International Dairy Foods Association Searches for New CEO

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Jan 25, 2016

Next year, for the first time in its history, the International Dairy Foods Assn. will be headed by someone whose last name is not Tipton.

Connie Tipton, president and CEO of IDFA, announced today (Jan. 25) that she will retire at the end of this year after 35 years of service to the dairy industry. The association's board of directors has formed a committee to find her successor.

“As the main voice of IDFA and dairy foods companies in Washington, D.C., Connie has earned the respect and admiration of all who have worked with her throughout her tenure,” said Jeff Kaneb, executive vice president of HP Hood LLC and chairman of the transition committee. “She will leave some mighty big shoes to fill, and we’ll certainly miss her valuable insight, expertise, guidance and dedication."

Tipton joined the staff of the Milk Industry Foundation and the International Ice Cream Assn. in May of 1981, before IDFA existed. That’s where she met her late husband, Linwood "Tip" Tipton, and they married in 1983. Tip Tipton became CEO of the predecessor associations in 1988, and remained CEO when IDFA was formed in 1990, bringing together Milk Industry Foundation, the International Ice Cream Association and the National Cheese Institute.

Connie Tipton took over the top job upon Tip's retirement in 2003. Together, they were instrumental in creating the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) as part of the 1990 Farm Bill.

In addition to Kaneb, the members of the search committee are Ed Mullins, executive vice president and CEO, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc.; Mike Reidy, senior vice president of corporate affairs, Leprino Foods Co., and chairman of IDFA; Patricia Stroup, vice president and chief procurement officer, Nestle USA Inc.; Gregg Tanner, CEO of Dean Foods Co.; and Mike Wells, president and CEO of Wells Enterprises Inc. They said both internal and external candidates will be considered.

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