Dairy Farmers of Ontario hires new CEO

Cheryl Smith will fill the position that has been vacant for about six months

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Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s board of directors has announced Cheryl Smith has been hired as chief executive officer (CEO).

She comes to Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) from Parmalat where she recently retired after being a member of the executive team and general manager of the cheese division.

She has 30 years of leadership experience, including leading a billion-dollar, revenue-generating business with a team of more than 150 employees.

[General manager out at Dairy Farmers of Ontario]

The general manager and CEO position at Dairy Farmer of Ontario has been vacant since Jan. 31, when Graham Lloyd departed the organization. He led the organization’s staff through two years of significant change in the sector, including Ontario’s push for national implementation of Class 7 – milk that was slated to compete with American imports of skim milk powder. It was during that period that Ontario pulled most of its marketing budget from Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Prior to Parmalat, Smith held various marketing roles at Rogers and Unilever.

Smith will lead DFO’s executive team and will focus on driving DFO’s business interests, building key relationships with provincial and national stakeholders, and strengthening partnerships with processors.

“Cheryl will help us realize a dynamic, profitable and growing Canadian dairy industry. As we face many challenges of the future, we felt having a leader who understands consumers, the food chain and the interconnectivity of our dairy industry has great benefit. She is a forward-facing thinker with an acute understanding of the opportunities ahead. We have every confidence Cheryl will make great contributions to DFO and our industry at large,” says Murray Sherk, chair of the DFO board of directors.

Smith begins her new position Aug. 19.

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