Wow, what a time to join the dairy industry!

Tom Imbordino, Publisher
Wow, what a time to join the dairy industry! This is true regarding both my newly attained knowledge of the significant industry accomplishments of the past few years, and the simple fact that I am writing this in January 2003—the economy is showing signs of improvement and I just attended my first Dairy Forum. My only regret in joining the dairy industry at this time is the fact that just as I met him, industry leader E. Linwood Tipton, announced he will retire at the end of this year. He’ll hand over the reins as IDFA president and CEO to his wife Connie. Congratulations to both of them.

In his keynote address at the Forum’s Monday breakfast session, Tip said, “I believe we have to unlearn our old mindset about the structure of this industry. Why? Because we have gone through enormous change.”

Being new to the industry, I don’t have much that needs to be unlearned. I only hope that all of you are ready for my innovative ideas for Dairy Foods magazine. These ideas will drive our efforts to make each new issue of Dairy Foods the dairy processor’s preferred source for timely information on industry events, trends, leading technologies and innovations.

Tip closed with this statement:

“It’s time to focus on a vision for dynamic growth. It’s time to emulate, out-innovate and out-compete our competitors,” he said. “Beat back the threats and move forward with the positive force of the marketplace…” I could not have said it better myself. So here I am, Tom Imbordino, publisher of Dairy Foods. I bring with me 16 years of trade magazine selling and publishing. I’m thrilled to be part of a publication that has served the dairy industry for more than a century.

My prerequisite to accepting this position was to spend time with outgoing publisher Joel Iverson. One rather warm, late fall morning, I boarded a plane bound for Newark, N.J., to meet with Joel. In tow were select issues of Dairy Foods from the past five years. With such great reading material, I barely realized we took off when we were already landing.

What shoes I must fill! Joel explained that the hardest part of his very personal decision to leave Dairy Foods was all of the great relationships he developed through the years. He described his clients as friends, friends with whom he had gone through marriages and divorces, births and deaths, layoffs and start-ups.

I traveled to the Dairy Forum with our two editors, David Phillips and Donna Berry. Words fail me as I try to describe what I saw of the strong relationships that Dave and Donna have with members of the industry. These are the kinds of strong relationships I am eager to build. This is an exciting industry, and we have some great plans for dynamic growth to move Dairy Foods forward with the positive force of the marketplace.

Hope to meet you soon.