Meeting of the Minds

All Star’s annual convention covers issues, elects new board members and honors industry excellence.

Lexington, Ky.-based All Star Dairy Association Inc. (ASDA) held its 48th annual convention March 15 to 18 at the Orlando Marriott World Center in Florida. President Larry Kurz, of Readington Farms in Whitehouse, N.J., and ASDA executive director Jeff Sterne presided over a record attendance of 302 people, which included 44 dairy, water and custom-mold members representing 62 plants.
The convention featured presentations from Save-A-Lot Foods; Arizona State University professor Marianne Jennings, on business ethics; and Pat Williams, executive vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Other subjects covered included lowering health insurance costs, distribution savings, current regulation changes, major commodity updates and projections, and cost benchmarks.
During the four-day meeting, new board members were elected and companies were honored with special awards of merit. Newly elected members include Brian Perry of  Perry’s Ice Cream, Novile Ramsey of Milkco Inc., Richard Washburn of Washburn’s Ice Cream and Richard Shehadey of Producers Dairy.
The following companies were recognized with awards: Dairy of the Year Award — Southwest Foods, Tyler, Texas; Purchasing Award (large company) — Readington Farms Dairy, Whitehouse, N.J.; Purchasing Award (small company) — Jilbert’s Dairy, Marquette, Mich.
Quality Assurance Awards were issued to the following companies: Best Fluid Plant — Southwest Foods, Tyler, Texas; Best Culture Plant — Louis Trauth Dairy, Newport, Ky.; Best Ice Cream Plant (tie) —  Louis Trauth Dairy, Newport, Ky., and Southwest Foods, Tyler, Texas; “Doc Lawrence” (Most Improved Plant) — Schneider Dairy, Pittsburgh; “Thoroughbred Award” (Supplier of the Year) — ExxonMobil, Houston.
The $5,000 John D. Utterback Annual College Scholarship was awarded evenly to member employees or dependants to be used towards a food science degree.
Established in 1955, ASDA has 190 member companies representing 289 plants in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Nova Scotia.