The American Dairy Products Institute has announced the appointment of Dale Kleber as the organization's new chief executive officer. Kleber will assume the new role on Oct. 27.

A proven industry leader, Kleber will be responsible for guiding ADPI’s executive team and furthering the group’s mission. “This position is critical to the success of ADPI programs,” says Rick Kaepernick, president of ADPI’s board of directors. “We are fortunate to have found Dale. His unique skill set complements our organization well and we look forward to the positive direction his vast experience will provide as we move forward in our efforts to advance dairy products in both domestic and international markets."

Kleber offers ADPI a diverse dairy industry background with more than 20 years of experience in dairy and food-related businesses, including service as a senior executive officer of one of the country’s largest, publicly traded dairy companies. During the course of his career, Kleber has practiced as a corporate attorney and brings to the position additional expertise in government relations, having served as a senior congressional staff member.

“ADPI is a truly unique organization composed of quality-oriented organizations from all segments of the dairy industry – processors, both private and cooperative, ingredient manufacturers, suppliers and other industry participants,” Kleber said. “I look forward to working with the many talented and dedicated individuals within ADPI to grow the awareness of and the demand for nutritious processed dairy products, and to support the continued success of ADPI members.”

After graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1978 with a degree in business administration, Kleber served as the press secretary and chief legislative aide, respectively, for two U.S. congressmen. He returned to Vanderbilt and graduated from the School of Law in 1983, while serving on the school's Law Review.

Beginning his legal career with one of Chicago’s largest law firms, now know as DLA Piper, Kleber soon moved in-house to work for a publicly held food manufacturing company. He then joined Dean Foods Co., where he worked for 14 years, holding the position of vice president, secretary and general counsel. He also served on the company's operating committee while Dean Foods was based in the Chicago area. After the company was acquired, Kleber was a founding member of a dairy cost consulting firm, also based in the Chicago area.

Kleber, 52, his wife Margie and their four children have resided in Hinsdale, Ill., for the past 20 years.

Kleber succeeds former CEO Jim Page, who died earlier this year.