January appointments in the dairy industry

By Mary Ellen Shoup and Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The new year brings new opportunities, and January has been a busy month for new appointments in the dairy industry. Pic:©GettyImages/SARINYAPINNGAM
The new year brings new opportunities, and January has been a busy month for new appointments in the dairy industry. Pic:©GettyImages/SARINYAPINNGAM

Related tags: Organic dairy, Dairy sector, Management occupations

January was a busy month for new positions being filled in dairy-related companies around the world.

If you have news to share for this monthly round-up of who’s on the move in the industry, please send us the details​, along with an image, if possible.

Jacques Lefebvre joins Dairy Farmers of Canada as CEO

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) has appointed Jacques Lefebvre as chief executive officer.

With more than 25 years of experience across multiple sectors, Lefebvre was previously at the Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC) as president and CEO.

"He is a proven leader and is deeply committed to our dairy sector​," said Pierre Lampron, president of DFC.

"Jacques understands all of the challenges that we are facing, and will be a champion for us."

Lefebvre has held senior executive positions with national member organizations, both in the business and not-for-profit sectors.

Lefebvre said, "I welcome the opportunity to use my past experience, inside and outside of the dairy sector, to bring our industry together as we face tremendous pressure on trade and government relations issues. It is more important than ever that we work collectively to defend and promote the industry."

Bill Hunter appointed MD of Ornua Foods UK

Bill Hunter has been appointed to the new role of managing director of Ornua Foods UK. 

appointments jan ornua

Based at Ornua Foods’ cheese packing facility at Leek in Staffordshire, his role will be to lead the growth and development of Ornua’s consumer-focused operations and brands in the UK.

Hunter was Ornua Foods UK’s chief financial officer. 

He joined Ornua Foods in 2015 and has spent most of his career in the food industry, initially in the chilled food sector with Pinneys of Scotland.  Prior to joining Ornua he held senior financial positions in the dairy sector with Milk Link and in canned foods with Baxters Foods Group.

Changes to Novozymes’ executive leadership team

Novozymes has appointed Prisca Havranek-Kosicek as its new chief financial officer effective February 1, 2018.

Havranek-Kosicek previously served as CFO and member of the executive board for Kuoni Group, an 8,000-employee service provider to the global travel industry.

From 2011-2016, she held positions at Royal DSM, including group treasurer and CFO for DSM’s pharmaceutical division, and from 2004-2008 she served as VP corporate subsidiaries and investor relations for Austrian Airlines Group.

Havranek-Kosicek holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She serves as member of the supervisory board of Allianz Elementar Versicherungs-AG and Allianz Elementar Lebensversicherungs-AG.

New CEO at Chr Hansen

Earlier this month, the board of directors of Chr. Hansen Holding A/S announced Mauricio Graber as the new chief executive officer from June 1, 2018.

appointments jan chr hansen

Graber, 54, has been president of the flavors division of Givaudan S.A. and a member of Givaudan’s executive committee since 2006.

He holds a BSc in Electronic Engineering from Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico, and a Masters in Management from the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, US.

His professional career started in 1989 with The Nutrasweet Company in the US as business development manager. After two years in the role, he returned to Mexico in 1991 to become regional head of North Latin America.

In 1995, he joined the US-based flavor company Tastemaker as regional president of Latin America. In 1997, Tastemaker was acquired by Givaudan, after which Graber was appointed regional president of Latin America of the combined regional business.

Ole Andersen, chairman of the board of directors, said Graber is “a truly international executive.”

Ciara O’Callaghan new brand director at Ornua

Ornua has appointed Ciara O’Callaghan as brand director. 

She will lead Ornua’s global innovation, packaging, insights and marketing team to develop and execute the brand marketing strategy for the group’s brand portfolio. 

Ornua is Ireland’s largest exporter of primary Irish dairy products, with annualized sales of about €2bn ($2.47bn) across 110 countries.

A key focus of the role will be to ensure that brand positions are delivered globally for Ornua’s portfolio of premium Irish dairy brands including Kerrygold, Pilgrims Choice, Dubliner, Shannongold, Forto and BEO Milk Powder.

O’Callaghan joined Ornua in 2011 as global insights director, where she was responsible for delivering insights and research to drive growth for Irish dairy products. 

Prior to joining Ornua, she held senior brand and research roles with some of Ireland’s leading companies including eircom and Kerry Foods.  She has also held senior roles with agency Information Partners as well as heading up her own research and strategy company.

