Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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: Veronique Lagrange, ADPI Director of Strategic Development ( (630) 530-8700 ext. 225) 

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
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.
Dr. David Clark

Director/ Owner
Bovina Mountain Consulting

8234 Harborside Circle
Englewood, FL  34224

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.


Michael Culhane Ph.D.

Dairy Advance Business Consulting LLC

1015 18th Avenue, Suite 211
Monroe, WI  53566

Phone: 608-325-4543


Areas of expertise: Strategic Business Development,
Dairy Technology, Market Research, Investment Evaluation

Michael Culhane PhD is the owner of Dairy Advance Business Consulting LLC which provides strategic planning, business development and technology support services for the dairy industry. He established his consulting company in 2005 and has over 30 years of industry experience in dairy sector markets, process technology, business innovation and plant development projects.

Michael worked previously with Glanbia in its Irish and US businesses and held senior positions including general manager, executive vice president and president at the company’s North American ingredient division. Over this period he directed business through several stages of investment and growth for commodity and specialty dairy products.

His background in the global dairy industry includes extensive business involvement in North & South America, Europe and Asia. He has wide experience in dairy technology, product innovation and market development, for example playing an influential role in the first introduction of Whey Protein Isolate to global markets using microfiltration technology.

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


Dr. Dustin Dean

Swine Nutritionist Consultant

780 Tanglewood Lane
Union, MO  63084

Phone: 314-686-5620
Areas of expertise: Animal Nutrition


Dr. Dustin Dean grew up on a small farm in southwest Missouri with 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.


Jessie Deelo

Founder & Owner
Deelo Consulting Services

30 Eastland Road
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Phone: 617-875-0291
Areas of expertise: Sustainability


Jessie founded Deelo Consulting Services to design and execute sustainable sourcing programs for suppliers and food companies. She develops program frameworks to address sustainability risks and opportunities that align suppliers and buyers on goals, activities, key performance indicators, and outcomes.  She supports suppliers to achieve sustainably sourced status, co-designs impact programs for dairy farms and cooperatives.

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, PepsiCo, Applegate Farms, Agromeris. She received her MS degree in International Agricultural Development from the University of California-Davis and a BA in Geography and Certificate in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Veronique Lagrange
Director of Strategic Development 
American Dairy Products Institute

4842 Van Ness St. NW
Washington, DC   20016

Phone:  630-530-8700 Ext. 225
Areas of expertise: Strategic Planning and Business Development


Veronique Lagrange has over 22 years of experience in the dairy industry that includes planning and supervising strategic, product, and nutrition research projects, working with U.S. ingredient suppliers, international manufacturers, multinationals and research institutions throughout the world and leading international food assistance research programs.  

In 1996, Lagrange joined the U.S. Dairy Export Council as the director of Latin America programs. During her time with USDEC, she worked as director of applications, director of global ingredient programs, was named Vice President of Strategic Research and Business Development and in 2010, she was named Senior Vice President of Strategy and Insights.

Lagrange is the author of many publications, technical manuals and reference guides on the topic of dairy ingredients, from milk powders to specialized protein products, their applications in human nutrition products, their functionality and manufacture.  

Lagrange is a member on the Steering Committee of the Whey Protein Research Consortium, an international non-profit group dedicated to funding clinical trials. She also leads the US industry’s “Dairy for Global Nutrition” initiative to fund independent scientific studies to address stunting and manage moderate malnutrition, and collaborates with foundations, universities and researchers worldwide to advance science in this area.

She has a BS and MS in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin, a nutrition degree from Ecole de Medecine Paris V, France, and completed the course requirements for the doctorate in Engineering Management at George Washington University, Washington, DC.  She also completed classes for the Executive Program at MIT, Cambridge.


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.
Phil Plourd
Blimling and Associates, Inc.

5201 East Terrace Dr.
Madison, WI 53718

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

Phil Plourd is President of Blimling and Associates, Inc. and President of the services division of He has been involved in dairy market analysis, research, forecasting and risk management activities for 20 years. Phil draws on that experience to lead an expert team of 16 committed to helping clients find better ways to do business. He is a popular speaker who engages audiences on a variety of topics. . 

Phil resides near Madison, Wisconsin with wife Rhonda and daughters Rebecca and Leah. He is currently President of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County and his family is involved with the Madison Public Library Foundation.  
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).


Dean Tjornehoj
Dairy Industry Consultant

1977 Eastgate Avenue
MTulare, CA  93274

Phone: 559-331-2871
Areas of expertise: Dairy Powders, Butter Product and Process Improvement, Food Safety,
Microbial and Product Component Testing, Specification and Regulatory Compliance


Dean Tjornehoj is a microbiologist with many years of experience and knowledge in the safe production of dairy foods and ingredients. He is newly retired from California Dairies Inc. where he was the Vice President of Quality Assurance and responsible for compliance to regulatory and customer requirements, quality control and quality assurance programs across six manufacturing plants. Dean can provide technical support on microbiological and chemistry testing and issues. In the past he has provided technical support and guidance to Dairy America, a marketing cooperative that sells powder products to both domestic and export markets. As well as, directed the activities and provided technical support to Sunrise Labs LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of California Dairies that provides microbiological and chemistry testing services to the cooperative. I

In addition to his expertise on powdered ingredients, Dean will also support the needs of ADPI members who require assistance for the production and quality control of AMF, churned milkfat, butteroil, various types of butter, cream cheese and Neufch√Ętel cheese. 

For the last 25 years, Dean has worked with cooperatives on the west coast that produce fluid milk in bulk and consumer packages, cultured products, and natural cheeses in bulk and consumer packages, dry dairy products and butter. The first 20 years of his career were working with production and quality in packaged milk products, natural cheeses, cultured products and dried whey products. He has been involved with technical committees and working committees in dairy trade associations, and was a past chairman of the Dairy Division of IFT. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology and Chemistry from Iowa State University.

Phillip Tong, Ph.D.

Director, Dairy Science, Education and Research, ADPI
Professor Emeritus, Cal Poly State University

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 ADPI, 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 and technology. 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.

In addition to his work with ADPI, he serves as an independent consultant to the dairy and food industries, Executive Director of the California Creamery Operators Association, and Member of the International Dairy Federation Dairy Science and Technology Committee. 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: 2018 Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists, 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. 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.