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Neophytes and Veterans: Advocacy Days Needs Your Voice

Jun 02, 2016
Crystal Dohner is responsible for business development at Crystal Creamery.

Crystal Dohner of Crystal Creamery walked the halls of Congress with IDFA colleagues and staff for the first time last June. Corrinne Colombo Reed of International Dairy Queen Inc. and Brian Perry of Perry’s Ice Cream Company, Inc., attend every year to connect with influential congressional leaders and staff over bowls of ice cream. All three will be returning this month for Advocacy Days, IDFA’s annual legislative fly-in, which will be held June 14-15 in Washington, D.C.

Crystal Dohner
“One of the first things our company did as a new IDFA member was to begin participating in Advocacy Days,” said Crystal Dohner, who is responsible for business development at Crystal Creamery. “We have found it a tremendously valuable use of our time.”


Dohner (left) pictured with Heather Draper, director of The Ice Cream
Club, Inc., during Advocacy Days in 2015.

Corrinne Colombo Reed
“I have been attending Advocacy Days – formerly known as the Washington Conference – for years and cannot emphasize enough the importance of participating for every IDFA member,” said Colombo Reed, vice president, dairy products, at International Dairy Queen, Inc. “All companies should send one or more executives to be heard on important dairy issues.”


Columbo Reed met with Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) over ice cream.

Brian Perry
“Reconnecting in person with my representatives each year has been critical in maintaining those relationships,” said Brian Perry, executive vice president of Perry’s Ice Cream. “When an issue comes up, the groundwork has already been laid for me to engage that congressional office.”


(L to R) David Ahlem of Hilmar Chese Company, Perry  and Tom
Arata of Ecolab stopped by the office of Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
last year during Advocacy Days.

Advocacy Days will include many popular events from the past, including a briefing by IDFA’s top policy experts on pending legislation that will affect dairy businesses and face-to-face meetings with members of Congress and administration officials. The two-day conference will close with the 34th annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party.

“The opportunity to sit down face-to-face with legislators and discuss the real-world impact of policies crafted in Washington on our business has been invaluable,” Dohner added.

IDFA's 2016 Advocacy Days will be held at the Renaissance Downtown Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C. Advocacy Days provides an opportunity for access to and networking with members of Congress, administration and regulatory representatives.

Members with questions regarding the conference agenda or the scheduling of Capitol Hill meetings may contact Ashley Burch, IDFA director of political programs, at or (202) 220-3534.

For information about registration or hotel reservations, contact Maria Velasco, IDFA meetings coordinator and registrar, at or (202) 220-3524.

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