Sunday, November 28, 2021

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 key resource to ADPI Membership and its participating subject matter experts (SMEs) provide an easy and economical way for members to gain access to a pool of dairy industry experts with competencies in the diverse areas.

COE resource professionals 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 further engage/employ the ADPI non-staff consultant directly if more extensive assistance is required and the consultant is agreeable.  ADPI staff members of the COE are not available for external consulting work beyond their scope within ADPI.

• Product Applications  • Regulatory / Legal 
• Sustainability • Animal and Human Nutrition
• Process Engineering • Quality / Food Safety
• Environmental Compliance • Risk Management and Supply Chain Management 
• Business Development and Strategy • Product Standards & Specifications


ADPI contracts with its COE resources on an annual basis and renews or terminates the agreements each year based on member need, engagement with members, and the COE member availability.  Scope of work is agreed in advance, and ADPI requires a NDA to be executed as part of the relationship.  COE members have their professional “bios” listed and available to ADPI members via the ADPI website so that members can review and understand their qualifications as “subject matter experts” in their respective fields.

ADPI does not market or represent that  COE members, are “full time employees” of ADPI, with exception of the few ADPI Staff that are and are clearly identified as such.  ADPI proactively communicates the COE members credentials and qualifications.


Click Here to Download your "Quick Guide to the COE"

For additional information, please contact: Kimberlee (K.J.) Burrington, ADPI Director of Training, Education & Technical Development (  (630-530-8700 ext. 225) or Dan Meyer, ADPI Director of Technical Services (  (630) 530-8700 ext. 224) 

Disclaimer: Many of the Center of Excellence resource professionals are not employees of ADPI and 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. All COE resource professionals, whether directly employed or of a consultant basis are bound by confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements.


Kimberlee (K.J.) Burrington
ADPI Staff
Director - Training, Education, Technical Development

630-530-8700 ext. 225 (Direct)
608-334-6354 (Mobile)



Areas of Expertise:

Dairy Ingredient Functionality and Applications, Training and Education Program Design and Development


KJ Burrington is the Director of Training, Education and Technical Development at ADPI, having joined the staff in January, 2021.  Prior to her joining the ADPI staff, KJ served as the Ingredient Applications Program Coordinator for the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (CDR).  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. KJ has served on ADPI Center of Excellence since its inception in 2012
In her previous position at CDR, she provided technical support for U.S. dairy processors and end users on dairy ingredient functionality and applications. She also provided technical expertise for food companies internationally through visits and seminars in conjunction with the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) to countries such as Mexico, Latin America, China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand.  KJ has also been an instructor/presenter in various ADPI events and activities.
KJ 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.
Dr. David Clark

Director/ Owner
Bovina Mountain Consulting

Englewood, FL  34224  USA

Phone: 607-435-3848


Areas of Expertise:

Applications (infant, medical and sports nutrition),
Legal and Regulatory, Business Strategy and Development

Dr. David Clark, founded the consultancy company, Bovina Mountain Consulting LLC, specializes in the nutritional and functional aspects of dairy ingredients in high value markets. He can assist ADPI members with projects which involve strategy development, regulatory support (e.g. GRAS notification), new product development, infant and medical nutrition formulation support and market research assistance.

Dr. Clark has a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and received his Ph.D. from National Institute for Medical Research in London, U.K. He has over 30 years of experience in the dairy industry, and held senior and executive positions at DMV and Friesland Campina. He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications on dairy ingredients, and has worked with clients in the US, Europe and Asia.

David joined the ADPI Center of Excellence in 2000


Michael Culhane Ph.D.

Dairy Advance Business Consulting LLC

Monroe, WI  53566  USA

Phone: 608-325-4543


Areas of Expertise:

Business Development Services based on extensive selling experience in global markets; In Depth Technical Knowhow, thorough knowledge of domestic and international dairy industry systems, background in managing innovation and growth for specialty ingredient products.

Michael Culhane PhD is the owner of Dairy Advance Business Consulting LLC and has over 30 years of industry experience. Established in 2005, Dairy Advance has completed a large portfolio of projects including feasibility studies, strategy development assignments, business plan implementations, finding investors, conducting in depth market analysis and delivering business innovation. 

In addition to a decade and a half of consulting experience, Michael’s expertise is based on eighteen years in dairy business management including positions with budget responsibility and frontline engagement with customers in global markets. Starting as a marketing manager he became executive vice president and president at Glanbia’s U.S. ingredient division and directed business through several major stages of expansion. His experience includes handling both commodity business growth and specialty innovation such as managing market development of Alpha Lactalbumin and the very first microfiltered Whey Protein Isolate to be introduced.  

Culhane combines experienced insight concerning technical and commercial requirements across key sectors like nutrition, infant formula and food ingredients to deliver informed perspectives and recommendations for business development and innovation. Michael has served on ADPI’s Center of Excellence since 2017 and is active in various ADPI events and activities.

