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During my career as a nutrition educator, I have admired the California dairy industry’s commitment to community health. By providing valuable nutrition education materials at no charge to children and adults, producers and processors have made a mark that is difficult to match.
Several months ago I took the post of CEO of the Dairy Council of California. As I spend time talking and meeting with industry professionals, my admiration grows stronger. This industry genuinely cares about the health of individuals.
Throughout my career, I have been closely involved with the nutrition education materials created by the Dairy Council of California on behalf of the dairy industry. In the early years, I used these programs in the clinical setting with clients, and was so impressed with the quality, I felt compelled to pursue a career at the council. Eventually hired, I worked different positions within the organization and most recently led the team behind the development of our nutrition education programs distributed to schools and health care professionals.
Today, as CEO, I am eager to lead this organization and its talented staff to new directions. As I consider my charge, I have much I want to accomplish:
• Enhance our commitment to the organization’s core focus on nutrition education.
• Expand our impact on the eating habits of families through new channels.
• Innovate to reach more kids, in more ways and more times.
• Solidify with consumers that milk and milk products are essential to a healthy diet.
• Expand our relationships and partnerships in the health care arena.
• Grow our ability to serve as a resource to the dairy industry by providing you with tools to instill in individuals that milk and milk products have an irreplaceable package of nutrients that cannot be found in any other single food or beverage.
This may seem like a lofty vision, especially considering the industry’s current complicated environment. I am fortunate to have the right people at my side who share my passion for our product and possess the ability to achieve our organizational goals. Dairy Council of California also has a strong history of success — one that spans more than 90 years — in teaching millions about the health benefits of milk and milk products. We are experienced in providing avenues for individuals to make positive choices in eating behaviors, and we are primed for the work that lies ahead.
Building off of our success
On behalf of the industry, we will continue to grow our impact in the schools. Dairy Council of California programs are currently taught in 86% of California’s elementary schools. We achieved this reach by carefully developing and nurturing our relationships with teachers and school administrators, and maintaining our credibility by using current USDA dietary guidelines to teach nutrition rather than focusing on one food group.
Another way we achieve success with our materials in the schools is through building strong partnerships with such California organizations as the State PTA, Department of Education and School Boards Association. These partnerships lay a solid foundation to impact children in the future. I intend to use this approach to expand and broaden our relationships in the health care arena.
Tools you can use
While the dairy industry can count on Dairy Council of California’s laser focus on strengthening milk’s position in a healthy diet through our work in the schools and health care environment, we also understand you are fighting your own battle in the trenches at community events, through customer communications, facility tours and the like. To help in your efforts, Dairy Council of California develops education materials for you to use that tout the nutritional value of milk and milk products. These materials are available on our website (www.DairyCouncilofCA.org), or by calling our main office.
Recently we developed a brochure, “Milk! Secrets, Stories & Facts of America’s Favorite Natural Beverage,” that tells the story of milk, and provides talking points and other information useful for communicating with consumers and other stakeholders. I urge you to look through this piece (available on our website) and determine how it can be of use to you and your business.
Also take a look at our “Nutrition Trends” newsletter (distributed twice a year and available online), which outlines the latest in nutrition research impacting your business both positively and negatively.
I look forward to working with the dairy industry to support milk and milk products’ place in a total healthy diet. Together, along with Dairy Council of California’s dedicated staff, we are committed and will work passionately to promote milk’s package of nutrients that is simply irreplaceable. With the right tools and perseverance, I believe we have a bright future