Jan 07, 2020

Matt Herrick
(202) 220-3537

IDFA’s Women in Dairy Network brings together established leaders with young professionals

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2020—The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is pleased today to launch the Women in Dairy Network to support a stronger, more diverse future for U.S. dairy. Since IDFA was established 30 years ago to harness the collective voice of the dairy industry, the association has developed and supported many initiatives to build knowledge, expertise, and cultivate leadership across the industry. The Women in Dairy Network continues and builds on that tradition by expanding the presence and influence of women across the dairy industry. See more in IDFA’s video explainer, https://youtu.be/k8SorokzBok, or visit www.idfa.org/womenindairy
The Women in Dairy Network brings together established leaders with young professionals to create a forum that fosters mentoring, supports development, builds networking opportunities, and encourages leadership. The Women in Dairy Network will support the future of the industry in four important ways: 

1. Provide a venue for women to support each other as they advance or start their careers in dairy;

2. Connect established leaders with up-and-coming professionals; 

3. Offer a platform for women to discuss unique or similar challenges, and to work together to create shared strategies for advancing their careers; and

4. Bring together women in all sorts of venues, from virtual to in-person, to learn, mentor and share best practices.  

The concept for the Women in Dairy Network began at Dairy Forum 2019—the dairy industry’s premier event for sharing knowledge, analyzing trends, and networking—during a discussion spearheaded by Cary Frye, IDFA’s senior vice president of regulatory affairs. Since that time, dozens of leaders and passionate professionals from across the dairy industry have offered their support for the Network, including their time and expertise. The Women in Dairy Network will mark its formal launch at Dairy Forum 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona, happening Jan. 26-29, with a series of sessions and special events for the Women in Dairy Network Advisory Council and others interested in joining. 

“IDFA is proud to launch the Women in Dairy Network to build a stronger, more resilient and more diverse dairy industry for the future,” said Tracy Boyle, director of employee relations and administrative services at IDFA and coordinator for the Network. “The Network will empower, encourage and support women in the dairy industry through leadership development, mentoring and networking events.”

“As the one organization committed to advocating to ensure America’s dairy companies and people have the tools and resources they need to innovate and grow, IDFA is so pleased to offer the Women in Dairy Network as a platform to move our industry forward in a collaborative way,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. 

The Network will be guided by an Advisory Council of industry leaders from IDFA member companies and partners. They are: 

Patty Andersen
Vice President of Human Resources & Training
Delkor Systems, Inc.

Courtney Bidney
Director, Global Scientific & Regulatory Affairs

Abigail Blunt
Global Head of Government Affairs
The Kraft Heinz Company

Lynne Bohan
Vice President, Public Relations and Government Affairs

Miriam Erickson Brown
Chair & CEO
Anderson Erickson Dairy Company

Mirjana Curic-Bawden
Principal Scientist
Chr. Hansen, Inc.

Luconda Dager
Velvet Ice Cream Company

Crystal Dohner
Vice President of Growth and Innovation
Crystal Creamery

Heather Draper
The Ice Cream Club, Inc.

Rita Dagdelen-Keskinyan
Managing Director, Head of Consumer Group
Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

Betsy Erdelyi
Managing Director
BMO Harris Bank

Ann Gent
Senior Vice President & General Manager of Food & Beverage N.A.

Julie Kanak
Managing Director-Agribusiness and Food Practice Leader
Diversified Search LLC

Niamh Kelly
Senior Vice President
Glanbia Nutritionals

Rachel Kyllo
Senior Vice President, Innovation & Growth
Kemps LLC

Mary Ledman
Global Strategist
Rabobank – Chicago

Karen Olks
Director of Western Region and Wine & Fermented Beverages
Chr. Hansen, Inc.

Autumn Price
Vice President, Government Relations
Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Elizabeth Riordan
Divisional Vice President, Global Operations Dairy

Shelley Roth
Pierre’s Ice Cream Company

Erin Sharp
Group Vice President, Manufacturing
The Kroger Co.

Patricia Stroup
Global Vice President and Head of Commodities
Nestle S.A.

Sue Taylor
Vice President – Dairy Economics Policy 
Leprino Foods Company

Amy Vodraska
Associate Publisher
Dairy Foods Magazine

Tristan Zuber- Hrobuchak
Sales Account Manager – Culture & Enzymes
Chr. Hansen, Inc.

More information about IDFA’s Women in Dairy Network, including how to join the Network, can be found at https://www.idfa.org/womenindairy or by contacting the Network’s coordinator, Tracy Boyle, at tboyle@idfa.org. 

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3 million jobs that generate $159 billion in wages and $620 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world.