The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) this week welcomed Sara Schmidt as its new Office and Member Service Coordinator, a position which will support WCMA’s expanded array of benefits to member organizations. Schmidt will focus on office management, accounting, and handle special projects, including WCMA’s annual member directory and scholarship program.
WCMA’s Caitlin Peirick has recently been promoted to the role of Events Manager and will work closely with Events Director Judy Keller to plan and run the Wisconsin Cheese Industry Conference and International Cheese Technology Expo. Both events have grown exponentially in recent years, with nearly 3,800 people participating in ICTE 2018.
“Nowhere else in the world will you find the educational seminars, networking opportunities, and showcase of technology, goods, and services that our shows deliver,” said John Umhoefer, WCMA Executive Director. “As WCMA continues to grow these events—and other programs—we’re devoting resources to ensure members continue to enjoy personal, prompt attention to their questions and suggestions.”
Umhoefer notes WCMA’s expanded member services include the recent launch of the new Dairy Food Safety Alliance, the Association’s joint effort with the Center for Dairy Research and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin to provide food safety professionals with the latest regulatory information and resources. The Association’s Young Professionals group also continues to grow, connecting the dairy processing industry’s next generation. In 2017, WCMA partnered with technical colleges to offer management training courses designed to help members retain their best and brightest employees and maximize their leadership skills. A revamped newsletter and energetic advocacy efforts at the state and local levels have also proven valuable to members.
“WCMA continues to evolve to meet our members’ changing needs,” said Umhoefer. “We’re proud to be here to help dairy processors and manufacturers—as well as their trusted supplier partners—survive and thrive in a challenging global marketplace.”
WCMA now serves 103 dairy companies and cooperatives operating 259 facilities in 22 states, backed by 493 companies that supply equipment and services to the dairy industry. To learn more about WCMA services and membership, visit WisCheeseMakers.org.