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Call for Nominations: National Cheese Institute's 2016 Laureate Award

Aug 12, 2015

Contact: Marti Pupillo
(202) 220-3535

(Washington, D.C. – August 12, 2015) For nearly 30 years, the National Cheese Institute has honored major contributors to the cheese manufacturing industry. From fostering industry-wide efforts to elevate dairy food safety, discovering chemical and microbiological breakthroughs in formulation and creating innovations in packaging that are now the industry standard, previous winners represent the revolutionaries of their craft.

Who should the next winner be?

The National Cheese Institute is now accepting nominations for its highest honor, the NCI Laureate Award. The award winner will be recognized at a special ceremony during IDFA's Dairy Forum 2016, January 24-27, at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Nominations must be submitted by August 28, 2015, and there is no fee to enter.

Candidates should be business or academic leaders who have made significant, prolonged contributions to the development and growth of the cheese industry. The award recipient is selected by a panel of industry professionals based on the nominee's overall career achievements.

“The winners of the Laureate Award are the innovators, the drivers and the dedicated cheesemakers that have shaped the U.S. cheese industry into the successful and growing industry it is today, “said Connie Tipton, NCI president and CEO. "We look forward to celebrating these individual contributions with the presentation of the 2016 award."

Past Winners

Award winners have ranged from cheese company founders and marketers to dairy microbiologists. Previous winners of the NCI Laureate Award include Fritz Leeman, Robert G. Bush, Larry Jensen, Lou Gentine, Emanuele (Lino) Saputo, Mark Johnson, Jerome Schuman, Larry Ferguson, John Jeter, Mark Davis, Wes Allen, Elmer Marth, Max Gonzenbach, Rudy Nef, Betsy Holden, Don Menzner, Don Storhoff, Lester Kielsmeier, Hans Epprecht, Norm Olson, Vince Zehren, Jack Budahn, Leonard Gentine Sr., Raymond Goldbach, Harold Steinke, John Nelson and Dave Nusbaum.

This year's winner will receive free registration, airfare and hotel accommodations to IDFA's Dairy Forum, January 24-27, 2016, at the Arizona Biltmore in attend the awards ceremony. (The winner will be responsible for all tax liabilities.) IDFA's Dairy Forum is widely regarded as the most important conference of the year for dairy processors, producers, suppliers and policy makers.

For more information, contact Tracy Boyle, IDFA director of boards, employee relations and administrative services, at or download the nomination form.  

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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 550 companies within a $125-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 nearly 200 dairy processing members run nearly 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.

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