Monday, July 24, 2017
Center of Excellence

ADPI is committed to becoming the world’s premier authority on dairy ingredients. As such, we are pleased to introduce a network of seasoned dairy industry professionals capable of addressing a wide range of topics.

The ADPI Center of Excellence (COE) is the key resource to the ADPI Academy and they provide an easy and economical way for members to gain access to a pool of dairy industry experts with competencies in the following areas:

• Product Applications  • Regulatory / Legal 
• Feed Industry  • Quality / Food Safety
• Marketing • Risk Management and Supply Chain Management 
• Environmental Compliance • Business Development and Strategy

COE resource professionals, as listed below, are ready and willing to address ADPI member questions or concerns. Simply identify the person that has the expertise that you require, and make contact with that resource professional by phone or email. Please identify yourself as an ADPI member, there will be no cost for this initial consultation. A member may then choose to employ the consultant directly if more extensive assistance is required.

For additional information, please contact: Dan Meyer, ADPI Director of Technical Services ( (630) 530-8700 ext. 224) 

Disclaimer: Center of Excellence resource professionals are not employees of ADPI, they are independent consultants. As such, ADPI will not be privy to communications between COE resource professionals and individual members, and ADPI disclaims any responsibility or liability in connection with or stemming from such consultations.

Kimberlee (K.J.) Burrington
Dairy Ingredient Applications Program Coordinator
Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research

1605 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: 608-265-9297


Areas of expertise: Dairy Ingredient Applications



Ms. Burrington is the Dairy Ingredient Applications Program Coordinator for the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research.  She has over 25 years of experience in product development including her past positions at Ridgeview Industries, the Keebler Company, and as a consultant to the baking industry. 

In her current position, she provides technical support for U.S. dairy processors and end users on dairy ingredient functionality and applications. She also provides technical support for food companies internationally through visits and seminars provided by the U.S. Dairy Export Council to countries such as Mexico, Latin America, China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Ms. Burrington holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also an IFT Certified Food Scientist.
Lee Blakely
Dairy Industry Consultant

241 E Arlen Avenue
Visalia, CA   93277

Phone:  559-730-6046
Areas of expertise: Quality Assurance, Processing and Food Safety


Mr. Blakely has been employed in the dairy industry for 40 years.  He gained experience and commissioned the following operations: cultured products, ESL, cheese, butter, whey powder, WPC and NDM during his 25 years at Dairyman’s Cooperative Creamery Association as VP of Manufacturing.  The last 3 years at DCCA were as VP Sales & Marketing.  That experience was followed by VP Quality Assurance, Land O’ Lakes Dairy Foods and then Chief Technical Officer for Cheese & Protein International.  Lee retired from Saputo Cheese & Protein in 2008 and began consulting in the Dairy Industry with emphasis on processing, quality assurance, environmental risk mitigation in dry processing areas, food safety and mentoring. He is currently serving as Chair, Scientific Committee for the 2017 International Whey Conference.

Lee acquired an AAS in Food Technology, SUNY Morrisville; BS in Food Technology, University of Georgia; MSc & Ph.D. in Food Science, Michigan State University.


A. Kent Keller
President, Keller Technologies, Inc.

901 Main Street
P.O. Box 158e

Mantorville, MN   55955

Phone:  507-216-9070
Areas of expertise: Lactose and Permeate Manufacturing


Kent Keller began his experience with whey processing during the industry's infancy 40 years ago and has continuously served the industry ever since. In 1980, he founded his first company, Whey Systems, Inc., and later changed the company name to Keller Technologies, Inc. His company has grown its worldwide presence based on his patented technology and turnkey design/installations for whey protein concentrate, lactose and dairy permeate.
Kent has been involved in the design of the majority of the world's lactose processing facilities. In 2000, he was honored with the American Dairy Products Institute's Award of Merit for his lifetime contributions to the dairy products industry. Today, Kent and his team continue that tradition of excellence and creativity. 
Mary Keough Ledman
Keough Ledman Associates, Inc
DailyDairy Report.

1642 Old Barn Circle
Libertyville, IL   60048

Phone:  847-680-9693
Areas of expertise: Dairy Markets Research, Policy Analysis, Price Forecasting,
Risk Management, and Strategic Planning


Mary Keough Ledman has over three decades of experience in the dairy industry that includes production, regulatory, sourcing, forecasting, and policy. Mary’s government service includes: Federal Milk Marketing Order 30, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Mary's private sector experience includes: Manager of Dairy Economics for Kraft Foods USA, Manager of Strategic Planning and Financial reporting for Kraft International in Bremen, Germany, and Director of Materials Planning for Stella Foods (now Saputo). As Director of Materials Planning, Mary was responsible for purchasing four billion pounds of producer milk and 20 million pounds of nonfat dry milk powder annually. .

In 1995, Mary founded Keough Ledman Associates, Inc. a dairy economic consulting firm that provides a wide range of consulting services from “Dairy 101” educational workshops to milk and dairy product price forecasts and futures and options trading strategies. Mary is a Commodity Trading Advisor and member of the National Futures Association. In 2012, she acquired the Daily Dairy Report, a dairy market newsletter.