Michael Culhane received his B.Sc. in Agricultural and Food Chemistry and Ph.D. in nutrition from University College Dublin in Ireland. 


Dr. Dustin Dean

Nutritionist Consultant

Union, MO  63084  USA

Phone: 314-686-5620
Areas of Expertise:

Animal Nutrition, Feed Processing, Animal Science, Monogastric Nutrition, Feed Products Innovation


Dr. Dustin Dean grew up on a small farm in Southwest Missouri (USA) raising purebred cattle and hogs.  He received his B.S. in animal sciences from Kansas State University in 1998 followed by a M.S. in monogastric nutrition in 2000 where he conducted research in feed processing, poultry and swine.  Dr. Dean then joined the faculty at Louisiana State University as an instructor in animal sciences while working towards a doctorate degree and taught various animal science classes along with mentoring students.  He completed his doctorate in 2005 in monogastric nutrition.  

Dr. Dean has spent his career working in the areas of product innovation as well as applied nutrition at the farm level.  He has worked for multinational companies in both the feed ingredient and nutrition areas and has experience with swine, poultry, equine, dairy calves and pet food.  Dr. Dean currently serves as a consulting swine nutritionist with NutriQuest working with independent swine producers.

Dustin joined ADPI’s Center of Excellence group in 2020.


Jessie Deelo

Founder & Owner
Deelo Consulting Services

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130  USA

Phone: 617-875-0291
Areas of Expertise:

Sustainability, Sustainable Sourcing, Risk & Opportunity Analysis;  Program Design, including KPI’s, Goals and Objectives, and Partnership Strategy; Biodiversity, Environmental Stewardship and Supply Chain Opportunity Assessments


Jessie founded Deelo Consulting Services to design and execute sustainable sourcing programs for suppliers and food companies. Building off her career as a commercial farmer, Extension researcher and industry consultant, she develops customized, metrics-based impact programs to baseline and advance sustainability outcomes for farmers, suppliers and food companies. With expertise in strategy development and agricultural sustainability, Ms. Deelo develops comprehensive program frameworks to address major sustainability risks and align suppliers and buyers on goals, activities, KPIs, and outcomes to drive measurable change across the supply chain.

She also works directly with coops to design biodiversity and environmental stewardship programs, performs industry research, including survey design, expert interviews and data analysis, to assess investment and growth opportunities. Her clients include Unilever, Pipeline Foods, Darigold, Applegate Farms, Walton Family Foundation, Sustainable Food Lab, and others. Ms. Deelo received her MS degree in International Agricultural Development from the University of California-Davis and a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jessie joined ADPI’s Center of Excellence in 2020.


MaryAnne Drake Ph.D.
William Neal Reynolds Professor
North Carolina State University 

Department of Food, Bioprocessing, Nutrition Sciences
Sensory Service Center & Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center

Raleigh, NC 27695

Phone:  919-830-1664 (Mobile)
Areas of Expertise:

Research, Dairy Sensory Science, Flavor Chemistry and Analytics, Trained Flavor Panels, Consumer Panels, Preference Mapping, Processing & Storage Impacts on Dairy Flavors, Testing, etc.


MaryAnne Drake, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in dairy flavor. She has been at North Carolina State University since 2001 where currently she is a William Neal Reynolds Professor,  Director of the Sensory Service Center and Director of the Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center(SDFRC). Research in her program is focused on sensory analysis and flavor chemistry of dairy products and ingredients, how flavor varies with processing and storage and how these parameters relates to consumer perception. Qualitative market research, descriptive analysis, consumer testing, and preference mapping are all used. Instrumental analysis techniques including gas chromatography / olfactometry, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography and are used to relate sensory properties to the chemical components of foods.  Fundamental research on methods development is conducted as well as application of these techniques to solve industrially relevant problems.


Terry Lensmire

Lensmire Dairy Consulting, LLC

Manitowoc, WI  USA

Phone: 920-205-1256

Areas of Expertise:

Cheesemaking Process (equipment, design, operation); Educational Programming,
Cheese Grading and Natural Cheese Related Technologies


Terry Lensmire is a third generation cheesemaker, licensed in the state of Wisconsin since 1974, and additionally licensed as a cheese grader since 1979.  He was in the first class of Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers in 1997 and is currently certified in: Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and Provolone.

Terry currently serves on the Master Cheesemaker Board, is on the education subcommittee of the Wisconsin Cheesemaker Association (WCMA), and a instructor for the WI CDR Cheese Grading Short Course.  Terry joined ADPI’s Center of Excellence in 2021.  Prior to Terry’s retirement from commercial industry his career consisted of tours off duty with Agropur, Land ‘O Lakes, USDA Dairy’s Division, and Ellisville Coop Dairy.

