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IDFA CEO and President Connie Tipton to Retire

IDFA CEO and President Connie Tipton to Retire

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Twelve-year President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and triple-decade industry veteran Connie Tipton has announced that this will be her last year serving dairy.

Connie Tipton, President and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association"I have decided to retire at the end of 2016 after 35 fulfilling years representing the dairy foods industry," Tipton said to upwards of 1,000 dairy executives and other industry stakeholders at the annual Dairy Forum at Phoenix’s Arizona Biltmore, according to a press release. "I have had a wonderful career working with this industry and appreciate all of the opportunities I have been given, the friends I have made and the fun I have had."

Before the IDFA even existed, Tipton joined in as a voice for dairy in May of 1981 when she signed on with the Milk Industry Foundation and the International Ice Cream Association. According to the release, it was there that she met her husband, Tip Tipton, who was CEO of the associations from 1988 to 2003.

The couple married in 1983 and became a dynamic duo for the dairy industry, leading a number of significant changes such as:

  • The Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party in 1982
  • The first International Sweetener Colloquium and Dairy Forum
  • The formation of the IDFA
  • Successful passage of the 1990 Farm Bill that established the Milk Processor Education Program

Below is just one recent example of the initiatives and campaigns her leadership has put together on behalf of promoting dairy:

The “Tipton dynasty” that spans a 50+ year portfolio of overlapping tenures, has led to many milestones for the industry. But Tipton saw this as a good time to start a new chapter, looking back, as she announced to the forum.

"It's certainly time for a change," she announced.

As for who will succeed the dairy maven, the IDFA’s transition committee of six executives from member companies will look into selecting a new President and CEO, the association said, considering both internal and external candidates.

  • Jeff Kaneb, Executive Vice President of HP Hood LLC, will serve as Committee Chair. Other committee members include:
  • Ed Mullins, Executive Vice President and CEO, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.
  • Mike Reidy, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Leprino Foods Company and Chairman of IDFA
  • Patricia Stroup, Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, Nestle USA, Inc.
  • Gregg Tanner, CEO of Dean Foods Company
  • Mike Wells, President and CEO of Wells Enterprises, Inc.

We thank Mrs. Tipton for all her years of service and wish her well on this newest chapter.