Mary serves as a Trustee of the Farm Foundation and is a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Journalism and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A& M University. She also received a Fulbright Fellowship to study the European Community’s dairy policy at the University of Goettingen, Germany.


Mike McCully
The McCully Group, LLC
25 Preserve Way
New Buffalo, MI  49117
Phone: 312-646-0361
Areas of expertise: Risk Management, Purchasing Strategies,
Market Research and Strategic Planning
Mr. McCully is currently the president and owner of The McCully Group, LLC, a strategic consulting firm focusing on dairy and food companies.  He has experience in business analysis, long-term strategic planning, purchasing strategies, risk management policies and procedures, and M&A, among other supply chain issues. 
His past experience includes over 15 years with Kraft Foods where he held management roles in dairy, meat and grain purchasing. His responsibilities included sourcing dairy commodities as well as commodity risk management, dairy policy and industry relations. While in the Oscar Mayer division of Kraft, he was also responsible for meat commodity risk management and corn purchasing. His knowledge base also reaches into dairy policy and price volatility issues.
Mr. McCully holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Western Illinois University and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois.  
Dan Meyer
Director of Technical Services
American Dairy Products Institute
126 N. Addison Avenue
Elmhurst, IL  60126
Phone: 630-530-8700 ext. 224
Areas of expertise: Dairy Product Standards
Dan Meyer is a Director of Technical Services at the American Dairy Products Institute. He handles all the technical matters relating to grade standards for dairy products and regulatory matters including food labeling, food safety issues, and allergens.
Mr. Meyer is currently serving as the Treasurer at 3-A SSI, an independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing hygienic equipment design for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. He has worked in the dairy industry for over 25 years and has been with the American Dairy Products Institute for the last 15 years. Dan has past experience with Dean Foods and Associated Milk Producers. He has extensive involvement with fluid milk, dry milks, and whey proteins. He was born and raised on a dairy farm in Northeastern Illinois.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Illinois and a Master of Business Administration from Olivet Nazarene University.
Andrew M. Novakovic

E.V. Baker Professor of Agricultural Economics
Cornell University

Areas of expertise: Dairy Market Economics and Policy

Andrew Novakovic is the E.V. Baker Professor of Agricultural Economics at Cornell University, where he has been since 1978. He currently serves as the Director for Engagement in the Dyson School. And, he is co-Chair of the National Program for Dairy Markets and Policy, a consortium of dairy economists from several universities. 

Dr. Novakovic conducts research in the field of dairy market economics and policy. During his career he has been involved in educational programs to implement major federal programs, such as the Milk Diversion Program, the Dairy Termination Program, Federal Order reform, and the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. In 2010, Dr. Novakovic served as Chair of the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee for the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. From 2011 to 2015, Dr. Novakovic served as a Senior Economist in the USDA Office of the Chief Economist, whose mission it is to advise the Secretary on agricultural, food, environmental, and trade policy.

Allen Sayler
Managing Partner
Center for Food Safety & Regulatory Solutions

3511 Powells Crossing Court
Woodbridge, VA  22191

Phone: 571-931-6763
Areas of expertise: Food Safety, HACCP, SQF, BRC, Regulatory


Allen R. Sayler is currently a Managing Partner for the Center for Food Safety and Regulatory Solutions (CFSRS) headquartered in the Washington, DC area. In his current position he is responsible for Advanced General Food, Dairy & Juice HACCP training, SQF and BRC program development, as well as, providing GAP analysis for food processing plants related to food safety, quality,  processing efficiency and FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance. 

Mr. Sayler has fifteen (15) years of experience as a trainer for food, milk and juice HACCP, FDA food safety regulations SQR, BRC and FSMA compliance. His experience includes working for the International Dairy Foods Association, the US Food & Drug Administration, USDA’s AMS Dairy Division, and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

Additionally Allen has knowledge of state and federal food processing regulations, product sampling and testing, water and wastewater treatment, drug residue screening programs, food defense systems, crisis management, traceability and EU certificates and NCIMS. He has experience working on international dairy standards and dairy trade issues. 

Allen has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Human Physiology from the University of Mary in Bismark, North Dakota.


Geoffrey W. Smithers, PhD, FAIFST, CFS

Owner & Director
Geoffrey Smithers Food Industry Consulting Services

24B Railway Parade
P.O. Box 158
Highett, Victoria
3190 Australia 

Areas of expertise: Reserach and Development – Dairy Processing and Ingredient Functionality, Characterization, Dairy Proteins & Bioactives, Sweet & Acid Whey


Geoffrey Smithers has a background in both fundamental and applied R&D in the areas of dairy processing and ingredient functionality. During a career with CSIRO and Food Science Australia, Geoffrey successfully built client relationships in critical capability areas, including processing systems, ingredient functionality and delivery, and nutrition science in Australasian, European and North American markets. Geoffrey formed his own dairy (and food) consulting business in early 2009, operating out of Melbourne, Australia, and has established a global client base.