Relative to his “judging” prowess, he has served as such for cheese with WCMA’s World Cheese Contest, WCMA’s US Cheese Contest, Wisconsin Dairy Products Contest and the Wisconsin State Fair.

Terry is the recipient of various industry awards to include: 2019 WCMA Vanguard Award, 2018 Eastern Wisconsin Lifetime Membership Award, 2007 WCMA H.P. Mulloy Award, and several cheese contest awards for Cheddar, Mozzarella, Provolone, Feta and other styles.

Terry proudly is a Wisconsin Cheesehead through and through.

Mike McCully
The McCully Group, LLC
Granger, IN 46530  USA
Phone: 312-646-0361
Areas of Expertise:

Dairy Purchasing Strategies; Risk Management
Market Research and Strategic Planning

Mike 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/procedures, Mergers & Acquisitions, and supply chain issues/opportunities. 
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.
Mike 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.  

Mike has been a member of ADPI’s Center of Excellence for several years, and is actively engaged in the Institutes events and activities including Dairy Ingredient Training Courses.

Dan Meyer
ADPI Staff
Director of Technical Services
Elmhurst, IL  60126  USA
Phone: 630-530-8700 ext. 224
Areas of Expertise:

Dairy Product Standards; Specifications
Technical Support and Proficiency Testing

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 Chairman for the Whey Protein Research Consortium (WPRC) and serves as ADPI liaison to various other industry associations.   Dan is ADPI staff liaison to various Committees and Task Force groups and leads the planning efforts for the Dairy Ingredient Seminar, Global Cheese Technology Forum, Membrane Technology Forum and ADPI’s activities with IFT Exhibits. He has worked in the dairy industry for over 30+ years and has been with the American Dairy Products Institute for the last 20+ years. Dan has past experience with Dean Foods and Associated Milk Producers, Inc. 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.

Dan has served on ADPI’s Center of Excellence since its start in 2012.

Phil Plourd
Blimling and Associates, Inc.

Madison, WI 53718  USA

Phone: 608-249-5030
Areas of expertise:
Dairy Ingredient Market Analysis, Research, Forecasting & Risk Mitigation Strategies

Phil Plourd is President of Blimling and Associates, Inc. and on the senior leadership team at He has been involved in dairy market analysis, research, forecasting and risk mitigation activities for 20+ years. Phil draws on that experience to lead an expert team committed to helping clients find better ways to do business. 

He is a popular speaker who engages audiences on a variety of topics and is actively engaged in various ADPI events and activities.
Phil resides near Madison, Wisconsin with wife Rhonda and daughters Rebecca and Leah. He is currently on the board of directors of the Madison Public Library Foundation as well as the Nakoma Foundation. 

Phil has served on ADPI’s Center of Excellence for a number of years.

Karen Smith Ph.D.
K. Smith Consulting
Madison, WI  USA

Phone: 608-220-3001

Areas of expertise:

Use of membrane systems, crystallizers, refiners, evaporators and dryers to produce whey, permeate, lactose and milk and whey protein concentrates.  Training on dairy chemistry and processing.  Applied research related to dairy ingredients.

Dr. Karen Smith recently retired from the Center for Dairy Research-Madison, WI, where she helped develop, organize and taught short courses for the Center and individual companies.  Dr. Smith worked on applied research projects in areas of membrane processing of acid whey and drying differences based on type of whey.  She also developed reference materials for the dairy industry on topics such as the Dry Dairy Ingredient Handbook, Annatto and Color Removal, and Dust Fires and Explosions.  Prior to her time at CDR, Dr. Smith held positions with Schreiber Foods, Dietrich‘s Milk Products and Wisconsin Whey.
Dr. Smith’s expertise is in dairy processing and troubleshooting especially as it relates to the use of membrane systems, evaporators and dryers in the production of dairy ingredients. She has experience in the production of lactose, whey protein concentrates and milk protein concentrates.
Dr. Smith holds B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Geoffrey W. Smithers, PhD, FAIFST, CFS

Owner & Director
Geoffrey Smithers Food Industry Consulting Services

Melbourne, Victoria

Areas of Expertise:

Dairy Processing & Ingredient Functionality; Analysis & 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, and a strong track record in translating R&D outcomes into real-world applications. 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.

Geoffrey has a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, and more than 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 book and encyclopedia chapters, and is an inventor on several 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. Geoffrey has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) (2009), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) (2017), and the International Academy of Food Science & Technology (IAFoST) (2018), awards that recognize his contributions towards advancing the science and technology of foods, notably dairy foods. In 2013, Geoffrey was admitted as a member of the inaugural class of Certified Food Scientists (CFS) conferred by the IFT; and in 2018 was appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Chemistry at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia).  He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the International Dairy Journal; as Section Editor (Dairy Processing and Technology) for the Encyclopedia of Dairy Sciences (3rd ed.); and as the Editor-in-Chief for the Encyclopedia of Food Safety (2nd ed.).

