The American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI), Elmhurst, Ill., announced Jerry O’Dea as the 2021 Recipient of the Award of Merit. The Award of Merit was established in 1991 to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the processed dairy products industry.

O’Dea has been a cornerstone of the dairy ingredients industry, ADPI said. Recently retired as the executive vice-president and chief commercial officer of Glanbia Nutritionals, Jerry has spent almost 40 years building a nutritional dairy ingredients industry.

After its founding in 2002, Glanbia Nutritionals appointed O’Dea as the president of the newly formed company, with the singular goal of expanding Glanbia’s presence in the emerging nutritionals market, ADPI said. Under O’Dea’s leadership, the dairy ingredients business expanded globally, opening up offices around the world and developing a truly international customer base.

During the course of his career, O’Dea has also played a key role with ADPI. His involvement and engagement with ADPI began in 1997, where he served on the board of directors and the Executive/Finance Committee. He matriculated through the ADPI officer ranks, culminating with his tenure as chairman of the board of directors in 2018. His contributions to ADPI and the broader dairy ingredients and related products industry have had no boundaries, ADPI said, as he was active in various genres around the globe representing both Glanbia Nutritionals and ADPI.

ADPI said it congratulated O’Dea on his accomplishments and achievements with this award during its 2021 Virtual Annual Member Meeting held during the ADPI/ABI Joint Annual Conference on August 18.