Whether navigating through unanticipated surges or closures, 2020 has been a year which has truly tested our industry, calling for leaders to strategize and restrategize. Now, the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) is looking to recognize outstanding contributions to the dairy processing industry with one of several awards in leadership.
The WCMA Cheese Industry Champion Award
Given to industry leaders who, through their everyday business decisions, have created tremendous opportunity for others and spurred industry growth. WCMA noted that those to be considered are CEOs, Directors, Presidents, and Vice Presidents of companies who may not have cheesemaking obligations but lead and direct resources.
The 2020 honorees of this award were Max Gonzenbach and Rudy Nef of Valley Queen Cheese Factory and Wilbur Nielsen of Wapsie Valley Creamery.
The WCMA Distinguished Service Award
This title recognizes supplier partner members who have played a significant role in building the success of the United States dairy industry, contributing innovations in dairy.
The 2020 honorees of this award were David Carpenter of Chr. Hansen, Inc. and Dick Groves of the Cheese Reporter.
The WCMA Vanguard Award
Reserved for cheesemakers or cheese manufacturing employees, this is for those who are considered groundbreakers for their innovations in day-to-day dairy operations.
The 2020 honorees of this award were Carl Buell of Leprino and Tom Everson of Grande Cheese Company.
The WCMA Babcock Award
This award recognizes contributions of those in education or affiliate organizations who partner with cheesemakers in the pursuit of dairy industry innovation and excellence.
The 2020 honorees of this award were Dr. Floyd Bodyfelt of Oregon State University and Dr. Norm Olson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Nominations to be considered for formal recognition in 2021 are being accepted by WCMA now through Tuesday, August 25, according to a press release, with winners being presented with their awards at CheeseExpo 2021, April 6–8, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
All nominations will be considered in September by the members of the WCMA Recognition Committee, before the WCMA Board of Directors make final awards determinations in December.
Now is the time to recognize the torchbearers who continue to lead us through these challenging times.