Geoffrey takes an active role in the work of the IFT, the International Dairy Federation (IDF), and the Food Technology Association of Australia (FTAA).  Geoffrey has been a member of ADPI’s Center of Excellence since 2016 and is actively engaged in the Institute’s events and activities.


Marianne Smukowski
Marianne Smukowski Consulting LLC

Madison, WI  53711

Phone: 608-233-7812
Areas of Expertise:

Butter Manufacturing, Sensory Evaluation of Dairy Products, Dairy Food Safety, PCQI Lead  Instructor, Quality Control, State and Federal Regulations



Marianne recently retired as the Dairy Safety and Quality Coordinator for the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research.  She has over 35 years of experience in dairy food safety, butter grading and dairy manufacturing including her past positions working for USDA-Dairy Division and Land O’ Lakes. 
Marianne coordinated the only Butter-makers Workshop held in the US. The workshop is a two-day course that covers a variety of topics including butter manufacturing, cleaning and sanitation, packaging, sensory evaluation and food safety.   Marianne can answer questions regarding quality and processing issues, regulatory requirements of grading butter, and food safety of butter. 
Marianne has trained dairy manufacturers in PCQI and dairy food safety, performed third party audits, acted as a liaison between government agencies and industry, and assisted in implementation of food safety plans. 
Marianne received the 2020 American Cheese Society Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2021 WCMA Babcock Award.  Marianne holds a Bachelor of Science in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

Tom Suber

Suber Global LLC

Washington, D.C. 20015  USA

Phone: 703-628-4315


Areas of Expertise:

Export Strategy, Trade Policy, Government Relations, Export Market Access and Regulatory Constraints

Tom is currently the principal and President of Suber Global LLC, a strategic trade consulting firm, while also serving on the boards of a U.S.-based cheese company and a Washington DC-based non-profit.  Tom joined ADPI’s Center of Excellence in January 2021.
He retired from the U.S. Dairy Export Council in 2017 after 21 years as its first president, where he guided dairy’s export growth from 3% of total U.S. milk solids production to 15%. Representing U.S. farmers, processors and trading companies, his executive responsibilities included strategic planning, marketing, trade and regulatory policies, and issues/crisis management. He was staff lead for Globalization at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, whose strategic plan by Bain & Co. galvanized industry efforts to become a more consistent export supplier. 
Suber served on numerous industry boards including the Dairy Research Institute, U.S. Agricultural and Export Development Council, two U.S. government policy advisory committees (APAC and ATAC), and the Food & Agricultural Export Alliance. The American Dairy Products Institute recognized him with its Award of Merit in 2017.
Tom has a Master’s of Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s in history and Asian studies from Colorado State University. 


Phillip Tong, Ph.D.

ADPI Staff
Director, Dairy Science, Education and Research

Professor Emeritus, Cal Poly State University

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401  USA

Phone: 805-440-8149 (Mobile)
Email:  or
Areas of Expertise:

Dairy Ingredients Functionality, Membrane Technology, Dairy Technology, 
Milk Composition, Training and Education 


Dr. Tong has over 35 years of experience in conducting research and development in dairy foods science and technology with ADPI, Cal Poly, Kraft, Clorox, and Foremost Technical Center. He was instrumental in establishing and growing Cal Poly’s Dairy Products Technology Center, and he served as a Professor and its Director for over 15 years. Dr. Tong is an internationally recognized expert in dairy foods science and technology. His work has involved a wide range of separation, concentration, purification and thermal processes  and their applicability to improve the quality and functionality of 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 in 10 countries including China, Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Ireland, Australia, Canada.

Phil has been an active member of ADPI’s Center of Excellence since its inception and he is actively engaged in ADPI events, Committees and Task Force Groups.  He helped to initiate ADPI’s annual webinar series,  manages ADPI’s research efforts, and  leads ADPI’s Dairy Ingredient Technology Symposium, an event he founded while at Cal Poly back in 1998.    He also serves as an independent consultant to the dairy and food industries, Chair of the American Dairy Science Association Foundation Board of Trustees. and Member of the Scientific Expert Group for the NZ3M Program of Riddet Institute, Massey University. He has served as President and member of the Board of Directors of the American Dairy Science Association, member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Animal Science Societies, and Past Chair of the Dairy Foods Division of Institute of Food Technologists. From 2016-2020, Phil also served as Executive Director of the California Creamery Operators Association.   He was selected 2018 Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and 2016 Fellow of the American Dairy Science Association.  He is recipient of 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. He received his Ph.D. and MS degrees in Food Science from Cornell University, and his BS in Food Science and Technology from University of California, Davis.