Wisconsin Cheesemaker’s Association Awards Highest Honors and New Awards
Twelve people in the dairy and cheese making industry will be recognized by the Wisconsin Cheesemaker’s Association at Cheese Expo 2022 for “outstanding work in the dairy processing industry.”
The exhibit, to be held in Milwaukee, Wisc., Is scheduled April 14-22 at the Wisconsin Center. More than 4,000 cheese industry leaders, suppliers, traders and others are expected.
Here are the WCMA awards and their recipients:
Andy Dederich: Lifetime Membership Award
Andy Dederich will receive the Association’s highest honor: the WCMA Life Member Award.
The WCMA has offered the Life Member Award since 1918, and Dederich will be the 91st recipient. According to a WCMA press release, the award recognizes individuals who have played an important role in the success of the Association through their leadership, support and service to the institution and its activities.
Dederich is currently Senior Account Manager at Chr. Hansen, Inc. of Milwaukee. Before starting with Chr. Hansen in 2014, Dederich held senior positions in other key companies in the dairy industry, such as DSM Food Specialties and Cargill.
Dederich has been instrumental in advocating for the participation of cheese suppliers and manufacturers in WCMA through membership and activities, and is actively working to encourage the growth and development of the cheese auction. championship.
He served on the WCMA Board of Directors from 2006 to 2011.
Van Salsman: Lighting Award
WCMA’s most recent award, the Luminary Award, recognizes the contributions of leaders in the sale and marketing of dairy products. People receiving this award showcased new concepts, products or innovative ideas to drive sales nationally or internationally.
Van Salmans founded one of the country’s best-known cheese sales and marketing organizations – Salmans and Associates – in 1981.
He transformed this small business into a high-volume sales hub, representing leading cheese makers to restaurant wholesalers, food processors, restaurant chains and industrial users in the Upper Midwest and select markets in the United States.
Salsman has worked closely with the Center of Dairy Research and cheese makers to customize products to meet the demand of foodservice, retail, and industry. He has also served on the boards of the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association and the American Blue Cheese Association.
Cathy Strange: Lighting Award
The second Luminary Award recipient, Cathy Strange, joined Whole Foods Market in 1990 and has extensive experience and expertise in the food industry.
As the Specialty Global Executive Coordinator, she seeks products that meet the strict quality standards of Whole Foods Market.
For 11 consecutive years, she was an expert judge for the US Championship Cheese Contest and the World Championship Cheese Contest.
She is president of the Nouveau Monde and ambassador of the prestigious Guilde internationale des Fromagers de Saint-Uguzon. Strange also received the French Legion of Merit for Agriculture and the Coltellino d’Oro Prize from the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano.
The American Cheese Society honored Strange in 2015 with the Lifetime Service Award.
Jeff Giffin: Cheese Industry Champion
The Cheese Industry Champion Award is given to industry leaders who, through their day-to-day business decisions, have created tremendous opportunity for others.
Jeff Giffin is the Executive Chairman / Chairman of the Board of Masters Gallery Foods. He was previously President and CEO of the company from 2006 to 2016.
Under Jeff’s leadership, the company more than quadrupled in sales, volume and number of employees. He has developed lasting relationships with the industry and has been instrumental in establishing Masters Gallery Foods as a leader in the retail and food service channels.
Bob and Richard Wagner: Champions of the cheese industry
Cousins ââBob and Richard Wagner are the third generation in a family cheese-making tradition that began with their grandfather, Jacob, in 1923, and later became Weyauwega Milk Products in 1961.
Bob brought his accounting background to running the business and became president of the company in 1984.
Richard obtained his engineering degree and his doctorate in food science and has helped build a company that is always at the cutting edge of technology.
Under the leadership of the duo, the company has pioneered the dairy processing industry with several successful mergers. Weyauwega became Trega Foods in January 2003 and again made headlines five years later with the sale of Trega to Agropur, Canada’s largest dairy cooperative.
