Second annual PEPPY awards honor 28 sales and marketing teams for their creative use of MilkPEP programs to boost milk sales.

More than 200 of the dairy industry’s finest gathered in Salt Lake City in late July to participate in the Milk Processor Education Program’s (MilkPEP) National Dairy Sales and Marketing Meeting. The excitement mounted as processors who entered the second annual MilkPEP awards eagerly waited to hear who would take home PEPPY awards in six categories including retail, schools, Hispanic, grassroots and processor/producer coordination. During the months leading up to the awards presentation, more than 160 entries were received from processors nationwide who not only implemented MilkPEP promotions, but discovered new and creative ways to integrate their own brands into MilkPEP materials. The result for these processors was increased sales and customer growth and satisfaction.

Each of the six award categories was divided into subcategories to capture the individual promotions in each channel such as Halloween, the Milk Mustache Mobile and Body By Milk. Within each category a winner was selected who best maximized the given program.

A special Merit Award was presented to Kim Lenahan, marketing coordinator for H. Meyer Dairy. The Merit Award is given to a processor who consistently maximizes its dairy’s MilkPEP investment.

This year, Dairy Foods and Dairy Field Reports became a partner in the MilkPEP Awards and presented a very special Dairy Foods Pioneer in Innovation Award to Carol Duncan at PET Dairy. As the special events manager for PET Dairy, Duncan created the Fridge Force- a group of moms and other women who serve as PET Dairy brand ambassadors. The Fridge Force travels throughout the Carolinas and Virginia sampling milk and spreading the word about milk’s nutritional value for the whole family. The Fridge Force has been a consistent vehicle for PET Dairy in brand awareness and enabled the dairy to place POS materials in Wal-Mart.

Each year, a Grand PEPPY Award is presented to the processor who demonstrated creativity and winning strategies across a variety of channels. The 2008 Grand Prize was awarded to Gary Summers of Meadow Gold Dairies.  Summers was able to use MilkPEP programs at retail, in schools and on a local level, and he also maximized the various MilkPEP programs by incorporating Meadow Gold’s brand. As the Grand Prize winner, he will be featured in an upcoming Milk Mustache got milk? ad.

With 2009 just around the corner, the new 2009 MilkPEP marketing platform was unveiled in Salt Lake City.  The campaign will reintroduce milk as The Original Wellness Drink with a major integrated launch that will set the stage for a year-long program targeting  moms, teens, Hispanics, and schools  that, will include grassroots programs as well as four turnkey retail promotions.

Milk’s new wellness positioning kicks off in January with national TV, Print and PR support as well as a sweepstakes giving consumers a chance to win an ultimate spa getaway to Maui.  That will be followed in March with messaging reminding Moms that milk is a good source of Vitamin D, including a feature incentive retail promotion.

MilkPEP is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month this September with its first-ever integrated Hispanic program that will deliver tremendous general-market excitement by reminding Mom that serving milk can make meals healthier and win them a trip to Miami!  This will be followed in October by the popular Halloween feature incentive retail promotion, once again encouraging moms to bring home the treat they can feel good about. 

Sidebar: The Winners of the 2008 MilkPEP Awards


• Category Winner: Keith Telaak, Marketing Specialist, Upstate Niagara Cooperative; Halloween (Marketing/Sales)

• Give Your Family Something Smarter: Kim Lenahan, Marketing Coordinator, H. Meyer Dairy

• Halloween (Single/Take-Home): Tom LaBelle, Account Manager, Dean Foods North Central LLC

• Halloween (Packaging): Veronic Rendon, Trade Marketing Manager, Heartland Farms

• Halloween (Channels): Hugo Valdez, Account Manager, Hygeia Dairy Company & JC Montenegro, Sales Executive, Hygeia Dairy Company

• Chief Health Officer: Nan Davis, Marketing Manager, MilkCO

• Curves: Gary Summers, Marketing Director, Meadow Gold Dairies


• Category Winner: Gary Summers, Marketing Director, Meadow Gold Dairies; Body By Milk

• Capturing the School Milk Opportunity: Penny Baker, Director of Marketing, Smith Dairy

• Body By Milk: Vince Varjabedian, Food Service Sales Manager, Bordon Milk Products

• Refuel Your School: Sarah Drake, Sales/Marketing, Broughton Foods

• Schools/Other: Rich Winkler, Sales Account Manager, Prairie Farms


• Category Winner: Gary Summers, Marketing Director, Meadow Gold Dairies; Think About Your Drink

• American Heart Association Walks: Al Streeter, Corporate Marketing Director, Roberts Dairy

• Milk Mustache Mobile Tour: Cindy Layne, Marketing Assistant, Producers Dairy Foods Inc.

• Curves: Susan Angeletti, Marketing Manager, Galliker Dairy Company

• Refuel: Keith Telaak, Marketing Specialist, Upstate Niagara Cooperative

• Halloween: Sheri McCrary, Sales/Marketing, Bordon Dairy (NDH)

• Other: Barry P. Wood, Sales Representative, Goldenrod Dairy


• Category Winner: JC Montenegro, Sales Executive, Hygeia Dairy Company& JC Montenegro, Sales Executive, Hygeia Dairy Company; Super Mama

• Curves: Ron Mele, Account Manager, Swiss Dairy

Producer/ Processor Coordination:

• Category Winner: Jan Stallone, Regional Marketing Manager, New England Dairy Promotion Board; Retail and Elizabeth Underhill, Senior Associate Marketing Manager, HP Hood LLC

• Schools: Margie Cook Graham, Director of Public Relations, St. Louis District Dairy Council and Rich Winkler, Sales Account Manager, Prairie Farms

• Grassroots: Erin Johnson, Retail Channel Account Manager, Western Dairy Association and Linda Shields, Sinton Dairy

Outstanding State and Region Award:

• Diahann Smith, Multicultural Communications Manager, Dairy Farmers, Inc.