Ledman joins RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness

Mary Ledman has joined RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness as global sector strategist – dairy, and will be based in the Rabobank Chicago office.

According to the company, Ledman has extensive knowledge of domestic and international dairy markets and policy and more than 30 years of experience in production agriculture, food processing, government service, agricultural policy, dairy risk management, market information and dissemination, and milk and dairy product price forecasting.

Prior to Rabobank, Ledman held positions at the USDA, Kraft Foods, and Stella. She later founded Keough Ledman Associates, Inc., an economic consulting firm serving the dairy industry since 1995.

Ledman holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agricultural Journalism and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University.

She is currently a member of the International Dairy Foods Association, National Milk Producers Federation, and U.S. Dairy Export Council.

Ledman succeeds Kevin Bellamy, who has moved to the role of global sector head for dairy in Rabobank.

IDF welcomes new director general

Caroline Emond takes over as director general of the International Dairy Federation (IDF) in February.

jan appointments emond

Emond has 24 years’ experience in senior executive and public affairs roles in the private, public and the not-for-profit sectors, including as executive director of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

She replaces Nico van Belzen, who has served as director general of the IDF since 2012.

AnaBio appoints chairman of board of directors

Irish biotechnology company AnaBio Technologies LTD. has announced the appointment of Dan MacSweeney as chairman of the board of directors.

MacSweeney has served for 25 years as CEO of Carbery Group, an Irish-based cheese and food ingredients business.  He retired from his position in December 2017.

jan appointments macsweeney

AnaBio is an Irish biotechnology company that was founded in 2011. The core business of the company is natural micro-encapsulation systems, which can be applied to food, pharma and feed applications.

The company commercializes encapsulated creatine, leucine, vitamins, oils and probiotics.

MacSweeney said AnaBio is “a very exciting company that has a huge growth potential ahead of it. I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring my knowledge and experience to the AnaBio team and I am certain that this innovative business will meet its ambitious growth targets in the coming years.”

New CFO at Dean Foods

Dean Foods Company has announced that food and consumer packaged goods industry veteran Jody Macedonio will join the company as executive vice president and chief financial officer in February.

Macedonio previously served as the senior vice president of finance for the North America Laundry and Beauty Divisions of Henkel AG following Henkel's acquisition of Sun Products Corporation, where she served as senior vice president, finance, planning and treasurer.


Prior to joining Sun Products in 2012, Macedonio was employed at PepsiCo where she held several positions after joining in 1999, including serving as chief financial officer and vice president, finance for the North Business Unit of Frito-Lay.

Prior to joining PepsiCo, Macedonio served in finance positions at Nestlé, SmithKline Beecham and Chemical Bank. 

Dairygold elects new chairman

Dairygold, Ireland’s largest farmer-owned cooperative, has announced John O’Gorman has been elected as its new chairman.

O’Gorman, vice-chairman since 2017, replaces James Lynch, who served as chairman for three years and recently stepped down having served the maximum term permitted on the Dairygold board.

O’Gorman, from the Tipperary region, was first elected to the board of Dairygold in January 2013.

O’Gorman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Management and a Diploma in Corporate Direction, Food Business from UCC.

The position of vice-chairman will be filled at the next meeting of the Dairygold board.

Aurora Organic Dairy appoints CEO, founder assumes executive chairman role

Aurora Organic Dairy announced that its founder, Marc Peperzak, has assumed a new role as executive chairman and Scott McGinty has been named CEO of the company.

Peperzak has served as CEO since the founded the company in 1976 in Jerome, Idaho, and moved the headquarters to Boulder, Colorado in 1984. In the early 1990s, Peperzak co-founded Horizon Organic Dairy, for which Aurora began producing organic milk. The company transitioned to a 100% organic dairy company in 2003.

January2018 - AuroraOrganics

As executive chairman, Peperzak will work directly with Aurora Organic Dairy’s senior leadership team in an advisory role, and will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors.

McGinty joined Aurora Organic Dairy leading manufacturing and logistics in 2007. In 2010, McGinty was named president with responsibility for strategic initiatives and operating results for the company.

Prior to joining Aurora, McGinty helped build the Horizon Organic Dairy brand, pioneering the category’s entry to the mainstream grocery market.

“We are focused on building the strength of retailer organic brands from cow to carton. Our investments in the supply chain will offer our partners more product innovation and traceability than ever before,”​ Peperzak said.



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