James Manning: Distinguished Service Award
The WCMA Distinguished Service Award is reserved for respected and highly regarded supplier partners in the cheese industry. WCMA members are entitled to vote for the recipients of this award.
James Manning is the president and founder of EDCO Food Products in Green Bay, Wisc.
With five decades of knowledge and experience, his innovations in pepper and pickle processing have contributed to tremendous advancements for the dairy processing industry.
In 1992 he opened a state-of-the-art factory in Mexico. The plant’s proximity to EDCO contract producers guarantees fresh raw materials and compliance with high food and environmental safety standards. Manning’s long-standing relationships with dairy suppliers have helped EDCO efficiently deliver high-quality pepper products to cheese factories across the United States.
Art Zimmer: Distinguished Service Award
Art Zimmer began his foray into dairy processing in the United States in 1975, when he established a successful link between German energy-saving technology and the US market’s need for high-capacity, highly designed units. hygienic.
A pioneer in evaporator technology, Art established his own Zimmer company in 1994. After a very successful run, the Carlisle Companies acquired the company in 2000 to become part of CPS, which in turn was purchased by Tetra Pak.
Rather than retire, Art founded Caloris in July 2006. In 2014, Art and its partners sold the majority of Caloris to outside investors.
Dr Mark Johnson: Babcock Prize
The WCMA Babcock Award, named in honor of renowned agricultural chemist and University of Wisconsin professor Stephen Babcock, recognizes the contributions of those working in education or affiliated organizations that partner with cheese makers in the pursuit of innovation and excellence in the dairy industry.
Dr. Mark Johnson is Deputy Director, “Distinguished Scientist” and member of the management team of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research.
In addition to teaching cheese making and grading, his main research interests include developing manufacturing and ripening protocols for specialty cheeses and solving cheese quality issues in the industry.
Johnson has served as a technical judge for the American and Global Cheese Competitions, the American Cheese Society, and the Australian Grand Dairy Awards. He has worked at CDR for over 30 years and holds a doctorate. in food science.
Dr Paul Kindstedt: Babcock Prize
Dr Paul Kindstedt is Professor of Food Science in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont.
He is the author of numerous research papers and guest papers for conferences on dairy chemistry and cheese science, as well as numerous book chapters. His research focuses on the formation of crystals in cheese and their effect on the appearance and flavor of cheese.
Kindstedt has received national professional recognition for his research and teaching and is currently Co-Director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese at the University of Vermont.
Steve Ottiger: Avant-garde Award
The WCMA Vanguard Award is intended to recognize cheesemakers or cheese makers whose work has helped break new ground in dairy operations.
Steve Ottiger obtained his title of cheese maker in his native Switzerland before arriving in Wisconsin in 1959. In 1961 he began a long career producing award-winning Swiss-style cheeses in the United States.
For 34 years, Ottiger worked at Alpine Alpa in Wilmot, Ohio, where his experience included a factory upgrade that included the first Casomatic cheese-making system in the United States.
In 1997, Ottiger helped Richard Guggisberg, current WCMA board member, establish a highly automated Swiss cheese factory which continues to be successful to this day. Guggisberg cheese has won the Ohio Grand Champion Cheesemaker award in eight of the past 10 years, as well as numerous Best of Class victories in the US and World Championship Cheese Contest.
Steve Yeager: Avant-garde Award
Steve Yeager discovered his passion for cheese making during a summer job with Borden Foods in Wisconsin in 1976. That passion evolved into full time cheese making and roles in quality and grading. products.
In 1994 Steve moved to California and began his career at Hilmar Cheese Company as a Supervisor. He was promoted to director of the whey lab, plant manager, and then technical director of cheese at the huge Hilmar cheese factory in Dalhart, TX.
Steve is now a Cheese Specialist, R&D, where he continues to ensure that Hilmar cheese exceeds the highest expectations of customers.
Samantha Hendrickson can be reached at 414-223-5383 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @samanthajhendr.