He has a Bachelor of Applied Science and a PhD in Biochemistry, and nearly 30 years experience in dairy processing, and ingredient science and technology. He has published extensively in the scientific literature, by way of original research articles, reviews and books, and is an inventor on a number of patent applications.

In 2007, Geoffrey was awarded the Sir Ian McLennan Achievement for Industry Prize that recognized his achievements in translating dairy science and technology into the marketplace, and resultant national economic impact. In 2009 Geoffrey was elected a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) recognizing his contributions toward advancing the science and technology of foods, notably dairy foods; and he was a member of the governing board of AIFST from 2012 – 2014. In 2011 Geoffrey was appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Dairy Journal published by Elsevier, and in 2015 Geoffrey was appointed as the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier Reference Module in Food Science. In 2013 Geoffrey was a member of the inaugural class of Certified Food Scientists conferred by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

Geoffrey takes an active role in the work of the IFT, the AIFST, the International Dairy Federation (IDF) (he is the current deputy-chair of the Standing Committee for Dairy Science and Technology within IDF), the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), the Food Technology Association of Australia (FTAA), and the Dairy Industry Association of Australia (DIAA).


Bjorn Sorensen
Dairy Industry Consultants
Pacific Process U.S.

24442 SE 42nd Place
Issaquah, WA 98029

Phone: 425-281-6520

Areas of expertise: Dairy Technology, Processing and Optimization

Mr. Sorensen is owner of Dairy Industry Consultants and an associate engineer with Pacific Process US. He has over 35 years of experience in dairy product production, plant operations and technology. With his past positions at HOCO (Arla Foods), Vermont Whey, Golden Cheese, Glanbia Foods, Darigold and Land O’Lakes, Mr. Sorensen has led the expansion of several plants including green field sites, the development of new product lines and streamlining manufacturing processes using lean manufacturing principles.

In his current position, Mr. Sorensen provides consulting services specializing in process technology, business plan development, management, staff training and product mix optimization.

Mr. Sorensen holds a Master of Science in Dairy Science, Technology and Management from The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (currently University of Copenhagen, College of Life Sciences) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dr. Jim Sullivan
J.E. Sullivan Enterprise, LLC

10030 Green Level Church Rd., Suite 802 #52
Cary, NC  27519

Phone: 919-463-0438
Areas of expertise: Animal Nutrition, Export of Feed Ingredients & Feed Use of Dairy By-Products


Jim Sullivan's work experience has been in the feed ingredient, dairy and food byproduct industries. This included 25 years in the byproduct based feed ingredient business as President of the International Ingredient Corporation (IIC). He brings over 30 years of knowledge and experience in the feed and dairy industry to the Center of Excellence. He shares his expertise in animal nutrition, new product development, maximizing value of dairy by-products, market research, problem solving and exporting of feed ingredients.

Dr. Sullivan holds an animal science degree from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign.


Phillip Tong, Ph.D.

Technical Consultant, ADPI
Consultant, Tong Dairy and Food Consulting, LLC

4593 Spanish Oaks Drive
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Phone: 805-440-8149
Areas of expertise: Dairy Ingredients Functionality, Membrane Technology,
Dairy Technology and Milk Composition


Dr. Tong has over 35 years of experience in conducting research and development in dairy foods science and technology with Cal Poly, Kraft, Clorox, and Foremost Technical Center. He was instrumental in establishing and growing Cal Poly’s Dairy Products Technology Center, and served as a Professor and its Director for over 15 years. Dr. Tong is an internationally recognized expert in dairy foods science. His work has involved a wide range of separation, concentration, purification and thermal processes as it applies to dairy foods (fermented milks, fluid milks, dairy beverages, frozen desserts, cheese, butter, etc.), dairy ingredients (MPC, WPC, NFDM, SMP, etc.) and other food systems. He has co-authored over 100 publications on dairy foods and related technologies. He organized and led the instruction of over 50 short courses and symposia on dairy foods and he has given over 300 presentations to industry groups and academics in 10 countries including China, Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Ireland, Australia, Canada.

Dr. Tong is now an independent consultant to the dairy and food industries and Cal Poly Professor Emeritus. He is currently serving as Technology Consultant and member of the Center of Excellence of the American Dairy Products Institute, Executive Director of the California Creamery Operators Association, Section Editor of the Journal of Dairy Science, Member of the International Dairy Federation Dairy Science and Technology Committee and he writes a quarterly column for Dairy Foods Magazine. He has served as President and member of the Board of Directors of the American Dairy Science Association, and Past Chair of the Dairy Foods Division of Institute of Food Technologists. He has received numerous awards including: 2016 Fellow of the American Dairy Science Association, 2015 Southern California Institute of Food Technologists Distinguished Achievement Award, the American Dairy Science Association Award of Honor in 2014, Cal Poly Graduate Studies and Research 2014 Career Award in Recognition for Securing Over $10 million, the American Dairy Products Institute Award of Merit in 2013, and the International Dairy Foods Association Dairy Research Award of the American Dairy Science Association in 2006.