PHOENIX, Ariz.-Maybe the main attraction was 1970s TV celebrity Bob Ewbanks. It might have been the  program that included a discussion of business ethics, and a company profile of Clover Stornetta, or just the warm, inviting Arizona location that brought a record crowd of 341 attendees to the 49th annual convention of All Star Dairy Association Inc. It could have been all those things and more.

The meeting was held March 28-31 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort.  President Richard Washburn and Executive Director Jeff Sterne presided over the convention, which included attendees from 48 dairy, water, and custom mold members representing 64 plants.

“Between the programs and the locations we have more people returning and more giving us a try for the first time,” said Sterne. “The resort was very nice, and although it started cool, each day it got a little warmer. We had some very good speakers, and altogether, it made for a very nice convention.”

The convention featured a presentation from Rich Lewis of Dairy America and Mark Risinger of Cargill Sweeteners discussing commodities, while professor Marianne Jennings of Arizona State University covered business ethics. Dairy Foods’ Donna Berry covered new product trends, and Kevin Imm of Clover Stornetta spoke about organic and natural products, and how the bay-area processor has differentiated itself. IDFA’s Chip Kunde gave a recap of activities on the Washington scene.  

Newly elected board members are John Bedrosian, Unified Western Grocers; Carl Colteryahn III, Colteryahn Dairy; Larry Kurz, Readington Farms; and Robert Mertz; Schneider Valley Farms.

An important part of the convention each year is the awards recognition. See box for details.

The $5,000 John D. Utterback Annual College Scholarship were awarded evenly to the following member employees or dependants to be used toward a Food Science degree:
  • Allan Gillis, Scotsburn Dairy, Cape Breton University
  • Emily Caldwell, Marburger Dairy, Penn State
  • Tiffany Boudreau, Scotsburn Dairy, Cape Breton University
  • Tobin Breland, BGC Southwest, University of Texas, Tyler
  • Logan Meisler, Toft’s Dairy, Bowling Green University
All-star started in 1955, has 190 member companies representing 289 plants in 46 states, Puerto Rico, and Nova Scotia.

In 2008, the association will host its 50th convention, and the location will be San Antonio, Texas, at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort.  Initial plans call for a Texas BBQ reception and a play-stakes Texas Hold ‘Em poker competition.

Sidebar: All Star Dairy 2007 Awards

Dairy of the Year Award  - Rutters Dairy, York, Pa.

Purchasing Awards (large company) - Cass Clay Creamery, Fargo, N.D., and (tie) Mid-States Dairy, Hazelwood, Mo.

Purchasing Award (small company) - Yocream International, Portland, Ore.

Quality Assurance Awards

Best Fluid Plant - Producers Dairy, Fresno, Calif.
Best Culture Plant - Schneider Dairy, Pittsburgh
Best Ice Cream Plant - BGC Southwest Ice Cream, Tyler, Texas
“Doc Lawrence” Most Improved Plant  - Producers Dairy, Fresno, Calif.

“Thoroughbred Award” Supplier of the Year - Cargill Sweeteners,  Wayzata, Minn.