WCMA Expands Board, Electing New Officers and Directors

Posted By: Rebekah Sweeney WCMA News,

Meeting the needs of a growing membership, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) has completed elections to fill seven new Board of Directors seats. In addition, WCMA officers were selected April 16, 2024 to assume leadership in the Association’s upcoming fiscal year.

Tim Omer, President, Managing Director at Emmi Roth USA in Stoughton, WI, has been reelected WCMA President. Mike Sipple, VP Manufacturing with Agropur in Appleton, WI, was elected First Vice President. Jeff Gentine, President & CEO, Masters Gallery Foods in Plymouth, WI, was selected for the Second Vice President role. Kim Heiman, President, Nasonville Dairy in Marshfield, WI, returns as WCMA Treasurer and Chris Roelli, owner, Roelli Cheese in Shullsburg, WI, has been elected Secretary.  These five officers comprise WCMA’s Executive Committee.

WCMA represents dairy industry members with manufacturing and processing facilities in 34 states.  The WCMA Board voted in 2023 to increase the number of regional manufacturer representatives on the Board, as well as add a new seat for processor and marketer members and a new seat for supplier members.

This expansion increased Western U.S. Board seats from two to four. On April 16, the WCMA Board of Directors certified the results of two member elections that added Mindy Berrey, Senior Director of Sales, Global Dairy Ingredients with Land’ O’ Lakes Inc. in Arden Hills, MN, and Wilf Costello, Chief Commercial Officer – Cheese with Glanbia Nutritionals in Twin Falls, ID, as new members of the WCMA Board.

WCMA added a second Eastern U.S. seat to its Board of Directors and Mark Federico, owner of Narragansett Creamery in Providence, RI, won election to the Board.

WCMA added a new seat for processor and marketer members of the Association and Kurt Epprecht, Vice President of Cheese Quality & Dairy Policy with Great Lakes Cheese Inc. in Hiram, OH, was selected in Board voting.

The WCMA Board expansion also added a new supplier member seat. Betsy Erdelyi, Managing Director, BMO Bank N.A., of Chicago, IL was selected in Board voting.

Representation in Eastern Wisconsin also increased in WCMA’s Board expansion. The Board of Directors selected two new Director-at-Large positions, bringing Orphee Paillotin, owner, Alpinage Artisan Cheese, Oak Creek, WI, and Jennifer Drake, Senior VP of Operations, Grande Cheese, Fond du Lac, WI, to the WCMA Board.

Existing Board seat elections discovered new and returning members. Jon Metzig, owner, Union Star Cheese in Fremont, WI, was elected in Eastern Wisconsin, replacing Brian Baker, General Manager, Sargento Foods, Plymouth, WI, following Brian’s completion of the maximum six years of service on the WCMA Board of Directors.

Bruce Workman, owner, Edelweiss Creamery in Monticello, WI, won reelection in Southwest Wisconsin and Kim Heiman, President, Nasonville Dairy in Marshfield, WI, won reelection in Central Wisconsin.

The WCMA Board reappointed Declan Roche, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Foremost Farms USA in Middleton, WI, to his Southwest Wisconsin At-Large seat on the WCMA Board, as well as Richard Guggisberg, owner of Guggisberg Cheese in Millersburg, OH, to his Eastern U.S. At-Large Board seat.

Tony Eafanti, VP Business Development, Leprino Foods in Denver, CO, was selected in Board voting to take the Western U.S. At-Large seat vacated by Doug Wilke, CEO, Valley Queen Cheese in Milbank, SD, following Doug’s completion of the maximum six years of service on the WCMA Board of Directors.

WCMA Board reappointed Jeff Gentine, President & CEO, Master Gallery Foods in Plymouth, WI, to his current Processor/Marketer seat and Greg Alberts, President, Kelley Supply in Colby, WI, to his Supplier seat.

The Eastern Wisconsin Cheesemakers & Buttermakers Association selected Kerry Henning, President, Henning’s Cheese in Kiel, WI, as their representative to the WCMA Board.  Kerry replaces Chris Renard, owner, Renard’s Cheese in Algoma, WI, who is retiring from this role.

The Central Wisconsin Cheesemakers & Buttermakers Association returned Paul Bauer, CEO, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, to the WCMA Board.

Southwest Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association returned Steve Stettler, President, Decatur Dairy, Brodhead, WI, to the WCMA Board.

Luke Buholzer, VP Sales for Klondike Cheese Co. in Monroe, WI, has been appointed by Foreign Type Cheesemakers Association to the WCMA Board. Tom Dahmen, Technical Director of Operations with V&V Supremo based in Chicago, IL, is retiring from this role.

WCMA begins its new fiscal year with its expanded Board of Directors on July 1, 2024.

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