University of Illinois and is a graduate of the International School of Brussels, Belgium.
George Holder serves as president of the Hershey Creamery Company. Mr. Holder joined the company full time in 1971 after completion of college. He has served as production manager, sales manager, and general manager before being named president in 1990.
Mr. Holder became Chairman of the board in 2009 and is the third George Holder to run the company since 1930.
Luconda Dager is the president of the Velvet Ice Cream Company and the fourth generation of her family to lead the Utica, Ohio-based ice cream manufacturer. As president, she oversees all aspects of the 105-year-old company, which has 125 employees and produces and distributes more than five million gallons of ice cream each year.
Before joining the family business in 1994, Luconda spent three years in New York working in the retail fashion industry. She became the president of Velvet Ice Cream in 2009.
Luconda serves on the Boards of Directors of the International Dairy Foods Association; the Midwest Dairy Foods Association; and The Woodward Local Food Initiative. She is also a trustee for the Hervey Memorial Library in Utica, Ohio.
The Dager Family and Velvet Ice Cream have a long history of supporting philanthropic causes in the communities they serve. For the past several years, the Velvet Ice Cream Company has hosted and supported the annual Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival. Luconda has also raised funds for and ridden in the Pelotonia Bike Rally, which benefits cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Luconda is a frequent speaker and author on the dairy industry and on small, family business issues. She is also active in the Conway Center for Family Business. In 2007, she was named to the Columbus Business First "Forty Under Forty" list of influential business leaders.
Growing up in the area, Luconda attended St. Francis de Sales School and graduated from Newark Catholic High School. She studied business at University of St. Frances in Ft. Wayne, IN and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1991 from Xavier University in Cincinnati. She and her husband, Bill, live in Mt. Vernon, Ohio and have a daughter, Lauren, age 14.
Bruce Daily currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for All Star Purchasing, a member owned group purchasing organization (GPO). All Star combines the volume of their members to help them save money on the items they purchase for their business. All Star provides value to its members through five purchasing categories; packaging, ingredients, logistics, fleet and facility supplies.
Bruce joined All Star Purchasing in 2007 after spending over twenty years at Publix Super Markets, Inc. Bruce held many positions at Publix, including Purchasing Manager for their three dairy plants and Buyer for the retail dairy category.
He graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 1991 with a B.A. in business, with a focus on management.
Bruce and his wife Mette reside in Lexington, Kentucky. They have three children, Luke, Lily and Sophia.
Randy Rich is the president and CEO of Rich Ice Cream Company. Although he is the fourth generation of his family to lead the “Rich’s Ice Cream” brand forward, his plans growing up were not to go into the family business. After a successful stint as a marketing executive at a fortune 500 company, the family business reached out for assistance in marketing and purchasing areas, and a “one year trial” job became a lifetime passion. Twenty years later, the brand has gone from a regional player to an international brand, and is leading the way in development of “better for you” school products.
Randy has a BA in Business and Journalism from Baylor University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Florida. He is active in his church and community and spends most of his spare time with his wife raising his two daughters.
Favorite Flavor: Mint-Ting-A-Ling (Mint Chocolate Chip)
Brian Perry is a fourth-generation member of this 100-year-old family business started by his great grandfather, H. Morton Perry. Brian brings a wealth of operational experience, company heritage, and industry relations expertise as executive vice president. Brian serves as liaison to the industry and community, and provides governmental representation for the company.
His 35+ years of experience, numerous contacts, and an understanding of how to get things done make him the company’s “go-to guy”.
Brian holds an AAS from Alfred State College and a BS in Business Administration from Canisius College.
Brian most recently served as the Chairman for the International Ice Cream Association along with several other IICA and IDFA positions. In January 2013, Brian was presented with the 2013 Soaring Eagle Award, the same award presented to his father, Tom, in 1999. The award recognizes the extraordinary service of leaders in the dairy industry and those who have provided exemplary leadership to the IDFA. He is also a firm believer in giving back to the community and volunteers his time to organizations such as the Akron Lions Club, the Village of Akron Planning Board, and to the Akron Central School Pathways Program. He was also instrumental in bringing Junior Achievement courses and the Family Services Center to the Akron Central School.
Brian had a vision to start a local Industrial Refrigeration school in Western New York and with the help of former Senator Mary Lou Rath and William Mariani, past President of Erie Community College, the first classes began January 2005. In 2008, he worked with the New York State Thruway Authority and State Representatives to pass a bill allowing tractor trailer doubles to exit off the I-90 at Pembroke. Brian, Jayne, and their daughter Jenna, enjoy helping in the community and taking family excursions together.
Crystal is currently the Vice President of Growth & Innovation for Crystal Creamery based in Modesto, CA. Crystal Creamery is privately owned and operated by the Foster Family. The operation is one of the few West of the Mississippi that is fully integrated from farm to delivery truck. The company owns 5 of its own farms with much of the remaining milk sourced from independent farmers.
In the Growth & Innovation role, Crystal focuses her efforts on business development of value-added dairy and ice cream products with recent attention to the Organic category and clean label product and program execution. She also directly manages business and expansion of key customers that are in growth mode and looking to expand through product revolution. Crystal has worked in the dairy industry her entire career having started as a Territory Manager at a regional dairy (Penn Dairies) soon after college and her most recent role prior to Crystal Creamery was as the Senior Vice President – Retail/Club/FS/Ingredients/PL/International for Alouette Cheese USA (now Savencia) for 12 years.
Crystal holds a BS in Business Administration from Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown PA and earned a Leadership Certificate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
She strongly supports the Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as Be the Match Foundation.
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