The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today announced several promotions in the association's departments of communications, meetings and membership. Peggy Armstrong was named vice president of communications, and Diana Carmenates was promoted to vice president of meetings and educational services. Cindy Cavallo was named director of membership, and Marti Pupillo was promoted to director of communications.
"Our staff is our most valuable asset," said IDFA President and CEO Connie Tipton. "Each of these professionals has contributed to IDFA's success and growth by demonstrating a commitment to excellence, offering outstanding performance and providing exceptional service to our members."

Peggy Armstrong, Vice President of Communications

Armstrong provides strategic communications counsel to IDFA staff, serves as the association's primary spokesperson and oversees IDFA's external and member communications. During fiscal year 2010, she assumed a leadership role for IDFA's premier events, developing educational programming and public relations campaigns for the International Dairy Show and Dairy Forum to ensure their continued growth and success.
Armstrong has worked for several private and public sector organizations in the Washington, D.C., area. Most recently she served as senior director of communications and research for the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that promoted major economic development projects. Before that, she was communications director and press secretary for Anthony Williams during his tenure as mayor of the District of Columbia. Armstrong has served as special assistant for communications at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and publications manager for the Enterprise Foundation. She began her career developing broadcast programming in Baltimore. She earned a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Maryland and attended graduate school in Towson, Md.

Diana Carmenates, Vice President of Meetings and Educational Services

With more than 18 years of event planning experience for national associations, Carmenates is responsible for assuring that IDFA's meetings, conferences and other educational services meet the highest standards of excellence. Many of IDFA's meetings set attendance records in fiscal year 2010 and earned high marks in evaluations from members.
Before joining IDFA as senior director in 2008, Carmenates served as director of meetings and special events for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; director of meetings and conventions for the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association; and director in the meeting planning division of Woodward Communications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Boston University and an Event Management Certificate from George Washington University. Fluent in Spanish, Carmenates is also a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), a designation awarded to professionals in the event planning industry.

Cindy Cavallo, Director of Membership

A 26-year veteran of IDFA and its constituent organizations, Cavallo has primary responsibility for member recruitment and retention efforts. She manages dues receivables and maintains comprehensive records that allow the association to effectively serve its membership of more than 550 companies. In addition, she is responsible for the IDFA Membership Directory and new Online Buyers' Guide, which she created and successfully launched last year.
Cavallo joined the staff of the Milk Industry Foundation and International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers in 1984 as executive assistant. When the National Cheese Institute elected to join with MIF and IICA to form IDFA in 1990, Cavallo was charged with revising the membership process and managing the membership activities for the newly formed association. She began her career at the National Association of Manufacturers.

Marti Pupillo, Director of Communications

Pupillo brings more than 20 years of corporate and member communications experience to IDFA. She joined IDFA in 2006 as content editor of News Update, IDFA's weekly e-newsletter, and its website, In 2009, she managed a project team that revamped the site's design, navigation and functionality, making it easier to use and more relevant for members.
As a member of the industry's Dairy Communications Management Team, Pupillo partners daily with colleagues on key issues affecting the image of dairy and dairy foods. She also responds to requests from the media and helps staff with media interviews, columns and videos. Before joining IDFA, Pupillo served as communications director for the Wholesale Florist and Florist Supplier Association in Annapolis, Md., and led national communications efforts for the management consulting division of (then) Coopers & Lybrand and the Association of Management Consulting Firms in New York. Pupillo earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Ind., and attended graduate school at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Conn.

The promotions were effective July 1, 2010.