Mike Durkin, president and chief executive officer of the Leprino Foods Company, was elected chair of the board of directors of the checkoff-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy at its first meeting of 2023.
Durkin replaces Schreiber Foods Chair Mike Haddad, who served as the Innovation Center’s chair for five years. Durkin joined Leprino in 2011 and has been president and CEO since 2014. He most recently served as secretary of the Innovation Center board and previously chaired its Stewardship Commitment Taskforce.
“This transition begins with our heartfelt appreciation for the tireless commitment, passion and contributions that Mike Haddad provided during his tenure,” said Barbara O’Brien, president and CEO of Dairy Management Inc. and the Innovation Center. “With his deep experience and demonstrated leadership, we are fortunate to have Mike Durkin step into this role as he builds on the legacy and momentum of U.S. dairy’s collective effort. We look forward to his leadership.”
In addition to Durkin’s appointment, the Innovation Center board also elected the following officers:
- Vice Chair: Dennis Rodenbaugh, Dairy Farmers of America
- Secretary: Brad Anderson, California Dairies Inc.
- Treasurer: Jay Bryant, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association
- At-large: Sheryl Meshke, Associated Milk Producers Inc.
- At-large: Ron Dunford, Schreiber Foods
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy was established in 2008 by farmers through the dairy checkoff to foster collaboration that progresses the industry’s goal of building a healthy and sustainable future for the dairy community, the people it serves and the planet. The Innovation Center convenes diverse stakeholders and leaders to advance the U.S. dairy community’s positive impact on shared social responsibility and sustainability priorities that include nutrition and health, food security, the environment, animal care, workforce and food safety.
For information about the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, visit www.usdairy.com/about-us/innovation-center