The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) is calling for nominations from members for names of individuals they wish to see recognized in 2018 for outstanding contributions to the dairy processing industry. Members have through Thursday, August 31 to make their recommendations for the following awards.
The WCMA Cheese Industry Champion award is to be given to industry leaders who, through their everyday business decisions, have created tremendous opportunity for others and spurred industry growth. People to be considered are the CEOs, Directors, Presidents, and Vice Presidents of their companies who may not have cheesemaking obligations, but lead and direct resources. In 2017, Greg Dryer of Saputo Cheese USA and Dallas Wuethrich of Grassland Dairy were honored with this award.
The WCMA Distinguished Service Award recognizes supplier partner members who have played a significant role in building the success of the United States dairy industry, contributing innovations in dairy manufacturing. In 2017, this award went to Ralph Millerbernd of Millerbernd Process Systems and Allan Ver Voort of Ecolab.
The WCMA Vanguard Award, new in 2017, is reserved for cheesemakers or cheese manufacturing employees who are considered ground-breakers for their innovations in day-to-day dairy operations. In its inaugural year, this award was given to Ken Leitner, formerly of Alto Dairy, and Leo Zehren, formerly of Lake-to-Lake Dairy Cooperative.
The WCMA Babcock Award, also new this year, recognizes the contributions of those in education or affiliate organizations to partner with cheesemakers in the pursuit of dairy industry innovation and excellence. In 2017, WCMA honored Dr. Bob Bradley of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with this award.
WCMA members may submit nominations through forms available here or by contacting WCMA Communications and Policy Manager Rebekah Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, the deadline for submissions is Thursday, August 31.
All nominations will be considered by the members of the WCMA Recognition Committee, and final awards determinations made by the WCMA Board of Directors. Awards will be announced early in 2018, and given out at the International Cheese Technology Expo in Milwaukee in April.