Dairy Farmers of Ontario has hired Cheryl Smith as its new chief executive officer.
The marketing board said she has 30 years of experience as a business leader, including at Parmalat, a dairy processor with revenues of about $1 billion and more than 150 employees.
She recently retired from Parmalat where she was general manager of the cheese division and a member of the executive team.
She has also worked in marketing for Rogers and Unilever.
She is a director for the Grocery Foundation, on the Grocery Business Senior Leadership Advisory Council and Canadian Grocer Star Women Advisory Committee.
She was chair of the Ontario Dairy Council and on the board of governors for Food and Consumer Products of Canada.
In November she will receive the Golden Pencil Award, the grocery industry’s highest honour.
She will also take a couple of leaves of absence in October and November to take management training at Harvard.
She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees and completed a number of business management training courses.
The marketing board said she ”brings a strong energy yet a humble approach to strategic thinking, relationship building and leadership. She is a forward facing thinker with an acute understanding of the opportunities ahead.
"We have every confidence that Cheryl will make great contributions to DFO and our industry at large.”
The marketing board recently parted ways with Graham Lloyd, who was its legal advisor before being appointed chief executive officer.